KPop: A Guide to 2021’s Trends


Julia Im

As Kpop, or Korean pop, transforms into a global trend, Korean idols are seen more and more as fashion icons; rather than just being known for the finger heart sign or kimchi, Korea’s image has expanded into a point of inspiration for global fashion. Here are a few trends that the Kpop industry is bringing into 2021:

1. Leather – The simple black color makes leather so versatile, but still spices up any outfit because of its unique texture. Itzy and Tomorrow x Together both took the classic leather look to the next level, wearing top to bottom outfits with this unique fabric. Instead of sticking to the classic leather pants/jacket look, Itzy’s Lia (bottom right) wore a leather ruffled dress, which definitely added a unique aspect to this concept.





via MCountdown







via TXT official

2. Retro/disco – A recent wave of nostalgia and color was brought when BTS’s “Dynamite” and GFriend’s “Mago” was released; their colorful and unique outfits make each member stand out in their own way. The pastel colors and glitter brought back the disco eras that everyone needed.






via Gfriend Official

3. Harnesses- Although harnesses have always been prevalent in Kpop, they are still a classic and is now styled to be both elegant and to give an edgier style, shown here with this collab between Golden Child’s Bomin, Stray Kids’ Hyunjin, Astro’s Sanha, and AB6IX’s Daehwi. Although most outfits with harnesses tend to be simpler, usually with a black-or-white/formal look (like this one), the harnesses still add a unique touch and also unify each members’s outfits.






via KBS Music Bank

4. Animal Print- Whether Wooah’s Minseo is wearing a full cow outfit or Sunmi is wearing a cheetah top, animal print’s versatility has been proven to bring anyone’s outfit level. Sunmi’s more mature concept was also reinforced with her elegant, bold jewelry, whereas Wooah’s Minseo styled her outfit with baby pink jewelry to compliment her hair.






via Instagram, @wooah_nv







via Instagram, @Miyayeah

5. Genderless Fashion- the recent wave of all gender fluid fashion gave us all the content we needed. Whether it is Tomorrow x Together’s Soobin in a half skirt or your favorite boy groups in eyeliner and crop tops, the new wave of breaking gender norms has come. Although TikTok’s men in skirt concept usually consists of softer, more colorful vibes, Tomorrow x Together’s Soobin proves that skirts can also add an edgier look.






via Segye

6. Denim-on-Denim- despite the controversiality around denim on denim, Twice pulled this look off during their “Can’t Stop Me” era, no doubt. Balancing the silhouettes was a crucial aspect in ensuring that the idol wouldn’t be drowned in heavy fabric, but Twice’s stylist did just that.





via Studio Choom

7. Clueless- Korean idols have always worn the classic 교복, or school uniform, but recently groups like Twice and yyxy, a subgroup of Loona, have brought an alternate look, owning Clueless inspired concepts. The change to American school uniform style also allows for bolder, more colorful looks. When are we going to see Grimes in yyxy’s uniform?






via JYP Entertainment







via MCountdown

8. Bustiers and corsets- in the same way that American teens are currently on their corset craze, Blackpink’s Jisoo wore this simple but edgy outfit during her Lovesick Girls era. This is one of my favorite trends because I feel like a lot of teens now are also participating in this trend (especially with the comeback of Depop). Also, this trend also is prevalent in a lot more casual concepts, which is perfect to base your next outfit on.






via 예농 연구소

9. Chanel-esque – To add on to the recent vintage trend, Gfriend and Blackpink’s Jennie wore very different but equally luxurious outfits; Gfriend’s accessories and matching heels added a very classic aspect to their stage look (even though dancing in heels is definitely a lot harder), whereas Blackpink Jennie’s bold red lip and matching red nails matched a bolder concept.






via GFriend Official







via Bazaar Magazine