This lesson will teach you everything you need to know about Korean traditional clothing.

  • While all the characters in your favourite historical K-dramas seem to wear it, these days it’s only for special occasions, like “Chuseok” and weddings.
  • The hanbok can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms period, early in the region’s history. If you like that

by Blackpink, then you will recognise the country’s national costume, the hanbok.

The word literally means “Korean clothing,” but today it is used to talk about specific traditional garments. While every character in a historical drama seems to wear such an outfit—yes, it was even worn on a daily basis until about 100 years ago—they are today mostly kept for formal occasions like festivals like Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) and ceremonies like weddings and dol, a baby’s first birthday.

What is Chuseok? “Korean Thanksgiving” explained


The hanbok can be traced back to early in the Three Kingdoms period in the country (57BC–668AD). The design used today is much the same as it was in the 6th century AD.

The Silla Kingdom started in 668 AD and launched the golden age of the country. Fabrics and fashion were imported from China and Persia, which had an effect on the design of the hanbok, particularly that of women. Munmu, a king at the time, decided that his queen’s costume should resemble that of the Tang Dynasty, and so all women’s clothing began to follow that style.

The Mongol Empire attempted to take Korea several times, ultimately ending in a peace treaty and a strong influence on clothing. Women’s skirts were shortened, as were the jackets. This trend for shorter coats would continue, and today they only cover the upper body.

Tasty Korean recipes that keep you warm.

The history of the hanbok goes back more than 1000 years.

Practical issues

The hanbok consists of two main parts. Both men and women wear a jeogori, a type of jacket. It has long sleeves, a V-shaped neckline, and is tied on the right side of the body with straps called goreum.

Women tend to wear a short jeogori, which they combine with a chima, or a high-waisted wrap skirt. For men,

wear a longer jeogori and match it with baji, loose-fitting pants. Today, the word is used for any kind of pants, but the ones worn with hanbok are intentionally roomy, making it easy to sit on the floor.

On their feet, people wear beoseon, a special kind of padded white socks, and gomusin, wide, flat rubber shoes.

If it is cold, you can put on an overcoat or a magoja (outer jacket). It’s all

about kimchi, the South Korean superfood. Earlier,


While modern wearers are unlikely to wear these except for a photo shoot, there was specific headgear that was an important part of hanbok.

On special occasions, women wore a jokduri, a type of black silk crown decorated with ornaments, and an ayap, a winter hat covering the forehead.

Men wore a hole, a tall black hat with a wide brim, made of horsehair and bamboo.