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Korean-style Fashion In The Philippines

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Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. The Philippine Fashion Outside influences
  3. The Dawn of Korean Fashion Inspirations
  4. Korean Global Presence in the Philippines
  5. Positive Effect of Korean Fashion style in Philippines style of Designing
  6. The Invading Effect of Korean Style in the Philippine Fashion
  7. Summary and Conclusion
  8. List of References


The Filipino youth were aggressively affected in the advent of the Korean craze in the Philippines. Korean Culture's rising popularity worldwide is called Korean Wave. Outside Korea, the Korean popular culture that spread mainly by the use of mass media is now enjoying high popularity and this is how the Korean Wave occurs (Yu, 2008). The rising Korean sensation is also known as Hallyu, a Korean pronunciation of the Korean Wave defined by the Korean Tourism Organization (2004) as the resulting cultural phenomenon of South Korean pop culture that spreads all over the world (Kim & Ryoo, 2007). Korean Wave (Hallyu) includes Korean dramas, music (k-pop), movies, celebrities, mobile applications, food, appliances, cosmetics as well as fashion. This paper will not focus on the Korean Wave effect in the music, television drama preference of Filipino Youth, but will only be limited on fashion taste. To add more data and information, a survey was conducted, computed, analyzed and concluded.

As Filipinos have become so open to welcoming different culture, it has become easy for them to adapt and be influenced by various cultures. Since Korea has started its global emergence by spreading its culture, Philippines has been one which captured it. Thus it has led to the different effects and impacts in the fashion outlook of many Filipinos.

We need to look at clothes in the historical and social context in which it is made in order to understand fashion. We need to revisit our history in the Philippines, for example, to know how our clothes have evolved, or how clothes have changed society.

The Philippine Fashion Outside influences

The Tagalog men in Central Philippines wore baro, which is Barong Tagalog's predecessor, while women wore baro in matching colors at saya made of silk. The use of textiles had make marks on the social status of Filipinos. Women who are in the upper social class would wore silk while those in the lower class wore materials that is made with pounded white bark fibers.

Along 1970’s fashion has evolved. Bell bottoms remained a staple of fashion, usually in bright colors and scarves paired with polos. Women's short dresses were sequined. The laid back vibe of the era led to a more casual look's popularity. Bakya, a kind of footwear, and the denim - shirt ensemble became popular.

By the 21st centuries, different styles came up from different eras. The Filipinos were exposed to various fashion styles and brands in the advent of new technology and social media in 2010. There became more choices for the people as shopping malls and clothing apparel started dominating the market. Thus, the fashion sense of Filipino has varied. Social has become a platform for finding inspirations through Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and other social media contents.

The Dawn of Korean Fashion Inspirations

Filipinos are known to be highly adaptable when it comes to different race of people, their cultures and any situations. Filipinos are also easy to be influenced by certain culture of different country. Korean culture is one that Filipino people admired and being influenced by it. It all started in Korean music and the popular k-drama which some Filipinos are often to listen and watch. That sometimes this people tried to dress up like how their idolized actresses and singers do for their fashion style.

The influential movement of “Hallyu” has particularly begun since 2003. The rapid production of different telenovelas in the Philippines was the first success of Korean influence according to Dr. Crisanta Flores. As Philippine Television continues to adapt Koreanovelas, there is no doubt that it was gaining immense popularity among Filipinos. The Koreanovelas caught Filipinos' attention because in Philippine TV it brings something new and fresh. According to the term paper written by Ahmer Glenn M. Escobia and Johnson Dexter A. Esin entitled, “Korea’s Philippine Invasion”, the Korean fans among the Filipinos developed not only an interest in Koreanovelas or K-Pop music, but also a similarity to Korean fashion. This trend in Korean fashion exploded among students who love being hip and chic with the new. They may even look strange at times, as long as they tried to imitate Korean hair, style of clothing, and shoes.

Korean Global Presence in the Philippines

There seems to be no difficulty with Korean Hallyu entering the global arena. It can be said that it has a mark in the media blitz file and popular culture. The barely fact that it was so easy to be accepted by going after its technicalities, rapid production, plot, story and most importantly, the artists and their fashion and personality, then this phenomenon has already been welcomed.

While Korea is still regarded as an endeavoring country with the aim of lifting its unresisting beauty of heritage and the leaving history, time and revolution, it has already set its point to find its relevance and contribution to the global competitiveness.

