How to dress like a trendy Seoulite

Seoul is known for setting fashion and make-up trends in Asia. It's autumn in the South Korean city and if you want to fit in fashionably, here's what to wear.
The Dad shoe
The Dad shoe
Checks and plaids
Checks and plaids
Athleisure
Athleisure
Fall lips
Fall lips

Seoul is one of the world's new fashion capitals and the locals are trendy and well-dressed. Here is how to get their look.

1 The Dad shoe

Also known as the "ugly shoe", this style was on the runway earlier this year, from brands such as Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton. Because of the chunky silhouette of the shoes, those blessed with slender legs are more suited for this style. How to wear it: Wear them 1990s-style - pull up your ankle socks to just below the calves. Better yet if the socks have a well-known sports brand logo.

Offset the shoes' clunky shape with a midi-length silky slip layered with an oversized sweater; a maxi dress and slouchy cardigan; or a fabulous mini-dress with tights.

For men, keep the look casual with oversized T-shirts and sweaters with straight-cut jeans. The shoe style would look out of step with smart-casual clothes such as chinos and shirts. Where to buy: To save time, head to multi-label shoe stores such as ABC-Mart and JD Sports - they have several outlets in Seoul - where the shoes are from a range of sports and lifestyle brands.

You can buy the long socks at these places too.

2 Checks and plaids

These are classic patterns and Seoulites embrace the preppy casual look when they are not in streetwear. Blazers are the easiest and most fool-proof way to pull off this trend. How to wear it: For a casual and feminine look, pair the blazer with denim and a beret.

For men, pants should be darker in colour, but in the same palette family (for example, cream blazer with brown pants, light blue blazer with navy pants). Where to buy: Hongik University Street in Hongdae. Although located in the popular university area, prices are not cheap - a T-shirt costs about $30. But you can try bargaining, especially if you are buying a few items.

 

3 Athleisure

Clothes from the lifestyle section of sportswear labels have been popular in Seoul for many seasons now. But skip the sports bra-and-leggings combination and choose separates from the lifestyle section of sports shops that you can mix with your wardrobe.

Tracksuits, especially those with a contrasting stripe down the sides, are the exception. Buy them in a set, but style the jacket and pants separately. How to wear it: Match sweatpants with T-shirts from streetwear labels; crop tops with A-line mini skirts; sports jackets over shirts and chinos - thecombinations are numerous. Top off the look with a cap or bucket hat. Where to buy: Multi-label store Aland in Garosugil Shopping Street (548-5 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu) is a one-stop shop for all the latest trends, including clothes, shoes and accessories.

South Korean brand Stretch Angels in Garosugil (26 Apgujeong-ro 8-gil, Gangnam-gu) also does sports-inspired streetwear.

4 Fall lips

Autumnal shades such as burnt orange, rosy pinks and plums are popular lip colours this season. How to wear it: Choose a lip colour with a matt finish and apply it with your finger for a soft effect. If you prefer a more moisturising product, choose a lip stain that has some gloss.

As lips are the main feature, keep eyes neutral with cream or brown shades. Where to buy: You cannot go wrong with any of South Korea's many beauty brands - you can find their stores in Myeongdong Shopping Street.

Be sure to head to the Olive Young branch (53 Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu) there - it is a sublime cross of Watsons and Sephora.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 04, 2018, with the headline 'How to dress like a trendy Seoulite'. Print Edition | Subscribe