Hanbok: Wikis


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Two models wearing dangui and seuranchima decorated with geumbak
Korean name
Hangul 한복 or 조선옷
Hanja 韓服 or 朝鮮옷
Revised Romanization Hanbok or Joseon-ot
McCune–Reischauer Hanbok or Chosŏn-ot

Hanbok (South Korea) or Chosŏn-ot (North Korea) is the traditional Korean dress. It is often characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines without pockets. Although the term literally means "Korean clothing", hanbok today often refers specifically to hanbok of Joseon Dynasty and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear during traditional festivals and celebrations. Modern hanbok does not exactly follow the actual style as worn in Joseon dynasty since it went through some major changes during the twentieth century for practical reasons.[1]

Throughout history, Korea had a dual clothing tradition, in which rulers and aristocrats adopted different kinds of foreign styles, while the commoners continued to use a distinct style of indigenous clothing that today is known as Hanbok.[2][3][4]


Basic composition and clothes

Traditional women's hanbok consists of jeogori, a blouse shirt or a jacket and chima, a wrap-around skirt, which is usually worn full. The ensemble is often called chima jeogori. Men's hanbok consists of jeogori and baggy pants called baji.[1]


Jeogori and chima

Jeogori is the basic upper garment of the hanbok, which has been worn by both men and women. It covers the arms and upper part of the wearer's body.[5][6][7] The basic form of a jeogori consists of gil, git, dongjeong, goreum and sleeves. Gil (길) is the large section of the garment in both front and back side and git (깃) is a band of fabric that trims the collar. Dongjeong (동정) is a removable white collar placed over the end of the git and is generally squared off. The goreum (고름) are coat strings (ribbons of fabric) attached to the breast part to tie the jeogori.[1] Women's jeogori may have kkeutdong (끝동), a different colored cuff placed on the end of the sleeves. There are two jeogori that may be the earliest surviving archaeological finds. One from a Yangcheon Heo Clan tomb is dated 1400-1450, [8] while the other was discovered inside a statue of Buddha at Sangwonsa Temple (presumably left as an offering) that has been dated to the 1460s.[9 ]

The form of jeogori has changed over time.[7] While men's jeogori remained relatively unchanged, women's jeogori dramatically shortened during Joseon dynasty, reaching its shortest length at the late nineteenth century. However, due to reformation efforts and practical reasons, modern jeogori for women is longer than its earlier counterpart. Nonetheless the length is still above the waist line. Traditionally, goreum were short and narrow, however modern goreum are rather long and wide. There are several types of jeogori according to fabric, sewing technique, and shape.[7] [8]


Is the formal term for a "skirt." It is also referred to as sang () or gun () in hanja, Chinese characters adapted for Korean language.[7][5][6] The underskirt, or petticoat layer is called sokchima.

Although striped, patchwork skirts, and gored skirts are known from the Goguryeo period,[6] from the Joseon dynasty at least skirts were made from rectangular cloth that was pleated or gathered into a skirt band.[10] This waistband extended past the skirt fabric itself, and formed ties so that the skirt could be fastened around the trunk of the body. [11]

Sokchima was largely made in a similar way to the overskirts until the early 20th century when straps were added,[12] later developing into a sleeveless bodice or 'reformed' petticoat.[13] By the mid 20th century, some outer chima had also gained a sleeveless bodice, that was then covered by the jeogori.[14][14]


Is the formal term for "pants."


Po is a generic term referring to an outer robe or overcoat, which was worn mostly by men since the Goryeo period until the Joseon period.[5][6] Durumagi is a variety of po that was worn to protect the cold. It had been widely worn as an outer robe over jeogori and baji. It is also called jumagui, juchaui, or juui.[5][6][7]

Jokki and magoja

Jokki (조끼) is a type of vest while magoja is an outer jacket. Although jokki and magoja were created at the end of the Joseon Dynasty in which the Western culture began to affect Korea, the garments have been considered parts of traditional clothing. Each is additionally worn over jeogori for warmth and style. Magoja was an originally Manchu style clothing, but was introduced to Korea after Heungseon Daewongun, the father of King Gojong returned from his political exile in Manchuria in 1887.[7][15] Magoja derived from magwae that he wore at that time to protect cold weather of the region. It was good to keep warmth and easy to wear, so that magoja became popular in Korea. It is also called "deot jeogori" (literally "an outer jeogori") or magwae.[7]

