I’m a sweatpants and boyfriend jeans with a tee type of girl but people who put together well thought-out and purposefully designed outfits amaze me. Christina from Teatime Circus is one of those people. Her and I started chatting about her doing a guest blog a while ago and when she suggested Korean fashion (K-Style) I was beyond excited. This will be hands down the coolest thing to grace my blog.
I’ve been following Christina for a while now and was first wooed with her impressive office yoga. She has a cute and peppy lifestyle blog that’s threaded together with positivity and self expression. Her mandate is that just because you work a 9-5 job, it doesn’t mean that you can’t live a fulfilling and meaningful life (aka you don’t have to quit your job and teach English to find meaning – but if that’s how you find meaning then that’s cool too).
K-Style, Two Ways
My love affair with Korean fashion began after a short, one-week bus tour to Seoul a few years ago. The closest I’d ever been to Korea was frequenting a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Calgary’s northwest and watching subtitled television shows online. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Korea and I’d definitely hadn’t followed Korean style (or K-Style, as it’s often abbreviated) up to that point, though I was open to experiencing something new. After the first day in Seoul, I was hooked. I came home with a suitcase of clothes, shoes and accessories, and an intense desire to break out of the typical, Calgary mold.
I’ve lived in Calgary all my life, and I had, up to that point, prescribed to the formula of dress shirts and pants, or t-shirts and jeans, depending on the day of the week. While it was functional, it wasn’t necessarily the most refreshing thing in the Calgary scene. To put it in perspective, I’d often go shopping with friends for clothes at lunch, and run into coworkers in the checkout line with the same shirts or pants I’d just picked out. Despite wearing the same combinations every day, inspiration was all around me. Fashion magazines and YouTube were readily available, and while I admired runway style, it was impractical for work, and impossible to find in town.
Korean fashion is everything but impractical or impossible. Though it looks intimidating because it embraces being colour coordinated, it’s actually easy to pull off, and I find that being well put together gives me confidence to do whatever I need to do that day. Best of all, we have access to stores and brands in Calgary that make putting together K-Style looks a lot easier than it was a few years ago. Here are two ways to add a little Seoul to your style for both work and the weekend.
Technique 1: Embrace Femininity
The thing I love the most about women’s style in Korea is that it isn’t afraid to be girly, especially when it comes to work wear. From flowing fabrics to lacey details, Korean office outfits are about incorporating those softer elements into the workplace, while maintaining a straight silhouette. Colour coordination is recommended, oversized jackets are a must, and if you’re wearing a dress, make sure you show off those legs!
For this look, I paired a flowy, blue jacket with a pink shift dress that has micro-patterns in the same blue as the jacket for that colour-coordinated, K-Style feel. The flowy and soft nature of the fabrics help contribute to that oversized, straight silhouette on top, and skipping the leggings allows me to give the illusion of longer legs when wearing flats. I kept the accessories pretty simple, as K-Style is less about showing off as it is about showing your love of wearing clothes. From conferences to coffee breaks, this look is great for showcasing some style at work without looking unprofessional.
Technique 2: Street Style
Korean street style has been made famous by K-Style influencers and models seen at Seoul Fashion Week and events around the world. What’s been trending outside of runways is the sports luxe style, where athletic elements meet formal dress for an ultra-cool, yet super relaxed look. Oversized crewneck sweaters and bomber jackets collide with maxi dresses and skinny jeans, and we’re lucky that all of these things are readily available in town.
In this look, I styled a t-shirt dress with a black bomber. When it comes to patterns and design, artsy logos or unexpected slogans are a staple of K-Style, and this bomber features a statement full of sass on the back. For shoes, sneakers or ankle boots go with everything, and it’s important to show off a fun pair of socks. This outfit is great for weekends out or dinner with friends, and is sure to keep you comfortable while you’re out taking over the world.
K-Style is an easy way to add a bit of spice into your everyday wardrobe. Give some of these techniques a try, and remember to have fun!