Korean model Sora Choi wearing a black leather jacket and leather dress with a leo animal print coat in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo: Getty Images)

If there’s a consistent fashion trend in 2019, then it’s this: South Korean fashion is big and will become even bigger in 2020. The phenomenon is further propelled by the Hallyu wave⁠—and all things Korean culture, from the unstoppable K-Pop invasion to the undeniable popularity of K-dramas and its stable of cool-looking actors and actresses.

So what is Korean fashion actually? There is no one right answer, as the most inventive youths try to create individual identities of their own through expressing themselves via styling and clothes. But there are trends which we can glean from their mish-mash of clothing, and here are 10 trends which were big in 2019, and could very well carry over into 2020 even as we speak:

1. Athleisure

The athleisure trend shows no signs of abating, and could only get even stronger in 2020 as we see both big brands and streetwear labels pushing out more and more pieces which cater to fans of this look. The South Koreans have been championing this trend for sometime now, and they do it best by keeping their looks comfortable yet chic.

2. Romantic Ruffles

The look involves lots of ruffles to add volume and texture to any outfit instantly. Ruffled tops have been a hit with Koreans, with actresses donning them in many K-Dramas lately. They are also an easy way to “dress up” any outfit, as they give the illusion that you are primp and proper in your dressing.

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3. Blush Tones

Pinks and purples in new blush tones have become a hit with Koreans. To further enhance the effect, try matching your hair colour and makeup to the same tones as your outfit. It’s a lot of work for a minimal look, but well worth it if you can pull it off.

4. Statement Blazer

One of the best and fastest “cheat” ways to look all dressed up is to throw on a blazer to any outfit. Go for an oversized cut or pick a blazer with an eye-catching print and you will look like you are ready for that street style shot.

5. Monotone


The minimalist look has gotten some revival lately, but in Korean fashion, nothing’s really minimal. So even though the colours of the outfits are kept to black or white, there will be a pop of colour from the hair or a statement accessory thrown into the mix to make the look stand out.

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6. Oversized Tops

For the longest time, oversized tops are in. But the South Koreans have perfected the art of wearing oversized tops—they keep the proportions just right and balanced it with tight-fitting bottoms or statement footwear.

7. Logos (Lots Of It!)

Logomania does not seem to be stopping anytime soon, and it will become bigger as brands are churning out more and more merchandise based on this trend. Do not be afraid when wearing logos, the thing is to go full on in one logo type, but keep the look simple in the same colour palette.

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8. Big Shades

Sunnies are de rigueur for any fashionista in South Korea, and when it comes to shades, the larger the better. Aviator styles have been consistently on trend, but be sure to experiment with other shapes and sizes to get an unique look.

9. Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise!

Koreans love to accessorise, and the trend has only gotten bigger over the past few years. Remember, when accessorising, that more is more, so don’t be afraid to throw it on and pile it on when you are accessorising to achieve the look of a Korean fashionista.

10. Mix And Match

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The appeal of South Korean fashion is in its eclecticism, and to achieve this, throw all styling lessons you have learnt out the window. Because almost everything goes in South Korean fashion, as they mix and match all kinds of looks with each other to fantastic effect.