When thinking about fashion, Korean streetwear is likely not the first thing that comes to mind. Even when visualising Korean fashion, streetwear is rarely considered. Almost none of the traits synonymous with Korean fashion carry over to this modern and hip clothing style.
However, streetwear and hybrid street fashion have been rapidly taking off on the streets of Seoul. Inspired by popular idols from groups such as BTS and Blackpink, it’s not uncommon to see the streets of Hongdae and Gangnam swarming with individuals sporting the latest Korean streetwear.
Street-style clothing in Korea isn’t entirely different, and there are many parallels to street fashion in other regions of the world. However, with celebrities such as G-Dragon, Jennie, and The8 leading the trend, you’ll find a unique spin in Korea that you can’t find elsewhere.
Nowadays, people are beginning to look towards Korea for not only the latest fashion trends but also the latest concepts from the streets. With the wave that’s building behind streetwear in Korea, this trend only seems poised to grow even further in the near future.
If you’ve recently become aware of Korean street fashion and want to see what the style is all about, this is the place to get started. Today’s article will look at the peninsula’s most popular street fashion. If you’re looking to dress like your favourite idol or just want to fit in in Seoul, read on!
Please note all images in this post were used with permission from the respective photographers/models.
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Korean Streetwear Outfits to Try
1. Military Boots
Image credit: @Gyuri_pp
Military boots are usually reserved for the… Well, the military. However, recently, they’ve taken off not only in Korea but also in many countries. In fact, they’ve become so popular that I labelled them one of the hottest Korean fashion trends currently.
While every pair of military boots will be unique, they always have some similarities. Namely, they’re oversized, high-soled, black (sometimes with minor highlights in other dark colours) and fit perfectly with baggy clothing. This makes them the perfect fit for your Korean street fashion!
If you’re looking for the most true-to-Korea style, you’ll want to look for lace-up boots. These boots lace from the ankle to the top of the boot and can either be worn with tucked-in baggy pants or ankle-length baggy pants sitting over the boots.
However, the coolest aspect of military boots is that they don’t need to be worn exclusively with street fashion. Want to add a twist to a cute outfit? Go ahead and add some military boots! While you might not think it (I surely didn’t), they suit some dresses perfectly!
This blend creates a unique outfit which seemingly shouldn’t work. Yet, somehow, it just does. Either way, a pair of military boots is a must-have for anyone looking to create some outfits inspires by Korean street fashion.
2. Uniform Shoes
Image credit: @jjieunootd
Looking for another Korean street fashion footwear staple? Look no further! Although I was happy to ditch uniform shoes forever upon graduating high school, I’m now having to rethink – I never expected they could be trendy! Yet, somehow, uniform shoes have become exceptionally popular in the Korean streetwear scene.
In a way, uniform shoes (penny loafers, derby shoes, etc.) combine two other trends – chunky shoes and military boots. For the same reasons, they’ve become super popular in Seoul. In jet black, they fit a ton of outfits fantastically. In fact, since the shoes are smaller and blend in, they can be worn with baggy clothing and tighter clothing alike.
So, how can you style uniform shoes in a way based on Korean street fashion? Well, there are two possible paths. The first is to lean into the dark look of the shoes and combine them with black socks and an otherwise dark outfit.
The second look goes in the opposite direction. Instead of matching the shoes with an outfit where they blend in, they also work well to complement a lighter outfit. Why not go with some white socks, shorts or a skirt, and a light-coloured shirt? Not only is this a fantastic look, but it highlights the uniform shoes.
Whichever path you decide to take, uniform shoes are a great staple to add to your Korean streetwear wardrobe. They match many outfits, and since they are always black, they’re easy to match with other clothes!
3. Trench Coats
Image credit: @luna.street
While trench coats have been synonymous with spring and fall fashion for a couple of years now, I never expected to see them combined flawlessly with Korean street fashion. However, that’s exactly what some individuals have done to great effect!
Although you will see the majority of trench coats in grey, brown, or black, some lighter colours can also create eye-catching outfits. For example, Beige and almond coats are trendy and match fantastically with primarily black or grey outfits.
For the ultimate Korean-inspired streetwear look, try combining a light brown or otherwise lighter trench coat with chunky or uniform shoes – ideally in black or white. Underneath the trench coat, either a mute-coloured dress or baggy pants and a t-shirt fit perfectly. Finally, finish off the outfit with a black shoulder bag.
Of course, this is far from the only Korean street fashion look you can craft with a trench coat. The second image above features a guy styling his trench coat entirely different. Despite breaking away from the norm, he’s created a killer look! Let’s take it in.
