5 Ways to infuse a modern wardrobe with some historic Korean style
Do you find yourself watching Korean sageuks (historical dramas) and envying the gorgeous hanboks and hair pieces you see on the screen? Even if you can't get away with wearing hanbok in your everyday wardrobe, it doesn't mean you can't pull some styling tips from the women of Joseon! Here are 5 ways to incorporate hanbok style into your everyday wardrobe.
Hanbok is the traditional style of Korean clothing that you often see in dramas that depict the Joseon Era. In modern times, Koreans typically only wear hanbok for weddings and special celebrations, like national holidays, so even if you wanted to run around every day wearing an authentic hanbok, it probably wouldn't be very respectful of Korean tradition. Instead, why not use some of the elements that make sageuk styling so beautiful to inspire an updated look?
1. Go colorful
One of the things I love most about historical dramas is the vibrant use of color for both men and women. The costumes cover every color of the rainbow, and they aren't afraid to mix and match colors within a single outfit. Instead of playing it safe with a single pop of color in an otherwise neutral outfit, why not go bold with a bright combination of colors?
Inspiration: Arang and the Magistrate
2. Follow the style lines
Hanbok sleeve styles vary depending on exact time period and occasion, but in general, the sleeves are boxy. Pair a top with longer, boxy sleeves with a skirt that flows outward to mimic the overall shape in a less drastic way.
Inspiration: The Tree with Deep Roots
Modern look via
3. Accessorize your hair
Wearing hanbok properly is about more than just the coat and skirt. It also involves accessorizing with the appropriate hairpieces and shoes. Unmarried women would wear the daenggi, or a brightly colored ribbon, at the end of a long braid. Married women pulled their hair back into a bun held in place by a binyeo, a large, decorative pin. You can also see women accessorizing with ornamental combs and pins. It's possible to purchase traditional binyeo and daenggi online, or you can put your own twist on similar types of accessories.
Inspiration: Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love
4. Don't forget the shoes
Of course, if we're going to look at hair accessories, we can't just forget about the amazing shoes! Again, it's not so much about rushing out to buy an exact historically accurate replica as it is looking at the overall style. The hye are the shoes that don't cover the ankle, and they were generally crafted out of leather, sometimes using silk and embroidery to adorn the top portion of the shoe. Using the hye as inspiration, consider a bright ballet flat or low heel with contrasting colors.
5. Fusion hanboks
If you're looking for something to wear to a more formal event, "fusion hanboks" have been gaining increased popularity in Korea. They take elements of the traditional hanbok, like the high waist and puffy skirt, but match it with current trends, like a shorter skirt or different neckline. Fusion hanboks cover a fairly wide range of looks, from gorgeous wedding gowns to fun party dresses that give the basic cut of a hanbok without making you look like you're in costume.
Inspiration: The Princess's Man
Are you a fan of historical Korean style? What do you enjoy most about it? To see even more historical fashion in action, check out the historical series Hwajung: