The Korean wave has been taking over the world across the industries of fashion, beauty, entertainment and much more. And when it comes to Korean dramas, one can expect not only gripping storylines and swoon-worthy characters, but also major fashion statements set by prominent actors onscreen. These sartorial highlights aren’t confined to women; many of the men’s ensembles are equally striking, and — more importantly — are actually versatile looks that work offscreen. If you’re planning on a wardrobe refresh, consider these K-drama-inspired outfits for men, which are extremely classy, comfortable and effortlessly trendy.
From their dark-hued tuxedos to the classic denim jeans and polo shirts ensembles, the leading men in Korean dramas set the fashion quotient high. Borrow these ideas to redo your wardrobe by putting together the right ensemble that reflects your personality, and we are certain that it is going to leave a lasting impression on whoever you meet.
Here are some outfits for men that are inspired by Korean dramas
Kim Hae-Kyung in Dinner Mate
Song Seung-heon plays the handsome psychiatrist Kim Hae-Kyung in the 2020 Korean drama series. His sartorial choices are elegant and sophisticated while having a playful, casual undertone.
Gone are the days of only wearing a plain dark-coloured suit to work. Think patterned or textured suits with a solid shirt or, on the contrary, a patterned shirt with colourful prints paired with a solid suit for a more relaxed vibe.
For a more sporty look, pair polo shirts, linen shirts and mandarin collars with tailored suits and be sure to turn heads at work. Take ideas from this K-drama and level up your outfits with style.
Park Sae Ro Yi in Itaewon Class
Who said street style and comfy baggy clothes are only for teenagers? Take cues from Park Seo-joon, who plays Park Sae Ro Yi in Itaewon Class (2020), to rock the cool street style as he grows up. Park is a student who goes through the harsh realities of life and ends up in prison before becoming a restaurateur. Kim Da-Mi portraying Jo Yi Seo is the female protagonist in this K-drama.
The series showcases ample styling tips via the male lead. Channel your street style at its best yet feel comfortable with loose jeans, cargo pants, oversized shirts, bomber and denim jackets, pullovers and hoodies. Dark colours and undertones will also help keep the look from being too over the top.
Layering and creating ensembles with oversized clothes is key to ace this look. This not only gives you a boyish charm but also accentuates your broad shoulders. Complete the look with a pair of combat boots for some added height and edgy style.
Additionally, with many of us still working in a hybrid mode or completely from home, this K-drama-inspired outfit can be both stylish and practical.
Ri Jeong-hyeok in Crash Landing on You
One of the most popular K-dramas — Crash Landing on You — has innumerable moments that serve as Korean fashion goals. The series continues to be a huge success and stars Son Ye-Jin as Yoon Se-ri who lands in North Korea after her paragliding adventure goes wrong. Here, she meets and falls in love with Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin).
Ri looks dapper in turtlenecks, knitted sweaters and jackets, which amplifies his military look but also exudes a more casual vibe. Turtlenecks are popular in South Korea, and this K-drama lays out some ideal styles for not just Korean men but for the global audience, too.
While you can pair turtlenecks with long overcoats or a chesterfield coat for a formal look, a baseball jacket or a short cardigan can make your ensemble seem more relaxed. Avoid bold colour blocking and contrasting tones. Here, Ri hits the bullseye with myriad shades of blacks and greys to maintain a balanced look.
Kim Shin in Guardian: The Lonely and the God
Speaking of acing Korean men’s winter fashion, Gong Yoo ticks all the boxes as Kim Shin in the fantasy Korean drama Guardian: The Lone and the God (2016-2017), also known as Goblin. Kim is cursed to be an immortal goblin, and the only way to break out of it is by finding a human bride.
Gong looks handsome in luxe printed suits and shirts. Meanwhile, neutral-coloured turtlenecks, dark long trench coats and knitted sweaters appear throughout the series, which bring out a playful side of him, keeping the whole ensemble chic and sophisticated.
While you could follow this style, avoid contrasting shades and mind the length of the trench coats. A trench coat helps accentuate the height of a person and enhances the entire look with a dash of sophistication. However, it can also make you look shorter if the coat is too long.
Kim Seon-Ho in Start-Up
Another classic K-drama-inspired men’s fashion idea that you can never go wrong with is to create an attire with matching hues. A colour-coordinated outfit looks as stylish and edgy as the other styles on this list. Watch out for such attire in Start-Up (2020- ).
Kim Seon-Ho plays Han Ji Pyung in the series. It also stars Seo Dal Mi as Bae Suzy and Naam Joo-hyuk as Nam Do San, who are aspiring tech entrepreneurs ready to launch their careers in the razor-edge competitive market of South Korea.
Take cues from Han’s attire where he teams up the suit with a blue striped shirt underneath. While you can experiment with colours for the tailored outerwear, you can also try completing the ensemble with a lighter solid shirt in a similar colour or a patterned one.
Moon Gang Tae in It’s Okay to Not be Okay
Everyone has days when they want to ditch the formal look and dress up in a more carefree manner. Kim Soo-hyun’s character, Moon Gang Tae, in It’s Okay to Not be Okay (2020) is one such example that gives a casual, boy-next-door vibe.
Men’s outfits inspired by this K-drama character are fun and all about comfort. The character shows that everyday minimal clothing can also be worked with to make a style statement. A white, oversized tee paired with denim jeans, is the bare essentials for this look. Complete the outfit with a loose flannel or denim shirt for a more rustic look, or turn to chequered shirts.
The style goes well with the character who works in a psychiatric ward and doesn’t seem to have any time for love or romance in his life.
Lee Gon in The King: Eternal Monarch
When The King: Eternal Monarch released in 2020, male lead Lee Min-Ho essayed the role of Lee Gon and became a style icon for his fashion sense in this series. Serving some freshly brewed ideas for men’s outfits, this Korean drama shows impeccable winter and casual summer outfits to suit all likings.
Lee jazzes up the staple turtlenecks from Korean men’s wardrobe with a furry variant under a long trench coat. The colours are generally kept to solid tones of blacks, browns and beiges. You can also go for a layered look by adding a monochromatic waistcoat over the turtleneck.
For a more intense look, go for leather jackets over the turtleneck and make heads turn wherever you go. This K-drama-inspired men’s outfit is all about elegant Korean fashion with a global appeal.
In one episode, he also wore a cropped kimono-style white jacket, which gave a more modern vibe. The style goes perfectly with Lee Gon who is a monarch but crosses over to a parallel world via a portal.
Vincenzo Cassano in Vincenzo
One of the most popular K-dramas in recent times, Vincenzo (2021- ) revolves around Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong-ki) who is a Korean-Italian mafia lawyer and member-advisor of the Cassano family.
If you are up for some power suiting, take notes from this dapper attorney. A smart tailored black suit with a tie and an occasional waistcoat completes his formal look. For some added drama, wear a pair of black sunglasses and be sure to create a buzz at work. Experiment with smart colours like whites and beiges and meet clients in style.
(Main image credit: Crash Landing on You/ © tvN/ IMDb; Vincenzo/ © tvN/ IMDb; Feature image credit: Vincenzo/ © tvN/ IMDb)