Fashion is an essential ingredient in K-drama, but there are those that are truly a cut above the rest. If you like to ogle at the fashion aesthetic in true Hallyu style, or if you’re looking for wardrobe inspirations, here are 12 shows that will truly tickle your inner fashionista!
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
Ko Moon-young (Seo Ye-ji) gives some serious wardrobe envy as she makes jaws drop in It’s Okay To Not Be Okay. Moon-young is a successful author who lacked empathy that stemmed from a traumatic childhood. It was explained that her vibrant and outlandish fashion is her form of protection. But for viewers, it was a visual spectacle with every episode as each ensemble screamed high-end fashion!
Seo Ye-ji never missed a beat with her outfits with big names like Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu, and Dolce & Gabbana just to name a few. Production even threw in noteworthy pieces from up-and-coming Korean designers.
Crash Landing On You
Aside from the romantic love story between chaebol heiress, Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) and Captain Ri (Hyun Bin), this drama also served some unforgettable fashion moments. Se-ri’s status sets the tone for the show’s fashion and looks. From business chic, tailored and textured, pretty patterns, to warm and chic—we are getting a full range and Son Ye-jin looked fabulous in all of them!
Another femme fashionista in this drama is Seo Dan (Seo Ji-hye). As a character who studied abroad and was well-travelled, that enculturation showed in her fashion statement. She is defined by her choice of bold prints paired with classic coats.
This drama was also serving cool male fashion. How could we forget the handsome Captain Ri and that series of changes he had to make when Se-ri brought him to the mall. Goo Seung-jun (Kim Jung-hyun), as the second male lead also came through with his bold, colorful looks that were just as playful as his personality.
The Penthouse: War In Life
Set in a luxury penthouse of a 100-floor apartment, the Korean drama ‘Penthouse‘ follows the story of wealthy residents who have their own dark secrets but will stop at nothing to secure their status or climb up the ladder of success.
All of the cast not only played the part, but they also dressed the part and everything came at a very handsome price! Take note that this drama had three seasons and in each episode, each of the leads is all dressed down to the nines with designer pieces. Imagine how much it cost just to dress these characters! Everybody had on chic and stylish outfits which is a spectacle in itself.
Between rivals Shim Su-ryeon (Lee Ji-ah) and Cheon Seo-jin (Kim So-yeon), they would already rack up hundreds of thousands in dollars! From $8,000 Hermès mini bags to $4000 Bottega dresses, their characters are sure dressed to kill with each episode.
Mine is unlike most K-dramas that feature clashing female leads. The story revolves around two sisters-in-law who genuinely care for and support each other. Seo-hyun (Kim Seo-hyung) played the perfect and rational art gallery, while Hi-soo (Lee Bo-young) is the supportive younger sister-in-law. These two beautiful and powerful women serve as the core of elegance, ambition, and power in Netflix’s newest binge-worthy drama.
Besides their riveting performance, the influential duo also had on some of the most luxurious outfits. Seo-hyung’s character donned bold, structural and neutral pieces, while Bo-young looked divine in bright, floral, and colorful outfits. Whether they’re just signing checks or lounging, they’re every bit fashionable in their Alexander McQueen, Valentino, and Dior ensembles.
Hotel Del Luna
In this 2019 fantasy drama, Jang Man-wol, played by Lee Ji-eun (IU) is the CEO of Hotel Del Luna. It’s a magical place that caters to the dead which also served as Man-wol’s cash cow that paid for her extravagant wardrobe. This drama not only gave us entertaining stories, but it was also visually appetizing topped off by IU’s fancy wardrobe.
The petite superstar wore beautiful vintage ensembles paired with elegant accessories to match her personality. It was even reported that IU wore over 100 outfits for this drama as she changes looks every seven minutes on average. Her jaw-dropping fashion repertoire ranged from haute couture that’s worth a whopping US$4,000 apiece to fast fashion you can get from major chain stores.
This K-drama is all about lady bosses who are working at the best web portal companies. They work hard to put their careers ahead, and they had impeccable fashion sense to match! Each scene is power suits upon power suits, so if you’re looking for business fashion, this is the series to watch.
Cha Hyun (Lee Da-hee) is the show’s fierce and fashionable style icon. The Baro manager’s strong outfit choices showcase her fiery personality and fearless attitude. Meanwhile, Song Ga Kyung (Jeon Hye Jin), the drama’s reigning pantsuit queen pairs her strict and uptight character with a consistently polished look.
