008. Couple Jackets

it is common for korean couples to dress the same as a way to show off their couple status: matching jackets, shoes, shirts, hats, you name it.  newly married couples may even purchase pj sets to wear on their honeymoon and in their newlywed life.  it’s something i love, and something i always strive for in our relationship. we always ask, “what’s the code?” meaning, “how are you going to dress?” and try to match where we can.  we have purchased the same winter jackets, hiking boots and shoes wherever we could, and sometimes if there isn’t an equivalent male clothing option he’ll just buy up a size or two in the women’s option. so we can show that we are a couple. i love it.




my brother visited from korea earlier this month and brought me some illustrated books to add to my collection.  this book is easily the pretties of the lot.

설빔: 여자아이 고운옷

written and illustrated by 배현주, first published in 2006

it’s simple to read, even for me, and the illustrations are beautiful.  it’s all about a little girl getting dressed up for new year’s (설날).  new year, new day, new morning.  the day that we can make a new start on everything.  the first snow of the new year falls from the new clouds.

but among all of the “new” things that come with the new year, the best one is new clothes…

설빔 1 설빔 2설빔 3 설빔 4설빔 5 설빔 6설빔 7


found some wisteria (i think?) blooming on my walk at lunch.  isn’t it divine? i think i’d like a yard full of wisteria when we have our own place.  photo IMG_5068_zpsygrtmhrp.jpg

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look at this little guy.  photo IMG_5056_zpshshkrd3z.jpg

and a lending library on a quiet street.  i loved the colors of the wood and the greenery in the background. photo IMG_5054_zpsqtjnemym.jpg

006. be my tutor

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how i pressured my husb into being my tutor back in 2011 after my previous tutor returned to korea.  he really didn’t want to do it, but eventually he caved.  i agreed to buy him lunch once a week in exchange for korean lessons. i’m not sure why i was so persistent, but i guess it ended up working out well for us in the end✨

005. socks

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i can’t really pinpoint when i stopped sleeping through the night but it’s been years.  sometimes i sleep talk and sometimes i’ve found myself walking around the apartment awake enough to realize i’m moving but not fully awake enough to know why.

in addition, my temperature changes a few times throughout the night, so i often wake up wearing more or less clothing than i went to bed with. sometimes, apparently, my mister helps me along.  i’m quite lucky to have found such a caring person.

004. first meeting

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jake and i met in college.  i asked my friend to study together in the library one day, and she invited him to join us.  my first impression of him was that he seemed nice but wasn’t quite my style.  he wasn’t interested in me because i’m american.  we started dating about eight months later.

003. it will be okay

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i haven’t posted much since last year because a lot of things happened in november that just brought me down.  one of those things was an abnormal lump i found in my breast.  i drew this picture to help process some uncertain feelings i had while waiting to get the results of a needle biopsy.  luckily, everything turned out fine but it was scary.

also the hospital garment reminded me of 한복 so that helped a little bit ♡

daily 한복

Wearing 한복 is typically reserved for special holidays and events like lunar new year or a family wedding.  Outside of that, most people just don’t have reason to wear it very much (unless you’re a shaman or you work at a cultural site–palace guards, anyone? Those guys must get so hot in the summer.)  No one asked me, but I think it’s kind of a waste because 한복 is so unique and elegant.

Just look at how beautiful! ↓↓ (@mayjeon)

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But I totally get it.  Even if there were more occasions to wear 한복, it’s not exactly the most convenient article of clothing, especially for women.  The voluminous skirt and underskirt in particular make it difficult to justify wearing for anything more than special occasions or for a few hours while wandering around and taking photos with friends, which has become a popular activity for girls and couples and tourists.  It’s just not practical.

Dying over here ↓↓(@hanbok_travelarts) (but seriously who could wear this in real life?)

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Then one day, some really cool designers decided to change all that.  Enter the recent trend of the  modernized or “daily” 한복 (개량 한복, 일상 한복, 데일리 한복, 생활한복).

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These artists have found ways to modify the 한복 for daily life without compromising the beauty and elegance of the original design and are encouraging people to wear 한복 once again.  생활 한복 has shortened the length of the skirt and has made other adjustments that allow it to be worn easily in daily life. Some 일상 한복 have additional modifications such as shorter and/or more narrow sleeves on the 저고리 (the upper garment), or a zipper to fasten the 치마 (which traditionally is tied in a bow with a single loop called 옷고름), and use of modern fabrics, patterns, and colors for both top and bottom pieces. Many daily 한복 shops also sell modern variations on traditional 한복 accessories.

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Some purists do not like this trend, but I think the work of these modern 한복 designers is important because not only are they creating beautiful clothing, but they are encouraging cultural pride as well.  데일리 한복 its not a substitute for traditional 한복 but an adjustment in the design that makes it easier for people to wear and appreciate 한복 and Korean culture more frequently and I think that’s lovely.

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Best of all they are really, really pretty.  THEY’RE SO PRETTY.  OMG THEY ARE SO PRETTY. Have I mentioned how pretty they are?

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These are my three fave 생활한복 accounts to follow on Instagram.