How to Tie a Korean Hanbok

By Dan Ketchum

Whether it's a feminine chogori and chima -- a short jacket and flowing skirt combo -- or a simpler masculine take with a jacket-like top and pants, the distinct sash-like bow lends an elegant touch to the traditional Korean hanbok. Often used in ceremonies such as weddings, the hanbok dwells just as deeply in custom as it does in style, and tradition dictates a particular method for tying the garment's bow. Getting just the right tie takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will master the move in just a few motions.

Mother and Daughter
credit: leesungjae/iStock/Getty Images
Fashion designers ranging from Dior to Armani take cues from the traditional hanbok.

Step 1

Begin with the two ribbons, or goreum, untied and hanging down. Cross the right ribbon over the left and then loop the left ribbon under the right, making a simple knot. Tighten the knot slightly, so that you have a bit of slack.

Step 2

Wrap the part of the ribbon that now hangs to the left of the knot around your left hand, holding your hand in front of your chest with your fingers pointed toward your right shoulder. This creates a loop around your hand.

Step 3

Grasp the other part of the ribbon by its center -- not its end -- so that it folds. Pull the folded edge of the ribbon through the loop. Remove your hand and tighten the loop by pulling on the folded edge. The final result resembles a half-tied bow tie, with the folded ribbon protruding from one side of the loop and two strands or ribbon flowing freely from the other side.