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How do tourists dress in Korea?


Tourism in Korea is rapidly growing, and with it comes the question of how to dress appropriately. In a country with its own unique fashion culture, it can be daunting for tourists to figure out what to wear. This article will provide an in-depth guide on how tourists should dress in Korea.

Korean Fashion Culture

Before discussing how tourists should dress, it’s important to understand Korea’s fashion culture. Korean fashion is known for being trendy, edgy, and forward-thinking. The style is heavily influenced by K-pop idols and Korean dramas. Clothing tends to be form-fitting and bold, with an emphasis on accessories.

Research Before You Go

Before traveling to Korea, it’s essential to do some research on the local fashion scene. Look at popular Korean fashion bloggers, social media influencers, and celebrities to get a sense of the current trends. This will help you blend in and avoid standing out as a tourist.

Dress Modestly

Korea is a conservative country, and it’s important to dress modestly when visiting cultural sites or places of worship. Avoid wearing revealing clothing or anything that shows too much skin. It’s also a good idea to bring a scarf or shawl that you can use to cover your shoulders if necessary.

Avoid Wearing Shoes Indoors

In Korea, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or certain establishments such as temples or traditional restaurants. Make sure you wear shoes that are easy to take off and put back on.

Layer Up

Korea experiences all four seasons, and the weather can be unpredictable. It’s best to dress in layers so that you can easily adjust your clothing according to the temperature. Bring a light jacket or sweater even during the summer months.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Korea is a country that loves to walk, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes. Sneakers or comfortable flats are a great option for exploring the city on foot.

Bring a Hat and Sunglasses

Korea can be incredibly sunny, especially during the summer months. Bring a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

While it’s essential to blend in with the locals, don’t be afraid to experiment with your style. Korean fashion is all about being bold and unique, so feel free to add your own personal touch to your outfits.

Avoid Offensive Clothing

Korea is a conservative country with strict social norms. Avoid wearing clothing with offensive language or graphics, especially if you plan to visit cultural sites or attend traditional events.

Bring a Backpack

A backpack is an excellent accessory for tourists in Korea. It’s convenient for carrying all your essentials and makes it easy to navigate crowded streets and public transportation.


Tourists should dress appropriately when visiting Korea. It’s crucial to do some research before you go, dress modestly, wear comfortable shoes, and bring accessories such as a hat and sunglasses. Remember to respect Korean culture and avoid offensive clothing. By following these guidelines, you’ll blend in with the locals and have a more enjoyable experience in Korea.

What do tourists wear in South Korea?

If you are not in a tourist beach location, it is recommended that you wear a one-piece swimsuit with a sarong instead of a bikini. Loose-fitting pants or a skirt are ideal for staying cool and protecting yourself from the sun. In addition, a loose cotton shirt is beneficial. If you are on a business trip, it is preferable to wear skirt-suits that are not too short along with heels.

What to wear and what not to wear in Korea?

In Korea, it is advisable to avoid tops that reveal one’s midriff, shoulders, or cleavage. Although cold shoulder, off-shoulder, and crop tops are increasing in popularity among Korean women, it’s best to limit the use of tank tops in your wardrobe.

Is it OK to wear leggings in Korea?

Wearing leggings in public in Korea may not be socially acceptable as it could draw unwanted attention or be seen as inappropriate, especially if worn at work or school. It is advised to consider local cultural norms before selecting outfits in public spaces.

Do people wear jeans in Korea?

Korean men share the same love for ripped jeans as Korean women. A simple combination of ripped jeans and a basic t-shirt, tight-fitting long-sleeved shirt, or a sweater can create an effortless yet fashionable outfit.

How do people dress in Korea?

Hanbok is the customary dress of Koreans and is now only worn on important events or celebrations. It is considered to be formal attire and is usually kept by Koreans specifically for these occasions. Though the original hanbok was lovely, the style has evolved gradually over time.

Is it OK to wear shorts in South Korea?

Wearing short skirts, dresses, and shorts is acceptable and not considered inappropriate. However, it is important to be mindful of the length, particularly when visiting a traditional restaurant. Men should avoid taking off their shirts in public and strive to dress nicely.

Consider the Occasion

When deciding what to wear in Korea, it’s essential to consider the occasion. For example, if you’re attending a business meeting or formal event, it’s best to dress in business attire. On the other hand, if you’re going out for a casual day of sightseeing, you can dress more casually.

Be Mindful of Cultural Differences

Korea has its own unique culture, and it’s important to be mindful of these differences when choosing what to wear. For example, wearing shoes indoors is considered rude and disrespectful in Korean culture. Similarly, showing too much skin can be seen as inappropriate in certain settings.

Respect Local Customs

Respecting local customs is crucial when visiting any foreign country, and Korea is no exception. When visiting temples or other places of worship, it’s important to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. Similarly, when attending traditional events such as weddings or funerals, it’s important to dress appropriately.

Avoid Flashy Clothing

While Korean fashion is known for being bold and edgy, it’s best to avoid flashy clothing when visiting the country. Loud or bright clothing can draw unwanted attention and make tourists stand out in a negative way. Instead, opt for more neutral or muted colors that blend in with the local fashion scene.

Don’t Forget about Weather Conditions

Korea experiences all four seasons, so it’s important to pack accordingly. During the winter months, temperatures can drop below freezing, so make sure to bring warm clothing such as a coat, gloves, and hat. On the other hand, summers can be hot and humid, so lightweight clothing is a must-have.

Be Prepared for Fashionable Crowds

Korea is known for its fashionable crowds, especially in areas such as Gangnam and Myeong-dong. Tourists should be prepared to see locals dressed in the latest fashion trends and may feel pressured to keep up with the latest styles. However, it’s important to remember that comfort and modesty should always come first.

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