Magoja does not have git, band of fabric that trims the collar[1], goreum (tying strings) unlike jeogori and durumagi (overcoat). Magoja was originally a male garment, but later became a unisex clothing. The magoja for men has seop (섶, overlapped column on the front) and its length is longer than women's magoja, so that its both sides of the bottom are open. A magoja is made of a silk and is adorned with one or two buttons which are usually made from amber. In a male magoja, buttons are attached to the right side on contrary to women's magoja.[7]

At first, women wore the magoja for style rather than as a daily outfit and especially Kaeseong people used to wear it a lot. It is made of a silk and the color for women tends to be a neutral color to harmonize with other garments such as jeogori and chima which are worn together. In spring and autumn, a pastel tone is used for the women's magoja, so that wearers could wear it over a jeogori for style. As for men's magoja worn during spring and summer, jade, green, gray, dark grey were used.[7]


Before Joseon dynasty

Origin of Hanbok traces to a widely used style of nomadic clothing in the Scytho-Siberian cultural sphere of northern Asia in ancient times.[16][17] The earliest evidence of this common style of northern Asia can be found in the Xiongnu burial site of Noin Ula in northern Mongolia,[18] and earliest evidence of hanbok's basic design features can be traced to ancient wall murals of Goguryeo.[19]

Reflecting its nomadic origins in northern Asia, hanbok was designed to facilitate ease of movement and also incorporated many shamanistic motifs. From this time, the basic structure of hanbok, namely the jeogori jacket, baji pants, and the chima skirt, was established. Short, tight trousers and tight, waist-length jackets were worn by both men and women during the early years of the Three Kingdoms of Korea period. The basic structure and these basic design features of hanbok remains relatively unchanged to this day.[20]

Toward the end of the Three Kingdoms period, noblewomen began to wear full-length skirts and hip-length jackets belted at the waist and noblemen began to wear roomy trousers bound in at the ankles and a narrow, tunic-style jacket cuffed at the wrists and belted at the waist.

Although most foreign influence on Hanbok didn't last or was superficial, Mongolian clothing is an exception as the only foreign influence that made significant visible changes to Hanbok. After Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392) signed peace treaty with the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century, Mongolian princesses who married into Korean royal house brought with them Mongolian fashion which began to prevail in both formal and private life.[17][21][22] As a result of this influence, the chima skirt was shortened, and jeogori was hiked up above the waist and tied at the chest with a long, wide ribbon, the goruem (instead of being belted) and the sleeves were curved slightly. Cultural exchange was not one way however. Goryeo had significant cultural influence on the Mongol court of Yuan Dynasty, the most visible of which was adoption of women's hanbok by the aristocrats, queens and concubines of the Mongol court.[23][24][25]

During and after Joseon dynasty

The early Joseon dynasty appeared to continue the women's fashion for baggy, loose clothing, such as those seen on the mural from the tomb of Bak Ik (1332–1398).[26] However, by the sixteenth century, the jeogori had shortened to the waist, and appears to have become closer fitting, although not to the extremes of the bell-shaped silhouette of the 18th and 19th centuries.[27][28 ][29]

Today's hanbok is the direct descendant of hanbok as worn in the Joseon dynasty period, specifically the late nineteenth century. Hanbok had gone through various changes and "fashion fads" during the five hundred years under the reigns of Joseon kings and eventually evolved to what we now mostly relate to as a typical hanbok.

Women's everyday wear

During Joseon Dynasty jeogori (shirt or blouse) of women's hanbok became gradually tightened and shortened. Although prior to sixteenth century jeogori was baggy and its length reached below the waist line, after the Imjin War economic hardship on the peninsula may have influenced the closer-fitting styles that would use less fabric[29]. By the latter half of the dynasty the close-fitting, short jeogori reached such an extreme that they scarcely covered the breasts and therefore women had to wear another piece of cloth which was called heoritti or heorimari. Although heoritti was originally meant to be worn as an undergarment it became fashionable to expose heoritti by the late eighteenth century and the trend continued well into the end of nineteenth century. The common and lowborn classes, however, often eschewed the heoritti altogether, as a way of indicating that they had given birth to a son.[30] This also may have assisted with breastfeeding.

