What do all K-dramas have in common? You would say maybe a super cute lead couple? A cuter second male lead? Lots of romance? Yes but most importantly it has undeniably good fashion! The world of K-drama and in general South Korean drama fashion is known to be super stylish and trendy. A lot of trends popularized by South Korean media have impacted the fashion industry immensely. What kdrama stylists get right is blending the perfect amount of personality and trends into their characters; which gives them a character edge and makes them relatable. And while there may not be many Korean fashion brands in India, you can easily find your matches in the current retail outlets we do have. For example, in Extraordinary Attorney Woo Young Woo, our female lead Woo Young Woo would be seen in one type of clothing, a straight-cut skirt, shirt, and a classic blazer. While her style was simple, the sets were well coordinated and her stylists even added a trendy pair of heeled loafers to make her look more put together. At least say, considering Woo Young Woo’s dad often chose clothes for her, he is a really good personal stylist.
But not all characters have a stylish father, from what we know most of the dads in Kdramas are often just seen in their ajhusshi tracksuits. Some characters in Kdramas are just made to be fashion icons. Their characterization may not be of a fashionista or someone who can spend a lot on clothes, but they still have impeccable style.
1. Cha Young – Vincenzo
Hong Cha Young, the leading lady from Vincenzo who is shown to be a morally questionable lawyer, is known for her chic power suits that complement the vibe of the show perfectly. Vincenzo as a show has quite animated characters, with each character having their specific style. Cha Young’s style is more of a safe and mature style, while she is neither. The essentials of Cha Young’s style are in her accessories; she is often spotted with a structured tan bag; a K-drama layer staple and a pair of square-shaped black sunglasses. Even her blazers have light shoulder padding that helps her look snatched. She sticks to solids but does experiments with different textures. Like her iconic pink look where she is seen wearing a silk white top that perfectly juxtaposes the structured pink suit. While it may not be ideal to always dress up in the Indian weather; if you are looking to dress more professionally, Cha Young is the perfect inspiration for that. And colorful blazers and pants suit sets can easily be found on Zara, Marks & Spencer, or H&M websites and stores. Pernia’s website is also an excellent source for finding ethnic motif pant suits for modern Indian women.
2. Shin Hari - Business Proposal
Every fashionista's dream is to have outfits, boyfriends, and best friends like Shin Hari. But mostly her wardrobe would fix most of our problems. Her real style is mainly very comfortable as opposed to her outfits as when she was posing to be Young Seo. Her outfits are softer and more neutral as she leads a very busy life and prefers to remain hidden. Primary components of her OG style are fluffy sweaters, shirts with cardigans, and classic sweater vests. When it comes to her style when she is posing as Young Seo, her style resembles that of a K-pop idol. She is often seen in short skirts, plaid tops or coats, and thigh-high boots. She also accessories a lot more, like seen in signature bows or beret hats and even pearl necklaces, giving a fully rich brat persona who grew up with European designer style. So if you want to dress like the rich Shin Hari, a plaid overcoat and a sturdy pair of knee-high boots should do the trick. A pair of pearl choker necklaces and beret hats would be bonus points. As for her style, just simple Hari, neutral cardigans, or sweater vests with shirts are your best friends. This is classic Parisian Chic vs Korean Minimalist style that she fluctuates between.
3. Deok Mi- Her Private Life
The queen of all office looks, out of every character that Park Min Young plays, Deok Mi has the best office style. Deok Mi is an art curator and she's creative but likes to live simply. Her outfits, similar to Cha Young, are structured and have solid colors. She also likes to dress in monochrome to look easily put together for her job, as she meets important clients regularly. Her off-work looks are just as simple but are the best romance lead looks that we have seen in a while. Her style is quite romantic outside her work hours which perfectly ties in with her on-and off-work persona. We suggest, do invest in a good set of solid work wear if you want to look and feel like a Kdrama female lead.
4. Yoon Se Ri - crash landing on You
Yoon Se ri captured our hearts with her fashion right back in 2020 and still manages to remain one of the best-dressed Kdrama leads in the past decade. 2020 was a great year for Kdrama fashion despite the global pandemic. Fashion had become the best form of escapism for a global audience and Miss Seri delivered it to perfection. She is shown to be a powerful woman who expresses herself through her outfits. For example, her most iconic look with the plaid long coat from when she is traveling to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, she wants to look presentable and fashionable like she is from Seoul. Even when she is running her business, she remains trendy but still maintains an air of seriousness which makes her employees respect her, despite her making their overwork. To mimic her style on a budget, we suggest investing in dupes that resemble luxury fashion houses but also look like old money. For example, oversized sweaters, midi dresses, micro tweed skirts, tweed jackets, plaid, straight-cut blue jeans, and classic pumps. However, if you are looking for a minimalist street-style look, we urge you to check out Uniqlo’s collection. Their collection of soft cardigans and trousers gives the exact K-drama-inspired outfits in India. The thing about dressing like super rich characters like Seri is to understand they dress a certain way because of their background and once you pick out similar elements it's easier to dress like them.
5. Dong Geu Rami - Extraordinary Attorney Woo Young Woo
One of the street style icons is Dong Geu Rami from Extraordinary Attorney Woo Young Woo. She may not be the main lead but she did steal the show with her eccentric fashion and undying support for Woo Young Woo. Her style mirrors her personality and she is dynamic and likes to be just herself even if people don't like her. She is bold and unapologetic. Her style also resembles the popular idol style in South Korea. While her style has classic grunge and y2k elements she mixes and matches styles as per her liking. One staple she has throughout the show is punk accessories, which can be found on online retail outlets like Amazon and Flipkart; which are the best source for K-drama-inspired accessories. Her style usually includes statement pieces like leather bomber jackets, silver accessories, or even choker necklaces. Her style is rather the easiest to spot in Indian fashion retail stores as it's more of a generic blend of various popular styles. This has thus made it super easy to find kdrama fashion in India.
6. Jo Yi Seo - Itaewon class
Another classic 2020 fashion icon, Jo Yi Seo, played by Kim Da Mi did the best job of portraying a young woman with unstoppable ambition. Unlike many people her age, she's quite sure of who she is and wants to be. Her world is quite black and white. Just like her style which is simple, edgy, and always in black and white. She’s often seen wearing cool-toned or silver jewelry, with structured handbags and oversized jackets. Every jacket of hers had a unique personality but not all of us can afford to have 30 different jackets, but investing in one oversized leather jacket or blazer can give you a similar look to that of Yi Seo.
These are just a few of the Korean drama fashion icons in India. If we were to include every fashion icon this article would never get over. But a few of the other notable icons are, Ko Moon Young from It's Okay to Not Be Okay; the heartless villain Park Yeo Jin from The Glory, Lee Da Hee from Beauty Inside, and of course Jang Ma Wol (IU) from Hotel Del Luna. But our verdict remains that 2020 was the best year for Kdrama fashion; the very year where fashion had a very ambiguous role in people’s lives, also served as the year where people started observing fashion more closely. Let's see if 2023 proves to be a better year for Kdrama fashion in India or not.