Positive Effect of Korean Fashion style in Philippines style of Designing

Korean Fashion style has also positive effects in Philippine style in fashion. Filipinos tend to be more creative in choosing styles that are inspired by Koreans that helps them to improve their way of wearing clothes. According an article, that the rough and muscular image of boys became a glamorous and more feminine one and the girls they became much more fashionable in terms that they incorporate what they wear through their music (Paredes, 2017). Filipinos are more inspired in designing clothes that are colorful, looks presentable and classy. They tend to try something new and fashionable even designers in the Philippines are challenged in making more interesting fashion style. Korean style also challenges Filipinos in their creativity using their skills in making their clothes to go with the trend using old garments which is their way on being economical. (Camarillo, 2013). Also, some markets in the Philippines are having a good result of selling clothes that are inspired also of Korean style.

Korean fashion style was influenced by Filipinos in some other way, according to one or the related literature there are positive views Korean dramas influence Filipinos in Korean fashion style. It also shows a survey that despite if this positive influence some Filipino students said that they will conserve their culture, and they also thought that Korean style doesn’t suit them that much and to their culture. (kim & kim, 2015) . Filipinos used to a change in fashion style like in clothes or even hairstyle just to look like the Koreans and need not resort to wasting a lot of money just to attain the Korean look. This is also a negative effect to the Philippines; people don’t think about or it doesn’t matter how much money they spend just to have Korean style or clothes. (igno & Cenidoza, 2016). According to one Capelin not only fans of Koreans are being addicted to Korean fashion but also it extends to the Filipino people who are not fan.

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Based on the data gathered by Inquirer Research, Korean is the largest group of foreign that visited Philippines. According to a study by the market research firm, TNS Global, titled “Filipino Perception of Korea and the Koreans” they found out that Filipino culture were attracted in Korean culture out of three including United states and Japan. Korean Fashion has a big impact to Filipinos because according to the results Filipino always tend to find something new like the styles of Korean clothes, people aim to achieve Korean looks.

“Korea the Land of the Morning Calm, a country that is rich for culture and traditions, has a colorful history and rapid industrialization, has greatly affected the next generation of ours and will still continue to influence us in the long run, whether if it’s for good or bad the fact that the Korean culture has done a great job on giving new colors to our culture and traditions, that will be written accordingly in our history books.” (Yap, 2011)

According to a blog by Heraposh, an individual is not necessary to become a kpop fan to follow through the Korean fashion trend. It was stated in the blog that the versatility offered by Korean style is what captured the taste of Filipinos. It caters a wide range of kinds of tops, bottoms, dresses, accessories, shoes and bags. Whatever your profession or style preference is, Korean trendy clothes is free-spirited and has an on-the-go attitude which is an easy strut.

The Invading Effect of Korean Style in the Philippine Fashion

In the context of a research paper “What is Culture” by Helen Spencer-Oatey, Culture is that one thing that creates a distinctive characteristic from the rest in the world. Filipinos are known by their colorful and lively culture. This includes traditions, language, arts, music, and so on. Most provinces also have their own identification of folk dances in which they exhibit the elegance and beauty of how they do things, how they dress, how they see things in different ways.

However, based on an article published by SunStar Philippines on May 17, 2016, the traditional textile industry in the Philippines has struggled. It was a thriving industry before, but now it's barely keeping it afloat. What has become a declining economic activity once a flourishing industry, whose cultural traditions seem to have faded.

Due to the attitude of the Filipinos that is easily influenced by foreign marketing, the Korean Culture products have a negative effect on the entertainment industry in the Philippines since it is a threat to local entertainment and to the Filipino identity in their own cultural products.

A research paper by Merry Yrawda, “The Effects of Korean Fashion to the Filipino Youth”, aims to determine the fashion preference of youth particularly in the latest fashion trends; to assess how “Hallyu” has affected the taste of Filipino youth based on their culture; to understand the negative effects of the culture from South-Korea to the youth by the exportation of culture in the Philippines. Based on the results of the research, the mean presented a perfect 5.00 as a response from the youth who chose to run the Filipino culture in their style. On the other hand, a mean of 1 came from the response of being ashamed of the Filipino Fashion style, to resort [image: ]on dressing up like Koreans.

