top of page

Hanbok - Introducing Korean traditional dress

Hanbok is fundamentally different from China's "qipao" and Japan's "kimono," as it preserves a unique form derived from the distinctive clothing of the Three Kingdoms period. Through a process of rationalization and simplification, hanbok has evolved into its present form, starting from the period of modernization. The etiquette and rituals associated with Korean attire are not just a reflection of dietary and daily customs but also an essential cultural phenomenon that showcases the essence of social hierarchy and traditions. Hanbok serves as an important cultural symbol, embodying not only the customs and rituals of Korea but also the values of respect and propriety.

There is a growing interest in hanbok, the traditional Korean clothing, from many countries. Hanbok is capturing the attention of people worldwide, fascinated by its timeless elegance and cultural significance.

Hanbok is a combination of Korea's unque traditional clothing, which is also referred to as Joseon clothing. Joseon was a dynasty that existed in the Korean Peninsula from 1392 to 1910, spanning a period of 518 years.

This beautiful attire showcases the rich heritage and aesthetic charm of Korea. With its graceful lines, vibrant colors, and meticulous craftsmanship, hanbok embodies the essence

of Korean tradition and has become a symbol of national pride. Its unique design and intricate details have captivated the hearts of people across different cultures, who appreciate its beauty and cultural heritage. As a result, more and more individuals from various countries are embracing hanbok, recognizing its value as a cultural treasure and embracing it as a fashion statement that transcends borders.

What does "Traditional Hanbok" mean?

Literally, "hanbok" means Korean clothing. It is the traditional attire of Korea and is mainly worn during major Korean holidays in modern times.

Traditional hanbok truly refers to the authentic clothing worn by the people of Joseon, spanning from ancient times to the modern era. Although the style varied slightly based on social status and occupation, the basic form for women consisted of a jeogori (jacket), chima (skirt), and buseon (underskirt), while men wore a jeogori that reached the waist and wide trousers. Throughout the Three Kingdoms and Joseon periods, there were significant and minor changes in the types of clothing, but the term hanbok commonly denotes the attire worn during the Joseon era. Despite its long history, hanbok still exudes elegance, sophistication, and the beautiful style of Korea's ancestors. However, in modern times, it has become challenging to incorporate traditional hanbok into everyday life.

Was it only worn by the upper class?

Usually, the upper class wore hanboks made of expensive materials like silk. They had vibrant colors and elaborate designs. On the other hand, common people wore hanboks made of cheaper fabrics, often in plain white. That's why they were sometimes referred to as the "white-clad people." The basic components of a hanbok are a skirt, jeogori (a type of jacket), and trousers.

Besides clothing, what the other accessories they have?

Unmarried women tied their hair up with a ribbon called "daenggi."

Married women, on the other hand, fixed their hair in an updo using a hairpin called "binyeo."

The hairpins of the upper class were designed with elaborate patterns and colors like dragons or flowers. The shoes we brought are traditional footwear worn with hanboks. They have decorative patterns like flowers. Nowadays, there are also high-heeled and comfortable shoes that complement the long skirt of a hanbok.

Can you explain how to wear hanbok?

The jeogori has two long strings called "goreum." First, you take the right string (the shorter one) and wrap it under the left string (the longer one), tying it upwards. Then, you take the right string and create a round loop, and bring the left string into the loop. For men's jeogori, it's the same process. Additionally, men's hanbok has waist strings for the trousers and strings at the bottom of the legs. Hanbok accessories include a decorative cloth called "norigae" that is attached under the jeogori.

When do people wear hanbok nowadays?

Hanboks are worn for events like a baby's 100th-day celebration, weddings, or special birthdays like the 60th birthday (hwangap).

As for the fabric of hanbok, it seems like it requires special care.

How should it be stored and maintained?

In general, people usually take it to a dry cleaner for cleaning and then fold it neatly for storage.


bottom of page