Rather than opting for a brown trench coat, he’s gone for a more common black coat. Further, the coat is barely a coat and is closer to a jacket – ideal for the colder months! In juxtaposition to the coat, he’s worn brown leather boots and checkered pants in a complementary colour. A simple black shirt, beanie, and gothic-looking handbag complete the outfit.
Trench coats are a must-have for anyone interested in Korean street fashion because they are so versatile. They can be placed over almost any other street-inspired outfit to create not only a warmer outfit but one that would fit right into Seoul Fashion Week!
4. Denim Jackets
Image credit: @luna.street
Denim is back – not just in Korean street fashion, but as an overall fashion trend in the country. However, in no fashion genre is it making as much of a comeback as in streetwear. There’s something about a denim jacket that just adds to any contemporary look. For this reason, it’s worth ensuring a denim jacket is in your collection!
Now, while discussing denim jackets and saying they look great with Korean street fashion is easy, it’s important to look at the individual styles. There are various denim colours and styles, and each one complements a different range of outfits.
For this reason, I chose two vastly different yet equally thrilling variations to feature in this post. Firstly, we have a more sporty street-inspired look using sportswear and a long denim jacket in a lighter blue. This look is casual and super comfortable to wear.
The second look is hipper and looks more at place in Hongdae than near a sports field. Combined with a basic pair of slacks and a simple T-shirt, the dark-blue denim jacket becomes the feature piece of this simple yet cool outfit. Looking to top it off? Add a beanie or bucket hat!
5. Cargo Pants
A staple of street fashion everywhere, Korean streetwear is no exception. If you really want to get involved in the scene, there are a few absolutely essential items. One of these is cargo pants.
Cargo pants are an essential Korean streetwear item because they are super versatile. Regardless of your gender, body shape, or height, cargo pants can complement outfits. Further, they can be found affordably and don’t need to be worn solely with street fashion!
Currently, the hot look is to wear baggy cargo pants tucked in at the ankle. The shoes for this look vary, but military boots and uniform shoes fit great with this urban, hip look. Whether you pick up a pair of black, white, or brown cargo pants, military boots and uniform shoes are the perfect addition to this Korean street fashion.
Perhaps the most interesting benefit to adding a pair of cargo pants to your wardrobe is how versatile they are. The ladies above have demonstrated that cargo pants match crop tops and otherwise elegant tops flawlessly. This contrast between streetwear and ‘formal wear’ creates a look that seemingly shouldn’t look as great as it does.
However, say you want to lean fully into the street fashion look? No problem! Simply match a pair of black cargo pants with what you’d expect – a black shirt, a black leather jacket, and a beanie. This creates a totally different look, but one that looks damn good!
Brands to check out: COMGEN
6. Cargo Shorts
Image credit: @gyeomminkim
Following the trend of cargo pants, we also have cargo shorts. I also recently added these to my article on the top Korean men’s fashion trends, because these have recently been taking off all over the country. Matching well with any street-inspired look, wearing a pair of cargo shorts will instantly make your outfit stand out on the streets of Seoul.
Cargo shorts are a great choice of streetwear if you have shoes (or even socks) that you want to show off. While these shorts come in a range of lengths, the most popular style in Korea right now covers down to the upper shins, giving ample room to highlight your favourite kicks. Whether you choose to wear some that blend in (like in the images above) or to go for something more attention-grabbing is up to you!
This Korean streetwear trend is mostly found in men’s clothing, but there’s no reason anyone can’t take advantage of it! Although cargo shorts can be a hard look to pull off, the people who do it successfully can make some amazing street outfits.
My favourite outfit combines cargo shorts with another military-inspired piece of clothing – a cargo vest (or military vest, depending on what you call it). The vest feels very fitting and certainly compliments the shorts well. While the layering and all the additional details make this quite a complex look, it’s one that works well.
Brands to check out: COMGEN
Image credit: @accio_project
If you want to add a simple item to your wardrobe that will compliment a wide range of street-inspired outfits, look no further than the reliable and trusty vest! Although these items are often considered to be the opposite of hip and fashionable, they’ve made a big comeback in recent years – especially in Korea, where you will regularly see them.
While black vests are by far the most common due to their flexibility, you will also regularly come across vests in other colours that blend well – think white, beige, and grey. Regardless of what colour you prefer, one thing’s certain: vests are trendy and a key part of Korean street fashion in 2023.
