Seoul has established itself as one of the world’s top fashion capitals, and anyone who has been to Korea will know why Seoul is considered a shopper’s paradise. Shopping districts such as Myeongdong, Gangnam, and Express Bus Terminal are often packed with people—both locals and tourists.
Thanks to the Hallyu Wave, Korean fashion has gone global. However, despite the international popularity of Korean fashion, it is not easy to find Korean streetwear that is authentic and of good quality while still being affordable outside of Korea. Thus, StyleupK was launched.
StyleupK aims to make K-fashion accessible to anyone, anywhere, through its website. Each clothing item on StyleupK’s website is carefully curated based on the latest K-fashion trends, so even people who are new to the world of Korean fashion will be able to look effortlessly stylish.
Not only does StyleupK offer well-known streetwear brands such as ADLV, Ambler, Champion, and FILA Korea, shoppers will also be able to find brands that are popular among Koreans but lesser-known intentionally. Each brand has its own distinct style and aesthetic as well, while still keeping in line with K-fashion trends.
Let’s take a look at what some of the popular trends are.
Koreans love their oversized t-shirts, and for a good reason! The oversized fit not only makes the t-shirt more comfortable but also allows the t-shirt to be worn and styled in many more ways than a regular t-shirt.
Couple outfits are also popular in Korea, and it is not uncommon to spot couples on the streets of Seoul sporting matching t-shirts. Oversized t-shirts are an especially popular choice for couple outfits as they are not gender-specific, and unisex fashion is a big aspect of Korean fashion.
Oversized t-shirts also come in many different designs. Plain logo tees are especially popular; not only are they easy to style, but streetwear is also about signifying your place in the “in” crowd, and sporting the logo of well-known streetwear brands is one of the most effective ways to do so.
Just as oversized t-shirts are popular for their baggy fit, loose-fitting pants are just as popular. Comfort is a big factor when it comes to Korean fashion, and this can be seen in the popularity of loose, flowy silhouettes.
The athleisure trend has grown worldwide, and Korea is no exception. Sweatpants and running shorts may seem like a strange choice for casual wear, but it all makes sense once you see the range of designs that they come in. The material provides comfort, and the designs ensure that they are stylish enough to be worn out to casual outings.
There might be a misconception that loose clothes look sloppy or unprofessional, but this is not true. If sweatpants are a little too casual for your liking, there are still plenty of other options for loose-fitting pants, such as straight-cut chino pants. Depending on the design on the pants, you can even wear chinos to work and look smart without having to compromise on comfort.
While loose silhouettes may be popular, that doesn’t mean they’re the only option. Korean fashion is influenced by other popular media, such as K-Pop, and cropped tops are definitely a K-Pop essential. And because of the K-Pop influence, cropped tops can be found in many different colors and are usually designed to be eye-catching.
Cropped tops are a great way to dress up your outfit and will look great even paired with a simple pair of jeans. Not only are cropped tops stylish, but they’re also comfortable as well! Although they are more fitted to the body than oversized t-shirts, most cropped tops sold by Korean streetwear brands are not too figure-hugging.
Because of that, cropped tops add a touch of femininity to your outfit without being too inappropriate. They’re especially popular in the summertime, as they can help you to keep cool while still looking cute.
If you’re a fan of Korean pop culture, you will probably be aware of how much Koreans value height and good body proportions. Unfortunately, not all of us are naturally blessed with long legs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find other ways to add a few inches to our height.
For ladies, high heels are probably the first option that comes to mind when it comes to boosting your height, but while they definitely look good, heels are not the most practical for daily long-term wear. Thankfully, Korean fashion has a solution for that online on StyleupK: chunky sneakers.
Sneakers have always been a big part of Korean fashion—it was K-Pop idols who popularised wearing sneakers with dresses, making sneakers the go-to footwear choice for any outfit. Just like regular sneakers, chunky sneakers look good with any outfit, and they also have the added benefit of making you look taller without the discomfort of heels.
Chunky sneakers are also not gender-specific, and both Korean men and women have rocked the chunky sneaker look, making them a great option if you’re interested in getting matching couple items for you and your bae. And if you’re looking for matching items with your favorite K-Pop idol… Jungkook of BTS has worn this pair of chunky sneakers from Korean streetwear brand 23.65.
Accessories are an important aspect of fashion, and bucket hats are one of the most commonly seen accessories in K-fashion. While there has been much debate internationally on whether bucket hats look good, it is clear that Koreans are fans of the bucket hat.
One reason for the popularity of bucket hats in Korea can be linked back to K-Pop idols. Hats have always been popular accessories with Korean celebrities, as it helps them to retain some privacy when they are out in public during their downtime. Not only do bucket hats look stylish, but they are also great for keeping most of your face covered.
Plain black bucket hats are the most basic design and are often the go-to design for K-Pop idols, but that does not mean that they are the only option. Unlike K-Pop idols, most of us don’t need to wear hats in order to stay incognito. This means that we are free to rock bucket hats with bright, eye-catching designs.
Additionally, bucket hats are also great for protecting us from the sun, which is perfect for Koreans who take their skincare very seriously.
Most of us are used to carrying medium to large-sized bags as they are more practical, allowing us to carry our essentials with us at all times. While practicality is a big aspect of Korean fashion—the popularity of tote bags among both women and men is proof of it—there are certain trends where fashion triumphs over function and small handbags are one such trend.
Small handbags are a hallmark of the high teen aesthetic, made popular by Blackpink’s Jennie. While a lot of styles in Korean fashion favor unisex clothing and casual fashion, the high teen aesthetic is not only distinctly feminine but also has a less commonly seen luxurious vibe.
But because youthfulness is also a big aspect of the high teen aesthetic, it keeps the style from coming across as pretentious and has more of a fresh vibe instead. So, despite the inclusion of ‘teen’ in the name of the style, the high teen look can be rocked by anyone.
Korean fashion is highly influenced by other popular Korean media, such as dramas and music. As K-Pop continues to grow, idol groups need to come up with new ways to catch people’s attention, and fashion is one of the most effective ways to do so. Hence, fashion and styling are constantly evolving in K-Pop, which then influences general Korean fashion.
It is undeniable that Korean fashion is heavily trend-based, but does that mean that there is no point in keeping up with K-fashion trends? There is no right or wrong answer, but we think that it’s definitely good to be in the know when it comes to Korean fashion! Despite being trend-based, all the different trends tend to have a consistent aesthetic recognizable as ‘Korean fashion.’
Instead of feeling pressured to keep up with the trends, the many different trends just provide lovers of K-fashion more options as to how they can personalize their style.
Start your K-fashion journey and shop for the latest Korean fashion trends at StyleupK today! StyleupK is an online Korean fashion platform that ships worldwide. Worldwide shipping, USA customers enjoy free standard shipping with a minimum order value of USD 190 and free upgrade to express shipping with order value above USD 265.