|Fashion staple: big black belt.|
But let me now connect all this talk of fashion to Korea. I think most places in the world go through phases of trends where MANY people will wear similar clothing and now that the world is connected these trends are also connected and similar around the world. But in the U.S. and virtually every other country I have been to there are still signs of individuality within fashion. If mini-skirts are "in" that does not mean that almost every American you encounter will be sporting a mini-skirt or even the same mini-skirt. In the U.S. fashion is definitely regional, where in big cities people are more fashionable, and generally speaking in the Midwest people are less fashionable (sorry Midwesterners but I'm afraid it's true). But even within these broad generalizations there is individuality. We can further classify people's fashion as preppy, bohemian, sophisticated, casual, classic, sporty... While mini skirts might be "in" you will still see many (and perhaps far too many in my opinion) people wearing sweats, baggy t-shirts, plain old jeans, running shoes and jeans (my least favorite American clothing combination), and many more combinations. If bangs are in style you won't see every single American female running to the nearest hair salon to get bangs. I feel that I can still say with some certainty that there is still individualism. I can say the same for Germany. While people generally were more put together looking than many Americans, there was still a large variation in people's styles.
|My "exotic" dress.|
|Okay, the dress is cute but let's scarp the skulls.|
Can't get over my idea of skulls being goth.
Fashion conformity in Korea is just one example of the prevalence of conformity and community in this culture. I just finished reading an interesting book on Korean culture written in cartoon format by a Korean. I will blog about the book later but I felt that fashion, especially given it's significance in Korea deserved a post by itself. In my opinion, fashion in Korea is anything from revolutionary but merely evolutionary. I anxiously await my return to a country where there are at least a few people who don't care that what they're wearing is not the latest