Korea is globally renowned for its shopping. Whether you’re into luxury goods, cosmetics, street fashion, or smartphones, you can find so many amazing bargains here. The biggest mistake I made when we first moved here was shopping in the big department stores (Lotte, Hyundai, and Shinsegae) where clothes and cosmetics are stupidly expensive, even when they’re on sale. The best places for clothes shopping here are actually usually in little boutiques or underground street fashion shops. My all-time fave shopping streets in Seoul are Apgujeong-ro and Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong, where funky, independent shops sit nestled in between luxury brands and chain stores.
These shopping streets can be accessed from Sinsa station or Apgujeong station, both on the orange line. I always use Apgujeong station (in case I feel like making a Choo Choo Cats pitstop!) and come out of exit 5. Keep walking straight down the road, where you’ll pass big names like H&M and Uniqlo; eventually you’ll come to a Mango – turn left here and you’ll see…
…Eoin’s worst nightmare! As much as I like supporting up and coming independent fashion labels, I’m always gonna be a Forever 21 addict. And they’re building a huge Aland next door, too! (Think Korea’s equivalent of Urban Outfitters.)
Garosu-gil is a pretty, tree-lined street with lots of outdoor cafes and boutiques. And, like everywhere in Gangnam, plastic surgery clinics are EVERYWHERE. Be prepared to see women walking around with all kinds of contraptions on their faces, holding their pointy noses and sharply-sculpted chins in place. Fresh outta surgery or not, a lady’s gotta shop, right?!
Around the Corner is becoming a pretty big chain here in Seoul. It’s like a mix between Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. I’ve never bought anything from them, but I love wandering around their stores. Their shops are always really open with funky displays, and each location that I’ve been to has had a Publique Bakery attached.
Claustrophobic clothes shops are the worst! I love the relaxed feel of this semi-outdoor seating.
Around the Corner sells quirky nick nacks, candles, clothes, and accessories from many different brands. It’s a bit on the pricey side, though.
One of my favorite multi-brand shops in Garosu-gil is KM Play (K-Design Market). The prices in here are very affordable, and they have so many funky brands. The ground floor is mostly feminine, kinda ordinary clothes, then there’s another floor with edgier fashion, a floor of men’s clothing, and the top floor has bags, accessories, and a coffee shop.
One of my favorite Korean brands: Lazer Heaven.
How stinkin’ cute is this cat Batman baseball tee by feline-fancying brand Art Is Over! I bought two of their tops here, one with a giant Choo Choo-style cat face, and another with an all-over print of kittens in baby clothes.
Bart Simpson is really in fashion here at the moment.
I wish these shopper bag prints came on shirts!
My other favorite shop here is Pop Boutique. It’s really tiny (and the staff are pretty moody…) but they have lots of super funky, punky Korean and Japanese brands.
Many of the clothes here are covered in plastic sheets, and the staff glower over you like hawks, but I freakin’ love this shop.
Smile Market is another big, multi-brand shop; their stuff is a bit girlier and more casual looking than KM Play and Pop Boutique. It’s mostly all women’s clothing with a meager guys’ section.
They had some cute Mickey Mouse designs, pretty over-priced, though.
A huge Joyrich store off the main street in Garosu-gil.
The whole building’s covered in fake ivy and roses. Freakin’ impressive!
How funky fresh is this leopard print shop?! Unfortunately I think it may be going out of business. All of their stock was 30-80% off, and the top floor was closed.
I didn’t really like the quality of the clothes in here. I love cheap clothes, but the stuff in here just felt fancy dress cheap.
The interior is all painted with graffiti and pop art pictures.