My lovely Instagram followers will know that I went on my adventures to Asia last month. I had such a fantastic time that I'm sharing my favourite moments with you. There was a lot to love so I'll be breaking it all down into tasty chunks. Look out for my post on Tokyo and another on my favourite eats.
Read Also: Fashion Lovers Guide To Tokyo
1. Matching Couples Everywhere
When in Seoul, single or not, prepare to have couple envy. Young couples really put the effort in when it comes to pulling together a great look. We are talking matching colour schemes, prints and even sneakers. Do I now want a hot Korean boyfriend to play dress up with? Yes. Yes I do.
2. Explore the Alleys in Insadong
I was staying walking distance from cool arts and crafts district Insadong. Exploring the alleys was one of my favourite things to do on the trip. While there was lots of cool jewellery and unique fashion to gawp at, I fell in love with the gorgeous pottery and traditional art supplies stores on every corner.
3. Masks on!
Serum soaked masks are a Korean beauty must have and half the reason for this trip was to get my hands on some. I was not disappointed. Every beauty store I went in to was mask central and I stocked up! I'll be dropping a beauty post on my favourite masks and brands.
4. Visit a Traditional Korean Spa
On the trip, I was lucky enough to visit a traditional Korean spa. Unlike our spas, which are all luxury and silence; this was a really social space where people come to unwind, have business meetings and even catch some zzz's. The spa we went to was fairly large with four heated rooms you could relax in. There was a cafe that sold traditional South Korean snacks and for all my natural ladies, a salon that specialised in henna treatments.
5. One Size Fits All
Obviously I did some shopping on my trip and the thing that caught me by surprise was how many stores stock one size fits all garments. After a lot of trying on, I realised I'm not about that life. Larger stores tend to offer at the very least Small, Medium and Large options.
6. A Little Something for Shorter Ladies
If you are petite like me, then you know the struggle of trying to find a decent pair of cropped trousers. In Seoul, I was about average height so I had lots to choose from in the right length but they were mostly one size fits all. Fitting my western waist and African arse into Korean sizes was a mission but I triumphed in the end. I found a pair I love from cool store A - it's a lot like Urban Outfitters but without the offensive shirts or ridiculous prices.
7. Stock up on Socks
We all know that it's all in the details. I couldn't help but notice the insane sock game of the Seoul fashion crowd so obviously I had to get involved. My friend and guide Yunjie took us to her favourite wholesale market where I stocked up on cool socks. Aside from the cool colours and prints, the quality is really good. M&S good but at Primark prices.
8. Visit a Wholesale Market
There are an amazing amount of wholesale markets in the Dongdaemun area in Seoul, making it a burgeoning fashion and jewellery designers dream. There are also open to the public making it great for your wallet. I picked up some great jewellery at massively discounted prices. Sterling silver ring for under £5 anyone?
9. Play Dress-Up at a Traditional Korean Costume Studio
I'm going to prefix this by saying this is something I would never have done if I knew what I was getting into before I did it. My friend Yunjie suggested we visit the studio one afternoon without giving us the full details. I assumed it was a 'look at the costume - learn the history - maybe put on a hat vibe' as opposed to the full blown top to toe makeover complete with a photography session in the 'selfie zone' (actual name) that it actually was.
At first we were a little uncomfortable and I was certain someone was going to scream 'CULTURAL APPROPRIATION' at any minute but once we got into the swing of things, it was so much fun. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time and I didn't want to take my Hanbok off in the end. So the lesson here is put your cool girl persona to one side and just have fun. This one isn't just for the ladies - we saw plenty of couples getting into the dress up fun as well.
10. Take Advantage of the Exchange Rate
This one is kind of a no brainer but you can get a lot more for your pound in Seoul. While I would highly recommend trying South Korean brands and picking up something you can't find at home, it also makes sense to pick up pieces from your favourite international brands at a discount. Those SuperGa's you've been lusting after are not only cheaper than at home but you also get a nice little tax refund as well.
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