Tomorrow With You
Shin Min-ah is one of the Korean actresses that immediately comes to mind when it comes to personal style. And she caught everyone’s attention in her 2017 drama, Tomorrow With You, where she plays the charming Song Ma Rin, a one-hit-wonder child actress-turned-photographer who becomes a time traveller’s wife.
Her looks in every episode were something to look forward to as she stayed true to the inherent cuteness of K-style. Her clothes were very playful with a sweet, quirky flair, which shows her bubbly personality. She also has the chic nonchalance of French fashion that are practical and wearable for working girls.
Not everything has to be high fashion to be stunning, and Ma-rin is the perfect example that you can always be stylish even with everyday pieces. For example to spruce up her usual denim and white shirt ensemble, she wears a scarf around her neck to make her entire outfit a tad bit interesting. So, give this drama a visit and let Ma-rin inspire your next casual OOTDs!
Find Me In Your Memory
The drama tells the story of news anchor Lee Jung-hoon (Kim Dong-wook) and his romance with rising star Yeo Ha-jin (Moon Ga-young). Jung-hoon has hyperthymesia, allowing him to remember all 8,760 hours in a year, while Ha-jin has forgotten some of her most important memories as a psychological defense mechanism.
Aside from the interesting plot, it was Moon Ga-young’s outfits that were truly memorable about this drama. Her character was a rising star and she likes to stir things up with her trendy looks and stylish wardrobe. As a matter of fact, when this show aired, many viewers were scrambling to search for her fashion pieces online!
She also modelled remarkable jewellery pieces, and one of which caught the viewers’ attention was the Stone&Pearl E earrings. As the cherry on top, Ha-jin always completes her look with a gorgeous hairstyle.
My Love From The Star
My Love from The Star is a slightly older K-drama that dazzled fans not only for the story but for Cheon Song-yi’s (Jun Ji-hyun) insane fashion sense. The show has an interesting twist on love, where an alien (Kim Soo-hyun) lands on earth only to be stuck here for 400 years. When the time came for him to leave, it is when he met Song-yi and falls in love with her.
As a top Hallyu actress, Song-yi’s character sparked major fashion and beauty trends worldwide. In fact, YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in No. 52 Rosy Coral flew off the shelves as soon as news broke that she wore it on the show.
Song-yi was perpetually clad in the latest designer threads from head to toe. She wore a bevy of fresh-off-the-runway pieces, ranging from Balmain, to Chanel, to Dolce & Gabbana, and more. With her dynamic fashion sense, you can see her in a mix and match of patterns and textures. Even when she hit rock bottom, she never allowed to show. Song-yi made sure to still dress to impress, and she did it with a Dolce & Gabbana ensemble paired with a Ralph Lauren black coat and some thigh-high boots.
Her Private Life
Sung Deok-mi (Park Min-young) is a talented art curator who harbors an embarrassing secret. She stans a K-Pop group, but must keep it hidden to keep her job. Inevitably, Deok-mi had to live a double life so she can keep up with her k-pop obsession. As such, she transforms her fashion aesthetic during the show.
When she had to go incognito to follow her favorite boy band around, she wears baggy jackets and jeans. But it’s her work attire that got heads turning. Deok-mi’s sweet personality is matched with pristine business suits that she switches up with pops of colors. Her looks oozed with sophistication and femininity. The suits mostly had flattering cinched waistlines, relaxed-fit trousers with a wider hem, and subtly structured square shoulders for a boxier, more authoritative look. But on her days off, Deok-mi opts for more feminine and soft pieces in neutral shades.
This 2018 drama gives viewers a chock-full of incredible fashion by the main cast. But one who really caught everyone’s attention, even though she played the second female lead, is actress Moon Ga-young who played Choi Soo-ji. To put it into context, Soo-ji lives a luxurious lifestyle, which is reflected in her expensive fashion pieces. In each episode, she looked elegant and well-put-together. Her taste is defined by feminine looks that came in unconventional designs.
Red Velvet’s Joy played the main female lead and her’s was a more subdued fashion statement that treads along casual chic with a feminine twist. Her clothing staples include bomber jackets, cardigans, and simple blouses which are all affordable items should you wish to copy her style!
Private Lives revolves around a group of swindlers who come across a secret scheme. It has quite an exciting cast, but it’s Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun, who took the fashion spotlight.
Unlike others on this list, Seohyun’s fashion statement attracted fans because it embodied affordable shopping picks you can wear every day! She goes from flowy and feminine silhouettes to athleisure, and takes her hair down with boxy shirts. She then accessorize to give her outfits a bit of oomph! But as a con artist, Seohyun also dazzled in high fashion pieces. You can see her all fabulous in BVLGARI, Alexander McQueen, Hermès, Dior and Givenchy.