Modern hanbok school uniforms


These days, the modern hanbok has become increasingly popular – just look at BLACKPINK, who recently wore hanbok-inspired pieces in a music video. Coupled with the rise of the “Newtro” (New+Retro) trend in South Korea, where people are drawn towards anything nostalgic, it’s not a surprise that hanbok-inspired school uniforms have become a thing.


Modern hanbok uniforms to be adopted in 22 schools


Hanbok Uniforms - Winter styleImage credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

From October onwards, 22 middle and high schools will roll out hanbok uniforms for their students. This is part of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s project to repurpose the traditional hanbok for everyday wear.

Hanbok Uniforms - Summer style
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

The traditional beauty of a hanbok incorporated into daily wear is a strategic move to keep Korean history and culture close to the hearts of youths. These hanbok uniforms focus on durability and comfort, which is a refreshing change from existing uniform designs that tend to be tight-fitting.


Winter version hanbok uniforms


Hanbok Uniforms - Winter style
Image adapted from:
Hanbok Advancement Center 
and Hanbok Advancement Center

The winter version of hanbok uniforms feature modern-style jackets with unique collar designs inspired by the jeogori, the upper garment of a hanbok. Bottoms are also designed to be loose and easy to move around in, just like in the olden days.

Hanbok Uniforms - Men's winter style jacket
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

Hanbok Uniforms - Men's winter style trousers
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

The trouser design strikes a great balance between Western-style pants that are fitting at the waist and the roomy design of a traditional baji, the bottom part of men’s hanbok.

Hanbok Uniforms - Women's winter style jacket
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

Hanbok Uniforms - Women's winter style skirt
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

Similarly, the female hanbok uniform is designed with a traditional collar and a loose-fitting skirt. There is also a dress version that looks just like a traditional women’s hanbok, but with a shorter skirt for ease of mobility.

Hanbok Uniforms - Women's winter style dress
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center


Summer version hanbok uniforms


Hanbok Uniforms - Summer styleImage adapted from: Hanbok Advancement Center and Hanbok Advancement Center

The summer version of hanbok uniforms feature collars that are almost identical to the git, the collar of the jeogori where the left collar is placed over the right.

Hanbok Uniforms - Men's summer style shirt
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

Hanbok Uniforms - Men's summer style trousers
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

The short-sleeved designs made with lightweight fabric ensure that the uniform is cooling during hot summers.

Hanbok Uniforms - Women's summer style shirt
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

Hanbok Uniforms - Women's summer style skorts
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

The summer skirt and dress designs for females showcase the iconic folds and flowy fit of a chima, the skirt of a female hanbok.

Hanbok Uniforms - Women's summer style dress
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center


Hanbok activewear designs


Hanbok Uniforms - Active wear
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

The hanbok-inspired designs also extend to uniforms for gym classes.

Hanbok Uniforms - Men's active wear shirt
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

Hanbok Uniforms - Men's active wear shorts
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

Made with stretchy polyester fabric, these P.E. uniforms were designed with movement and flexibility in mind.

Hanbok Uniforms - Women's active wear shirt
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center

Hanbok Uniforms - Women's active wear shorts
Image credit: Hanbok Advancement Center


Modern hanbok uniforms to be introduced in more schools later on


While the adoption of hanbok uniforms is currently limited to the 22 selected schools, there are plans to expand the initiative to more schools in the coming years. Seeing how cultural preservation initiatives like this are well-received, culture-rich South Korea is most likely to be riding the “Newtro” trend for a while.

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Cover image adapted from: Hanbok Advancement Center and Hanbok Advancement Center