Workwear (Korea)

Korea is different from the western world, they have a different culture and ways of doing things. Although they also wear clothes that come from american and European companies there are still some taboos. For instance girls can wear extremely short miniskirts but it is totally inappropriate to show shoulders, collarbones or cleavage. The social laws seem to be relaxing nowadays but in some areas of the country it is still considered highly inappropriate. Therefore when coming to Korea try and keep it conservative as you will be working with these people’s children.

Summer Outfits

You should be able to get away with showing you shoulders as long as it’s not in a strappy top. In summer you can wear lovely floral dresses or skirts. Your shoes should be chosen according to your school. If you’re working at a private academy (hagwon) then go with flat shoes because you’ll be on your feet the whole day. In public schools however you’ll wear slippers inside the buildings so you could wear high heels to work if you choose.

It is always better to put your best foot forward in a new work environment. Your style can become more relaxed once you’ve settled and seen what the other people at your work wear. Generally though the Koreans are dressed to the nines. A lot of foreigners wear jeans to work here in Korea but they keep it formal rather than casual.

What not to wear to work!

Although this outfit is really cute it is not something you should wear to work. Uggs with jeans are OK in winter because it is freezing  but not with sweats and t-shirts. You are a professional, try and  act like it.





The good, the bad and the ugly about Korea

A lot of blogs you read about Korea will only highlight the positives. Its great to be positive but when I first came to Korea we were looking for information but nothing prepared us for the reality. Korea is a great place but there are some things that can be somewhat irksome.

The weather

The weather in Korea ranges from extremely cold to excessively humid. Its cold most of the year. Winter temperatures are around -12 and even when the temperature is 10 degrees it feels like 3 degrees. During Spring the wind is often chilly. It gets warmer during May but by September its cold again. The Summers are mostly OK but there are around 3 weeks from late July to early August that it is incredibly humid, when you walk too far it feels like you’re struggling to breath.


Living in Seosan

Shopping hours. 

This is a problem that we’ve only experienced in the smaller cities. Since we can’t all work in  Seoul and Busan therefore we are often placed in small cities. First of all the big department stores all over Korea are closed every 2nd and 4th Sunday( shopping hours 10am -10pm). This is so as to give the smaller shops a chance to make some money. This isn’t a problem because we know about it and work accordingly. BUT some of the smaller shops are often closed on the days that the big department stores are open. This is frustrating because it happens irregularly. They have no sign to indicate that they are closed. They just close whenever they feel like it. In addition some store will say that they open a specific time and then they’re not open when you get there. Another thing is that the stores in smaller areas only open around 11 a.m therefore if you are stressed for time and wanted to buy something quickly before work, then you can’t because they open too late. This is especially a problem if you had to browse around first



Korea is a Patriarchy. Although woman have some place in Korea you will often notice that men will not talk to you directly if there is another man present. For example when you are married or have a boyfriend they will rather explain everything to your partner rather than to you. It is not a huge problem if you don’t pay too much attention to it, but there are some people who might find this annoying or disrespectful. The main thing to remember is “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.



There are some really big Korean girls in Korea, but it seems that society doesn’t want to except the fact that they are getting bigger. I’ve seen some really big girls but when you walk into the shops and try to buy size 10 (UK) pants then you can’t because they only stock up to size 8 (UK) Another thing is shoes. I recently tried to buy a big European brand shoe in a size 39 and they told me in the store that the designer doesn’t make the shoe in that size that’s why they only have size 38’s, which was a blatant lie, because I’ve fit a size 39 in South Africa in that exact shoe.  In addition the shoe is available at the designers website up to size 42. It is possible to find foreigner sized clothes in Myeong-dong and Itaewon but if you don’t live in or around Seoul its a real mission to go there.

All these things aren’t so bad and these are just the experiences we had. It is totally something one can live with if you accept people as they are and make the appropriate preparations. These are just some of my experiences. If you have experienced something similar or something I have neglected to mention then please feel free to comment below 🙂


What to pack for a summer holiday in Korea


This weekend we’re off to Busan to meet up with my brother and his wife for 3 days. We’ve booked the hotel, bus and train tickets, and we’ve printed out the itinerary. The only thing left to do is pack our clothes.

Travelling clothes. Because we’re going to travel first by bus and then by train I’ve decided to wear something simple and easy to move around with. This entails a comfortable but pretty shirt, jeans and some comfy sandals.


We’ve decided to go out for dinner the first night so I’m taking a cocktail dress with some high heels. I’m also taking a scarf because it’s not really appropriate to let your shoulders hang out in Korea.


As is always the case, living in Korea involves lots and lots of walking, therefore a pair of comfortable shoes is always a must. For walking around I’m taking some shorts and casual dresses.

Black monochromes

Cream and salmon ensemble.


For the ride home I will probably wear my jeans and mix it up with one of the other shirts, depending on how I feel.



Not yet living the dream

One of my first jobs was in a flower shop. I started of as a florist in training and later became a branch manager at one of our stores. I absolutely love flowers and colours and it was my dream to one day have my own flower shop. As time went by I changed jobs and left my dream of owning a flower shop behind. Someday I would still like to have my own shop but maybe more as a retirement hobby. I still love flowers and regularly buy flowers to brighten my home, sometimes I buy real flowers and other times I get silk flowers.

I often look at flower shops for ideas for my future “flower shop”.

There are different ways that you can store your flowers, these include tin buckets, woven baskets ( with water tight containers inside) and glass vases.



I love the idea of floral arrangements on display, it gives you the chance to get creative ideas or to buy a ready made arrangement, especially if it’s for a special occasion like a dinner party at your home.



I also like flower shops that have a market type feel but still small enough to be a shop and not a market.


Myeong-dong Shopping

If you search Myeong-dong on the internet you will find hundreds of sites saying that Myeongdong is a shopping Mecca. It is of course, completely true. It is a great place for Expats to shop especially if you are taller than the average Korean. Myeong-dong consists of streets and streets of shopping. There is a variety of clothing shops including international brands like Guess, Calvin Klein, Forever 21 H&M and many more. The quality is good and the prices are affordable. If an item is in fashion you can shop around to find the best quality at the best price. If you feel like walking around without doing some shopping20160319_091637

there is a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, Hotels and street vendors. If you’re looking for luxury brands, like Chanel, you can visit Shinsegae or Hyundai department store in the same area.20160319_100400

How to get there

From Seosan you can take the Express bus to Gangnam Express Bus Terminal. Then take the subway, get on the orange line (line 3) get off at Chungmuro and change to the light blue line (line 4). Your next stop will be Myeong-dong, stop number 424. There is also a application called Seoul Subway that you can download on your phone to make navigating the subways much easier.

My Favorite clothing brands.20160319_091438

TEENIE WEENIE (Myeong-dong)

I have a few shops that I love to buy clothes from. First is Teenie Weenie. I absolutely love the colors and quality of the clothes. The shop has a very beautiful layout and they sell both men’s and women’s clothes. Their outfits are smart, casual and cute. They also have a beautiful range of bags that looks similar to MCM bags but at a tenth of the price.



I haven’t really bought much from this store but I love to look at their displays for outfit ideas. My husband has bought quite a lot of clothes from there and he is very happy with the quality plus they always have his size.

EGOIST (Shinsegae)

20160320_141459I absolutely love their outfits. They are a little pricey but if you save some money for a few months you can definitely buy an outfit cash.


Isaac Toast. The shop is always very busy and the food is incredible and affordable. By far the best breakfast meal in Myeong-dong.