A clothes reformation movement, which aimed to lengthen jeogori, experienced quite a success in the early twentieth century and has continued to influence the shaping of modern hanbok. Modern jeogori are much longer, although still halfway between the waistline and the breasts. Heoritti are sometimes exposed for aesthetic reasons. At the end of nineteenth century, Daewon-gun introduced Magoja, a Manchu-style jacket, to Korea, which is often worn over jeogori to this day.

Women's skirt became fuller during Joseon dynasty. In seventeenth and eighteenth century the fullness of the skirt was concentratrated around the hips, thus shaping a silhouette similar to Western bustles. The fullness of the skirt reached its extreme around 1800. During nineteenth century fullness of the skirt was achieved around the knees and ankles thus giving chima a triangular silhouette, which is still the preferred style to this day. Many undergarments such as darisokgot, soksokgot, dansokgot, and gojengi were worn to achieve a desired silhouette.

Men's everyday wear

Male aristocrat dress; a gat (a horsehair hat) on the head and yellow dopo (an overcoat).

Men's hanbok saw little change compared to women's hanbok. The form and design of jeogori and baji hardly changed.

However, men's lengthy outwear, equivalent of modern overcoat went through quite a dramatic change. Before late nineteenth century, yangban men almost always wore jungchimak when going abroad. Jungchimak had very lengthy sleeves and its lower part had splits on both sides and occasionally on the back so as to create fluttering effect when walking. To some this was considered fashionable, and to some, namely stoic scholars it was nothing but pure vanity. Daewon-gun successfully banned jungchimak as a part of his clothes reformation program and jungchimak eventually disappeared.

Durumagi, which was previously worn underneath jungchimak and basically a house dress substituted jungchimak as the formal outwear for yangban men. Durumagi differs from its predecessor in that it has tighter sleeves and does not have splits on either sides and the back. It is also slightly shorter in length. Men's hanbok has remained relatively the same since the adoption of durumagi.

Hanbok for royal court

Hanbok for government officials

Heuk dallyeongpo in the late 18th century

Gwanbok is a Korean term which refers to all formal attires of government officials. It began to be worn since Silla period until Joseon Dynasty. There were several types of gwanbok which differs in color and design according to the wearer's status, rank, and occasion such as jobok, jebok, sangbok, gongbok, yungbok, and gunbok.

Jobok was the gwanbok worn for special occasions such as national festivals, or announcement of royal decrees. Jebok was the gwanbok worn while an ancestor veneration ritual called jesa was held. Sangbok was worn as a daily official clothing while gongbok was worn when officers had an audience with the king at the palace. Yungbok was related to military affairs.

However, as the term in a narrow scope only denote the gongbok and sangbok, it means dallyeong, robe with a round collar.[31][32]

Foreign influence

Some of Chinese styled clothing, hanfu, was adopted by the upper class but its use was always segregated apart from the tradition of hanbok, and without having lasting influence, it was eventually replaced by Western influence.[3] With increasing cultural ties between China and Korea since the latter half of the Three Kingdoms period, the aristocratic class and rulers started adopting hanfu, traditional style of Chinese clothes very different from Hanbok. Unlike the aristocrats, the majority of commoners continued to use Hanbok, and many aristocrats also continued to use Hanbok for less formal occasions or at the comfort of their homes.[4] Beginning in the late 19th century, use of hanfu was entirely replaced by new Western imports such as the Western suit and dress. Today, formal and casual wears are usually based on Western styles, while Hanbok is still used for traditional purposes. Sino-Korean Confucian robes are occasionally used in conjunction with every-day Hanbok and western-style suits during the performance of rites at ancestral halls and Confucian shrines.[33]

Material and Color

The upper classes wore hanbok of closely woven ramie cloth or other high-grade lightweight materials in warm weather and of plain and patterned silks the rest of the year. Commoners were restricted by law as well as resources to cotton at best.

