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Is it not allowed to show cleavage in Korea?

Is it not allowed to show cleavage in Korea?

In this article, we will explore the cultural norms and attitudes towards showing cleavage in Korea. We will examine the reasons behind these attitudes and how they have evolved over time.

The history of modesty in Korea

Korean culture has a long history of valuing modesty and propriety. This dates back to Confucianism, which emphasized respect for authority, social order, and moral behavior. Women were expected to dress conservatively and cover their bodies as a sign of respect.

Attitudes towards cleavage in Korea

In modern times, showing cleavage is generally frowned upon in Korea. While it is not illegal or banned by law, it is considered inappropriate and goes against traditional values of modesty. Showing too much skin is seen as vulgar and disrespectful.

The influence of Western culture

Despite this traditional view, Western fashion trends have had an impact on Korean society. Many young people are influenced by Western celebrities and models who often wear revealing clothing. However, even with this influence, showing cleavage is still seen as taboo by many Koreans.

The workplace and showing cleavage

In the workplace, it is especially important for women to dress modestly. Showing cleavage can be seen as unprofessional and distracting to colleagues. Many companies have dress codes in place that require employees to dress conservatively.

Traditional Korean clothing

Traditional Korean clothing, such as hanbok, does not show cleavage. Hanbok is a beautiful and elegant style of clothing that has been worn for centuries. It is still worn on special occasions such as weddings and holidays.

The role of K-pop in shaping attitudes towards cleavage

K-pop has become a global phenomenon, and its influence on fashion and beauty trends cannot be ignored. However, even in the world of K-pop, showing cleavage is rare. Female idols are expected to dress modestly and maintain a wholesome image.

The impact of social media

Social media has given people more freedom to express themselves through fashion. However, even on social media, showing cleavage is generally not accepted in Korea. Many influencers and celebrities in Korea still opt for modest clothing options when posting online.

The double standard

It is worth noting that there is a double standard when it comes to showing skin in Korea. Men are often seen shirtless on TV shows and in films, while women are expected to cover up. This reinforces gender stereotypes and can be seen as unfair by many.

The future of Korean fashion

As Korean society becomes more globalized, attitudes towards fashion are changing. Young people are more open to trying new styles and expressing themselves through clothing. It remains to be seen whether showing cleavage will become more accepted in the future.


In conclusion, showing cleavage is generally not allowed in Korea due to traditional values of modesty and propriety. While Western fashion trends have had an impact on Korean society, showing too much skin is still considered taboo. It is important to respect cultural norms and dress appropriately, especially in the workplace.







Is cleavage acceptable in Korea?

It is important to note that the country is conservative, so it is best to avoid showing too much skin. Covering your shoulders and wearing a longer skirt or pants are recommended. Women in the area frequently use a wrap or pashmina to cover their knees when sitting, so it is a good idea to follow suit. If dining at a restaurant with floor seating, loose skirts or pants are more appropriate for modesty.

Why do Koreans not show cleavage?

It is not acceptable to show your shoulders, collarbone, or cleavage in Korea, as it is considered indecent and can draw unwanted attention. While it may be tolerated in larger cities such as Seoul or Busan, it is taboo in smaller cities.

Can you wear revealing clothes in Korean?

In contemporary Korean fashion, showing shoulders is becoming more acceptable, but it is still more common to see tops and blouses revealing only one shoulder rather than both. Exposing upper body skin, including shoulders, is still considered inappropriate. When wearing a one-shoulder top, it is advisable to bring a jacket or cardigan to cover up.

Can I wear crop tops in Seoul?

Is it acceptable to wear crop tops in Seoul? In areas like Hongdae and Itaewon, it is generally acceptable to wear a variety of styles, including crop tops, without drawing too much attention or criticism from others, as long as you are not extremely underdressed.

What is considered inappropriate clothing in Korea?

In South Korea’s major cities, it is common for women to wear short-shorts and skirts, but exposing the shoulders and wearing low-cut tops is generally frowned upon in most areas. As summers can get hot, loose-fitting t-shirts are a good option instead of tank tops.

Are leggings appropriate in Korea?

In Korea, wearing leggings as outerwear on the streets can attract unwanted attention. If you wear leggings to work or school, people may stare and consider it inappropriate. This advice was given on February 5, 2023.

The impact of globalization on Korean fashion

As Korea becomes more connected to the rest of the world, its fashion industry is evolving rapidly. Korean designers are gaining international recognition for their innovative designs and unique aesthetic. This global exposure has led to a greater acceptance of different styles and clothing options, including those that may show more skin.

The rise of feminism in Korea

In recent years, there has been a growing feminist movement in Korea that challenges traditional gender roles and expectations. This movement has led to a greater acceptance of women expressing themselves through their clothing choices, including showing cleavage if they choose to do so. However, this movement is still relatively new and faces opposition from more conservative segments of society.

The importance of cultural sensitivity

While it may be tempting to push the boundaries of traditional Korean fashion norms, it is important to remember the importance of cultural sensitivity. Respect for cultural traditions and values is essential when navigating any foreign culture. When visiting or working in Korea, it is important to dress appropriately and respectfully, especially in professional settings.

The diversity of opinions in Korea

It is important to note that not everyone in Korea shares the same opinion on showing cleavage. Like any society, there is a diversity of opinions and attitudes towards fashion and modesty. Some Koreans may be more accepting of revealing clothing, while others may adhere strictly to traditional values of modesty.

The role of education in changing attitudes

Education and awareness campaigns can play an important role in changing attitudes towards fashion and modesty. By educating people on the importance of respecting cultural norms and challenging gender stereotypes, we can create a more inclusive and accepting society.

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