Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Colours, The innocence - Korean Hanbok

My university's government scholar advisor has a peculiar dressing style. When we visited him in his office, he would always be in his Korean Traditional garment called Hanbok (한복).

"Tell them dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then beauty is its own excuse for being..."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson of "The Rhodora")

The culture of wearing Hanbok started in ancient Korea but the present Hanbok that we can now see and wear originated from the Joseon Dynasty. Hanbok brings out the innocence and feminine side of the lady wearing it because Hanbok for woman is really a conservative traditional costume.


After :

I envy the women. For men, at first Hanbok did look like a piece of mismatched attire but only after through proper tucking, it turned out better. The emphasis is on the waistline especially when the attire is worn together with the loose belt so sometimes a guy can look a bit sloppy not because it's casual but because it's very loose.

Hanbok is worn only on special occasion these days since a piece of hanbok is really expensive. A handmade one can be made from silk and it can easily fetch more than a few million Won (A few thousand dollars).

Hanbok can be divided into many types and among them is the Jeogori (저고리) which is more easily seen among Koreans because of the less complexity unlike the ceremonial Hanbok.

Hanbok is usually worn on special occasions like Korean Thanksgiving Day (추석) and Lunar New Year (설날). Though, in weddings too, we can find couples wearing Hanbok and I always find woman wearing Hanbok look way better than the poor guy (because I am a guy. ^^).

But truthfully... Guys never look great in Hanbok. Do you find my advisor looking good in Hanbok? Only kids and women wearing hanbok, they do look great. Nevertheless, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Right? Hanbok can look great for everyone.

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