Arguably one of the biggest Korean fashion trends of 2021, the bolero cardigan looks like it is gaining even more traction in 2022. Despite still being a hot and humid summer, the trendy twenties of Hongdae can still be found strutting the streets in their bolero cardigans. Undoubtedly, this will be the biggest Korean fashion trend of Fall 2022!
An Introduction to Korean Bolero Cardigans
With many brands releasing lighter renditions of their Fall/Winter bestselling styles for a lighter, more appropriate piece to keep the heat away bolero cardigans can be found all over the streets of Seoul, even in summer.
Bolero cardigans are inspired by the chaquetilla. Or, the short outer jacket worn by matadors in Spanish bullfighting. The bolero silhouette is a short jacket that lacks the front panels seen in normal jackets and cardigans. Instead, bolero cardigans have the fabric frame the shoulders and fall sharply down the sides, connecting to the back panel.
The bolero is well-loved in the warmer months for being able to show off short-sleeved and strappy tops while still covering up excess skin. In the upcoming colder months, it is expected to serve a different purpose. It will act as a seamless, undetectable extra layer for added warmth under coats and jackets. The versatility of this particular piece is, in part, responsible for its massive popularity this year and last. It was certainly one of the most common pieces seen on the streets of Korea last year.
Here are some of the standout pieces released by Korean designer brands this season.
A relatively new brand, Yuse first came to public attention last winter with their rendition of the bolero. Yuse deviates from the classic bolero silhouette. Their brand creates a piece that connects all the way in the front and acts like a cutout knit instead of a jacket-like piece. This reduces the discomfort some may feel from the typical bolero’s tendency to slip off the wearer’s shoulders. The brand also brought its collection one step further by releasing a multitude of patterned tube tops that are perfect when worn beneath the boleros. The contrast between the one-color bolero cardigans and the colorful tube tops underneath makes for the perfect no-brainer outfit.
This season, Yuse has released a line of lightweight balero cardigans that can easily be worn as a protective layer during the summer. Additionally, they are expected to restock their most popular bolero knit sweaters as the weather cools.
Brand-of-the-moment TheOpen Product is partly responsible for bringing the bolero style to the masses. Their wildly popular knit bolero pieces have been re-released for the third season in a row now.
The thick Cable Knit pieces, with their uneven, raw hems have enjoyed much love from consumers who consider it one of the most classic renditions of the trend. This is because it stands out as one of the products that people go to first when intending to bring a bolero piece home.
Riding off the success of their initial bolero piece, TheOpen Product has released alternative renditions perfect for those who enjoy wearing unique pieces.
The Bolero-style Short Jacket is made from a stiffer, thicker fabric that hangs sharply across the shoulders in contrast to the soft slouchiness of the original Cable Knit Boleros. It is a good choice for those who have to dress more formally, and pairs well with office wear.
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