Are you looking to venture into the famous world of Korean fashion, a place of pretty summer dresses, stylish pastel separates, and comfy oversize t-shirts? Are you overwhelmed by all the choice and don’t know where to start?
If you are, and like me, you are looking to find some accessible Korean fashion brands that won’t break the bank, then these nine stylish brands are the perfect place to start your journey into Korean fashion. You can become your best-dressed self without being left penniless in the process.
With stores in most major cities, a lot of these brands have sales on right now, so it’s the perfect time to head out to your local shopping district or department store and check out these brands.
A very popular and on-trend Korean brand that is frequently seen on celebrities and TV shows, including recent K-dramas “When the Camellia Blooms” and “Itaewon Class.” Perfect for a stylish and professional woman, it has a good mix of both work-appropriate and casual clothing. Midi skirts in this season’s pastels and check, floral tea dresses, light summer cardigans, and a variety of jeans and classy summer tops. This is more of a grownup brand, and slightly pricier than some of the others on the list, but worth it for their elegant silhouette. en.nain.co.kr
Catering to a younger, trendier crowd, Wonderplace has an extensive range of both men’s and women’s clothing. Popular with teenagers and students, it has a more street style vibe featuring lots of oversized logo t-shirts, baggy cargo pants, and bucket hats. Even so it still has a broad range of other styles and trends: floaty summer dresses and tank tops for the girly girls, smarter shirts and chinos for the more stylish boys, and a good selection of accessories for everyone. It is one of the most affordable Korean brands that I seem to find myself in time and time again. wonderplace.co.kr
If you’re not all that interested in following fashion and just want some good solid basics to get you through, TopTen is the place for you. Think a Korean version of GAP, but back in the good old days. No fancy frills, garish colors, or unnecessary patterns, just a focus on plain and simple staples for any gender. With their chinos, skirts, t-shirts, tank tops, and underwear in a selection of muted earth colors, their minimalist style is bound to find a home in your wardrobe somewhere. topten.topten10mall.com
LAP (Los Angeles Project) (랩)
Stylish and pretty but with a slight edge, LAP is a mix of Korean elegance and LA casual. It’s a youthful Korean fashion brand that caters exclusively to women. Here you can find tea dresses next to leather jackets, and Mickey Mouse t-shirts next to tailored suits. Aimed at trendy young women in their 20s and 30s it also carries an excellent range of accessories, including their very popular range of leather bags. It is on the pricey side for fast fashion brands, but regardless, it is one of my favorites because it has something for every style. www.theamall.com/lap
Naning 9 (난닝구)
A very chic brand at a very affordable price. Naning 9 is where understated elegance combines with casual comfort to create easy-to-wear modern staples. Nothing too bright or fussy here; the colors and patterns are muted to perfection so that everything can be mixed and matched. The linens, cottons, and satins are in loose and flattering cuts, and the accessories complement perfectly. This brand is a masterclass in the elegance of the everyday. And at such an affordable price, what’s not to love. en.naning9.com
Youthful and trendy street style for both men and women at a slightly higher price point. With a relaxed surfer element to it and stocking popular brands such as Carhartt, Jeep, and Fila to name a few, it aims to attract an edgier, androgynous crowd. But alongside their baggy hoodies and bucket hats, they also offer a selection of feminine separates and pastel scrunchies. Bind also has a good range of backpacks, caps, beanies, and jewelry, to cater to all your style needs. bindstore.kr
A compilation of the best. This brand has a little bit of everything that a stylish modern woman would want. It has comfortable yet elegant tops and blouses. A good selection of jeans. Pretty and airy summer dresses. Excellent midi skirts. Smart blazers to layer over a dress or summer top. And wide-legged pants to get you through those hot summer days at work. But best of all is that everything comes in a more inclusive XS-XL (US) size range. They also have an excellent online store in English, if you’d rather shop from the comfort of your own home. hotping.com
If you’ve been in Korea for a while, then I’m sure you’ve already come across Spao. One of the most common Korean fashion brands, it can be found in almost every shopping district and most department stores. They are famous for their limited edition collaborations with characters such as Harry Potter and Crayon Shinchan, and are often described as the Korean version of Uniqlo. Catering for both men and women, they provide affordable and simple versions of the current trends. spao.elandmall.com
8 Seconds (에잇세컨즈)
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all your Korean fashion needs, 8 Seconds is the place for you. Like a combination of H&M and Zara, this brand aims to provide you with an affordable and stylish option for any fashion need you might have. It offers all the latest trends for both men and women in a huge range of styles and colors, and has a slightly bigger range of sizes than other brands. 8 Seconds is like Spao’s trendier and better looking younger sister. Affordable, on-trend, and decent quality. It’s no surprise they’re one of the top fast fashion brands in Korea. en.ssfshop.com/8SECONDS
Note: “FREE” size is used in a lot of Korean stores, which is roughly sizes XS-M (US) or 4-12 (UK). Although this sadly isn’t plus-size inclusive, some of the brands included have a wider range of sizes or their “FREE” size comes up bigger than the average Korean brand.