The Korean Hanbok
Have you seen the amazing clothes that they wear in period Korean dramas? They are the traditional Korean formal wear called a hanbok. Translated, it literally means “korean clothing”. There are many different kinds of hanboks and you may be wondering where you can buy one of your own. Fortunately, even if you don’t live in Korea (or a larger city with a Korea-town) you can still buy hanboks online. There are lots of stores online that sell hanboks, so I’ll be writing soon about the differences between them and which are the best places to buy YOUR awesome traditional, k-drama worthy Korean hanbok!
You’ve likely seen a lot of your favorite hallyu stars in a hanbok. Lee Min Ho, Song Joong Ko, Lee Hyun Woo, etc, etc.
Real Deal Hanboks
The first place I want to tell you about is a seller on Amazon called Antique Alive. They custom male hanboks for you. You just buy the hanbok, tell them your measurements and they make it for you. Pretty neat, huh? It’s like you’re getting the Joseon royal treatment!
This is the “real deal” hanboks made in Korea. Since it is in Korea, it takes a couple of weeks to ship to you. But, if you want something authentic, this is your best bet. They do good work and are very well reviewed.
Check them out here: Antique Alive
We’re also going to be looking into cheaper hanboks and where you can find some decent ones without paying too much. Sometimes you may not necessarily want to pay for the Joseon-princess royal treatment, so I’ll be adding some more information here soon.
Main Hanbok Pieces
Here are what the different parts of the hanbok are called. There are different pieces that are only worn by men or women and some worn by both. Some things have changed throughout the centuries, as with all fashion, but the basics of it are fairly consistent enough for this explanation to be useful.
The jeogori is the top part. It is worn by both men and women, but the women’s is shorter and generally more ornate. The men’s is simpler and longer. Jeogori constists of a lot of different pieces, most of which you don’t really need to know. But, in case you’re interested, there’s the git, gil, goreum, seop, so-mae, buri. The little white piece that sticks out from under the collar is called the dongjeong.
Otgoreum (long cloth in front)
That piece of cloth you see in the front of the women’s hanbok is called the otgoreum. It’s just for decoration and hangs down nicely in along the chima, or skirt.
The chima is also only worn by women (the men wear a baji). There are single layered, double layered, and quilted chima. Underneath that, you wear a petticoat-like skirt called a sokchima.
The baji is the pants and is only worn by men. Chimas and bajis are kind of like the traidition Korean form of skirts and pants.They’re a lot baggier than westerner’s pants so that you can sit on the floor.
The black hat you see the men wear is called a gat. The frame is made of horse hair and the fabric is horse hair.
Women’s hanboks consist of jeogori and chima. Jeogori is the top part and is blouse/jacket and is more curvy looking than the men’s. The skirt part is called the chima. Also, only the women’s has the otgoreum.
The men’s hanbok also calls the top part jeogori, like the women’s. The men’s jeogori is a lot more simplistic than the women’s. The bottom pants are called a baji. They are pretty loose fitting to make it easy to sit on the floor. Po is what you call the robe that is worn over everything. Only the men get to rock that sweet gat.
Generally the hanboks are worn on formal or semiformal occasions. Ever since 1996, South Korea has Hanbok Day where they celebrate the the traditional Korean fashion everyone loves. There’s a big fashion show in Seoul and it’s been getting a lot of attention lately as all things Korean are exposed to a more globalized audience. Thanks to technology, this awesome style is being seen by people all over the world. It even seems to be influencing fashion designers all over the world.
Well, more to come soon. For now, here is a poster of Song Jong Ki with his own sweet gat to hold you over. Also, let me know what kind of hanboks you’re interested in buying. Women’s hamboks vs men’s hanboks vs simple vs ornate? Message me and let me know what kind of hanbok you’re looking for and I’ll see what I can find.
Song Joong Ki Jjang!
For little more… *ahem* modern fashion, check out our other posts here. We have Korean fashion from your favorite kpop stars as well as other cute clothes for men and women.
If you’d like to some something a little more recent in the Korean fashion industry, then see our fan merchandise pages for BTS. Our post covers where you can find some of the most sought after merch like shirts and posters.