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13 Items You Need to Achieve a Korean-Inspired Wardrobe

Can you guess which items are on the list?
13 Items You Need to Achieve a Korean-Inspired Wardrobe
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/holly608, skuukzky
Can you guess which items are on the list?

It's hard to resist the allure of casual Korean fashion. Part of its magic lies in the fact that it's subtle and non-gauche, yet so distinct and instantly recognizable at the same time. Its ubiquity likely comes from the fact that K-style covers a broad range of aesthetics, with the most popular ones being retro femme, (key pieces include floral dresses and peter pan collars), oversized streetwear (sweatpants, baggy tees, chunky sneakers), preppy academia, (knitted vests, loafers, tailored trousers), and '90s cozy cool (pastel knit shirts, baggy jeans, white sneakers).

To be honest, it might be a little overwhelming to figure out which aesthetic you fit into. We totally get it. To make things simpler for you, we've distilled k-fashion into a simple 13-item list of the wardrobe essentials you'll need to get started. Here's a hint: Make sure to load up on minimalist neutrals and anything with an easygoing, oversized fit! Ready? Take a look! 

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13 Items You Need to Nail a Korean-Inspired Wardrobe: 

1. Oversized Tee 

A key part of Korean streetwear is the oversized tee. Sol from Nevertheless is a huge proponent of this, and if you've watched the show, you're probably already convinced of how coolly stylish an unassuming XXL shirt can look. It's a superiorly comforable piece that provides that languid silhouette associated with Korean style. Sometimes, the shirts in question are audaciously baggy and could probably rival actual tents, but more often that not, they just feature wide sleeves. 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY UNIQLO
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U Airism Cotton Crew Neck Oversized T-Shirt, P790, UNIQLO, uniqlo.com

2. Slouchy or Wide Leg Neutral Trousers

Another staple in K-fashion? Neutral trousers that make an easy transition from loungewear to officewear. The key is to stick to clean colors, languid shapes, and high-waisted cuts. Jeon Yeo Bin sported a lot of these in Vincenzo

PHOTO BY LOVE BONITO
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Kayn Wide Leg Pants in Brown, P2,014.50, LOVE, BONITO, lovebonito.com

3. Plaid Jacket or Button-Down 

Plaid comes up particularly often in Korean style. You'll often spot it on jumper dresses, skirts, and, most commonly, on jackets and toppers. These are usually worn over neutral turtlenecks or sweaters. (Kim Da Mi wore a lot of it in Itaewon Class!) If you want to pull off this look in Philippine weather, ditch a coat and cop a lightweight button-down instead. 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY OLD NAVY
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Classic Plaid Flannel Shirt for Women, P1,650, (sale price P1145), OLD NAVY, trunc.ph

4. White Sneakers

White sneakers have got to be one of the MVPs of Korean fashion. You'll see it teamed with everything: Dresses, suits, maxi skirts, trousers—you name it! That comes as no surprise though, given that snowy pairs are meant to be versatile anyway. (That said, check out our guide to all the white sneakers we spotted on K-drama leading ladies!) 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY ADIDAS
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Stan Smith Shoes in Cloud White, P4800, ADIDAS

5. Floral Dress

No K-inspired wardrobe would be complete without a dainty dress covered in blooms. (IU's lovely wardrobe in Hotel de Luna is proof of this.) You can wear it on its own, or over a turtleneck in a matching hue. 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY TRENDYOL VIA ZALORA
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Floral Midi Dress, P4,099, (sale price, P3,049), TRENDYOL, zalora.com.ph

6. Bucket Hat

Don't forget your accessories! K-pop stars like Jennie Kim often sport trendy bucket hats, whether it be to the airport, or during her travels. Donning a printed bucket hat is also a clever way to spice up a neutral outfit. 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY Burberry
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Vintage Check Technical Cotton Bucket Hat in Archive Beige, $390 (approximately P18,932), BURBERRY, burberry.com

7. Slim Black Boots

Aside from white sneakers, black boots are also a go-to in k-style. If you're planning to rock this look, make sure to wear boots that fit snugly around the ankles, not the wide-mouthed ones that read more like cowboy boots or those round-toed pairs that were all the rage in the early aughts. 

If you don't have slim black boots, just wear HQ black socks with black loafers! 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY MIISTA
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Minnie Black Boots, 375 (approximately P22,081), MIISTA, miista.com

8. High-Waisted Skinny Jeans

Surprisingly enough, skinny jeans are still very much in the k-fashion rotation. They're often paired with knitted sweaters or cozy pullovers, as seen on Han So Hee in Nevertheless

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY GUESS

Shape Up in Castaway, P5,498, (sale price P3799), GUESS, guess.com.ph 

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9. Knit Sweater or Cardigan 

When we picture a trip to Seoul, this is the outfit we imagine ourselves wearing: A heavy knit sweater over high-waisted bottoms. You can't talk about k-style without making mention of some type of knitted sweater or cardigan. We're not complaining—they're so cute! 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY OLD NAVY VIA TRUNC
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Cropped Button-Front V-Neck Cardigan for Girls, P1850, (sale price P1,245), OLD NAVY, trunc.ph 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY HOPE MACAULAY

Fiori Colossal Knit Jacket, £180, (approximately P12,342), HOPE MACAULAY, hopemacaulay.com

10. Black Belt 

Given that k-style involves a lot of baggy tops and streamlined trousers, a belt is a must-have. You'll need it for days when you're in the mood for a more fitted, put-together silhouette. Not to mention that it'll look so chic with black boots! 

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korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY POLO RALPH LAUREN VIA TRUNC

Leather Casual Belt, P5950, (sale price P4165), POLO RALPH LAUREN, trunc.ph

11. Roomy Canvas Tote

As you know, neutrals reign supreme in any Korean-inspired wardrobe. Milky totes fit right in with the motif. Plus, they're super practical, too—you'll never hear anyone complain about the capacity of a trusty canvas tote! 

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PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM/badasstotegirl

Ultimate Shopper Tote, P850, BADASS TOTE GIRL, badasstotegirl.com

12. Structured Crossbody Bag 

Counterbalance relaxed, slouchy silhouettes with a smart, structured cross body bag. You can wear pajamas and still look put-together if you sling a sleek leather bag over your shoulder. We promise!  

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY FURLA VIA TRUNC
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Furla Sleek S Crossbody, P28,500, (sale price P12,825), FURLA, trunc.ph

13. A-Line Midi Skirt 

We weren't kidding when we said that K-fashion is all about non-constricting silhouettes. Wear a flowy A-line skirt with a knitted sweater or plaid button-down to nail that soft Korean look. 

 

korean wardrobe essentials shopping list
PHOTO BY HARLAN + HOLDEN

Uneven A-line skirt, P4750, HARLAN + HOLDEN, harlanholden.ph

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