“Trust me, Ashley, you’ll understand what pretty clothes are once you go to Korea,” my mom would say with a sly smile. Then she would proceed to describe the night market and all the lovely clothes on sale. But I always brushed her off; come on, how much of a difference can there be?
The style is slightly different and the material is lighter, made to suit the intense Korean summers. Things are generally more modest and my goodness, everything was just so cute!-
Ahem. But beyond the clothes themselves, check out the actual market!-
I don’t know if the pictures make it clear enough, but it was cramped, bright, and overwhelming. And trust me, it was super easy to get lost.
The way it worked in this particular market was that there were stalls and usually the person who ran the stalls contributed to the making of the clothes one way or another. Also, all the clothes were made in Korea (a fact that the people stressed a lot…). It was all independent little stores and made things more cozy. And the prices were great, too. Sometimes the owners would even lower the price for you, just because.
One thing that really threw me off, though, was that there is no dressing room.
Yeah, I know. My first thought was ‘Great, I’m never going to be able to buy anything here…’ (since, well, Koreans are generally very small and slim and I’m not exactly like that…) BUT WAIT! THERE’S HOPE! Introducing the ‘free size!’ Which, in other words, is like a medium or sometimes a large. Thankfully, the majority of clothes were free size.
And since the market had individual stalls, it wasn’t like a mall where there are different sizes for the same item of clothing. Everything is custom made with only one size. And from what I saw, the sizes range from non stretchy (which pretty much means you’re stuck with whatever size, usually tiny, the item is) to free size.
Another note: all the owners call the women 언니!!! which is the equivalent of saying ‘older sister’. It’s kind of startling seeing a person who is clearly older than you use the term for ‘older sister’ but it makes sense, in a way. It makes you feel a bit closer and not as intimidated.
And now the hours of the market. HOLY COW. Okay, so my mom and I got there at about 11-ish and stayed until 1:30. But the market runs until 5 am. FIVE A.M. WHAT. That’s crazy!- But the thing is, even as we were leaving the market, there were still lots of people. And even the restaurants and food stalls near the market were still up and running. Wow, talk about a nightlife!-
Okay, I think that my brain is about to retire for the night soon. It’s almost 3 am over here, after all. Good night! Or rather, good afternoon for my friends in North America~ 🙂