Yes, I did it- spent yet another day in Myeongdong picking up some more “necessities.” As I’ve previously posted, the Korean fashion scene paints a picture for the commonly used phrase, “Beauty is pain.” I have to admit, I admire the high heel-clad women of all ages forever sporting the trendiest threads. The male perms are growing on me. I’m even beginning to appreciate the English shirts that make no sense whatsoever. There are three fashions, however, that I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand. The ever notorious mullet, which seems to be quite the fad these days, is the first. Sandals with socks is the second- enough said. While both of these are just plain wrong for obvious reasons, neither holds a candle to the interesting and very baffling third fashion.
This weekend I spent an hour or so in a local coffee shop, killing time by people watching. Not long after I sat down to enjoy my tea, a young couple walked in to place an order. The girl was dressed like most girls would be for a normal day: stripped polo shirt, skinny jeans, Converse sneakers, and a baseball cap. Usually, I would not be this observant of anyone’s outfit, but it seemed to catch my attention, as her boyfriend was dressed in the same attire, down to the exact wash of jeans and the USA rhinestoned emblem embroidered on the polos. He had one satchel across his shoulder and an exact replica held in his hand. He, like almost all other Korean boyfriends, was towing around his girlfriend’s purse. While I feel that the matchy–matchyness of this phenomenon is a bit sickening, I find myself optimistic to see in plain sight that chivalry is not dead… at least on this side of the world.
It seems a daily occurrence that I am able to spot at least one couple’s outfit. After a while, I began to wonder what these Korean girls do to have their boyfriends so whipped. I began to ask some of my Korean friends about this trend and if they have ever made their boyfriends wear matching clothes. I was surprised to learn that many times, the boys are the ones that suggest the couples’ outfits. Perhaps it’s about being romantic, but I feel that this is most likely their way of marking their territory.
To take things to an even bigger extreme, lingerie stores have bought into this cultural trend. I laughed when I saw matching negligees, more so because the males’ briefs look like something that would be available for purchase from Victoria’s Secret PINK line for women. Surely Korean boyfriends do not volunteer themselves for this, but it is apparently more common than one may think. I learned this first hand when I was walking around Seoul yesterday and spotted a Korean guy squatting in the street. Let’s just say I was not the only one getting a kick out of homeboy’s blue and white heart-patterned panties.
In a very nauseating way, the lengths that these young couples go to publicly show their love for one another is borderline cute. Still, I’m confident that there’s no way in hell any American boy would buy into any of this. Ever.