Traditional Costumes

In this page I want to introduce the different local costumes that I’ve tried on. I’ve always been crazy about anything traditional and local; Architecture, food, art, calligraphy…. I love it. My dream is to live in either a traditional Japanese house or an old European country house. And if I could I would wear Japanese kimonos, Dutch klederdracht or Korean hanboks everyday while practicing my Western and Eastern calligraphy and eating the best foods from all over the world prepared from home-grown produce in the garden of my vernacular house. But maybe I’m being a bit too romantic. So instead when I travel I try to go to a photo studio that specializes in make-overs and photoshoots with the local garments and delve into the traditional culture of clothing for a few hours. As this site grows and I continue my travels I want to expand this ‘Traditional Costume’ series and both provide historical and practical information about the local attires of different countries and show you what it looks like on me.

So without further ado, here are the local costumes that I’ve tried so far.

Japanese Maiko

The Maiko is a Geisha apprentice. She’s learning the art of entertaining (dance, music, tea ceremony and more) in order to become a professional geisha. The kimono, accessories and make-up are more colorful and cheerful than those of a Geisha. For more information about the Maiko and my experience of a Maiko make-over, please read my full post here.

Korean Queen

Rather than a full make-over, this was just the costume that I could try on. It was available for free at a festival near one of the Seoul palaces. Since it was free there was not much time to take photos, which is the downside of going for free costumes. It was interesting to get my hands on a Queen’s costume, which is something you won’t be able to find easily in one of the photo studios.

Korean Royal Hanbok

This is a Korean Hanbok, the traditional national costume of Korea. This colorful costume of rich materials was worn by royalty and aristocrats while the white cotton version of it was worn by the common folks. This gorgeous costume is available to rent for free at the Cultural Centre in Myeongdong. So this is not a make-over, but just the costume and head piece. Also, you have a time limit of 10 minutes, so if you are a fussy photographer like me you’ll be pressed for time.

Korean Royal Hanbok 2

For this costume I went to a photo studio with some friends. They provided us with the costume, did our hair (look at the cool decoration in my hair bun!) and touched up our make-up a little bit even though we didn’t pay for a make-up included package. We got to do one studio photo, which they sadly only provided in printed form, not in digital form, hence the bad quality. But they had gorgeous Korean backgrounds and decorations and we could take photos by ourselves with the costumes on for as long as we pleased.

Japanese Yukata

A Yukata is basically a summer kimono. As opposed to a kimono it’s got only one layer of clothing and is usually made of a lighter fabric (cotton) with summery patterns and colors. It’s worn during the hot summer months, when it’s time to visit firework displays, festivals and other fun activities where many people like to wear these Yukatas. Sadly I don’t have a proper photo of the Yukata I wore, but I’m very sure that will change next time I’ll be back in Japan!