7 Quick Tips To Korean Men Fashion
Dressing for the day means something different for every person and for every country. Not everyone sees fashion as applying for everyone, especially for men. However across the world, we can meet Korean men who are dressing to impress and are knowledgeable about fashion.
In South Korea, fashion has a culture ever-changing and has been continually influenced by their street fashion. Fashion in Korea applies to everyone including men who are fashionable in their work clothes to their casual wear just like Korean women. Korean fashion has to do more than looking good but has been a way of expressing individualism through particular clothing items.
Not to say everyone dresses the same, but each person’s style has a uniqueness and signature to them. Like women’s fashion, Korean men have various clothing items they can wear to mark their style or accessorize their outfit.
How can we start to dress like Korean men? Check out these seven quick tips to start dressing fashionably like Korean men.
Depending the occasion, tops have been a form of setting the tone for our outfits. It can be said the same for Korean men, their tops express their individualism and even the style of their outfit. Whether they are having a casual outing or having a meeting, Korean men know how to style each clothing item to their taste and the occasion.
Long-Sleeve Polo Shirt
In western culture, we associated the polo shirt to sports such as golfing and polo games, or even the casual wear of older, white business men. For Koreans, the long polo shirt has more designs and styles for them to wear and often worn in a casual setting. Their polo shirts are not marked by a logo on the left side of the chest and has been influenced by the street wear of Korea.
Pattern shirts can also be graphics on a shirt. The designs on t-shirts can often have eccentric patterns or graphics that make a statement of their own. They can have abstract graphics at times associated with abstract art. We can often see Korean men wear graphic shirts underneath a button-up shirt.
Button-down shirts are more common clothing tops to see Korean men sport, especially among Korean idols. We can see a variety of the shirt designs from big pockets to the cuban shirts. Although cuban shirts are not Korean, they take inspiration from the subtropical country. The popular form of wearing a button-down has been to tuck half of it in and the rest out or tucking it all in.
Long button-down shirts have been the go-to look for men to wear in Korea with slacks, jeans or shorts. It can fir for both formal and casual wear.
Korean men have more options for jackets worn for certain styles or purposes. In Korean fashion, the jacket has been a part of menswear as a clothing statement or tells us about their style. There are a variety of jackets to choose from and can be worn with a style or for warmth since in Korea winter lasts long and is cold.
They have been popular wear during the autumn and winter season since Korea has for distinct seasons. Coats have been reserved for Korean business men that have been known as business fashion. Aside from seeing coats on business men, business fashion has been reinforced by kdramas that stereotype the business men and women with the coat look or even the wealthy characters. If we want to look like a rich businessman, we need to get a coat that compliments our physique and our outfit.
What do we mean by statement jackets? Well, some jackets have eccentric features not commonly found on jackets. Whether it has an eccentric feature or design, statement jackets are meant to be bold and stand out from the rest of our outfit.
Bomber jackets were once exclusive to pilots, but not anymore. They have become more popular in Korea’s street fashion, particularly darker tone colors such as black, olive green or an earth brown. If we are looking to have a streetwear style, a bomber jacket with boots would be the way to go.
Puffer jackets have become a trend due to the wear of kpop idols and even kdrama actors and actresses. However, puffer jackets come from the hip-hop streetwear which has been taking over Asian fashion. Korean streetwear has more pull in inspiring fashion trends based on music or the styles of other fashion. However, aside from following a fashion trend, puffer jackets make a social class statement as logo fashion.
Denim clothing items and styles are popular in Korea as in other countries. However, Koreans sport denim clothing in various ways and designs. From the ripped pants to the oversized pants, their denim styles derive from the street fashion of Korea that has started to become mainstream and worn by kpop idols.
Ripped jeans are common wear in Korean fashion as we see Korean men wear ripped jeans with their outfits. The rips on the jeans are more prominent and have repetition in the consistency of where they are ripped. The more ripped it looks the better especially in Korean fashion. Ripped jeans usually have a faded look or can have the faded look around the rips. They can be paired with a plaid shirt or solid colors with a jacket.
Skinny jeans have not been reserve only for women, in fact Korean men wear jeans that hug their legs as tightly as women do. Tight skinny jeans can be worn by kpop idols mostly and wear colors such as black, dark blue, or a light blue color. We want to create a balance with our jeans by either wearing something slimming or little loose.
Wearing pants with a lot of pockets has been a fashion of the past and associated with military wear. However cargo pants are making a comeback as casual wear, wear we can see in street styles of Korea that are starting to trend. Cargo pants are often pair with oversized sweaters and combat boots.
