Korean Fashion (Hanbok)

Hanbok Fashion Style

Korean fashion has one common thing in all its styles and genres, and that is neatness. Whether it is rimmed jeans and a T-shirt or a classic dress depicting the folklore, neatness is equally important in all suits. Talking about the folklores and the stories of ancient Korea, only one story comes into mind and that is “If You Leave Me” by Crystal Hana Kim. The book talks about the great culture and emphasizes the use of hanbok and the pride Korean people took in wearing the dress.

Now, what is a Hanbok?

A Hanbok is an ancient gown of Koreans that was made to provide ease of movement to men and women equally. Though called with different names in the south and north regions, the dress composition is the same in both.  The dress consists of inner and outer parts. A Hanbok usually consists of different elements. A Jeogori that is an upper coat type crop top, Chima is the skirt that extends up to the chest. For men, Chima is replaced by a Baji; it’s a kind of pant-like skirt. The male version of Hanbok includes a Po as an overcoat.  In addition to this dress, there is an inner garment.

History and Symbolism:

Following the nomadic cultural widespread of Scythians in Asia, this elegant piece of dressing “hanbok” traveled and landed in Korea.  The colorful bright and shiny dress symbolizes the great harmony and peace of the people of Korea. The patterns show the discipline and the motifs on dress show obedience of Koreans to their culture. Wearing a hanbok is a classified art and requires great patience and calmness in posture which is only the innate feature of the Koreans. The motifs on every person’s dress represented the individual’s wishes and dream. In ancient times, the colors were also changed according to the months of the year. Different exotic motifs included Lotus, bats, pomegranates, dragons, phoenixes, cranes and tigers.  Very bright colors of silk were worn by little girls, virgin or unmarried girls wore Yellow blouse and red skirt. The married girls wore a combination of red and green. The women who have had sons dressed in a shade of navy blue.

Different types of hanboks were worn by different classes of people. The status of people regarding their marriage could also be identified by the dress they were wearing.  The commoners were allowed to wear, but they were only allowed to wear cotton fabric hanbok. The upper class, the royal elites, on the other hand, wore the silk hanboks.

Hanboks and Modern Wave

This dress is not very common nowadays because of the wave of modernization. However, Koreans are famous for keeping their traditions and culture alive. So the designers of the modern Korean fashion have designed hanboks with a modern twist. They have shortened the lengths of the skirts and made fitted sleeves and a stitched upper crop top. So, that it is made easy for the people to follow the traditions while being comfortable and modernized.


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