Jung II-woo in Traditional Korean Clothing.

February 2018

Or…what is that is he wearing?

One of the things in this great drama of the The Moon that Embraces the Sun that really impressed me was their traditional clothing.  It was my first Sageuk, and I was mesmerized by the fabrics, their colors and of course the accessories!  And as I am as ever curious, I decided to find out a bit more about them.

So… this is a special post about the traditional clothing that Jung II-woo wears in this drama and other Sageuk dramas he has done like “The Return of Iljimae.”

The traditional garment worn by both men and women is the “Hanbok.” It has nomadic roots in northern Asia and was established during the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BCE- 668 CE). Its basic design has remained the same to this day! Its features consist of: a jeogori (저고리) the jacket, baji (바지) the pants and the chima (치마) skirt.    However there are differences between the women’s and the men’s.

For men the Hanbok consists of two main parts: a jeogori (저고리): a long blouse-like top and a baji (바지), a type of traditional Korean pants. (baji (바지) is still pants in Korean.) Depending on what your status was in society, you got to wear your Hanbok made with different materials and colors.  The kings, queens, crown princes, high-ranking court officials and ladies, and upper class people wore expensive materials such as silk and satin with bright colors like blue, red, green, and yellow. The middle-class and lower-class people always used fabric made from ramie, hemp, and cotton with light earth colors, for instance, brown, light blue, and green.  These fabrics tended to last longer and withstand hard labor and did not require such high care.

Here is Jung II-woo wearing different Hanboks:

JIW Prince Hanbok.jpg

JIW Hanbok Nobleman.jpg

This is a closer look at his head wear.  The men basically wore their hair only in two styles, in a bun called the “sangtu” (상투)  or loose, sometimes tied into pony tails.

JIW Hear Wear.jpg

JIW Hanbok Peasant.jpg

JIW Traditional Korean hats.jpg

For women, the Hanbok has the jeogori (저고리)the blouse-like top part but much shorter, and a chima (치마)a long skirt. (chima (치마) is still skirt in Korean today.)  Some women also wore baji (바지) pants under their skirts.

JIW Gisaeng Hanbok

Isn’t she lovely!   Here are a couple of more diagrams:

Women's Hanbok .jpg



Men's Hanbok.jpg

Most of the time, men wear another layer of clothing on top of them, which is generally  known as durumagi (두루마기), or an overcoat.  But there are other options for upper classmen:

Robes Joseon Period.jpg

Here are two great websites that will help you know the names of their items and many styles of traditional Korean clothing…  there is a lot!

The Talking Cupboard


and I thought this was really sweet:

The Story of Hanbok

Shall we see Jung II-woo in traditional Korean clothing one more time?  Please!!!  (Some of these I found after the Episode Postings.  Never too late right?)

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By the way if you have ever wondered about “Sageuks,” or Historical Dramas,  THIS is a well written article that covers some of the different kinds there are… and how much Korean historians dislike them as they distort the real history of Korea.   Ha…seriously?  Isn’t history always distorted anyways?  I can tell you the history I was taught in Venezuela, is different to the history I learned in the USA, and I bet you if I went to South Korea, I would learn a different “history” there too.  Then according to what country has more power, the USA historians in this case, would probably think the history taught in Venezuela and South Korea is distorted!

Never you mind…  what a mess!   How about some “herstory” for a serious distortion!!!  Yeah…that would really make history!  Ha!  … I’m laughing this hard now:

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This is why it’s good to travel, and read books from different countries and different perspectives including women’s, to get a more “worldly” understanding of human history, not just the one men in power in your country want you to believe!