Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Beauty of Hanbok

Hanbok designer Kim Hye-soon shares with the readers on how to wear Hanbok properly.

▶ Women should wear proper undergarments

"The key to the elegant lines of the Hanbok comes from wearing the right underwear. Some wear Western patch coats underneath the skirt, but that only takes away the grace.” Kim stresses that the beauty of Hanbok lies in the underwear. One must wear an undershirt beneath the jacket in order to fully reveal the curving lines. In the old days, one used to wear 7 or 8 different garments beneath the skirt, but nowadays underpants and an underskirt would be fine.

▶ Men should never wear a white T-shirt under the jacket

Some men wear a white shirt under the jacket. But nothing should be seen between the jacket openings. If one must wear something beneath, he should wear one with a low neck line. Dress shoes go with Hanbok, and one should carefully choose the color of socks to match the shoes. Black shoes with white socks is a combination you must avoid at all times.

Men do not need to wear an undershirt like women, but they must wear underpants. Kim stresses the importance of "Durumagi," a Korean coat, to compliment the formality and gracefulness of the Hanbok.

▶ Children should wear a larger hanbok

Children’s hanbok should be bigger, because they grow out of them so fast. It is a typical trait of hanbok to be wide and loose around the body, so one or two sizes should not be too much of a problem.

(Kim Miri at )