Traditional Hanbok vs Themed Hanbok

Hanbok is a short term for the Korean dress code. Korean folk dress or traditional dress is the most basic concept of Korean folk dress. It has changed with the times and is still evolving.


Traditional Hanbok vs Themed Hanbok
Traditional Hanbok vs Themed Hanbok

Worn daily up until just 100 years ago, these days it is generally only worn on festive occasions or anniversaries. It is a formal dress and most Koreans keep a hanbok for special occasions. Korean Hanbok is a general trend now. Gwanghwamun, Bukchon Hanok Village, and other major tourist attractions in Seoul, you can meet the traveler wearing a colorful hanbok.

As Hanbok’s popularity has increased,

As Hanbok’s popularity has increased, the number of hanbok rental shops has also increased. According to the Hanbok Promotion Center, affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, there were about 10 Hanbok rental stores near Gyeongbokgung Palace in 2015. Nowadays, there are about 60 places in the Hanbok rental business. These hanbok rental shops handle various kinds of hanbok, but traditional hanbok and themed hanbok are the most representative categories.

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So, what’s the difference between traditional hanbok and themed hanbok?

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Traditional Hanbok vs Themed Hanbok▲ Traditional Hanbok sample

Traditional Hanbok 

Traditional Hanbok is a simple and elegant design that Korean people wear on holidays or special occasions. While the traditional hanbok was beautiful in its own right, the design has changed slowly but surely over the generations.

The core of hanbok is its graceful shape and vibrant colors

The core of hanbok is its graceful shape and vibrant colors, which have had a major impact on the modern fashion industry. It is hard to think of hanbok as everyday wear but it is slowly being revolutionized through the changing of fabrics, colors, and features, reflecting the latest trend. Many aspiring hanbok designers have altered hanbok for everyday wear with traditional elements at the base of the garment but having a distinctly modern feel.

It is treated as a basic option in most hanbok rental shops and forms the lowest price range from KRW 10,000 won.

Traditional Hanbok vs Themed Hanbok▲ Themed Hanbok sample

Themed Hanbok 

Themed Hanbok is more popular among young people because it has a more colorful and pattern than the traditional Hanbok. These new forms of hanbok is also called referred to as “fusion hanbok” in Korea, and give off a different ambiance than the “modernized hanbok”.

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The appearance of the themed (or fusion) hanbok

The appearance of the themed (or fusion) hanbok dates back to 2013 when the Cultural Heritage Administration conducted a free admission for people who wearing hanbok. In the same year, Hanbok experience rental shops were established in Jeonju, and there has been a surge in the number of experienced hanbok shops in the nation’s ancient palaces.

Hanbok rental shop owners and those working with the younger generation

Hanbok rental shop owners and those working with the younger generation, believe that the advent of the fashion hanbok is just a beginning of a new culture in which wearing hanbok becomes a way for people to explore traditions in a playful and fun manner.

The cost of rentals for themed hanbok is normally 2 times higher than traditional hanbok special-purpose hanboks such as wedding hanbok are quite expensive.

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