HOW to Wear
a Hanbok Like
a Korean (2021)

Traditional Korean clothing is truly beautiful - but a hanbok can be quite tricky to put on for women. A guide for how to wear a hanbok!

The traditional Korean clothing for both men and women is called a hanbok. 

For men, this is simply loose pants and a vest. For women, the hanbok is a long skirt or underdress with a jeogori vest on the top. This comes with a ribbon that is knotted into a bow that sits just above the waist and under the chest. 

It's generally quite simple to wear, but that last bit for women can be a difficult - the ribbon of the hanbok. 

So let's take a look at when would be appropriate to wear traditional Korean clothing, and HOW to wear a hanbok. 


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What is the difference between a hanbok, joegori, and cheoson-ot? 
History of the Hanbok

When do you wear a hanbok? 

Traditional Korean clothing has changed a lot over the centuries. It went out of fashion in the 20th Century, but made a comeback after WW2.

Today, there are many occasions you would wear traditional Korean clothing. And in fact, there is a different style of hanbok for each occasion.

But don’t worry if you don’t go this precise..! 

Today, you can wear a hanbok for a celebration or special occasion. Some people even choose to hire a hanbok for the day and go around the traditional streets of Seoul, which makes for some great pictures! 

The different styles of hanbok are classed as an everyday dress, ceremonial dress (worn on formal occasions), and special dress (made for officials and shamans).

The “Hollyebok” - Wedding hanbok.
The “Dol Hanbok” - Worn on a child’s first birthday. 
The “Myeongjeol Hanok” - Worn on Lunar New Year. 
The “Hoegabyeon Hanbok” - Worn on someone’s 61st birthday. 

How to Wear a Hanbok 

Traditional Korean clothing was made for comfort and ease of wear. The hanbok is certainly easy to wear, and pretty comfortable, but it may not be easy to put on. 

The most complicated part is how to tie the hanbok. Please see below for how to tie the hanbok. 

How to Wear a Hanbok (Female)

1. First, put on the underdress. This usually fastens simply with a button or popper at the front.

2. Wrap the skirt around you/put on the dress over the top. 

3. Position the skirt/dress at bust level. 

4. Put the jacket around your shoulders and do up the clasp or button.

5. Let the two pieces of material for the ribbon fall straight down, and see the instructions below for tying the ribbon. 

If it's cold, you can put on a jacket over the top, or put on trousers under the dress/skirt. 

How to Wear a Hanbok (Male)

1. Put on a white t-shirt for underneath. 

2. Get the leftover fabric together that's on the right side and cross it to the left.

3. Hold the fabric down.

4. Cross the belt over the fabric. 

5. Knot the belt in the centre.

6. Fold the waistband down to cover the belt.

7. Put on your white socks. 

8. Wrap the ankle strap twice around the fabric, making sure it's secure. 

9. Tie this on the inside of your leg, and repeat for the other leg.

10. Put your jacket on. 

11. See below for instructions on how to tie the fastening. 

How to Tie a Hanbok

Learning how to tye a hanbok is probably one of the most difficult things about wearing traditional Korean clothing. It applies for both men and women. 

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to tackle that difficult knot and impress your Korean friends - without you having to ask them for (too much) help. 

1. Let both ribbons of the jeogori hang down. 

2. There is a short ribbon and a long ribbon. Cross the shorter ribbon over the longer one. This will form an “X”.

3. Using the right ribbon, make a loop under the left ribbon using the right one making a simple knot.

4. The formely right ribbon now hangs on the left. Use this to form a loop by wrapping it around your left hand.

5. Get the otehr ribbon and fold it by its centre.

6.Tuck the edge of this ribbon inside the loop you made in your left hand in step 4, then pull it all the way. 

7. Release your hand from the loop and pull the folded edge of the long ribbon to gently tighten it.

Bear in mind that when tying the hanbok, the loop should naturally lie on your chest and shouldn't be too tight! 

Now you have learnt how to wear a Hanbok, what are you waiting for? 

Go out and show off our traditional Korean clothing with some friends. 

Koryo Tours
North Korea Tours

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