One thing that continues to fascinate me about Korea is the omnipresent mix of old and new wherever you turn your eyes. Whether it’s the busy streets of Seoul where modern skyscrapers mix with ancient palaces and temples, or the food scene where Western burger restaurants and traditional kimchi jjiggae places may be cramped closely together in narrow alleys – new and old seem to blend together and form a special harmony, much like yin and yang.
New trends and old traditions seem to coexist and mutually support each other in modern Korea, and I deeply admire the Koreans’ reverence for their own history and their pride of their Korean heritage.
I particularly love the Korean traditional attire – Hanbok – literally translated: Korean clothing. The Hanbok dates back to the Three Kingdoms’ Periods more than a thousand years ago. It is loose fitting and was originally designed to promote ease of movement. Even today, the official Hanbok is often used for semi-formal events like weddings and similar celebrations.
The female Hanbok traditionally consists of two parts, a full skirt called chima in Korean and a short waist-length jacket with the distinct y-shaped collar, called jeogori. For that reason, Hanbok, outside of Korea, is sometimes referred to as chima-jeogori.
While the full Hanbok is an elaborate garment that generally requires a special occasion, a simpler and more wearable version has emerged in later years – the so-called saenghwal Hanbok or “daily Hanbok”. One of the pioneers in this design is my all-time favorite Korean designer, Leesle.
I’ve been a fan of Leesle ever since I found her designs online while searching for more information on this elegant and timeless dress. Let me show you why by sharing a few pictures ^^
These pictures are taken last year. The first ones are from Leesle’s pop-up shop in the Hyundai departments store in Sinchon last winter, and the others are from Hanbok-heaven – Leesle’s flagship store in Jeonju, where i visited last summer. In February i bought the striped waist skirt, and in July in Jeonju I treated myself to this gorgeous black knee-lenght dress.
I absolutely love this dress! It’s so comfortable and can be worn at so many different occasions.
Do you wonder about the latest additions to my Leesle wardrobe? I recently got my hands on a beautiful navy blue floral waist skirt and a royal blue wool jeogori. I’m absolutely in love with both pieces. The awesome feature about the skirt is that it’s double-sided so it has a floral print on one side but can be worn inside out and is a matte navy blue. (My striped skirt has the same feature and can be turned into a black skirt with a striped hem too.) This is such a cool idea and virtually gives you two skirts in one. Okay, I’ll stop talking and let the clothes speak for themselves.
Yes, my beloved Bandabi Bear sneaked into my picture – but his colors match my outfit well, don’t you think? I just love this beautiful design. Note that the skirt in the two pictures is the same one, just worn on different sides. The left one shows the floral print, and the right one is the plain blue side. I love how the pieces can be worn together or separately for a more downplayed look. I actually quite often wear a Hanbok waist skirt with a simple t-shirt or thin knit sweater for an elegant and classic yet very relaxed style.
If you’re starting to feel jealous that you don’t live in Korea but really want to get your hands on these gorgeous garments, don’t worry. Leesle has an international webshop that ships worldwide. In fact, when I was in Denmark last summer and wore my striped waist skirt at a family function, my sister-in-law was so amazed by the design that she went straight home and ordered one for herself. It arrived within a week, and if you live in Korea there’ll be day-to-day delivery. Here’s a screenshot from Leesle’s webshop at http://www.leesle.kr.
To make things even better, Leesle offers readers of Sofie to Korea a 10% discount if you order through this link: http://leesle.kr/coupon/SofieXLEESLE !
What could be more thrilling than such a chance to update your wardrobe here just a few weeks before Seollal? Happy Hanbok shopping everyone!!
Disclaimer: The most recent additions to my Leesle wardrobe were sent to me free of charge but rest assured that the opinions expressed about this unique designer brand are my own.