The sun is high, the humidity is becoming unbearable, and you can hear new energetic K-pop bops that make everything brighter. Make no mistake — summer is here and there’s no escaping it. The season gives us inviting images of the beach and fun under the sun, but it also comes with the inevitable task of trying to look fresh and un-frazzled despite the sweltering heat. We drew fashion inspiration from past and present summer K-pop hits that will help you look cool and endure the heat in style:
Make a tropical statement in big, handmade earrings
“Dance the Night Away” – TWICE
TWICE always comes out with vitamin-like releases that give energy and positivity to listeners, and they’ve done it again with “Dance the Night Away.” You won’t be able to stop yourself from dancing along this catchy track, but there’s another thing that’s noticeable in their new MV: each member is wearing unique earrings that add more fun to their summer looks. Handmade tassel, fringed, floral earrings shake with their every move and make the perfect finishing touch to their bright outfits.
Explore the seas in nautical style
The Nautical trend isn’t anything new, but in K-pop, there’s a variety of styling tricks that keep this classic style exciting. It can either go two ways: literal or subtle. But the formula is pretty simple, all you need is navy, white, and a stripe.
“Wag-Zak” – Lovelyz
Aside from navy-inspired styles, Lovelyz also looked adorable in tropical printed dresses and pieces.
“Summer Dream” – ELRIS
ELRIS went all out with their nautical uniforms in light blue color and different cuts.
“Red Flavor” – Red Velvet
Who can forget “Red Flavor” as one of those songs that can make anyone happy? Red Velvet kept their nautical uniforms in the MV and in their live stage performances, simple, classy, and with a touch of sassiness.
“Island” – WINNER
WINNER delivered a chill sound that would make anyone want to lounge under the sun and dip their toes in the sand with the song aptly titled “Island.” They went the subtle route with variations of blue and stripes.
Beat the heat in retro boho fashion
Retro styles are all about bright colors, mismatched pieces, and statement-making proportions (like bell-bottoms), while boho consists of flowy outfits that are just the right amount of sexy.
“Why So Lonely” – Wonder Girls
When Wonder Girls came out with a smooth reggae-infused song, their style was just as cool with a combination of colors that look cohesive when they’re together.
“Red Moon” and “Starry Night” – MAMAMOO
Girl crush MAMAMOO rocked summer with light fabrics, maxi dresses, jean shorts, and earthy tone prints in “Starry Night,” while in their photo teaser for their summer comeback, it looks like they’re mixing both retro and boho styles.
Make a splash in Hawaiian shirts and tie-dye
Hawaiian shirts may be a bit touristy and costume-y at times (which may also remind you of your happy-go-lucky uncle) but these summer staple prints are made more contemporary by K-pop heartthrobs EXO and BTS. They all made these tropical shirts look effortlessly cool.
“Kokobop” – EXO
“Fire” – BTS
Look fresh in pristine white
As always, you can never go wrong with white no matter what the season. For the ladies, off-shoulder and short dresses make an easy choice to ward off the heat while for men, the classic white long-sleeved polo will always be on point.
“Hola Hola” – KARD
“Babe” – HyunA
Feel the wind in light and sheer coverups
A light coverup is one of the most versatile items this summer because you can either wear it over your swimsuit or over a shirt, jean shorts, or pants. Chungha looked chic and comfortable in different coverup styles that are hip and music festival ready.
“Why Don’t You Know” – Chungha
Look cool in oversized and unique sunnies
Taeyeon looked cute, stylish, cool and a little bit of everything in trendy sunglasses she wore for her “Why” video. She was ready to hit the inflatable pool (with bubbles), desert, and the streets while looking pretty and fresh with sunnies complementing her outfits.
“Why” – Taeyeon
Go on a getaway with your BFF in twinning outfits
Summer is all about frolicking under the sun and traveling, so why not take your BFF with you on your adventures? Be Instagram-ready with twinning outfits like Bolbbalgan4, the two cuties who came out with the “Travel” song that will inspire your wanderlust, or like the epic duet of Seulgi and Moonbyul that came with equally amazing matching outfits.
“Travel” – Bolbbalgan4
“Selfish” – Seulgi and Moonbyul
Show some skin in short shorts
We miss SISTAR, the queens of summer songs, especially during this season, but it’s still great to look back on their sexy styles, catchy dance steps, and upbeat songs. They also made high-waisted shorts one of their signature looks.
“I Swear” and “Touch My Body” – SISTAR
Enjoy the waters in colorful swimwear
Make a stark and stylish contrast with the backdrop of blue waters with colorful swimwear like Girl’s Generation in “Party.” Their suits were complemented by their infectious smiles and bubbly personalities.
“Party” – Girl’s Generation
Hey Soompiers! Which summer K-pop trend is your fave? Let us know in the comments below!
DianneP_Kim is an English magazine and online writer and former stylist based in South Korea. Follow her Korean adventures at instagram.com/dianne_panda.