The upper classes wore a variety of colors, though bright colors were generally worn by children and girls and subdued colors by middle-aged men and women. Commoners were restricted by law to everyday clothes of white, but for special occasions they wore dull shades of pale pink, light green, gray, and charcoal. The color of chima showed the wearer's social position and statement. For example, a navy color indicated that a woman had son(s). Only the royal family could wear a clothing with geumbak-printed patterns (gold leaf) on the bottom of chima.

Head dresses

A woman wearing a wig, or gache.

Both male and female wore their hair in a long braid until they were married, at which time the hair was knotted; man's hair was knotted in a topknot called sangtu (상투) on the top of the head and the woman’s hair was rolled into a ball shaped form and was set just above the nape of the neck.

A long pin, or binyeo (비녀), was thrust through the knotted hair of the woman as both a fastener and a decoration. The material and length of the binyeo varied according to the wearer’s class and status. Women wore a jokduri on their wedding day, and wore an ayam for protection from the cold. Men wore a gat, which varied according to class and status.

Before nineteenth century women of high social backgrounds and gisaeng wore wigs (gache). Like their Western counterparts, Koreans considered bigger and heavier wigs to be more desirable and aesthetic. Such was the women's frenzy for the gache that in 1788 King Jeongjo prohibited and banned, by royal decree, the use of gache, as they were deemed contrary to Confucian values of reserve and restraint[34]

In nineteenth century yangban women began to wear jokduri, a small hat that substituted gache. However gache enjoyed vast popularity in gisaeng circles well into the end of the century.

Children's hanbok

Children's hanbok

In old days, Kkachi durumagi (literally "a magpie's overcoat") were worn as seolbim (설빔), new clothing and shoes worn on Seolnal, New Year's Day in the Lunar calendar, while at present, it is worn as a ceremonial garment for doljanchi, celebration for a baby's first birthday.[35] It is a children's colorful overcoat.[36] It was worn mostly by young boys.[37] The clothes is also called obangjang durumagi which means "an overcoat of five directions".[35] It was worn over jeogori (a jacket) and jokki (a vest) while the wearer could put jeonbok (a long vest) over it. Kkachi durumagi was also worn along with headgear such as bokgeon (a peaked cloth hat),[38][39] hogeon (peaked cloth hat with a tiger pattern) for young boys or gulle (decorative headgear) for young girls.[6][40]

Modern hanbok for children consists of only two or three pieces and can be put on easily. They are usually made of less expensive fabrics since they are only worn once or twice a year during bigger holidays like Chuseok and Seolnal. Children are also dressed up in hanbok on their first birthday, dol.[41][42]


Hwarot, bride clothes.

Hanbok is classified according to its purposes: everyday dress, ceremonial dress and special dress. Ceremonial dresses are worn on formal occasions, including a child's first birthday, a wedding or a funeral. Special dresses are made for shamans and officials.