Oversized clothing brings us back to the 90’s fashion styles we used to wear back then, although, it has started to make a comeback in Korean fashion. How do we even begin to wear oversized pants? We want to ensure we are balancing our oversized pants with the solid colors and clothing items that are not oversized but slim.
Athleisure has been a trend gaining popularity as it becomes more acceptable to wear exercise clothing as day to day wear. However in South Korea, no one executes the athleisure style as Koreans do, especially men. The common practice of combining clothing items to complement or contrast each other has been a part of Korean fashion that athleisure does. Korean men tend to pair casual, exercising clothing items with high end pieces to counterbalance themselves. It brings comfort to a whole new style for us to wear anytime.
Wearing logos on clothing has continued to be common practice in fashion, however, the logos we wear can be small or reduced to the phrase of the company. But in Korea, the logos have become more bold and louder, atrend started in Korea’s street fashion. Two rules when wearing logos has been to wear one brand at a time and minimize the rest of our outfit.
Aside from becoming a trend, like puffer jackets, logos are associated with the social and economic class. The kind of brand we chose to wear defines and classifies us in many ways. Some of the common brands we can see are Gucci, Supreme or even Korean name brands such as Charms and D-Antidote.
If we want to look chic and effortless in what we wear, the monochrome style will be a choice to go for. For the monochrome style, choose a color and either dress in that solid color with a bold accessory or clothing item, or vary the tones of the color we choose. When we wear an accented clothing item or bold pattern within the same color tone, it will allow the colors to break and call attention to certain pieces of our clothing.
Even though we can chose any color, the monochrome style has often been reserve for earth tone colors or darker color shades. Have fun with the color and pick patterns that speak to us.
Korean fashion would not be complete without the accessories able to them, particularly the men. They have accessories adding to their outfit or even style allowing for men to express more with their clothing items or mark their individualism.
Earrings have a stigma around them in western culture, however, in Korean fashion culture they are widely accepted to be worn by men and women. It’s not to say that men’s earrings are the same as women because they are not. Each has their own style, and men have a variety of earrings to choose from. Earrings have gained their popularity especially with kpop idols wearing them.
The most common trend in earrings we can see Korean men wearing are hoop earrings. You can purchase some Korean style earrings for men at YESSTYLE.
The variety of hats men can wear depends on the style or preference one has. Beanies and bucket hats have come from Korea’s street fashion of head wear. Some of the most common hats we can find on Korean men have been
- Beanies – for the punk rocker look, beanies are best suited or even for the casual look.
- Caps – the most common look we see in kpop idols when at the airport or even on an outing into the public eye. Caps are usually in darker tones and can often have the rings on the tip of the cap.
- Bucket Hats – Have been making a comeback due to kpop idols. Associated with kpop fashion, bucket hats have more of an effect when male idols wear them than women on outings or when at the airport. It has a casual and street style.
- Fedoras – wanting to look chic or spiffy, fedoras are a great way of accessorizing our outfit. They have become popular in fashion with more kpop idols claiming them as their style.
Just like clothing items, shoes play a role in the outfit of Korean men. Each shoe choice can make a statement of their own or can be a preference of what goes well with the style one has. There are few shoes common for men wear, and they are
- Dress Shoes – although we don’t see most dress shoes, they are common in the business setting and the business fashion of formal attire.
- Boots – have been pair with skinny jeans or trousers. Korean men don’t have a problem wearing a heel in their boots; they don’t shy away from stylistic choices.
- Bulk Shoes – or chunky shoes also commonly known as, derive from Korea’s Seoul street style. Fila has bulky shoes popular for Koreans to wear.
- Brand Shoes – we can wear brand shoes on a daily basis from vans, converses to nike. There is no surprise we are wearing the brands we love. However, if we are going for logo fashion, we want to be consistent with our brand.
- Sandals – have started to gain popularity for common wear, even though they are not our typical sandals. Most sandals have a platform to elevate the feet from the floor so as not to get them dirty. Sandals or slippers are reserve for in home use but they are gaining popularity outside.
Korean men’s fashion has more than a few clothing items and accessories. It has a culture built around dressing to impress, to express their own individualism, and ultimately themselves. Each style has a unique style to Korean men which has been influenced by Korean streetwear.
Even if we aren’t familiar with Korea’s streetwear fashion, there are some styles and clothing items which make into the mainstream fashion we see in kpop idols and kdramas. Their fashion has boldness and Korean men are not afraid to try colors and have slight elevation and heels on their shoes. Korean fashion for men has boldness and uniqueness that makes it stand out from other men’s fashion. What clothing item or style would you be willing to try out?