Top Korean Fashion Trends for Men in 2021
Men’s fashion is often regarded as being more boring than women’s fashion. While the monotony of men’s fashion is useful when it comes to repeating outfits, that doesn’t mean guys can’t spice things up occasionally. And if you’re in need of some style inspiration, there’s no better source than Korean men.
Korean fashion often experiments with different shapes and colours, but no matter how bold the looks can get, comfort and practicality remain just as important as looking good. Let’s take a look at some of the top K-Fashion trends for men in 2021, as well as some tips to incorporate these trends into your everyday wardrobe.
Baggy clothes may once have been seen as sloppy, but oversized fits are a popular trend in Korean fashion / Image: Pinterest
The way clothes fit is an important aspect of fashion, but while most people might think that clothes should be tailored to one’s body in order for someone to be considered well-dressed, Korean fashion trends say differently. Influenced by hip-hop streetwear and 90s fashion, oversized clothes are a great way to look good without trying too hard, giving you the ‘effortlessly stylish’ vibe.
If you’re a fan of avant garde fashion, you can experiment with shapes and silhouettes by pairing oversized tops with wide-leg bottoms. However, for those of us who prefer to play it safe, balance is key when it comes to styling oversized clothing items.
Logo tees are not exclusive to luxury brands, and minimalistic designs featuring logos of streetwear brands are popular in Korea / Image: Pinterest
In high-end luxury fashion, brand names are regarded as a status symbol. There is a similar trend of wearing clothes with logos emblazoned on them in street fashion, but instead of being an indicator of wealth, it is more of a way to signify that you are part of the ‘in’ crowd. Korean street fashion is influenced by a variety of subcultures such as grunge and prep, and fashion is often utilised as a form of identification by subcultures.
If you’re a bit of a hipster, you can opt for brands that are well-known in streetwear fashion circles but have not quite achieved mainstream popularity. Not only is this a great way to show off your knowledge of the latest Korean fashion trends, it’s also a way to show your support for lesser known brands!
BTS showed that colours are genderless by going full pastel for their comeback with Dynamite / Image: Kpopping
Although not always explicit, colours are often gendered. A lot of guys might avoid colours such as pink because it is seen as a colour for girls. However, Korean fashion trends for men not only do not exclude ‘girly’ colours, they often even encourage men to wear colours outside of the norm. Part of this might have been influenced by K-Pop, where it is not uncommon for male idols to wear colours that are traditionally regarded as being girly, such as the entire spectrum of pastel colours.
Idols such as BTS’s Jin and WayV’s Hendery are even known for their love of the colour pink, and can often be seen sporting pink clothes proudly. Jin even rocks an all-pink outfit in BTS’s music video for Dynamite, while the other members are decked out in various other pastel shades. If you don’t have the confidence to rock an entirely pastel coloured outfit just yet, you can always start small—like switching out your favourite pair of black sneakers for a pastel coloured pair.
The8 of Korean boy group Seventeen is known for his bold fashion choices, and he is definitely a fan of eye-catching neon colours / Image: Twitter
Neon colours are on the opposite end of the spectrum from pastel colours. While pastel coloured outfits are great for a more subdued look, Korean fashion doesn’t shy away from being bold—and you can’t really get much bolder than dressing in neon colours. While it may seem like neon coloured clothing items would be difficult to style, it’s actually not as complicated as people think it is! Just like with oversized items, balance is key when styling with bright colours.
Someone who is more fashion-forward may be able to pull off pairing neon pink with lime green, but if you’re new to the world of neon colours, you can start by pairing neon colours with neutral colours, such as black, white, or beige. And if even a bright neon-coloured shirt feels too daunting, you can start out by accessorising with neon colours.
The8 is such a big fan of neon colours that he has even rocked a monochrome neon outfit / Image: Twitter
Monochrome outfits aren’t new—many guys have worn all-black outfits at least once, whether intentionally trying to look cool, or because it requires the least effort to put together. However, true monochrome fashion encompasses more than just all-black (or all-white) outfits. In order for an outfit to qualify as monochrome, the only requirement is that it consists entirely of only one colour. If you’re worried about the outfit looking too flat or dull, you can add depth by layering, or you can mix and match different shades, patterns, and textures.
This style definitely requires more thought than most of the other trends in this article, but this is a great look for those of you who aren’t afraid to stand out in a crowd. And because fashion is supposed to be fun, don’t worry too much if your outfit isn’t 100% monochrome. You can even include a different coloured item on purpose as a statement piece, as well as to break up the monotony of wearing a single colour.
Athleisure proves that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style / Image: Pinterest
Athleisure (a combination of the words ‘athletic’ and ‘leisure’) is a style that consists of styling activewear with non-activewear, and while athleisure has always been trendy in Korean fashion, it has become even more popular since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is not surprising, since many people have been working from home, or attending classes online, and comfort is the priority when it comes to choosing what to wear for the day.
While many of us are probably guilty of spending all day in our pyjamas, K-Fashion proves that it’s possible to be both stylish and comfortable at the same time. It isn’t uncommon to see Korean men dressed in sweatpants and sneakers even when they’re out on the streets. This style is especially great if you’re going for the effortlessly cool, ‘I woke up like this’ vibe.
While being heavily trend-based, Korea has a vibrant fashion scene because the youths are not afraid to experiment with the trends and push the boundaries of fashion. While styling tips act as a guide to put together outfits that make you look and feel good, at the end of the day, fashion is all about expressing yourself and having fun while you’re doing it.
Even if you think that you have found a style that suits you, it is a good idea to experiment with different styles once in a while. Not only might you discover a new side of yourself, you can also up your fashion game by incorporating these new trends into your usual style.
There is a misconception that men’s fashion is monotonous, and there is little variety in the styles of casual wear for men. However, unisex appeal is one of the reasons Korean fashion is so popular intentionally, and it’s clear that Korean men put as much thought into fashion and styling as Korean women do.
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