20120411_seoulbeats_snsd_jessicaWe can all agree that K-pop is incredibly visual. Idols dedicate hours of practice to learn choreography, but they also have a team of style, hair and make-up coordinators to prep them for every appearance they make, whether it’s for a music show, concert performance, variety show or just passing through an airport.

With such dedication to appearance, it’s no surprise that those who consume K-pop would want to emulate it. Many learn the dances, sing the songs, and even cut and dye their hair to look like idols, but the most accessible avenue is fashion. We all wear clothes — at least I’d assume so — whether it’s for school, work or a night out so taking inspiration from idols is not too difficult.

In the past, we’ve had a shopping guide or two to help you find the right shirt, shoes or accessories, but making K-pop style your own isn’t as simple as buying that purse Jessica has or snagging that hat G-Dragon wore at the airport the other day. Finding the items is the easy part.

You can’t just throw everything together though. Why not, if you already have Key’s earrings, CL’s shoes, Woohyun’s jacket, or whatever else? Well, the fact of the matter is that as great as these styles are, to idols these are stage costumes. And if you wear all of these trends together, then you will more than likely end up looking like you too are wearing a costume, which probably isn’t what you want. You probably want to look just as cool and stylish as those idols but in a regular setting.


The key is to incorporate trends in small doses and in accord with your personal style. If you know your own style, then you can see what trends in K-pop actually go with it. Sure, you can experiment and play around with different looks. That’s what fashion is all about, but at the same time, you want to figure out you and what you like. You don’t want to be a rip-off Zelo or Minah. You want to be you!

So see what styles you gravitate toward and how you wear them. Do you tend to go for a minimalist color palette with structured fit? Perhaps you prefer a more casual and sporty kind of look? Maybe you take your inspiration from menswear and go for more structured styles in muted tones?

Ask yourself these kinds of questions and experiment with different looks. You’ll eventually find your own. Everyone’s personal style is different, and while they are in constant flux, they aren’t too difficult to figure out. You just have to take a look at what you like.

But, Leslie, what if I don’t like my style and want to change it completely? I can get a whole outfit, right? Go for it. I’m not stopping you from doing anything, but style is a progressive thing, especially if you want to change it. Again, it’s all about experimenting, and you really don’t want to drop a whole lot of cash on a slew of trendy K-pop clothes then realize that it’s not what you wanted. Start slowly and in small quantities.


Once you know your style or at least have some idea of what you want it to be, you can decide if those patterned pants that Fei wore in that one music video or that sweet jacket that Eunhyuk wore at that one concert is really for you.

If it is, think about how you’d wear it with what you have. Don’t think about pairing it with other trendy clothes and accessories. Think about your closet. Not only will this help you incorporate rather than copy, but it’ll save you money, and I don’t know about you, but I like saving money.

Once you’ve figured out if something actually goes with your style, get it and wear the heck out of it. You may not have a style coordinator, but that doesn’t mean you too can’t be stylish. So be confident in your choices. Confidence is the finishing touch to any good outfit.

At the end of the day, you just have to remember that it’s all a big experiment, and experiments sometimes go wrong. Be thoughtful about your choices, and always try to make the different trends your own. Then you can have the confidence to put together all kinds of outfits without feeling like you’re wearing a costume or cosplaying as a K-pop idol.

(Images via: YG Entertainment, Coming Step, Marie Claire, SSTV)