An archive from a blog entitled, “The Influence of Korean Wave to the Filipino Youth” also aimed to assess the preference of the Filipino Youth in terms of Korean influence on music, movies and fashion as well. Moreover, they have also covered the effect of Korean influence in the taste of Filipinos to their culture.

Upon their research, they have stated that the present generation is far different from before because they are easier to adapt with the new trends and culture. They are highly influenced by being exposed to various kinds of music, television and their fashion taste. The youth have found more interest and excitement on the Korean stuffs. Moreover, they have also observed the dominance of Korean style in malls, schools, recreational places, parks and tourist spots. According to them, this information were gathered from the outlook of the students in Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology toward Korean Wave.

Most of the respondents of A35 fan of k-style or not, 34 out of 40 are using the Korean style as their fashion preference and all the 19 girls in respondent answer yes while the remaining 15 that answered yes was boys. 31 out of 40 students in this section are comfortable in using Korean clothes. 27 out of 40 respondents answered yes that K-pop and k-dramas changed their way of wearing clothes, that means the some of the student who says no are just using k-style as their preference and not being influence by k-dramas or K-pop sings. 34 respondents answered yes that they were inspired in Koreans way of wearing clothes and just 6 of them are not inspired by it. 27 out of 40 students answered yes that they considered Korean fashion more than the usual way of wearing clothes in the Philippines. 40 or majority of the respondents said that Philippines should have more Korean markets. 24 answered yes that they spend a lot of money buying Korean clothes and the remaining 16 answered no. Majority of the class are buying Korean brands than the local brands 30 answered yes they do and the remaining 10 answered no.

Summary and Conclusion

For the past few years Korean culture was dominated the Philippines entertainment scenes, like the K-pop, K-drama and even the K-style. Students and even old ones are interested in Korean styles. Koreans inspire Filipinos to try something new with their style or the way they wear clothes. Based on the data gathered researchers can say that Korean Fashion Style has an immense impact in the Philippine, both positive and negative impact. While Filipinos are having more attention in Korean novels every time, they are adapting it and unconsciously doing things like they are seeing in Korean novels like the way they wear clothes. The outcome to the Filipino that is influenced by Koreans style they started making groups and dressing up like a real K-pop groups. This kind of situation that Philippines tried to adopt in Koreans have also negative impact in the country, based on the articles that we gathered most of the results of having Korean clothes or Korean fashion style in the Philippines has an impact in culture. Philippine culture is slowly fading away and Korean invasion was spreading in the country. Even Filipino are buying clothes from foreign brands more than in local brands that’s why Korean culture product has also negative impact to our local brands markets. Filipino are starting to forget the culture that they have, they do appreciate more the style and fashion of Koreans.

But if there are negative impacts there are also positive effect of Korean invasion in the country. For most of Filipino designer they are more inspired on designing clothes with more creative and beautiful colours of apparels. Filipinos who are selling Korean style clothes are also having large income in their stores. Base on the data gathered of the researcher’s majority of the 40 students are making Korean style as their preference in wearing clothes that also cause them to spend a lot of money just to buy Korean clothes. It also shows negative impact because most of them choose to buy foreign or Korean clothes than the local brands. Filipino can do whatever they want when it comes to the things they inspire, but to forget Filipino culture has a big difference.

List of References

  1. Santamaria, Carlos (2012). Korean 'Hallyu' and the Pinoy invasion. Retrieved from
  2. Yrawda, Merry Kay (2013). The Effects of Korean Fashion to the Filipino Youth. Laoag City, Philippines.
  3. Escobia M., Esin, J. (2013). Korea’s Philippine Invasion. Retrieved from
  4. The Influence of Korean Wave to the Filipino Youth (2013). Filipino Youth's preference for Korean Wave in the latest fashion. Retrieved from
  5. Korean Fashion: Why Is It Popular In The Philippines? (2018). Prevalent presence of korean fashion in the Philippines. Retrieved from
  6. Camarillo, g. (2013, March). Retrieved from, & Cenidoza. (2016). Beyond the “Fad”: Understanding Hallyu in the. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 725.
  8. Paredes, M. G. (2017, september 30). Retrieved from
  9. Yap, D. (2011, december 12). Retrieved from
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Korean-style Fashion In The Philippines. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
“Korean-style Fashion In The Philippines.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
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