Clothing & Accessories
Fashion in Korea seems to change as quickly as the weather; there always seems to be new styles blooming with the changing of seasons, giving a variety of options to choose from when shopping. Korean clothes have a reputation for being durable and coming in many sophisticated styles, designs and patterns.
Many fashion districts such as the Edae (Ewha Woman’s University) area, Myeong-dong, and Dongdaemun Market offer great clothes and accessories, where you can get quality products at a reasonable price. A trip to Apujeong or Cheongdam-dong means you will without a doubt be running into not only some of your favorite international brands but also editorial shop that showcase international brands all in one place.
Sinsadong Garosu-gil Road, Hongdae and Samcheong-dong feature unique fashion items made by local designers, making even browsing fun. Itaewon, often called a “Foreign Country within Korea,” is known for its large expat population and its huge selection of international products. Because of its large number of international visitors and residents, Itaewon has gained a reputation for selling colorful items with unique styles and plus-sized clothing. SPA brands have recently enjoying a boom in popularity for offering high-quality products at affordable prices. SPA brands have stores in main retail areas and mega shopping malls.
Similar to the fervor surrounding hallyu, “K-beauty,” or Korean beauty products, also enjoys a large popularity. Products range from basic makeup, nail, body, and hair products, to more specialized products focusing on hanbang (makeup made from traditional Korean medicinal ingredients), wrinkle treatment, whitening, moisturizing, and anti-aging. Korean cosmetics are also popular due to their low cost in comparison to the high quality. Many efforts have been made to reduce the usually expensive price of cosmetics by simplifying the packaging and reinventing the distribution process.
Korean movies and dramas marketed globally continue to contribute to the acceptance of Korean cosmetics internationally. The youthful beauty of female celebrities has made a strong impact on foreign audiences interested in beauty care.
Eyeglasses are as much a fashion statement as the clothes you wear. Korean eyeglasses are known for their unique and stylish designs. A majority of Korea’s optical stores are concentrated in Namdaemun Market and Myeong-dong. Most shops offer glasses in a variety of price ranges, making it a little easier to shop if you first consider your budget. There are so many optical stores, both wholesale and retail, in Namdaemun that it is possible for shops to offer eyeglasses at approximately 30% less than shops in other areas.
In Korea, opticians are not permitted to practice without a license, so customers can be assured that they are getting nothing but the best in care, from exams to fittings, in a fast time. Sinsadong Garosu-gil Road, Itaewon and Hongdae now feature an increasing number of brand eyewear stores. These areas are emerging as hip shopping destinations so be sure to visit here if you want the latest in eyewear fashion.