See also


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  2. ^ McCallion, 2008, p. 221 - 228
  3. ^ a b An, Myung Sook, 1998
  4. ^ a b "옷의 역사" (in Korean). Daum / Global World Encyclopedia. http://donation.enc.daum.net/wikidonation/ency.do?vol=008&code=005002003000000000.  
  5. ^ a b c d "저고리" (in Korean). Empas / EncyKorea. http://100.empas.com/dicsearch/pentry.html?s=K&i=241812&v=43. Retrieved 2008-09-29.  
  6. ^ a b c d e f "저고리" (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia. http://map.encyber.com/search_w/ctdetail.php?&masterno=133796&contentno=133796. Retrieved 2008-09-29.  
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "저고리" (in Korean). Empas / Britannica. http://100.empas.com/dicsearch/pentry.html?s=B&i=183581&v=47. Retrieved 2008-09-29.  
  8. ^ a b "Jeogori Before 1910". Gwangju Design Biennale. http://www.jeogori.org/en/entry/Before1910s. Retrieved 2009-06-27.  
  9. ^ "Sejodaeuihoejangjeogori". Cultural Heritage Administration, South Korea. http://www.ocp.go.kr:9000/ne_dasencgi/full.cgi?v_kw_str=&v_db_query=A4%3A32&v_db=2&v_doc_no=00004001&v_dblist=2&v_start_num=141&v_disp_type=4. Retrieved 2009-06-27.  
  10. ^ "Important Folklore Materials:117-23" (in English). Cultural Heritage Administration. http://www.ocp.go.kr:9000/ne_dasencgi/full.cgi?v_db=2&v_doc_no=00003619&v_disp_type=1&v_list=0.  
  11. ^ "Important Folklore Materials: 229-1-4. Skirt belonging to a Jinju Ha clan woman, who died in 1646" (in English). Cultural Heritage Administration. http://www.ocp.go.kr:9000/ne_dasencgi/full.cgi?v_kw_str=&v_db_query=A4%3A22&v_db=2&v_doc_no=00004021&v_dblist=2&v_start_num=71&v_disp_type=4.  
  12. ^ "World Underwear History: Enlightenment Era" (in English). Good People Co. Ltd.. http://www.j.co.kr/UnderwearHistory/korean/under_elight07.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-07.  
  13. ^ "World Underwear History: Enlightenment Era" (in English). Good People Co. Ltd.. http://www.j.co.kr/UnderwearHistory/korean/under_elight08.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-07.  
  14. ^ a b "Recycle LACMA: Red Korean Skirt" (in English). Robert Fontenot. http://recyclelacma.blogspot.com/2009/06/red-korean-skirt-chima_01.html. Retrieved 2010-01-07.  
  15. ^ "Men's Clothing". Life in Korea. http://www.lifeinkorea.com/Culture/clothes/clothes.cfm?xURL=male. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  
  16. ^ Kim, Moon Ja, 2004, 7-15
  17. ^ a b Lee, Kyung-Ja, 2003
  18. ^ You, Soon Lye, 2006, v. 6, 183-185
  19. ^ Nelson, 1993, p.7 & p.213-214
  20. ^ Korea Tourism Organization (November 20, 2008). "The beauty of Korean tradition - Hanbok". Korea.net. http://www.korea.net/news/News/LangView.asp?serial_no=20081111006.  
  21. ^ "Hanbok". Korean Overseas Information Service. http://www.koreanculture.org/06about_korea/symbols/01hanbok.htm.  
  22. ^ UriCulture.com
  23. ^ Kim, Ki Sun, 2005. v. 5, 81-97.
  24. ^ News.Naver.com
  25. ^ ChinaCulture.org
  26. ^ Miryang gobeomni bagik byeokhwamyo (Mural tomb of Bak Ik in Gobeop-ri, Miryang). Cultural Heritage Administration. Accessed 15 July 2009.
  27. ^ Keum, Ki-Suk "The Beauty of Korean Traditional Costume" (Seoul: Yeorhwadang, 1994) ISBN 89-30110-39-8 p.43
  28. ^ ""Contemporary Artwork of Korean Women"". http://medieval-baltic.us/korot2.html. Retrieved 2009-06-27.  
  29. ^ a b ""Five Centuries of Shrinking Korean Fashions"". "Chosun Ilbo". http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2006/05/29/2006052961020.html. Retrieved 2009-06-27.  
  30. ^ Han, Hee-sook "Women’s Life during the Chosŏn Dynasty" International Journal of Korean History 6 2004 p. 140
  31. ^ "Veteran Korean Designer Enchants Smithsonian Museum". Chosun Ilbo (English Edition). 2007-05-18. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200705/200705180023.html. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  32. ^ "관복 (官服)" (in Korean). empas/Encykorea. http://100.empas.com/dicsearch/pentry.html?s=K&i=242304&v=46. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  33. ^ See photographs of the 도봉서원 춘향제례
  34. ^ The Traditional Art of Beauty and Perfume in Ancient Korea by Guest Contributor Pauline. MimiFrouFrou.com
  35. ^ a b "까치두루마기" (in Korean). Nate / EncyKorea. http://100.nate.com/dicsearch/pentry.html?s=K&i=241774&v=45. Retrieved 2008-09-30.  
  36. ^ "까치두루마기" (in Korean/English). Daum Korean-English Dictionary. http://engdic.daum.net/dicen//view_detail.do?q=%B1%EE%C4%A1%B5%CE%B7%E7%B8%B6%B1%E2%B8%A6%20%C0%D4%C0%BA%20%B3%B2%BE%C6%B1%EE%C4%A1%B5%CE%B7%E7%B8%B6%B1%E2&qalias=K144180.  
  37. ^ Encyber.com
  38. ^ The Groom's Wedding Attire Academia Koreana of Keimyung University
  39. ^ What are the traditional national clothes of Korea?
  40. ^ "Hanboks (Traditional Clothings)". Headgear and Accessories Worn Together with Hanbok. Korea Tourism Organization. http://visitkorea.or.kr/ena/CU/CU_EN_8_3_2.jsp. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  41. ^ "돌" (in Korean). empas Korean dictionary. http://kordic.empas.com/dicsearch/view.html?i=10059200. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  42. ^ "Geocities.com". Julia's Cook Korean site. http://www.geocities.com/ypmljulia/cooking/dol.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  