There are a few styles of vests that are currently hot. The first type is simple, with nothing standing out. These vests tend to be very cheap, and they’re easy to find online. Another popular style again follows the ‘cargo’ theme, with vests featuring many pockets and other design elements. The final popular style is ‘half vests’, which are quite popular in women’s street fashion.
Due to their simplicity, vests work great with a wide range of outfits. No matter what you’re wearing underneath, they provide a touch of detail to any outfit through their effortless layered look.
Brands to check out: COMGEN
Blazers? Surely the epitome of formality can’t possibly fit into the Korean streetwear scene? You might be surprised, but blazers have become one of the hottest pieces of clothing in Korean street fashion. Since blazers have taken off as streetwear, brands and designers have begun to create them specifically for the purpose, and you can now find blazers from many top Korean streetwear brands.
There are almost limitless possibilities for how you can style a blazer. However, the two most popular trends are to lean into the formal side and match it with a complementary pair of slacks. These can then be matched with sneakers, military boots, or other street-inspired shoes based on the look you are going for.
Alternatively, the blazer can stand alone as the main piece of an outfit. You’ll want to go for an otherwise simple outfit to bring the most out of the blazer. This means muted-colour shirts and shorts (or a skirt). This also gives a great opportunity to feature some shoes – have a pair of military boots you want to show off? This is a great way to do so!
While blazers are more of an unusual item to have in your casual wardrobe, they are a great addition to anyone wanting to follow the latest Korean streetwear trends. Even better, since these clothing items have been made more casual, you can now pick them up from Korean clothing websites for cheap!
9. Baseball Jackets
Image credit: @accio_project
If you’ve ever been to Korea in autumn, you’ve probably been overwhelmed by the number of worn baseball jackets. Nearly every university in the country has its own baseball jacket design and colouring, and saying these jackets are popular is an understatement. You can’t go anywhere without seeing baseball jackets!
However, while baseball jackets are given out by nearly every university in the country, they also make for a great Korean street fashion piece. The best part? A lot of you will probably already have baseball jackets in some colour!
While it depends on the look you are going for, darker baseball jackets are easier to match with other clothing pieces; therefore, they are a great item to have. However, even brighter and more vivid colours can complement a Korean streetwear-inspired outfit.
Larger baseball jackets are great as they already have the ‘oversized’ look that is synonymous with Korean street fashion. That said, if you have a well-fitting baseball jacket, a great match is to pair it with an oversized shirt underneath. This shows the layering and gives your look an extra level of complexity.
For pants, you can either opt for baggy jeans (great for the colder months) or knee-length shorts. Ideally, these shorts will be slightly oversized, but fitted shorts are also fine. You can feature your shoes with shorts, so this outfit is ideal if you have a nice pair of kicks.
10. Bomber Jackets
Image credit: @korelimited
Similar to baseball jackets, but without the lines and varsity colours, bomber jackets are equally as popular in Korean street fashion. To be honest, they may be even more popular! Despite originally being created for pilots, these jackets have now become one of the must-have items in every Korean streetwear fan’s wardrobe!
Bomber jackets are generally very similar to baseball jackets and can be paired in much the same way. If you have an outfit that looks fantastic with a baseball jacket, a bomber jacket will work just as well! That said, bomber jackets tend to have more potential outfit matches as they usually feature more muted colours and don’t have the highlights you can find on baseball jackets.
Bomber jackets are available in a TON of colours, but most outfits benefit most from a dark green, black, or brown jacket. However, don’t feel limited by these colours! They’re simply the most popular because they tend to be the easiest to pair.
If you’re looking for some Korean-inspired bomber jackets to enhance your Korean street fashion, I highly recommend checking out Kore Limited. They are a Korean streetwear brand with many amazing, culturally-inspired outfits. Even better, they almost always have a unique bomber jacket in stock!
Brands to check out: Kore Limited
11. Ripped Pants
Image credit: @jjieunootd
Whether denim or not, ripped pants are massive in the Korean streetwear scene. The beauty of ripped pants comes from the fact that they are simple enough to blend in but can also stand out enough to be a feature piece depending on how to match them.
It’s important to note that the ripped pants taking off in Korea aren’t purely ripped jeans. While the most popular forms of these pants are denim, you’ll also find ripped slacks and baggy pants if you check out a few different Korean streetwear models.
What matches well with ripped pants? Well… You really can’t go wrong here as they suit almost everything discussed on this list already. Matching them with military boots or uniform shoes is a great fit for a darker outfit. If you’re looking for something a bit cuter, you can instead match the pants with canvas shoes and a crop top!
The beauty of ripped pants is that they unlock the ability to create almost limitless Korean streetwear styles. My favourite look is with a slightly oversized shirt and a beanie or bucket hat, as shown in the image above.
