Monday, February 27, 2012

Kicks in Korea

There is something distinctly different about the fashion found in South Korea versus that found in Japan. Some of the most noticeable is a more North Face or other typically "outdoors" jackets, less layers of makeup on girls, and more baseball hats on guys.

Another: the sneakers.

In Japan, guys don't really care too much about shoes. This is a culture where wearing a suit is key for work as well as social functions. Yet, men will wear sneakers, crocs, and other non-dress shoes while in a suit and tie. (This happens more often than not when you need dress shoes for outside, but you need to change into indoor shoes for school or some other institutions.) So in informal settings, shoes don't matter--any sneakers will do.

Women in Japan wear heels (let's say, as a made up statistic, 90% of the time). That's it. As a man, it makes me spoiled--in the US, heels are reserved for special occasions, so seeing women wearing heels all the time is a huge plus. As a woman, though, it must be terrible on your feet day in and day out, even in casual settings.

This is where Korea is different for both sexes. Men and women both dress to impress, but also for comfort. There's a weird take on American fashion that goes on with all the puffy jackets and rain gear. But with shoes, they get it right. Everyone wears sneakers. All the popular brands are represented--Nike, Adidas, Converse, Vans, as well as much more expensive names. Sizes, shapes, styles, and even colors are so much more diverse than the usual black and brown in Japan.

I'm not even into shoes. But after a few wins on roulette at Seven Luck Casino...

Only 2 are mine, I swear.

In 2 days, the 3 of us bought 7 new pairs of shoes... just doing it like the locals.