All Dressed Up for the Palace


Hanbok 한복 is the traditional attire of Korea. By itself, the word literally means "Korean clothing" from han 韓 meaning "Korea" and bok 服 meaning "clothing". Hanboks come in various colors and shapes which reflect the culture and society during a particular period.

Hanbok wear for women include a jeogori 저고리, which is a jacket covering the upper body. and a chima 치, which is a wrap-around skirt. Men have their own version of a jeogori and wear baji 바지, or baggy pants, with it. There are additional clothing that can be worn for style or for warmth such as an outerwear called po 포, a vest called jokki 조끼, or an outer Manchurian-style jacket called magoja 마고자.

What tradition did I learn about?:

An interesting thing I learned is that traditionally, the color and the make of hanbok symbolized social status. Children and young girls generally wore bright colors while older men and women preferred muted hues. Unmarried women wore a yellow jeogori and red chima while matrons wore green and red. Commoners wore white but were allowed to dress in pale pink, light green and gray on special occasions. High quality fabrics such as silk were worn by the wealthy while commoners wore cotton hanboks.