Brands to check out: Otherfits
12. Fleece Coats
Image credit: @luna.street
Didn’t I just talk about fleece coats in my article about cute Korean outfits? Why yes, I did! It turns out that fleece coats are super flexible, and you can use them for many different styles! If these aren’t a must-have Korean street fashion item, I don’t know what is!
But how can I add a fleece coat to my street-inspired outfit? It’s not as hard as you might think – all three common fleece colours (white, black and brown) fit fantastically with various outfits. To show this, I’ve included two vastly different interpretations of how fleece can be incorporated into Korean streetwear.
The first outfit (worn by the guy in the middle) looks fantastic, and I have to believe it must be incredibly comfortable too! It’s super casual, but at the same time, you can tell thought has been put into the outfit. It’s not something that was just thrown together on a whim!
The second outfit is one of my favourites. Wearing a fitted fleece coat, the woman matches an accented fleece with baggy pants in a matching colour. This outfit is then matched with a simple white shirt, black headband, and colour-coordinated shoes (in this case, white).
These outfits are very different, but both display the possibilities of fleece coats amazingly well. In both cases, the fleeces are fitted – bucking the trend of baggy clothing we’ve seen throughout this article. Further, since the coats are fitted, they work with a ton of outfits, not just as Korean street fashion!
13. Loose Belts
Image credit: @luna.street
Most people tend to think of belts from a utility standpoint. After all, they’re designed for a purpose, which is why most people wear them – myself included. However, they also provide one of the most simple ways to make an otherwise unfinished outfit complete.
If you’ve found an outfit you love that just doesn’t feel finished or feels a little too minimal, consider adding a long belt to the mix. These belts can not only fit your pants but also hang loose and add a finishing touch to your Korean street fashion outfit.
The two models photographed above did a particularly fantastic job styling extra long belts with their outfits. The first model opted for a black belt with silver loops which perfectly compliment her shoes. The second model decided on a more subtle belt, matching it with a fully black outfit.
Whicher look you prefer, these outfits look amazing and are relatively straightforward to create yourself. Of course, if you have a pair of white or brown pants you are fond of, you can easily find matching belts for those too! Either way, long belts are a cheap and fantastic Korean streetwear item to add to your wardrobe.
14. Baggy Jeans
Image credit: @accio_project
Okay – I wasn’t going to include baggy jeans because they seem so cliched in street fashion. However, I can’t deny them a place on this list for that reason alone. If you want a Korean streetwear staple item, baggy jeans are the first piece of clothing to get.
While baggy jeans were super trendy during the 90s and early 2000s, they largely disappeared for a couple of decades. They’ve recently made a large resurgence – especially regarding Korean street fashion. Regardless of your gender, style, or desired look, a pair of baggy jeans is a must-have.
For a classic 80s-inspired street look, a pair of oversized denims with a leather jacket is an easy yet fantastic look. It’s comfortable, easy to put together (just get a pair of jeans, a shirt, and a jacket!) and looks great – what’s not to like?
Another idea is to combine the jeans with either a baseball jacket or a matching denim jacket. If you opt for the latter, make sure to wear a shirt that contrasts the denim colour, however, as otherwise, the outfit can look monotonous. White shirts are great for this!
Finally, if you want a minimal outfit that’s as comfortable as comfortable can be, baggy jeans match very well with a well-fitting sweater sitting on top of a slightly large shirt. This layering draws attention to the outfit but doesn’t feel overly complex. Best of all, it can be worn in all seasons!
15. Layered Collar Shirt
Image credit: @jjieunootd
As I write this list, I’m quickly realising that one of the overarching themes of Korean street fashion this year is the combination of formal and casual wear. The combination seemingly shouldn’t work, but in so many cases, it looks fantastic. This Korean streetwear trend is another example of this contrasting yet complementary look.
The outfit combines an otherwise formal, collared shirt with a simple sweater and a skirt, shorts, and your favourite pair of shoes on the lower half. Despite being a simple outfit, the layering gives the outfit a thought-out look that looks sophisticated yet hip.
If you want to replicate the look above (which looks fantastic, I must add), a fitted sweater is a good match for the shirt. While larger sweaters can work also, they can hide the layering, which is one of the most appealing aspects of this outfit.
While pants can be worn with this outfit, baggy pants aren’t ideal as they cover your shoes. Since shoes should be one of the feature elements of this outfit, obscuring them removes a large part of this outfit’s uniqueness. For that reason, this Korean street fashion looks best with shorts or a skirt!
