Hanbok is a term that can be used to refer to all Korean traditional clothing in general~ Through the years it has gone through a lot of changes and the current “true formal style” often reflects the look of wealthy Koreans in the Joseon Dynasty which features a range of stunning colors and designs that have been modernized into an endless amount of choices in color and details.
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Along with the formal variations, a new style called “Fusion Hanbok 퓨전한복” has emerged over the last several years!
♥ Traditional / Modernized / Fusion ♥
Fusion Hanboks are a super cute modern version of the Hanbok and come in a variety of styles for all ages! For this article I will be focusing on the more youthful variations which are a bit more dramatically updated and often featured on celebrities.
If you get down to the details though, most Hanboks being sold today are essentially “modernized” in many ways
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Pop stars modeling a party dress version of Fusion Hanbok + accessories
This modern, sometimes party-dress like Hanbok is worn by girls for special occasions….wedding parties, important birthdays, graduations, events where a bit of formality + traditional attire is preferred or would be nice ♥ So When can I buy one of these to wear a Hanbok and look cute?? Unfortunately Korea does not have holidays like Japan’s summer festivals, Coming of Age Day (成人の日) and new years when most girls look forward to wearing traditional or unique modernized Kimono/Yukata out in public while they celebrate.
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In Korea wearing Hanbok feels like just a lingering formality akin to a tuxedo, and Fusion Hanbok just provides a trendy alternative. Traditional attire is not worn out in *public* for events very often since most Korean celebrations where it is customary to wear one like Seollal, wedding, or birthdays are often celebrated within the family home or in a party hall VS festival and holiday celebrations … I was a bit surprised Korea did not have some sort of outdoor festival you could walk in Hanbok with others!
It seems one of the best opportunity for girls to show these off is at Graduation Ceremonies when Hanbok is often worn! ♥
I think these new fusion pieces are an attempt to make wearing them out something to look forward to for a young girl or teenager, which is a really good idea since traditional Hanboks can be a lot to manage with the huge skirts! I wish Koreans wore Hanbok more often, and speaking as someone who owns a traditional styled Hanbok and has tripped around and felt overdressed~ I think these are SO much friendlier for younger girls to wear.
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Fusion style pieces are very cute and still have the same spirit at its core as the formal Korean attire, so hopefully they are being enjoyed. I think they work best for little girls and younger women who are attending formal events or weddings as a guest and still want to look cute and attractive with a dash of traditional. They even sell modern traditional shoes that look like Korean slippers, just with a heel! ♥
Family sets are also available in this new fusion style, often these are used for things like family photos and available to rent just for the occasion needed. These sets come in modern colors and give the photos a nice combination of traditional AND fun tone. They look so adorable, don’t they? I know lots of people laugh, but I have always wanted to take matching family photos… I think with small children this is especially fun!
Fusion hanbok is also available for men, but aside from the more western formal variations (like the vest example above) the change is mainly in the colors offered vs a drastic change like the girls versions. Men wearing hanbok in Korea nowadays is quite rare, now they usually they opt for suits and ties at formal events and celebrations. If they do wear one it is most often when they are adults for Hanbok wedding photos or a special birthday celebration like Baek-il 100th-day celebration for babies.
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For guys in modern Hanbok it seems to be all about matching your family or girlfriend in the end! Little boys however, wear them often for celebrations~ I see lots of 1-5 year-old boys dressed in fusion and traditional boys hanbok for events!
Prices range anyplace from 50,000-150,000 won to rent ($50-$150 USD) or 150,000-500,000 won ($150-$500) to buy…but this could cost more or less depending on the design, seller, and quality.
♥ I will be renting or possibly buying one of these for my wedding later this year, so I will post a review of this style and of a renter/seller eventually on the blog so stay tuned! ♥
Now~ Please enjoy these other pretty pictures of modern fusion Hanbok.
I did not take any of these photos, but I did edit many of them a LOT for this page! Argh some Korean shop photos really wash out the colors and contrast! Anyway~ the photos are all copyright their respective photographers/brands/etc.