Looking for a Hanbok

Written by on May 28, 2014 in Lifestyle, Worldwide Korea Bloggers
4 Hanbok

From MJ’s family photo album

This September MJ’s mother gifted me a hanbok. A hanbok is a traditional Korean dress known for it’s flowing lines & beautiful colour combinations. Just like Korean architecture it resonates with nature. 

7 Hanbok

Gorgeous colours galore

I was curious about the colours and what they stand for. So I asked around & did some research and this is what I found so far:

White: Modest, spirit, Innocence. A very popular colour.
Red: Wealth, good fortune, beauty. Therefore used in the wedding attire
Yellow: Centre of universe, in olden days only the emperor was aloud to wear this
Purple: Married
Black: Infinity
Indigo: Constancy
Blue: Joy
Green: lucky, prosperity (so it’s not a bad idea to paint you business green!)
Neutral colours: Virtue

Bright colours are reserved for children and unmarried, young people. While subdued colours are for older men and women.

If you would like to read more about the symbolism behind a hanbok I recommand reading  Mitzie Correa’s post

1 Hanbok

Those little details ♥

I was very grateful for this gift and excited to visit the stores with MJ’s mother (MJ joined as well). We went to Gwangjang market which is located in the jongno 5ga neighbourhood. This was the first permanent traditional market established in 1905.

Wondering around the market I couldn’t find a hanbok with a colour combination I didn’t like. The rich colours of the fabric and the the delicate details on them were so beautiful. Before going I researched the colours to help me with choosing one. And because blue stands for joy and I like deep blue this was my first choice.

Once In the store I seemed to love all the “grandma-style” hanboks as MJ’s mother labelled them. Which made my choice more difficult. Especially when the store clerk, the mother and me all seemed to like different things. In the end I kind of went for the “grandma- style”, because I’m really bad at making choices so I figured it would be best to stay with my first idea.

8 Hanbok

What my hanbok looks like

I’m very happy with it. It’s comfortable and looks elegant. And I even got a matching dark blue purse with it. Time for a clothes-you-own-and-love-but-you-can’t-wear-very-often theme party! Update: or just wear it at your Christmas family party in your home counrty and all your nieces will want one too!

This post is originally posted by Lili on the LiliBayou blog and may not be reposted without permission

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About the Author

Lili Bayou

Hi, call me Lili. I am a twenty-something from Belgium. After I studied illustration I wanted to broaden my horizons. I worked as an au pair in China until my heart lured me to South Korea. I decided to blog about my experience living here. So I could share it with friends, family and anyone who enjoys a little wandering. If you would like to see more check my blog: lilibayou.blogspot.com, or facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LiliBayouBlog