Korean costume characterized by harmony of colour

May 21, 2023

Korean ancestors preferred light, soft and bright colours such as white, jade green and light pink to deep colours.

They also used soft neutral colours a lot.

Neutral tints mostly include red, purple, yellow and green.

These colours were used for Korean costume in various ways.

Women wore clothes of light pink, light green, cream and other soft and bright colours in spring and those of such cool colours as jade green and light blue in summer.

Children also put on clothes of bright colours. In particular they were dressed in striped jackets with sleeves, collars and breast-ties of different colours or those with rainbow-coloured sleeves on holidays.

Harmony of colour can be created in diverse ways in the Korean costume consisting of upper and lower garments.

Koreans diversified their attire by wearing upper and lower garments different in colour.

Korean women clothed themselves in a light green jacket with a crimson skirt, yellow jacket with a crimson skirt and yellow jacket with a blue skirt on holidays or for ceremonies. 

In particular, the yellow jacket with the crimson skirt well represented the aesthetical taste of Koreans through the gorgeous and fresh harmony of bright yellow and crimson. 

This shows that Korean women liked stable harmony of colour as they used light colours for upper garments small in area and relatively deep colours for the lower ones wide in area.

Men mainly donned monochrome clothes such as those of white, jade green or other comparatively bright colour.

Korean costume can represent beauty through the colour harmony of sectional components.

The colours of breast-tie and cuffs of women’s jacket were different from its ground colour to add beauty to it free from the monotony of colour.

Such jackets were worn on holidays or for ceremonies as they were more gorgeous than usual ones.

Pak Sin Jong, researcher of the Folklore Research Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences

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