Traditional Korean clothing

Traditionally, the color and type of clothing worn by Koreans depended upon their place in society. The common people generally wore white. But they might dress up in colorful clothes for special occasions such as festivals and weddings. Members of the upper class and royalty usually dressed in bright colors. Certain colors, such as gold, could only be worn by royal families.

The traditional style outfit was the hanbok. A woman’s hanbok had a blouse, called a chogori, and a very full skirt. The blouse tied at the waist and had long, full sleeves. The skirt or chi’mu reached to the ankles. Numerous petticoats might be worn underneath to increase the fullness. The chi’mu was fastened by tying across the chest just under the arms. The men’s chogori tended to be longer than the women’s and was styled more like a tunic. Instead of a skirt, men wore baggy trousers called paji.

Today most Koreans wear typical Western attire although they dress conservatively and favor darker colors. Levis are very popular with men and women. The hanbok is reserved for ceremonial occasions and is sometimes worn by the older generation.

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