Young Koreans like these, out in the Samcheongdong neighbourhood of Seoul on March 27, have taken to wearing traditional hanbok dress while walking around downtown on weekends.

South Korea Hanbok dress resurgence March 2016 Seoul selfies

(Jean Chung/Getty)

South Korea hanbok dress resurgence March 2016 Samcheongdong

(Jean Chung/Getty)

Hanbok style picks up some modern touches.

A woman's hanbok is typically two-piece (a high skirt and petticoat) with a long-sleeved top. The ensemble was traditionally paired with a headpiece and special footwear, but now a smartphone and running shoes are more common accessories. 

South Korea Hanbok dress resurgence March 2016 Gyeongbok Palace

(Jean Chung/Getty)

Traditional formal wear you can still throw in the wash. 

Hanbok designs are still largely bespoke and picking one out typically begins at a fabric store. Companies like Leesle, however, which brands itself "Korea's everyday hanbok company," have replaced traditional tie-ups with zippers and made their skirts machine washable and less bulky for everyday wear.


South Korea Hanbok dress shopping March 2016

(Jean Chung/Getty)

A search for #hanbok on Instagram speaks to the style's rise in popularity.

오직 리슬에서만 볼 수 있는 디자인 "두루마기 재킷"이 봄을 담아 돌아왔습니다. 먼저 소개해드릴 컬러는 "코발트블루"입니다. 선명한 컬러감은 얼굴빛을 좀 더 밝고 청명한 느낌을 주면서도 신비로운 매력까지 더해진답니다. 리슬 두루마기 재킷은 두루마기에서 영감을 받아 군더더기 없이 심플하게 떨어지는 핏이 매력적인 아이템입니다. 아우터로도 입을 수 있지만 단독 원피스처럼 착용할 수도 있는 다재다능한 재킷이에요. 허리라인을 넣어 착용 시 슬림한 허리라인을 잡아줍니다. S(44~55), M(66)사이즈만 판매되었지만 봄 신제품에는 L(77)사이즈도 추가되었습니다. _ #리슬#leesle 리슬 공식 온라인샵 _ ‪#‎선홍색도예뻐요‬#‎만능아이템

A photo posted by LEESLE 리슬 (@leesle) on

Hanbok got a high fashion boost last year.

The French fashion giant Chanel looked to traditional South Korean dress for its 2015 cruise collection, which designer Karl Lagerfeld unveiled in Seoul last May. 

Drawing inspiration from the clothes of the Chosun dynasty, which ran from 1392 to 1910, Lagerfeld told reporters after the show that he "loved traditional Korean clothes, materials and patterns" and that the timing of the show, Chanel's first in South Korea, was just "the right moment to do it."

FASHION-CHANEL SEOUL hanbok-inspired cruise line May 2015

(Thomas Peter/Reuters)

From K-pop to K-beauty: South Korea is a trend-setter.

Many will be familiar with Korean pop music, or at least the term K-pop, with Psy's Gangnam Style (still the most-viewed video on YouTube ever) representing Korea's latest musical mass export. Makeup is another.

South Korea's skin-care market, collectively known as "K-beauty" in North America, is already well-established and highly profitable.

Last year K-beauty-related exports amounted to a record $2.6 billion US, according to a BBC business report. The bulk of those exports were to the U.S. (That's another shot from the Chanel show below.)

FASHION-CHANEL SEOUL hanbok-inspired cruise line by Lagerfeld May 2015

(Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Hanbok is still the dress for formal occasions.

Prior to the rise of hanbok as street wear, the traditional costume was most commonly seen at special occasions like coming-of-age day (the third Monday of May) and ceremonies held every March 1 commemorating resistance to the Japanese occupation. 

South Korea Hanbok dress resurgence May 2013 coming of age day

(Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

South Korea Hanbok dress resurgence March 2016 Independence day Seoul

(Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

Hanbok style is spreading beyond Korea.

Driving the rise of Seoul as a fashion capital are visitors like this woman, browsing hanbok-inspired dresses at the Lotte department store in February.

Tourists from neighbouring countries are reportedly buying less from global luxury mainstays like Louis Vuitton and Chanel in favour of homegrown brands, as young, independent and fashion conscious travellers make up more of the country's tourism.

South Korea Hanbok dress resurgence Feb 2016 department store

(Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

Despite its rise in popularity, hanbok remains rooted in tradition. 

A couple wearing traditionally cut hanbok take a sunset stroll in Seoul on Feb. 9 to mark the the Lunar New Year. 

South Korea Hanbok dress resurgence Feb 2016

(Ed Jones/AFP/Getty)

With files from Reuters and Getty Images