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The Mass Media

The seven fashion idols of Seoul

BTS in 2019. Photo courtesy of Dispatch via Wikimedia Commons.

In 2013, K-Pop was forever changed with the musical debut of BTS and the release of “2 Cool 4 Skool,” the first installment of their trilogy of school-themed albums. These South Korean boys blew the globe away, not only in their music, but also with their dance skills and taste in clothes. 

The boyband appears to be uncannily ahead of the curve in every way. For example, their enormous archive of videos can demonstrate every significant 2021 fashion aesthetic. As Christian Allaire for Vogue said:

“From Weverse selfies to Twitter drops to live performances to Bangtan Bombs to high-concept music videos, the seven idols from Seoul are the most stylish people on the planet right now” (1). 

 Each of the members has their own personal fashion style that they prefer to follow. Jin, who is the eldest, favors a style that is clean-cut and put-together, resulting in dignified appearances. He prefers simple designs, resulting in stunning outfits that showcase his model-like body. Following Jin is Suga, who prefers to dress comfortably, liking oversized and warm apparel.  

J Hope’s personality matches his outfits—fun and witty. He’s often seen in bold color combinations and things that most of us wouldn’t dare to wear together. RM, the leader of the band, seems to vary based on the current fashion trend. 

Jimin’s style is effortlessly cool and stylish, and he frequently wears an oversized shirt tucked into slim-fitting jeans. V is known as the world-wide handsome guy. In V’s wardrobe, coziness meets designer clothing, and everything can be summed up in one word: chic. And the last member of the band Junkook’s style is the most imperturbable among the members. 

Despite the fact that each member has their own distinct fashion sense, they all come together for their music videos and performances. As Christian Allaire for Vogue said: 

“BTS took on a muted yellow color scheme for their performance outfits for ‘Butter’ at the American Music Awards in November” (1).

It’s not just the seven idols setting their own fashion trends, though. The performers also inspire their fans—known online as the BTS ARMY, or simply the ARMY—to be creative in their fashion choices and express themselves through their clothing. As Christine Terrisse wrote for the LA Times:

 “Whether making their own high-end, unofficial merch or just dressing like the band’s members, BTS fans from across the world converged on L.A. to showcase their style. [Lailani] Manimbo said being a part of the BTS ARMY made her more confident in expressing her feminine-meets-preppy aesthetic. ‘Just seeing [BTS] dress with ease but remain stylish has always been something I’ve looked up to,’  she said. ‘I think when you begin to love yourself more…you become more comfortable while also wearing styles that make you feel your best’” (2).  

Because the members of BTS have distinct fashion tastes, some fans have been prompted to create TikTok videos with BTS-inspired clothing. These fans cycled between each performer’s styles, complete with each of the BTS albums. 

BTS’ popularity is well-known at UMass Boston, as seen by individuals wearing merch and discussing their songs, as we have an influx of students coming in from Korea this semester. There is a K-pop club on campus, where they discuss a variety of topics relevant to the K-pop community, including but not limited to Korean fashion, Korean food and Korean television series. It will be interesting to see BTS’ impact on their fanbase as their fame only continues to grow, so keep an eye on the boys—both to watch their fans and to learn the latest trends. 

1. https://www.vogue.com/article/bts-korean-style-american-music-awards 

2. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2021-12-03/bts-inspires-army-style-fashion 

About the Contributor
Vansh Khokhani, Arts Writer