Korean dramas and boy bands have evolved into more than a culture and lifestyle. In fact, even if you’re not a Korean man, you can adopt the Korean men’s aesthetic.
But what is the Korean male aesthetic? In this article, I’m going to break down South Korean men’s fashion and teach you how you can achieve the K-Pop persona.
What is the Korean male aesthetic?
The Korean male aesthetic refers to a style trend that is centered on South Korean popular culture, particularly Korean pop music (K-Pop) and Korean drama shows (K-Dramas).
As depicted in popular drama shows, Korean men know how to look effortlessly stylish and how to combine formal pieces with casual clothing, while still appearing sophisticated.
How to achieve the Korean male aesthetic
To achieve the Korean male aesthetic look, you can try wearing oversized tops or hoodies with plaid or striped patterns, paired with skinny jeans or cropped pants.
You can also add a dark suit jacket or overcoat with antique buttons for a more sophisticated look. For makeup, you can try a soft eye look with bold dark shade lips against a pale face.
Accessorize with a beanie, a bucket hat, or a backpack.
It’s important to note, however, that there’s no one way of achieving the Korean male aesthetic. There are many ways you can go about it. Here are a few examples of Korean men’s fashion.
Minimal fashion and neutral colors
The biggest and longest-lasting Korean men’s fashion trend over the years has got to be minimal fashion, which generally consists of two- or three-piece outfits in simple colors.
Think of neutral colors like black, navy blue, and gray. These outfits are simple yet fashionable, creating a simple yet clean aesthetic that is comfortable and easy to wear.
Due to its versatility, minimal fashion is achievable almost year-round. While winter in Korea is too cold to not wear a jacket, the minimal outfit works perfectly in all other seasons.
During summer, a simple tee shirt can be paired with slacks. In spring and autumn, the tee shirt can either be replaced by a long-sleeve (often knitted) or a collared shirt.
For this reason, minimal fashion is a staple in the realm of Korean men’s aesthetic and it’s easy to see why this Korean outfit for guys is so popular – and evergreen.
Simple, muted colors
Muted colors are the opposite of bright and vivid. These shades also have a touch of gray to them. Think of subtle shades like mellow greens, soft lilacs, light browns, grays, and pale blues.
Technically, any color can be muted if they have been “dulled” or “grayed”.
However, three of the most popular muted colors in Korean men’s fashion include off-white, beige, and cream, especially when it comes to slacks and trousers.
Colorful and vibrant
On the opposite side of the “minimal fashion spectrum” is being colorful and vibrant.
Indeed, Korean streetwear fashion is bold and avant-garde, often characterized by giant logos, vibrant colors, and unisex styling, which is a major U-turn from minimal fashion.
Don’t be afraid to show bright colors like pink, baby blue, and yellow. You could also add some color to your hair, not just your wardrobe. Be yourself and share the joy with the world.
Thanks to many K-pop stars over the years, the neon trend has also been hitting the Korean streets and is becoming a popular choice of color among men who adore the Korean aesthetic.
Whether it’s a tee shirt, a jacket, or a pair of shoes in neon color, you could make that statement piece the center of your outfit and let your vibrant personality shine through.
Oversized clothing is a mainstay in the Korean male aesthetic. In fact, Korean men often combine slim-fit clothing with baggy sweaters, pants, or outerwear.
You’ll see plenty of oversized and baggy pants. But the trend is not limited to pants only, as you’ll find a lot of oversized shirts, jerseys, and trousers being worn by Korean men.
Another popular combination is to mix an oversized shirt with standard-fitting pants or jeans. Just be sure to create the perfect balance and style it in your proportions.
Tucked in polo shirts with ankle-length pants
This is a specific outfit that oozes “Korean men’s fashion”. Try wearing a fitted polo shirt, tucked inside a tapered pair of ankle-length pants. Bring a tote bag for good measure.
Polo shirts, especially ones of muted pastel colors, are simple yet they always look good. They don’t overcomplicate an outfit and they have a very clean, minimalistic look.
The basic essentials include black, white, and gray. However, more subtle nude colors such as beige, shades of white, and less-bold blues are also common in Korean male aesthetics.
Once you’ve got a polo on, pair it with ankle-length pants.
Whether they’re oversized or tapered, a pair of ankle-length jeans, slacks, or track pants is a foundational piece of clothing that embodies the Korean male aesthetic.
You’ll notice a LOT of ankle pants if you visit South Korea.
Turtleneck with blazer or overcoat
Another Korean men’s aesthetic staple is the turtleneck sweater. You’ve probably seen this particular outfit when winter comes around, especially in K-Dramas and TV shows.
A black turtleneck sweater is a basic essential that you should always have. The color is neutral and goes perfectly well with any colored blazer or overcoat.
While you could wear the turtleneck as is, you could also add a matching blazer or overcoat when it’s chilly outside. Black is the safest option to go for here, and you can’t go wrong with it.
It wasn’t until I came to Korea and saw just how popular trench coats are. They’re generally quite heavy and you won’t find them being worn until the colder parts of spring and autumn.