8 Most Popular Korean Fashion Trends
It is no surprise that South Korea has increasingly become one of the top global fashion icons of the world. With the popularization of Korean Dramas and Kpop, many have begun paying attention and building their own inspirations through these avenues. The influences of Korean fashion trends are now globalized with many of their entertainment culture influences seeping into the interest of Western fashion industries. This is especially prominent in the way Korean Pop music has made its mark outside of the country with renowned girl groups like Blackpink performing at Coachella. Furthermore, more and more Western celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and Halsey have been collaborating in the release of Kpop music. Korean entertainment culture, and therefore fashion culture, continues to shape the trends we see rising into the mainstream spotlight. Today, we are going to be taking a look at some of the fastest growing Korean fashion trends that have been prominent this year. The Korean fashion of 2020 has brought into the mainstream several mainstays in Asian fashion trends that will likely continue to be apart of several Korean fashion trends of 2021.
8 Most Popular South Korean Fashion Trends
- Oversized Tops
- Oversized Joggers and Cargo Pants
- Schoolgirl Tennis Skirts
- Puffed Sleeves
- Matching Sets
- Street Style Face Mask
- Oversized Sleeves
Korean women's fashion in particular loves its oversized tops. This Korean fashion style comes from a history of being more conservative in fashion. It would be rare to find clothes that were extremely fitted to show off women's body shapes as this was just not considered appropriate. As a result, clothes that also exposed the midriff or chest area were rarely found in popular Korean fashion trends. This led to the popularization of oversized tops that initially sprouted from their modest yet cozy nature. As time went by and restrictions in women's Korean style loosened, the oversized style stayed while slight modifications were added. This included the addition of shoulder slits and off-shoulder styles to show a little bit more skin as the trend became more acceptable.
In this outfit, you can see the model sport an oversized off-shoulder top which we designed with inspiration from current Korean fall fashion. While this particular product is more risqué than what you might find in the streets of Hongdae, it’s catered more towards the trend seen in Kpop fashion which typically is more daring and may show off a little bit more skin.
The model is wearing Cabernet Chain Drawstring Crop Top.
Oversized Joggers and Cargo Pants
Much like how Korean fashion style loves its oversized tops, the same could be said for its oversized joggers and weighty cargo pants. With Korean fashion style being largely influenced by hip-hop and music, the emerging trends of unisex street style have allowed for the popularization of genderless clothes such as joggers and cargo pants. These more androgynous Korean trends are both versatile and can be seen on a variety of occasions, whether it's for lounging or for casual streetwear.
In this outfit, you can see the model wear an oversized chain cargo pant. The bottoms are thick, with layers stacking on top of each other for that Korean streetwear look. They sit high waisted for more of a feminine silhouette on an otherwise genderless shape and cinche back at the ankles.
The model is wearing Chardonnay Oversized Cargo Pants.
Schoolgirl Tennis Skirt
While tennis skirts are not new, they continue to play a big part in women’s Korean fashion trends. Most popular amongst younger women, this skirt is widely worn during the spring and summer months, though it is especially popular in Korean summer fashion. A versatile and feminine piece, the tennis skirt is often seen worn with oversized sweaters or varsity styled vest over fitted tops. This youthful fashion choice is a trend that doesn’t seem likely to disappear anytime soon.
In this first outfit, you can see the model sport plaid skirts. This one in particular features a cheeky leg slit that allows for the short underneath to peek through. Styles like these are popularized in KPop fashion, which tend to take existing Korean fashion trends and add a little more of a kick.
The model is wearing Latte Plaid Slit Skirt.
Wearing blazers are no longer associated strictly with business and work as we were used to. This Korean fashion trend has sparked a new wave of blazer styling that is more fitted for everyday loungewear. Blazers are now fashionable to be worn oversized, as with how Koreans tend to prefer wearing many of their tops as such. The looseness of the blazer allows for any outfit to appear more casual from its shapeless nature, but still put together from the intricacy of the piece. With that being said, a lot of people have begun to wear their blazer over everyday casual clothes such as a blouse and fitted bottoms for a clean and well put outfit for everyday wear.