Image credit: @gyuri_pp
Although meant for the track, tracksuits can now be spotted almost everywhere – even when there’s no track in sight! These outfits have become super popular in Korean street fashion that they’ve now been adapted, and it’s possible to find tracksuits styled for the street.
Standard tracksuits work well as an all-in-one for street outfits. However, if you can find a street-focused outfit, you’re in even more luck. These spins on the sport-focused design feature baggier clothing and are generally even more comfortable to wear! Most importantly, however, is that they look great!
If you want a look straight from Seoul, go for a tracksuit that is one or two sizes too large. Perhaps more importantly, determine between loose track pants or a pair with elastic around the ankle. Either style works wonders, but elastic track pants will allow you to feature your shoes more.
Of course, there are tons of tracksuits from non-Korean brands (including the pictured suit), and there’s no reason not to purchase one from your favourite brand. That said, some Korean streetwear brands, such as Nerdy, are super popular right now and will give you a truly authentic Korean street fashion look!
Brands to check out: Nerdy
17. Ankle-Length Skirts
Image credit: @luna.street
Another trend that may seem out of place on a list of Korean streetwear fashion but is deserving of a place is ankle-length skirts. Recently, these skirts have taken off, and you’ll find them in many a streetwear enthusiast’s wardrobes – at least in Korea!
Korean street fashion, and street fashion in general, often relies on oversized and baggy clothing. Ankle-length skirts fit this theme perfectly as they are free-flowing and often large. Due to this, they pair fantastically with oversized coats and jackets, including trench coats.
Due to this, ankle-length skirts can complement either a semi-formal or casual style. Either way, it’s possible and even likely, you’ll be able to craft an eye-catching street-inspired look with an ankle-length skirt in your wardrobe!
Another interesting trend is that hats are regularly worn with these long skirts. While it depends on the individual, a cap or bucket hat is a great match to bring a contemporary, hip look to an otherwise more formal look.
18. Hanbok-Inspired Clothing
Image credit: @leesle_official
If you are looking for a truly unique Korean streetwear outfit, look no further. Modern hanbok has made a resurgence recently, and this stunningly beautiful clothing can now be seen worn again on the streets of Seoul.
However, while typically, modern hanbok is not suited for the streets, some brands have created a unique twist on the traditional clothing that makes it perfectly suited to more modern outfits. One of the companies leading the hanbok-streetwear fusion is Leesle – a company that creates hanbok-inspired outfits like no other.
While hanbok-inspired elements can be seen in all of its clothing, I want to take a particular look at the shirts inspired by modern hanbok. These shirts are based on Jeoguri, the upper garments that are one of the pieces making up hanbok.
Combined with simple track pants, these shirts give a touch of sophistication to your Korean streetwear outfit that can’t be found elsewhere. The outfit is super simple, but it gives the impression of layering and shows that a lot of thought has gone into your outfit.
If you already have a top which you think perfect match, you can always opt for hanbok-inspired baji (pants) or chima (skirts) instead! Both of these look right at home in a streetwear outfit and are well worth picking up if you can!
Brands to check out: Leesle
Conclusion – Korean Street Fashion
Korean street fashion is a style that is rapidly gaining popularity. Although street styles remained relatively obscure until a few years ago, they’ve since rocketed into the forefront of the ever-growing Korean fashion scene.
I hope this article has given some insight into the latest Korean streetwear and given you some ideas for how you can create your own street-inspired look. While the most popular styles are always updated and changing, I will be sure to keep this article updated so you can check back for the latest styles!
Overall, baggy clothing remains one of the overarching themes of Korean streetwear. However, this is hardly unique to Korea, so looking deeper, there are a few more unique trends. One of these is the juxtaposition that many Korean street outfits use between formal clothing and casual clothing.
Another cool Korean streetwear trend is the addition of traditional hanbok elements to modern outfits. This is a trend you won’t find anywhere else, and it’s a super cool style that I hope to see continue to grow into the future.
Korean Streetwear FAQ
Is Korean Streetwear Popular?
Yes! Although still not as popular as other styles, Korean street fashion is rapidly gaining popularity.
Where Can I Buy Korean Streetwear?
The best places to find Korean streetwear are Kore Limited, Kooding, and WConcept.
What Styles Are Popular in Korean Street Fashion?
Currently, the most popular styles are matching formal and casual wear, simple cargo pants outfits and trench coat outfits.
Is Korean Street Fashion Similar to Other Countries?
There are some similarities – such as how popular baggy clothes are – but Korean street fashion also has many unique elements.