Saturday, April 4, 2009

Korean Traditional dress

My two little kids are wearing their korean traditional clothes during chinese new year to give their vows for their grandparents. What is hanbok? maybe you will ask what is it?

The traditional Korean dress, called hanbok, are custom-made of various materials and colors according to the age of the wearer and the occasion.

Young girls wear bright red skirts( chima) and yellow jackets ( chogori) with striped multi-colored sleeves but wear red skirts and green jackes after they get marred.

Older women choose from a wide variety of bright colors and patterns in fabic.

Special, more ornate hanbok are worn for special ceremonies.

For both men and women,hanbok are made of silk brocade or satin for winter, and lighter silks for warmer seasons.

For summer, hand-woven ramie cloth is often used, and made into stiffly starched, gauzy outfits.

Under the influence of fashions from T'ang China, Korean noblemen wore big trousers and belted jackes, and noblewomen, long skirt-trousers and hip-length jackets towards the end of the Three Kingdoms period.

Later, under Mongol influence, the women's jackets was shortened and the skirt worn high up on the waist.

Then, towards the 15h century, the skirt was raised again to be tied high up, just under the arms, and the jacket was shortened pretty much as women's hanbok are worn today.

The curved sleeves, the narrow white collar, and the one-sided bow of the woman's hanbok, are the three points on which the beauty of a hanbok is judged.

The outfit is not complete without accessories.

Aristocatic women of the Choson period often spent hundreds of hours embroidering long, heavily ornamented hair ribons( Daenggi), silk pockets or purses (pokjumoni) for men and women, and norigae.

Norigae are pendants fastened under the bow of the jacket, that have an ornament, like a jade caving or a small silver knife, with a loop on top and a long silk tassel.

Men's accessories consist mostly of stiff horsehair hats (kat), which were worn pretty much from the Shilla period until early this century, and a long silk cord tied around the chest.

But, these days, those accessories are hardly ever worn by men, except on ceremonial occasions.

In fact, traditional clothing is now usually reserved for special occasions, such as weddings, or New Year's, or older people's birthday party( like 60th,70th,80th year birthday party).

Still, on the street or in the subway, you can see people wearing traditional clothing , especially older people, who tend to wear hanbok more often.

Nowadays, more people are wearing modified hanbok, which are lose,comfortable and easy to care for.


  1. nice information I love their dress as well...My korean friend gave me one before but I lost it which is a shame..

  2. I love the traditional Korean dresses. My wife is Korean so I've seen these in various situations.