In this outfit, you can see the model sport an oversized cropped pinstripe blazer with accompanying buckled and straps. While this style leans more towards streetwear than everyday loungewear, the blazer itself is still a piece that is clearly worn for fashion and style rather than for business.
The model is wearing Sundae Strap Crop Blazer.
The trend of puff sleeves has come, gone, and returned--after all, fashion is a cycle. This popular feminine Korean style is a statement piece of its own, drawing attention to your upper half and letting your top do all the talking. The sleeve itself isn't restricted to its length as we see these balloon-shaped sleeves as short as shoulder length, reaching lengths as long as a quarter sleeve and more. The sleeves often cuff at the end to create this puffy effect that is known as the puffed sleeve today.
In this outfit, you can see the model sport a puffed sleeve zip up chain crop top. The minimal poof here is an example of the variety of puffiness found in this particular style for this Korean street trend.
The model is wearing Anise Bustier Chain Crop Top.
Whether it’s as a couple or with your best friend, the Korean fashion trend of matching with your favorite person has only grown stronger. Coordinating your outfits are extremely popular and a physical way to show your closeness with one another. Whether it’s to announce your relationship status or a way to symbolize your friendship, the idea of twinning is very common. Friends often wear the same outfit or clothes and themes that match with each other. Couples tend to wear variations of the same outfit made into their respective gender. This trend is not limited to just Korean fashion dress but can be seen across Asia such as in Chinese streetwear and Japanese streetwear as well.
An example of friends coordinating their outfits can be seen here. In this photo, the theme of the outfit is edgier style streetwear. Both models are wearing shades of grey and black, with the shorts both having some form of the strap. The models rock their grey sweaters with thigh high socks to finish the look.
The first model is wearing Cinnamon Turtleneck Crop Top, Truffle Strap Shorts, and Charcoal Thigh High Socks. The second model is wearing Taro Knit Sweater, Peppercorn Strap Shorts, and Charcoal Thigh High Socks.
Street Style Face Mask
Wearing a face mask was never a common occurrence in Western fashion. The need to lately from health concerns are the only reason it has been reluctantly adopted into everyday wear. In most parts of Asia, including Korea, face masks are worn daily as a form of streetwear fashion. Prior to the pandemic, the integration of using a face mask was a form of self-protection from the high levels of pollution they face every day. As the use of face masks became more normalized, many of the younger generations have modified it for fashion purposes which gave rise to streetwear face masks. Hence, streetwear face masks in Korean remain trendy and integrated into their streetwear outfits. These allow for another degree of personalization for your outfits.
In this outfit, you can see the model sporting a simple black face mask to coordinate with her streetwear outfit.
Much like the previous two points on the list, the trendiness of oversized sleeves arrives from different concepts when compared to oversized tops and bottoms. They did not gain popularity due to its modest nature, nor did it gain popularity from its genderless roots. Sleeves that are “too long” and reach lengths longer than the arm are considered to be trendy in Korean fashion. This concept is understood by the nature of oversized clothes being associated with youthfulness. As a result, excess fabric bunching on the arm can be seen as doll-like for women. As Asian fashion tends to gravitate towards looking “cute” over “sexy”, this notion of looking youthful is highly desirable.
In this outfit, you can see the model is sporting a cropped grey sweater with oversized sleeves.
The model is wearing Pumpkin Spice Zip Up Crop Sweater.
With the world paying more attention to the influences of Korean fashion, we will begin to see western fashion adopt aspects of Asian trends. Trends discussed on this list are some of the most common fashion trends you might find in Korea, with many being trends that have been around for years. Some trends in Korean street fashion continue to popularize itself with slight modifications throughout the years. An example of this can be seen with the normalization of oversized tops. As Korean fashionistas begin to allow more risqué fashion, we see oversized tops becoming more cropped or showing more shoulders. The modification of trendy street fashion in Korea is predicted to continue and evolve as fashion trends do. Find the latest on fashion inspired by Korean dress style at Lychee the Label and other Asian clothing stores. Our clothes, while tending towards an edgier aesthetic, still largely stems from inspiration by Korean fashion clothes. For a curated collection of Korean fashion trend inspired clothing designed by us, browse our Kpop Collection.