The Ultimate Korean Fashion Guide, Part 2: Edgy Street Style

Our ultimate guide to Korean fashion concludes with a look at the edgy street style aesthetic popular in Seoul.

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Today I’m continuing my ultimate guide to Korean fashion, breaking down the predominant Korean fashion aesthetics and trends I observed on my recent trip to Seoul, South Korea.

Last week, I focused on what I like to call the first category of Korean style, a classic and feminine Korean wardrobe, so this week I’m moving on to category two, my favorite Korean fashion aesthetic: edgy street style.

{RELATED POST: The Ultimate Guide to Edgy Style & Creating an Edgy Wardrobe}

Let’s get right into it.

(For more Korean fashion inspiration, check out my Seoul, South Korea Packing Guide, my latest K-Pop Fashion Inspiration posts on Twice’s Feel Special and Somi’s debut single Birthday, and my BTS Airport Fashion Guide 2019.)

Korean Street Style 101

As I mentioned in my previous article, in Seoul, the sartorial choices of young women can be very roughly divided into two distinct categories:

  • Classic and Feminine: this subset features items including girly blouses, schoolgirl check skirts, pastels and beige, romantic floral pieces, tailored jackets, and tops and skirts in elegant, flowy fabrics.
  • Edgy Street Style: this aesthetic is encapsulated by athleisure pieces, distinctive coats and jackets, oversized items, flashes of neon, street-wear accessories and grungy footwear.
My street style aesthetic involves a slight neon obsession.

Elements of a Korean Street Style Wardrobe

Element 1: Deconstructed Denim

In my last post, I discussed the ubiquity of the trench coat in Seoul, and how every fashionista (and their mother) could be spotted in some variation of this classic piece.

However, the timeless trench wasn’t the only jacket I saw on the streets during my time in South Korea. Denim jackets are another favorite of Korean fashionistas.

However, Korean denim jackets differ slightly from Western offerings. Mainly because you’d be hard pressed to find a plain one in Korea. Korean denim rarely comes in “classic” form: Instead, jackets are deconstructed, embellished, or bedazzled with graffiti; while the jeans are often artfully ripped.
Me and my beloved denim jacket.

I bought as much clothing as I could fit into my suitcase while in Korea, but my absolute favorite purchase was a black denim jacket with zip detail (similar to the one above) from street-style brand Holy Number 7.

My new jacket is so versatile and I already know that this piece is something I’m going to be reaching for again and again when Spring comes back around.

Get the Look

For unusual or deconstructed denim, I find that ASOS is a safe bet.

Due to the sheer number of brands and products on the site, it’d be difficult not to find an interesting new denim piece here to call your own.

Element 2: Puffer Jackets

Speaking of jackets, Korean street style enthusiasts LOVE their puffers!

With the weather becoming positively icy where I live, it’s nice to know that these cozy, oversized jackets can be considered the pinnacle of urban fashion.

Hip Korean ladies throw their puffers over just about any outfit and manage to make everything look amazing.

I found a plain black puffer similar to the one above for only ₩15,000 (about $10!) in the popular shopping district of Myeondong. Bargain.

Get the Look

These gorgeous puffers are especially versatile – the black jacket from H&M will go just about any outfit, whilst Stylenanda’s brown offering below can be paired with white, cream or beige for a fashion-forward take on winter neutrals.

Element 3: Urban Accessories

The easiest way to add an element of *extra* to any outfit is with some trendy accessories.

From bucket hats to ring belts, mini bags to chunky boots, accessories can make or break an outfit and add a totally different vibe to the simplest of looks.

In Seoul, Korean girls use these accessories to add extra style kudos to their outfits. I loved the athleisure, trend-driven aesthetic so much that by the time I left Korea, I looked like an extra from BTS’s Mic Drop MV!

Get the Look

Element 4: Boyfriend Jeans

Boyfriend jeans are a staple of Korean girls’ closets. Baggy denim is now the norm, with flared, boyfriend and mom jeans the most popular options.

Boyfriend and mom jeans are more comfortable than skinnies, and provide a more relaxed fit in keeping with the street style aesthetic.

Pair with element 3 , a trendy belt, for maximum street style points.

Korean Street Style Outfits

Look 1

Korean fashion - street style outfit with baggy mom jeans, satin cami, sweatshirt, baggy vest, neutral bag, bucket hat

Products: Bucket Hat – Urban Outfitters, Camisole – Miss Selfridge at ASOS, Hoodie – Bershka, Vest – & Other Stories, Jeans – Urban Outfitters, Bag – ASOS.

Look 2

Edgy Korean fashion outfit with puffer coat, plaid shirt, crossbody bag, Doc Martens, black zipper pants

Products: Top – H&M, Flannel – Monki at ASOS, Puffer – NAKD, Bag – Nasty Gal, Joggers – Bershka, Boots – Steve Madden at Urban Outfitters.

Look 3

Korean street style look with oversized jacket, crop top, sweater, long maxi skirt, combat boots

Products: Tank Top – Bershka, Sweater – NAKD, Jacket – Signature 8 at ASOS, Skirt – Urban Outfitters, Bag – Pretty Little Thing, Boots – Nasty Gal.

A Few Extras…

Have you already cultivated a basic street style capsule wardrobe?

If yes, then these key pieces should be next on your style agenda.

Leather Jackets

Buy now at NAKD



Oversized Sweaters

Mesh Skirts

What Do You Think of Korean Fashion?

Are you a fan of Korean fashion? Do you own any of these street style pieces? Would you like to see more posts on K-Fashion? Let me know in the comments below, I can’t wait to hear from you!

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