When a k-drama female lead dresses oddly, it’s not for the same reasons as a k-drama male lead. While it may also signify that she is out of touch, that’s rarely because she’s rich. Jung Eun Ji has to wear a dress that gets made fun if in “Trot Lovers” because she has no money. She has to audition wearing a sparkling dress chosen for her by gangsters.
And while the female lead may not care what others think, its more likely that she doesn’t have time for or interest in fashion. Or it may be that she lacks confidence.
At the start of “The Master’s Sun,” Gong Hyo Jin’s character is much too worried about the ghosts that torment her to realize that her dress looks like a nightgown. But as she gets some relief from ghostly visitors, her wardrobe does begin to improve.
In “Flower Boy Ramen Shop,” Lee Chung Ah’s character has lots of quirky style but it results in the occasional odd fashion choice like the hoodie with ears and an angry game face printed on the front. And in the final episode of the drama, she wears a classic white dress to rescue her man, but it gets tattered in the process and paired with a toilet plunger. That’s the touch that makes it memorable.
Park Shin Hye’s look in “Flower Boys Next Door” is memorable because her shy character wears so many layers upon layers of clothes to keep warm. Since she rarely goes out she is not too concerned with her appearance.
Some clothes are memorable because they are out of place. When Kim So Yeon shows up for her job at the prosecutor’s office, she takes a page out of “Legally Blonde” and dresses more like she was going to work at a fashion magazine. As she begins to take her job seriously, she tones down her look.
Son Ye Jin’s character in “Personal Taste” probably takes the prize for memorable outfits and her character is reminded that the way she dresses might have cost her a relationship. Not true, but it’s the perfect set-up for a makeover. That’s what often happens to k-drama women who wear bizarre clothes. An adoring man makes her over in the image of what he thinks a woman ought to look like.
Sometimes the makeover actually makes her look worse. Gu Hye Sun is charming when she wears her own casual clothes in “Boys Over Flowers” but when anyone makes her over the results are just a little too cute to really be flattering.
Some k-drama outfits are memorable because they are flattering. Kim Sun Ah is no fashionista in “My Lovely Kim Sam Soon” but her clothes in “I Do I Do” are some of the most beautifully tailored in all of k-drama. Kim Hee Ae may have had a tragic love in “A Secret Love Affair” but she got one of the best wardrobes with clothes that managed to look sophisticated and sultry at the same time.
Which (female) k-drama outfits stand out for you? Let us know.