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)
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?)
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).
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.
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.
Best of all they are really, really pretty. THEY’RE SO PRETTY. OMG THEY ARE SO PRETTY. Have I mentioned how pretty they are?
These are my three fave 생활한복 accounts to follow on Instagram.