As your Korean translation service company, we are delighted to publish this article about Korean traditional culture. Today, we’ll talk about Korean traditional clothes “hanbok” and this article is a personal view from a Korean translator. As it is well fitted to the Korean life style, hanbok is the symbol of our culture. In hanbok we can find the harmony of straight and curved lines. The shape of hanbok is very beautiful and it has a compensatory function as it can conceal the disproportionate body of the wearer in it.
The beauty of hanbok lies in the smooth curves of jeogori (a Korean-style coat) and the rising toes of beoseon (a Korean sock) as if flying. The white collar strip for hanbok(called dongjeong) proportionately balances the whole clothes, while setting off its elegance. Especially, the appearance of Korean women in a white jeogori of ramie fabric shows the culmination of pure, classic beauty.
To look graceful in a hanbok you should also be equipped with well coordinated undergarments, which in turn make hanbok stylish. Originally, the basic color of hanbok was white but the wearing manner, the materials, and the color of hanbok vary according to seasons or rituals.
Nowadays hanbok has been adapted to suit more modern styles and has become widespread among the Korean people and emphasizes its practicality while still retaining the merits of traditional hanbok.
The basic attire of hanbok for Korean women consists of chima (a skirt), jeogori (a coat), and beoseon (socks). In spring and autumn they wear magoja (a jacket) over this basic attire; in winter they wear baeja (a waistcoat) or durumagi (a topcoat) in addition to protect themselves against the cold. As for undergarment, Korean women wear underpants, sokchima (an underskirt), sokjeoksam (an undershirt), or sokjeogori (an undercoat). Sokchima is worn a little shorter than geotchima (the outer skirt). Sokjeoksam or sokjeogori is made of thin, light-colored cloth; both of them are made a little shorter than geotjeogori (the outer coat).
On Korean women’s ceremonial dress there are jeokeui, wonsam, hwal-ot, dangeui, etc. For the traditional marriage ceremony the bride wears samhwejang jeogori in yellow, dahong chima (a multicoloured skirt), and dangeui in green; over them they put on wonsam or whalot. She thrusts yongjam into her hair and lets daenggi (a pigtail ribbon) hang down from it; after that, she wears jokduri (a bridal tiara) or hwagwan (a flower crown) on her head. For mourning or condolence Korean women wear white clothes. As for undergarments, they wear darisokgot, soksokgot, pants, dansokgot, mujigi, daesyumsokchima, etc. Nowadays they wear underpants for hanbok and sokchima over them. Broad chima may be worn with a petticoat formed in a Western style.
As for kinds of shoes, there are danghye madeof silk with floral designs embroidered on it, leather shoes, namaksin for rainy days, jipsin made of straw, etc.
As for women’s accessories worn along with the hanbok, there are norigae (pendent trinket) on otgoreum (breast-ties), binyeo (a rod-like ornamental hairpin worn through a chignon), various kinds of dwikkoji (an accessory of chignon), and pouches.