We’ve talked about enduring bad songs performed by our favorite idols which force us to at times suppress our own gag reflex in order to sustain the punishment, but what about when it comes to bad outfits? And I’m not talking about bad airport fashion or something that was worn once for a TV appearance. Like a bad song, a bad concept’s outfit design sticks with an idol for the duration of a promotional cycle, if not longer. Which promotional concept outfit (for a comeback or debut) from your beloved idols/groups have you been forced to come to terms, or at least learned to cope, with?
Nabeela: I always have been and always will be a fan of 2PM, but I could not stand for the life of me the emo debacle that was “I’ll Be Back.” Just the combination of eye shadow and the shuffle step all bundled together with those impossible leather ensembles. The worst part about it all? They made Jun.K wear this stupid strip across his face for some stupid reason. Nothing about it pleased me. Watching those stages was really hard.
Shweta: The TVXQ owl suits from the “Keep Your Head Down” era are probably one of the most horrifying set of clothes I have ever seen. Their existence most certainly did not help matters when the duo was attempting to create a “spectacular comeback worthy of ‘The Gods of K-pop,” which was already a bit underwhelming song-wise.
Miyoko: I still can’t get over the pink and yellow outfit Taemin wore in “Dream Girl.” I’ve totally gotten used to the rest of the looks in that video (including the floral pants), but I draw the line at those pants.
Sahar: I loved SHINee‘s “Dream Girl” so much that when the DJ played it at my wedding last weekend, I pretty much went crazy on the dance floor. But the outfits in the music video kill me. Between the floral prints and the shorts with leggings underneath, it’s like a horror show of 1980s fashion that just won’t go away. Thankfully, I think SM understood that the fans wouldn’t tolerate that look on a regular basis, and they came up with a much cleaner concept for TV performances. But I still think that the concept for the video marred the song’s chances of being a completely viral smash hit. Who could possibly want to watch that music video over and over again? Too bad. It’s a great song.
Lindsay: Speaking of SHINee, I am never going to get over the “Sherlock” outfits for Taemin and Key. I don’t care how many times the pink poncho is defended, I will still hate it. I harbor almost an equal amount of hatred for Key’s star shorts over leggings outfit. His “fashionista” label is well deserved and I think he often pulls off risky outfits no one else could, but whoever picked his clothing for that MV missed the mark completely. As for Taemin, I mostly just can’t stand that over-sized sweatshirt with the fringe, and his bedazzled suit-jacket and skirt weren’t great either.
As for TVXQ, the outfits in the “Catch Me” MV irritated me to no end. I loved the song and I loved the dance but I just couldn’t get past the camo outfits. That fabric didn’t match anything! There was no reason to use camouflage fabric and there especially wasn’t any reason to make hideous complimentary outfits for Yunho and Changmin out of it. Overall, I thought the costuming for that MV could have been done much better for the theme and sound of the song.
And,while I’m ranting, who in the world is EXO‘s stylist? The outfits for “Wolf” were just plain hideous most of the time. Mustard yellow team outfits? Plastic rain ponchos and goalie gloves? Five bandannas on one person? I don’t think I need to say anything more.
Nicholas: I could never get with the clown outfits in T-ara‘s Sexy Love. It did not make them look good, especially after that whole bullying fiasco.
Close second would be the TVXQ moth outfits, but instead of ranting, I shall share a personal anecdote. I was watching the music video with my sister, and I told her that this was the work of Korea’s premier boy group. She said, “that outfit took my impressions of them down many notches”.
Note to all male groups: the quickest way to impress anybody is by a suit, honest.
Mark: Nicolas, I actually thought the T-ara clown outfits were pretty creative and fit in with the android concept, but objectively speaking, they were probably better off sticking to the penguin tuxedo outfits for live performances.
Speaking of clowns, the girls of Rainbow looked really dopey during “Sunshine” promotions in their jersey outfits with the ballerina tutu. I like how they incorporated the tutus into the dance, but it’s hard to not laugh at their ridiculous get-up.
The promotional photos for After School‘s “First Love” made Raina and Lizzy look really awkward. You can tell they’re much more comfortable doing cutesy Orange Caramel stuff, and they just look really out of place trying to look smug and sexy. The overabundance of leather on Raina made her look really…cheap. And whoever decided to put a beanie on Nana should be fired.
Lastly, Sunny‘s cotton candy hair in “IGAB” is hard to put words to. My K-pop illiterate friend was really getting into the video when he literally busted out laughing when she got her first close-up.
But Nicolas is totally right about T-ara. In my opinion, they habitually get the worst outfits out of girl groups. “Sexy Love” was atrocious, but also nowhere near as bad as “Bo Beep” or even the Tara N4 garbage. And I actually love T-ara.
Ambika: Hello Venus wore these weird fanny-packs-turned-purses around their waists for “What Are You Doing Today?” promotions. Their outfits as a whole weren’t horrible at all, but those purses seemed so out of place and detracting from what would have been an otherwise okay ensemble. I don’t know if those were used to hold those mic packs or something, but regardless of the reason, they were distracting and just odd.
B.A.P is regularly embarrassing in the fashion department on stage. Aside from the promotion cycles for “No Mercy” (minus the onesies) and “One Shot,” the group’s stage outfits are just unflattering. I think the train wreck was the worst during “Power” promotions when someone thought multiple prints in odd colors would be great.
I think I’ve become immune to the clothing both SHINee and B1A4 wear. I just accept it. It does make a particularly normal combination more eye-catching on them though.
Johnelle: Until recently, MBLAQ had some truly hideous costumes–I think the worst bunch was for “War.” On the runway, some of that might have been interesting, but during a performance…no. Also hated Taemin’s outfit for “Sherlock” and Boyfriend‘s god-awful floral print suits. As for the girls, totally agree about T-ara’s cringe-worthy outfits for “Bo Peep” and Dal Shabet‘s open skirt costumes for “Be Ambitious.”
Fannie: I hated Sunny’s “IGAB hair.” While we’re on the subject of hair, let’s throw in Key’s “Lucifer” hair as well.
But back to clothing… I have three simple words for you: JYP‘s plastic pants.
(Images via Mnet, JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment, DSP Media, Core Contents Media)