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Outsiders Guide to Seoul


Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2013
Reaction score
I posted some threads looking for places to check out in Seoul, South Korea. Back stateside and thought I could add some stuff so if someone searches in the future. Feel free to add other experiences, etc.

Background: I went with a more unique situation, I'm Korean-adopted and this was my first time back. I have no Hangul skills and went solo. Went around the country but this will be more information on Seoul. I don't have the kind of cashflow to be dropping stuff on Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, etc. and was not really looking for that but wanted to find stuff that was being produced by more modern Korean-based labels (harder to find than one might think as the highly coveted stuff seems to be European/American labels).

Stores: Definitely saw a lot of Beanpole and ALand stores that seem to be the Jcrew/Gap equivalent for Korea.

I checked out Gagnam area which had some cool stuff but definitely was more out of the price range I was looking to drop on stuff. Some of the information out there was old as well. Ecru (https://www.instagram.com/ecru_official/?hl=en) has two stores in Gagnam, split by gender. The Ecru Outlet is actually in a separate area of Gagnam as well and kind of inconspicuous (you'll have to go down some stairs). Saw some cool stuff but nothing that jumped out but do seem to carry higher end stuff for good prices.

Other cool stores in the Gagnam area were Unipair and its sister discount store Unipair Trading Floor, located directly across the street on the second floor. Unipair is cool but deals mostly with Allen Edmonds, Alden, Carmina, Crockett and Jones, and John Lobb etc. Some unique collaboration items but all seemed more expensive than if shopping for those items in the US or Europe. The Unipair Trading Floor is cool and can offer heavy discounts from what I've seen, but they only had two pairs of shoes in a US size 9, not sure what the majority of sizes were. Might find some good deals on stuff there as I saw a lot of Allen Edmonds and Carmina around.

San Francisco Market was a cool store, again albeit sold mostly higher end streetwear brands but cool space.

I also checked out the Eastlogue store, smaller than I though but lots of cool outerwear pieces but saw prices that were higher than buying off online sites.

One place I wish I would have looked at was the Wooyoungmi store but didn't get around to it.

Places where I did spend money were at Vin Prime (thrift store chain that usually contains japanese brands along with the Burberry and Aquascutum trench coats). Usually not a thrift store person but ended up buying a decent cheap trench coat and was prompted to check them out due to most of clothes actually fitting me for a change. Other cool spots for shopping I found were Common Ground near Konkuk University. It's a shopping complex made out of old transoceanic shipping containers. Focuses on streetwear and more up-and-coming labels. Bought a pair of Lapiz+ sunglasses at a hefty discount ($200 regular) for like $47. Seemed to be a lot of other boutiques that were independent around that area as well. Other place I recommend is Pavement Store (https://pavement.co.kr/Store-2). Bought a leather jacket there, that seems to be of decent quality ($230; quality, if thick, leather/YKK zippers).

Other cool shop is north of the river, close to Gyeongbukgong Palace, is MSK Shop (http://mskshop.net/), also a part of "Good Night and Good Luck", part cafe part curated boutique focusing on Korean labels. Bought a Document shirt and an overcoat on sale. Owner was very nice and helpful and told me about Pavement store.

The Gentle Monster stores (Korean sunglass brand) are very worth checking out as each one is unique and kind of part retail space/part art installation. The prices do save you money as well from what I've seen in the US stores. I will say that the cheapest prices "might" be the duty free in Incheon airport but it seemed the prices were in line with what I saw at the flagship stores given the exchange rate and also at the larger Lotte/Hyundai/Shinsegae stores that offer Duty-Free refunds.

Random thoughts: Probably one of the nicer things (for me) shopping in the stores was being able to find off the rack clothes that fit well, especially sleeve length in outerwear. The smaller distribution in height also allows for finer measurement differences in sizes (example the trench coat I bought at Visvim is a size Large; I'm 5' 8" in the morning). Sunglasses for me are also a hard thing to find where I run into the "small nose bridge" issue and they slide down, making plastic frame sunglasses nearly impossible to find whereas the Gentle Monster ones all seemed to fit and the choice became more about preference.

So if you are on the shorter side, say 5' 9" and shorter, clothing is worth checking out if only because of the finer differences in sizing allows a better "off the rack" fit like sleeve length and overall coat length.









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