Winter fashion forecast

Winter fashion forecast

For those rummaging through their closets for inspiration or hitting the shops for new bits of insulation against the chilly year’s end, The Korea Herald has pinpointed two fashion trends expected to prevail this winter.

Coats, large and lean

With Korea’s coming months forecast to be less frosty than winters past, retail brands are stocking up on lean coats instead of fluffy goose-down parkas, fashion industry insiders say.

Over the last few years, a growing number of Koreans have been wrapping themselves up in expensive, high-end padded jackets from brands like Moncler or Canada Goose, which boomed in popularity despite their hefty prices. This winter, however, will see the comeback of a variety of tailored coats — perhaps less snug, but arguably more stylish.

“Handmade coats with lightweight material, soft colors and lean textiles are grabbing attention over bulky, heavy outerwear this season, due to the warmer weather,” says head designer Kim Hyun-jung of contemporary clothing brand Kuho.

Two trends — slim and oversized silhouettes — will be dominating the coat scene in womenswear, says Kim.

Oversized coats — or coats whose shoulder lines droop down to the mid-upper arm area, making the coat seem larger and the wearer more petite — have been all the rage in Korean wardrobes in recent years due to their comfort and effortlessly chic outlines, according to fashion blogs.

While such boxy shapes are expected to continue in popularity, also rising are “longer and leaner” designs in coats, says researcher Park Min-sun of Samsung Fashion Research Institute.

This season’s knee-length coats from contemporary womenswear brand Kuho (Samsung C&T Fashion)

“Long and lean coats have risen as a new trend, because they make for a slim silhouette that is also feminine,” said Park. “Especially eye-catching are minimal designs, like collarless coats. We’re also seeing longer lengths that vary this season from knee- to ankle-length.”

Samsung C&T Fashion, which houses Kuho and a number of other retail brands, additionally pointed to “accentuated tailoring, like wide collars” in women’s coats this winter, according to a statement.

Further trending elements will include vividly colored fake fur, in line with the increased awareness of animal rights in Korea, and a reinterpretation of vintage designs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, the statement added.

As for colors, researcher Park pointed to “cognac, caramel shades that evoke nostalgia for the ‘70s” and “striking, luxurious deep Marsala wine color” as some of this season’s trendiest hues. On the other end of the spectrum, “pastels reminiscent of retro futurism and electric, vivid colors” will also be fashionable, she added.

Pants — wide and flaring for women, narrow and scrunched for men

In keeping with the circular nature of fashion, “culotte pants,” or baggy pants with wide, flaring ankles, will be a key item for stylish women this winter, according to local fashion house LF, previously known as LG Fashion.

“Wide-legged slouchy pants make for a new kind of trendy silhouette. They accentuate the waist and flare out at the legs,” the company said in a statement. “They’re a reinterpretation of the cropped, flared pants of the ‘70s.”

Meanwhile, in menswear, tapered pants — slim pants that grow increasingly narrower toward the ankles — will be carrying on the popularity of the ankle-revealing cropped pants that stormed the male fashion scene this past summer and spring.

But the most notable fad in men’s bottoms this season will be “jogger pants” — comfortable, functional pants with elastic bands at the ankle cuffs.

Wool jogger pants from Il Corso (Samsung C&T Fashion)

“This was brought on by the ‘athleisure’ trend that started in early 2015,” LF said, referring to fusion of athletic and leisure, or casual, attire.

Allowing for a wide range of activity while incorporating a variety of materials like wool, cotton and even leather, jogger pants have quickly stepped up as the epitome of style among the fashion-conscious, reports say.


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