7 Outfits From K-Dramas To Work Into Your Work Wardrobe

At the end of a long, tiring day at work with zero capacity for human interaction, taking a moment during your commute home to settle back and tune in to an episode of the K-drama you’ve been binging can offer much respite. But beyond the sweetness, humor, and sheer entertainment they bring, these dramas can also be a good sounding board for us working ladies on how to put our best outfits forward in the dizzying complexities of corporate life.

If you’re work-weary and sick of the same old office uniform, here’s showing you how to freshen things (and your 9-to-5 life) up, K-drama style!

Sparkles that spark conversations

Yes, we are serious. And no, we are not suggesting you trade your day job to be a part-time mermaid. Sequins and sparkles in general (in flashy colors, no less) might seem like the antithesis to what comprises conventional and “safe” work attire.

But when used selectively and in moderation, these fun little details attract attention and spark conversations like nothing else! When done right, sequin-embellished items can be a great way of slipping in light touches of shine and glamor without crossing into disco ball territory.

Ever the stylish and slick lawyer, Eulji Hae Yi (Kim Hee Sun) from “Room No. 9” wears hers in the form of a midi skirt (extra length for extra professionalism!) that she pairs with a blouse and heels in neutral tones. Topped off with an elegant string of pearls, her outfit is sure to be a (court) scene-stealer.

See more of Eulji Hae Yi’s outfits in “Room No. 9”: 

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Power dresses to power you up

It might have been the domain of menswear, but these days, tuxedos styled for the feminine form are looking just as, if not more, sophisticated. Refined and chic, tuxedo dresses usually showcase a teasing V-neckline and cinches in at the waist to create an ever-so-subtle hourglass effect.

Yet another feisty lawyer, Ha Jae Yi (Seo Ye Ji) from “Lawless Lawyer” shows us how to nail down power dressing (and criminals!) with her white, double-breasted tuxedo dress. Choosing to keep it clean-cut, she foregoes statement jewelery and accessories in favor of keeping the attention on her masterpiece of an outfit. Well-played, Ha Jae Yi!

See more of Ha Jae Yi’s outfits in “Lawless Lawyer”:

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Get your life in order with co-ords

Have you ever had one of those moments where you open your wardrobe, scour around, and momentarily collapse in despair from not knowing what to wear? Well, a quick fix is within grasp!

Twinning like with like can be a handy cheat to appearing put-together without having you pull your hair out over how to make A match with B seamlessly. Not to mention, co-ords are a great investment, as you have the option of wearing them in a set or separately.

When you’re busy flitting about town gathering the scoop of the day, time is of the essence, and Hong Joo (Suzy) from “While You Were Sleeping” beats the pack to the punch with her efficient, yet chic choice of a checkered co-ord. “Room No. 9’s” Eulji Hae Yi too puts her own spin to the classic coordinated set with gradated blue lace-trimmed details.

See more of Hong Joo’s outfits in “While You Were Sleeping”:

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Go retro because old is gold

If you’re an old soul at heart, you’re going to love this. While it may not have incited the same rumbles as the Roaring Twenties, we think style from the ’50s just has that certain je ne sais quoi that we can’t help but reminisce over.

Chunky belts, polka dots, and elegant midi lengths are all hallmarks of the ’50s a vintage rose would flaunt. And Park Hae Ran (Jo Mi Ryung) from “Hide and Seek” clearly doesn’t disappoint. She skillfully breaks out all three for a cool retro throwback that dodges the line of datedness with the use of more compressed prints and tapered sleeves.

See more of Park Hae Ran’s outfits in “Hide and Seek”:

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Switch colors up for a change

White tops and black slacks might as well be written into the DNA of working folks with how indispensable they have become. No doubt, white-on-black wears well, is a classic, and well, you just can’t go wrong with it. But if you’ve wondered about how to stray from this tried and true formula and are ready to test the waters, here’s a good baby step for you to take.

Simply switch up your typical color palette! Black-on-white creates an interesting juxtaposition that instantly draws the eye without being flamboyant. Here, Yoo Jin Kang (Jung So Min) from “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” exudes casual chic with her clever color reversal.

See more of Yoo Jin Kang’s outfits in “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes”:

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Leave your imprint with prints

So we just talked about baby steps, yeah? But for you daredevils out there who are amped for a fashion freefall, we’re here for you, harness and all!

Take a leaf out of brash secretary Bong Se Ra’s (Hwang Bo Ra) book and swatch prints around for a fun and vibrant take on corporate wear. Her outfits are as colorful as her personality, and we are of the mind the “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” character has the most memorable togs of the popular drama.

See more of Bong Se Ra’s outfits in “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim”:

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A breath of fresh air

It’s high time those stuffy and buttoned-up-to-the-chin outfits get a revamp, and I, for one, am all for the barely-there trend of sheer blouses. They breathe new life into a perennial office staple by teasing just a sliver of skin without the threat of exposure.

While Kim Joon Ah (Kim Kyu Ri) from “About Time” strikes a commanding figure by layering over her sheer blouse, Kim Mi So (Park Min Young) from “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” chooses to keep it demure by layering up under it.

See more of Kim Joon Ah’s outfits in “About Time”:

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Hey Soompiers, what other tips do you have for curating your work wardrobe? Whether you’re a Secretary Kim or a Se Ra in style, we think everyone has some pointers to share!

Aetcult is your friendly K-beauty enthusiast who loves her tea on and off her face (no lie). In between bouts of tinkering with new beauty products, she will probably be writing about her finds, revising her Korean language coursework and jamming to the latest K-pop song. Say hi to Am on Tumblr

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