What to Wear in South Korea

At the Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul, in June

At the Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul, in June

Tongyeong, in July

Tongyeong, in July

Beach at Busan, August

Beach at Busan, August

Seoul in August

Seoul in August

Seoul, August

Seoul, August

Namdaemun Market, Seoul in September

Namdaemun Market, Seoul in September

On the beach at Jeju Island, September

On the beach at Jeju Island, September

Myeong-dong, September

Myeong-dong, September

Seoul in September

Seoul in September

Watching Korean dancing, September

Watching Korean dancing, September

Shopping in Myeong-dong, October

Shopping in Myeong-dong, October

Strolling beneath the Gingko trees in Seoul, November

Strolling beneath the Gingko trees in Seoul, November

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I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnHoliday.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Packing Tips

  • It's hot in summer, so our advice is to pack lightweight, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics such as linen, silk and cotton that will keep you cool and are easy to wash and dry.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), a sunhat and sunglasses - but note that wearing sunglasses whilst speaking to people is regarded as rude, so ensure you take them off.
  • Pack comfortable shoes that slip off easily but also look good (try Hotter shoes, they provide total comfort and look great too).
  • In restaurants with floor-style seating you will need to remove your shoes and leave them by the door - and ladies, opt for a long loose skirt or pants for modesty.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Seoul is a cosmopolitan city and the women love to dress up. They are very well-groomed, so join in and feel at home.
  • However, be aware that it is also a conservative country so avoid showing cleavage, keep shoulders covered and if you have a short skirt do as the local women do and take a pashmina or wrap to cover your knees when you are sitting.
  • Heels are really popular here but if you take flat shoes go for pretty, dressy ones. We love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.
  • On the beach local women wear shorts and t-shirts rather than swimwear. Unless you are in a tourist beach area, we advise that you avoid a bikini in favor of a one-piece suit and a sarong.
  • A skirt or loose-fitting pants are good in the heat and will protect you from the sun.
  • If you are here on business go for skirt-suits (not too short) with heels.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • For versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • If you in Korea on business then suits, shirts and ties are the appropriate attire.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • The weather in spring (March, April and May), and Fall (September, October and November) is cooler, so long-sleeved shirts, pants and a sweater or jacket will work well.
  • In summer (June, July, August) it is hot, humid and wet - so natural fabrics work well.
  • December, January and February are very cold so pack your coat, a scarf and gloves, and remember it snows at higher altitudes too.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Other Things To Pack

  • Tap water is considered safe to drink, but if you prefer to buy bottled consider taking a Go! Filtered Water Bottle instead - you can fill up from any source for clean, safe water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized.
  • And take a comfy shoulder bag or day sack to carry your sightseeing essentials.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! You'll see all sorts of cute and quirky items, but if that's not your thing look for Korean metal chopsticks or long-stemmed metal spoons.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (220V).

Last updated 21 September 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnHoliday.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.