External links

Simple English

Hanbok (Hangul:한복)refers to traditional Korean clothing. In North Korea, Hanbok is referred to as Choson-ot (조선옷). One of the most famous characteristics of Hanbok is its vivid colors and straight and curved lines. Although its literal meaning is Korean clothing, it today indicates specifically traditional garment, especially that of Joseon dynasty.

Hanbok has been a great part of Korean culture though history. The trace of Hanbok is found even before Three Kingdom period of Korea. The oldest form of hanbok can be seen in tomb mural paintings from the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 B.C.-668 A.D.). Korea had two kinds of clothing tradition. The rulers and noblemen usually wore clothing of different kinds of foreign styles. But subjects continued to use a distinct style of indigenous clothing that today is known as Hanbok.

There are several kinds of Hanbok. People wore different sorts of Hanbok according to their social statuses, sexes, jobs and from time to time, they chose special Hanbok for ceremonies. People could figure out the wearer’s job, educational background and even whether he or she got married or not. There are Hanbok for men, women, royal court, government officials and children. Because Hanbok could reveal the wearer’s social status, there were some government regulations on designs, materials and shapes of Hanbok. For example, only royal families could use golden stripes on their Hanbok.


History of Hanbok

Hanbok had a long history. But the ancient one that is similar with today’s Hanbok would be that in Three Kingdom period. During this time, noblewomen started wearing full-length skirts and jackets, and noblemen began to wear roomy trousers bound in at the ankles and belted at the waist, and thus, aristocrates began to wear what is similar with Hanbok in thses days.

After Silla unified the Korean peninsula in the 7th century, a new clothing style was introduced which combined original Korean dress with foreign elements imported from China. This Chinese style of the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D.-907 A.D.) was regarded as an international clothing style and was used for the uniforms of government servents and for ceremonial dress. The most conspicuous difference is that while the original Korean cloth had a straight neckline, the imported Chinese style had a rounded one. In the ensuing Goryeo (918-1392) and Joseon (1392-1910) periods, the hanbok underwent various changes in terms of fashion, and the form that has been known today dates from Joseon. Koreans carefully consider their national identity in the Sirhak or “Practical Learning” movement of the 17th and 18th centuries, and in fashion, as in other fields, whatever was imported or influenced by foreign factors was subsequently Koreanized.

In the Joseon period, most of attire was unified, and most Koreans dressed in a similar way. Even so, differences in social status appeared in little differences of design, material, and decoration, so that Koreans in those days could indirectly recognize the class, rank, educational level, and character of the owner of it by fashion style. Although the basic shape was little similar, we can also tell the season appeared in paintings from this period by the matrial that is used in clothing and the use of seasonal attire.

Components of Hanbok

Hanbok consists of various components. The most famous ones are Jeogori, Chima, and Baji. Jeogori is a shirts or a jacket for both of female and male. Chima is a skirt which is usually worn full. Men usually wore Jeogori and baggy pants called Baji. Women wore the ensemble of Jeogori and Chima.

