There’s nothing wrong with wearing hanbok as a foreigner. In fact, people have been doing it for many years.
When you’re wearing a hanbok, make sure to treat it with respect, don’t make it dirty, and keep it clean. That’s the best way to do this to appreciate the culture. If you treat everyone with respect, other people will do the same.
Every time I was in Korea and wore a hanbok myself as a foreigner, no one said anything. They all smiled at me, so as long as you don’t do anything bad that disrespects the culture, foreigners can wear it.
Where To Buy a Hanbok in Seoul?
There are many places in Seoul where you can rent a hanbok. I’ve been to many stores and have picked the three best rentals for a hanbok.
These store owners are very friendly and can speak English. There are also other stores that are great so, it depends on what kind of hanbok you want to wear.
Here are my 3 top picks for renting a hanbok.
Hanboknam Gyeongbokgung Hanbok Rental
This hanbok store has 2 floors, and the employees speak English, it’s really nice since there are lots of foreigners that want to wear a hanbok but can’t speak Korea. The service is top-notch, and they even give suggestions to assist you with the best hanbok.
What I really like about this store is that you can even choose accessories to wear. Even if you’re going in the winter, it’s warm inside, and they also offer hair flowers for you to wear. It’s by far one of the best hanbok stores in Seoul.
This store is often very busy, so I would highly recommend booking in advance. You can book it on their site here. This store has employees that can speak multiple languages like Chinese and English. There’s a huge assortment of different hanboks, and it’s pretty affordable.
What I really like about this store is that the employees genuinely want to help you find the best hanbok. Another plus is that there’s a discount on a 4-hour rental unlike some other stores this one offers discounts.
This is the best store if you’re looking to rent on a budget. You can check the store out here, and it’s around 30,000 won $27 for two hanboks. The employees speak English almost fluently, which is a huge plus.
They also speak other languages like Chinese and a bit of Japanese. What I really like about this store is that there are no people pushing you to rent. You can walk in and take your time finding the best hanbok that suits you.
How Much Does Renting a Hanbok Cost in Seoul?
The prices differ for each store, so we took the top 10 stores in Seoul and made a table for you. There are some stores that charge more while others charge less. It also depends on how long you’re going to rent the hanbok and which type of hanbok.
Here are the costs of renting a hanbok in Seoul.
|Hours||Price for Male Hanbok||Price for Female Hanbok|
|1||4,000 won (3,50 usd)||4,500 won (4 usd)|
|2||7,000 won (6,50 usd)||8,000 won (7 usd)|
|4||13,000 won (12 usd)||15,000 won (13 usd)|
|8||20,000 won (18 usd)||25,000 won (22 usd)|
|24||25,000 won (22 usd)||30,000 won (27 usd)|
Is Wearing a Hanbok Cultural Appropriation?
No, it’s not many foreigners wear a hanbok in Korea. It’s been a very hot tourist attraction for many years. Thousands of foreigners like visiting Korea and experiencing the culture by wearing hanbok while sightseeing. I’ve been to Korea many times, and locals love seeing foreigners wear a hanbok.
The best part is when they want to take a picture with you. There are many locals walking around, especially during the summer it’s a very hot tourist attraction. Even locals go there and wear hanboks, so it’s definitely not cultural appropriation.
Korean culture has changed a lot through the years, and it has started becoming normal that foreigners visit Korea. Back in the days, it wasn’t like that. When foreigners visited Korea and walked around in local neighborhoods, people would look weird at you.
That’s not the case anymore, and the people have grown. It’s just a matter of time before Seoul becomes a city where you see foreigners everywhere.
Would Koreans feel offended if a non-Korean wore a Hanbok?
No, as we said before, many foreigners wear a hanbok. It doesn’t matter where you’re originally from since there are thousands of people wearing a hanbok. It has become part of Seoul, where stores rent out hanboks every day to foreigners.
If you look at some districts in Seoul, like the Gangnam districts, there are thousands of people wanting to rent a hanbok. The stores also keep growing, and every year people start new stores trying to rent out hanboks. The business model has grown through the years, more and more people are opening a store.
Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, you probably know that there are thousands of foreigners wearing a hanbok. Many people visit Seoul just to wear a hanbok, so it’s not weird seeing a foreigner wearing a hanbok.
There are many stores that sell hanboks in different styles, and some even offer accessories. The prices are very affordable, and we’ve added the three best stores above if you’ve never been to Korea before and haven’t worn a hanbok.
I highly recommend you to do so, it’s a great experience, and it’s very fun walking around in a hanbok. You’ll learn more about Korean culture, traditions, and more.