Retro lifestyle trend is now popular in Korean youth



It is reported that more than a fashion story, the retro lifestyle trend of Korean youth also reflects many social problems.

It is not only a sense of nostalgia but also the curiosity and longing for a slow life of teenagers born and growing up in an age of rapidly developing technology.

I. Korean youth is racing to wear ‘Grandma style’ clothes

Retro lifestyle trend is now popular in Korean youth

Korean youth is racing to wear ‘Grandma style’ clothes. / ph: instagram@moranmoran

Millennials are increasingly attracted to "‘Grandma style’", cherishing items associated with childhood and reminiscent of "beautiful old days".

"Halmennial", a new term that combines the expression of the word "grandma" in Korean with the Millennials, is becoming a hot keyword on social networks as Korean young people are attracted to the nostalgic lifestyle.  

 Searching for the phrase "Grandma food" in Korean brought up more than 24,000 Instagram posts with related content.

The dishes using black sesame, green tea leaves, wormwood, and the traditional recipes favored by the Korean elderly are now being adopted by many Korean young people.

There are also more than 2,800 posts about "Grandma looks" on Instagram relating to wearing cardigan sweaters and wrinkled long skirts that mothers and grandmothers used to wear before.

This style is quite similar to Granny - used to be a trendy fashion trend in the world.

 Millennials are increasingly attracted to the "Grandma style".  They are antiques enthusiasts and often talk about "beautiful old days" or old cartoon characters.

Experts say that the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent economic recession have caused a new trend to spread, affecting both the food and fashion of Korean youth.

 "The constant spread of Covid-19 is causing many 20-year-olds people to lose hope for their future prospects," said S.Yong-gu, a professor of business administration at Sookmyung Women's University.

 Millennials, afflicted by the harsh reality, are returning to old memories in search of comfort.

"This is also the reason why many companies are launching products to evoke nostalgia of consumers" Professor Seo said.

II. Korean Dad T-Shirts are best-selling items 

In fact, the retro craze of Korean youth has started to spread from 2018 to 2019.  However, in the context of a pandemic, this trend is even more popular and popular.

 The sense of nostalgia can be best felt at Dongmyo Market, one of the largest second-hand and flea markets in Seoul.

 On a Friday afternoon, Dongmyo was packed as many people flocked here to shop from vintage clothes to used household appliances and electrical appliances, some of which were old and broken.

 According to Mr. P. Choon-ha, owner of a clothing store in the market, the number of customers flocked here 9 times after Dongmyo was introduced in a number of popular TV shows.

"On weekends, guests can be 6 times more crowded than regular days" Mr. Park said.

 Dad T-Shirts, or oversize coats, which have a resemblance to the 80-90s of the last century, are the best-selling items at Mr. Park's boutique.

L.Ok-young, a 32-year-old housewife, recently bought some old items reminiscent of her childhood years, such as a table at her grandparents' home and widely used green plates.  in street food stalls in Korea.

 "We rarely go out these days due to the pandemic so I started buying antiques. They make us feel like we were in the old days, and the food looks better when it's presented on this items" said Lee.

III. Behind of the retro lifestyle storm

It is reported that more than a fashion story, the retro lifestyle trend of Korean youth also reflects many social problems.

It is not only a sense of nostalgia but also the curiosity and longing for a slow life of teenagers born and growing up in an age of rapidly developing technology.

 Cultural commentator J.Duk-hyun explains that the retro trend comes from the fatigue of young generations living in a world that develops too fast.

“This is one of the manifestations of resistance to the present, a digital age that is changing so rapidly.  Things are quickly forgotten and not too much value left behind” said Mr. J.Duk-hyun.

 But L.Hyang-eun, a professor in the department of engineering services and design at Sungshin Women's University, said: "The popularity of retro culture is partly due to the pandemic. Tough times seem to have made many people to buy items that are reminiscent of their good old days.

 "Many retro-related products are inexpensive and cost effective, which is why so many people easily use them during tough economic times in general."

Retro lifestyle trend is now popular in Korean youth

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