As a fashion editor, I take pride in my unmatched skill when it comes to spotting emerging style. For years, I've profiled young designers and followed on-the-rise trends so often that I can practically do it in my sleep. While it's taken me years to refine my spidey senses on what makes something in the style zeitgeist feel fresh and exciting, it's different to actually experience firsthand something and realize, "Yep, I was right all along." Case in point: There's no other city quite as fashionable as Seoul, South Korea.
This season, Seoul Fashion Week and its dominating street style felt like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise oversaturated celebrity-fueled street style world. This editor has a few predictions as to why. Perhaps it's the unadulterated, unfiltered style guests parade around the city in. Most likely, it's the fact that they're not even trying to look cool, but somehow, they do. Whether or not we'd openly admit it on Zendaya's internet, we're all guilty of picking out an outfit simply because it's what we should wear and what we know we'll get photographed in. After all, the telltale sign of street style success during any fashion week is by posting a watermarked Getty Images professional photo on your Instagram feed.
Just as much as Seoul Fashion Week and its impressive roster of South Korean designers was a feast for the eyes, the real beauty within the emerging fashion capital lies within the people itself. From ultra-trendy metallic cargo pants to tried-and-true street style staples, here's all the outfit inspiration you need to see straight out of Seoul Fashion Week and its headquarters at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
Dresses Over Pants
In 2023, 2000s style is back in a big way. While remnants of the early-aughts look have been making their way back into our mood boards thanks to low-rise jeans and silky skinny scarves, the dresses-over-pants trend has been the latest to alter my brain chemistry. Opt for a combination of simple colors and patterns for a fresh take on this nostalgic styling method.
Move over, wide-leg jeans. Even baggier, trashed denim was all over the DDP. Instead of the skinny, distressed style from the mid-2010s, Seoul Fashion Week's street style provided a much-needed upgrade, with models and guests opting for grungy styles and oversize silhouettes.
Hazy, cool prints donned by the likes of Bella Hadid and Paloma Elsesser were all over Seoul Fashion Week both on and off the runway. For a fresh It girl–approved ensemble, grab a matching printed set and wear it with sneakers.
While you'd think that quiet luxury and elevated basics are a thing only NYC and Paris cool girls love, more than the fair share of South Korean fashion people opted for simple, minimal tops with a twist—both literally and figuratively. Pair any ruched or asymmetric top with a pair of simple, sleek trousers for a modern look.
Yep, I can confirm that everyone in Seoul loves the maxi-skirt trend as much as we do. If you're looking for a modern approach to the look that doesn't feel too Y2K inspired, this simple chambray shirt paired with classic white booties and a white shoulder bag is an ideal combination.
Metallic pants weren't the trend I expected to see during Seoul Fashion Week, but frankly, if I could pick one to wear for the rest of my life, it would be this one. While South Korean designers like Holy Number 7 and People of the World showcased silver denim on the runways, the newfound trend seemed to be on everyone getting snapped while on their way to shows.
Perhaps it's the Guts by Olivia Rodrigo of it all, but Seoul Fashion Week's trend for the girlies had to be the massive presence of pleated-skirt-and-blazer combinations. In lieu of button-down shirts associated with the look thanks to Miu Miu's librariancore aesthetic, the stylish Seoul crowd opted for graphic baby tees and printed tops to match their minis.