2016/08/10

Shopping in Korea: Haul & Shopping Tips (Clothes)


Voila a compilation of the clothes/accessories purchases I made during my semester in Korea (excluding second-hand stuff as that one will have a separate post). I'm also including a couple of shopping tips that might come in handy  if you plan a shopping trip to Korea!

Souvenir stores
Museum/souvenir stores have actually often very nice and affordable accessories. I have seen very nice scarves and hair ties, and I bought a small handbag with traditional design in Gyeongju. I think it was 15 000 KRW. The hair tie is from Nami Island and cost 5 000 KRW.




Buy more, pay less
In most stores that do not belong to a chain of stores of a particular brand, especially in most stalls/stores in malls of Dongdaemun area, prices are to a large degree negotiable. If you buy multiple items in one store, the shopping assistant will likely offer a discount, and you can also politely ask for it. In case you feel shy, you can just say something like "I really like the coat, but I am not sure about the hat...it's a bit expensive too..." and you might just get 5 000 KRW off. I bought a coat, blouse and hat in the same store and paid about 8 000 KRW less that the total would have been. And the blouse was already discounted to 10 000 KRW too!





Backpacks
Buying a nice-looking, good quality, affordable and laptop-compatible backpack in Europe is still about as easy as finding well-fitting pants. In Korea however, there are plenty awesome ones starting at 10 000 KRW, particularly in Edae area. I've been wearing these two almost daily for the past 1.5 years and they barely show any signs of usage. Definitely the best purchase of all! In Czech Republic, there seems to be a passionate hate in the fashion community for backpacks, but in Korea, cute backpacks are not considered inferior to handbags and come in a variety of styles, prices, sizes and colors. From these cheap ones in student shopping areas to Teenie Weenie and MCM going over 150 000 KRW, it is easy to find a nice backpack for every imaginable fashion style. 





Daiso
Daiso has a pretty cute collection of hair accessories starting at 1 000 KRW/piece. 





 


Socks
Other than backpacks, socks are another great article of clothing to buy in Korea, particularly in Edae or Gangnam underground shopping mall. Most are 1 000 KRW and made in Korea, with designs ranging from sporty through cute&girly to geek and k-pop-themed.




 


Shoes
Korea is also a great place to buy affordable, trendy shoes - famous areas again being Edae and Gangnam underground shopping station. They can go as low as 10 000 KRW/pair, but I have also been quoted 50 000 for a pair of off-brand sandals - which I successfully brought down to 30 000. These sandals (and another pair for 25 000, both from Gangnam station) have amazing quality, are super comfortable and have lasted for over a year without looking like they suffered much damage, but the beige shoes below fell apart very quickly (got them in a sale in Wangsimni in front of the Enter6 shopping mall). The blue sandals were around 20 000 in Gangnam station, but I haven't worn them yet. The shoes always claim to be made in Korea.




Sales
Like anywhere else, Korean brands have seasonal sales in summer and winter and sometimes also during spring/autumn. The prices of regular brands can drop significantly. Kenneth Lady usually has dresses around 100 000 KRW, but I got the green one for 10 000 and the yellow one for 20 000. The Mixxo shirt was only 10 000 KRW too. The lip print dress was 15 000 I think in the young designer area of Doota and I got it mainly because it reminded me of one episode from Style Log - the print is really pretty, but the shape would be cuter on someone with smaller frame than I have. :/






Even the stalls in Migliore in Dongdaemun have sales (as well as more expensive stores in Doota) - I got the skirt + blouse set for 15 000 KRW.



Umbrellas
If you end up surprised by a sudden rain, Daiso and convenience stores sell cheap and decent quality umbrellas. 




Accessories
The traditional flower pin was a random find in Missha in Busan, but most accessories are found in Myeongdong, Gangnam underground shopping station or Insadong (especially scarves). Most hair accessories are under 5 000, jewelry often under 15 000 (the bracelet was only 5 000), the scarves were 3 000 each. 








Young designers
While Korean fashion is really diverse and often has its own sub-trends that make it look very unique in the west, if you shop in the popular spots, you might end up looking like everyone else and as Korean style is becoming quite popular recently in other Asian countries and in Europe/US too, you might feel like looking for something more unique. Doota has 2 floors dedicated to emerging brands: one is more high-end with pretty steep prices - think coats around 300 000 KRW and shoes/bags over 150 000, and one with a bit younger and sometimes more affordable designers.
I really like Divine Comedy, who has a stall in Migliore 0F, straight from the entrance all the way to the back wall. For me, her signature style is printed neoprene with bold flowers and bright colors. This sweatshirt was a bit under 40 000 KRW.

   
Designer collaborations and limited editions
My father likes to say that I would buy even a sack of potatoes if someone told me it's limited edition. Sadly he is quite right, and if there is one purchase I regret, it's these shoes from Perché x Charles Jang. The design is cute and they are quite comfortable, but I feel quite stupid for paying 85 000 KRW for shoes made in China with not particularly great quality, when I could have gotten a made-in-Europe brand with orthopedic insoles for the same price. Anyways, Korea has tons of designer collaborations in clothing and popular characters in cosmetics, so you can get quite affordable items from your favorite designer/artist/brand. Often, these items come also as gifts with a magazine - I had a Jain Song umbrella from Céci before.







Yours truly
Vita 



5 comments:

  1. Hello Vita! I hope everything is ok! Even I (not a shop person) must admit I would love to shop in Korea :) Can't imagine all the different thins one can buy there.

    Great picks!

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  2. Korean shoes are always so cute and affordable! I remember I used to go on GMarket a lot and there were so many gorgeous shoes! :)

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  3. You bought so many cool and chic things! I am in love with your clothing choices - they all look so sweet and so you! :)
    Would love to go to Korea, of course, not only for shopping :P

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