Seoul Dress Up: Essential Tips on Hiring Hanbok
If you are looking for a fun way to spend a morning or an afternoon in Seoul, I heartily recommend hiring a hanbok and playing some dress up with your friends or family. I have done it when I visited Seoul in May 2018 and I want to give you some helpful tips on how to make your experience even better.
1. Think about your colour palette
The variety of outfits that you can choose from is absolutely massive, so you will be lost for choice. Try to choose colours , which will look good in pictures and also think about your costumes complimenting each other, if you are hiring outfits with your friends or family. Girls, boys and dads can also dress up as there are outfits available for them too.
2. Check the weather and dress accordingly
If it is going to be hot during the day, it is better to hire in the morning before the temperatures climb so high, it will be unbearable to wear the costume. Majority of costumes are made entirely out of non-breathable synthetic material and you will also be wearing it on top of your normal clothes. It will get hot, believe me!
Either think about your outfit before you leave the hotel and wear something really light or bring a change of clothes with you to wear under the costume, as majority of hiring shops have the lockers, where you can leave your belongings.
3. Make friends with comfy shoes
Wear some comfortable shoes, as you can’t see them under the dress, but you are bound to walk some distances, even if it is from the hire shop to the place, where you want to take your pictures.
4. Do your research
There are a lot of hiring shops around the most popular areas in Seoul, like Gyeongbokgung Palace, Insandong, Bukchon Hanok Village. If you want to find the best deal price-wise you might want to browse around a little bit. I also think that it is cheaper to hire costumes at weekend, probably because they have more people wanting to do it, but the hire will generally vary from 5,000 Won to 15,000 Won for 2 hours and will depend on whether it is just the outfit or accessories included as well. Some places even offer to do your hair style and make up.
5. Choose a location
My advice would be to go to Gyeongbokgung Palace, as it offers free entrance to anyone who is wearing a costume and you will have the right background for your pictures all the time. Bukchon Hanok Village or Insandong will be a bit more challenging in terms of picture taking, as effectively it is residential areas full of cars, modern environments and plenty of people minding their own business. In the Palace, you don’t have these issues, as it is very big and there are so many different buildings and angles, that you are bound to find a spot, where there will be no-one else around, and look authentic in your pictures with such royal background.
6. Ask for help or bring a selfie stick!
Don’t be shy to copy pictures, if you see that someone is making a particularly good shot, just wait for them to finish and do exactly the same. If you are on your own, don’t be shy asking other people taking pictures of you or posing with other people, everyone is really friendly and will gladly help with your requests. We have asked passers-by a few times to take our pictures and were extremely happy with the result.
Have fun and let me know where was your favourite place to wear traditional dress in Seoul!