Jeogori and Chima are the basic form of Hanbok for female, and Baji and Jeogori were for men. But therer are other garments of Hanbok. There are Jokki, Magoja and Po. Jokki is a vest, Magoja is an outer jaekct and Po is an overall outher robe or overcoat.

There are accessories and headdresses that go together with Hanbok. Women wore a wig, called Gache. Like the case of Western, the bigger and heavier the wigs were, the more elegant they were. But this heavy wig (Gache) was popular until 19th century, and after that, simple Gache was preferred to heavy ones due to Confucian values. Women also had a long pin, called Binyeo. It was thrust though the knotted hair of a woman. Various patterns were carved on Binyeo, and it is often made of Jade.

Kinds of Hanbok

Traditionally, Korean people have various kinds of Hanbok for different purposes. There were Hanboks for men, women, royal court, government officials, children and special ceremonies, like wedding and funeral. Men’s and women’s everyday Hanboks were the basic forms.

The men's jacket is designed to be long because sleeves were added, and not to make the front part open, the two sides of front jacket overlap. The neck is gathered up into a collar with a white collar strip folded around the neckline. Breast-ties hold the two sides of the jacket together so that one side is overlapping the other. Until the mid Joseon period, the breast-ties were short and thin and merely perform its practical purposes to fasten the two sides of the jacket, but in the late Joseon era, they became longer and thicker, showing decorative aspect quite far from their practical usage. The male costume could include a gown similar to a topcoat which the wearer dress over the jacket and pants, with different sorts of hat and coronet for a noble effect. People chose different gown from time to time depending on the occasion. Although the generous cut of the men's clothes emphasized the individuality of the wearer, the belt framed the upper body for a tidy shape or fit. The typical male costume in those days is the gentleman's outfit of white or light green gown and black hat. The harmony of black and white indicates a well-rounded and rational intelligence and a dignified character. A different girdle in terms of color on the chest adds variety to the contrast of black and white, which could otherwise look serious and solemn.

The women's Hanbok includes a jacket and skirt, the men's has a jacket and pants, and both of cloth for female and male have an optional gown for added formality. The jackets of men and women are similar in shape, their length and color was different. The women's costume consists of a jacket and skirt with a sleeveless waistcoat and a gown worn when she need looking formal. Ceremonial attire can be decorated with various ornaments including coronets, bridal headpieces, hairpins, and pendants. The upper garment fits neatly while the lower garment is more voluminous and wide, and women usually wear various kinds of underwear under Chima (lower garment, the skirt). The women of that time valued chastity, and when they went out, they covered their faces with a shawl or cloak which would prevent them from exposing to outside of the world. They used a variety of colors and designs when they chose ornaments, often standing for the cherished hopes of the age: long life and happiness, prosperity and posterity.

Recent Hanbok

More than three decades ago, hanbok, a traditional form of Korean clothing, was popular. Like all clothing, hanbok also changed as time goes by with fluctuating fashion trends. Hanbok designs changed a lot as it pass throughout Korea's turbulent history. Hanbok we freely wear and see these days is reminiscent of the late Joseon Dynasty (early 20th century).

Curved features are important in traditional hanbok design. As they are not designed to be tight fitting, the inherent beauty of hanbok is apparent in its elegance and style generated by the abundance of material. The curves, lines and vivid colours of hanbok have affected the Korean fashion industry. By mixing traditional dress with modern fashion, a series of fusion hanbok designs appeared. Designs, patterns and styles of hanbok have even been used to architecture.

Although now, hanbok become the ritual dress of choice worn only on traditional holidays, Koreans' love for hanbok is great. The famous Korean classic dramas are making many foreigners take a more interest in traditional Korean clothing as well.

Recently, some high schools adopted Hanbok as their school uniforms. Especially, one of the most famous high school in Korea, Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, is famous for its school uniform, which is modified Hanbok. Moreover, Korean people nowadays modify their traditional clothing, Hanbok to make it more wearable. The vivid colors, shapes, curved lines, materials of Hanbok are used for designing fashionable clothing in Korea, these days.




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