The most common refrain you’ll hear in fashion will forever be this: Trends always come back. What was hot years ago will eventually return to the forefront, spruced up to fit current times and modern sentiments. One of the biggest trends this year is arguably the vintage-inspired look – not just things from the past brought back to the present, but design elements that so tangibly bring back memories of old things, like a grandmother’s lace-edged clothes and the dark, toned-down hues of old clothes washed one too many times. Though vintage clothing by way of secondhand reselling and thrifting has also become popular again – and all the better for the environment! – the vintage-inspired look that has been gaining traction among the fashionable youth in Korea is one that is slightly kitschy, paired with all the design elements that remind you of the ‘good old days’; a time before we were even born. Think sentimental, dainty floral patterns, pastel colours and plenty of long, tiered dresses – this particular style, which I would personally describe as ‘dreamy feminine vintage’, combines elements of the cottagecore trend to provide a gentle, warm mood to any wearer. Perfect for a picnic in a park in the summertime and fresh-looking enough to navigate through the heat without looking withered or stuffy.
Though this particular style is a very specific variant of the overall ‘vintage’ trend that has been going around, it really does stand out to me as something different and fun to try. Here are a few Korean online shopping malls that I personally feel embody the style and mood the best.
Perpetually positioned as one of the top shopping malls for the ‘Vintage’ style on the shopping platform Zigzag, it isn’t hard to see why Femmemuse enjoys the popularity it does. The effortless, dreamy vibe of the products it offers, as well as the styling and model cuts supplied by the shopping mall itself is unique and unlike any other – anyone would want to embody that same vibe.
Supplying lots of delicate, feminine pieces like long-sleeved lace tops, scalloped-edged cardigans and floral dresses with long, tiered skirts, Femmemuse’s offerings always stand out as being unique amongst the market. Those who favor dressing in pastel colors will especially love this particular shopping mall, as a lot of their products are in lighter – albeit still colorful – colors, lending a subtle air of cheeriness to the wearer.
Femmemuse has their own line that they directly design and produce, called Femmemuse Rose, which features mismatched floral prints in both pale colors and shockingly bright ones, in flatteringly romantic cuts. Interestingly, Femmemuse also carries a line of actual vintage clothing that they source and select individually. Due to the characteristics of vintage clothing, there is often only one piece available in each design – if you see something you like, you had better grab it quickly.
Another well-loved shopping mall amongst young Korean teens, Acubi Club leans more towards the kitschy style. Though not without its fair share of destroyed knitwear and strappy lace tank tops, Acubi Club features a lot of black-and-white clothing, with a large portion of washed out band-tees perfect for casual wear and raggedy bottoms with lots of frays and rips. Perfectly straddling the line between adorable, girly, rough and quirky. It is no wonder their sales are always on the high end, with thousands of reviews on individual product listings.
The products they select are always a refreshing surprise – the curator of Acubi Club is always complimented on their keen eye for unique pieces that will catch the fancy of their target market, and they are one of the first places I look when I’m feeling adventurous and looking for something different and uncommon to try out.
Though maintaining their individual style and vibe well, Acubi Club carries a larger variety of clothing than you think they would – all beautiful and stylish, so I’d recommend it to anyone at all – they’re bound to find something they like there.
Run by fashion YouTuber Sinagi, who was one of the pioneers of this feminine, vintage style on the platform, Hippiedippy enjoyed immense success, probably thanks to the strong fashion sense its boss has. Featuring mostly monochromatic clothing, with the rare bright pop of color here and there, the overall style at Hippiedippy is one that is fuss-free and easy to wear. Favoring long, loose knit cardigans that can be worn with anything, kitschy graphic tees and slouchy pants, the relaxed silhouettes allow for easy movement, infecting the wearer with a laidback vibe that is becoming and coveted.
Hippiedippy isn’t without its feminine side; you’ll find a range of long, loose dresses in their catalogue, made up with a number of different patterns and prints. Often paired with bohemian elements like faded brown studded belts and tall cowboy boots, Hippiedippy’s style is as unique as Sinagi’s is, and is the perfect way for anyone to emulate the style that had been long coveted by many during her YouTube days.
The website is based on the Naver platform and has no presence on apps like Zigzag or Ably – its popularity regardless of that is really testament to its success with its customer base.