My Kpop Fits: Kpop Fans and Concert Fashion

Girl Group PIXY // Courtesy of Karmina Cielo for KpopWise

Idols often say concerts are one of the best parts of being an idol. Similarly for many supporters, concerts are the best part of being a fan. And one grounded and growing aspect of concert culture, particularly within Kpop, is fashion.

Going hand-in-hand with the music, dancing and visuals, fashion also plays a huge role in the world of Kpop. Both for the idols and the fans. While gearing up for comebacks, Kpop groups drop concept photos and trailers so fans can get a taste of what kind of aesthetic their favorite artists will be glammed in.

Miles Bryant-Whittaker, 20, is a Kpop fan from North Carolina who has seen groups like P1harmony, Seventeen, NCT 127, TXT, and more in concert. He says that as stylists put together outfits for idols, it creates an industry within an industry that allows people to express their creativity through the creation of concepts. 

That creativity and expression follows idols from photos and music videos onto their tour stages around the world. And similar to their idols, K-Pop fans show up to show out. 

“It’s very interesting to see how other people express themselves through fashion,” Bryant-Whittaker said. “You can almost always see a person's individuality shine within an outfit worn to Kpop concerts as most fans are very creative with them.”

Courtesy of Miles Bryant-Whittaker

Some idols have noticed the effort fans put into their concert wear. For example, in an interview with J-14 Magazine, Keeho of P1Harmony said that “he looks forward to the outfits'' that their fans put together and post under #p1ecefit on social media.

Esther Linda, a 19-year-old Kpop fan from London, agrees with Bryant-Whittaker. She says she’s always been interested in fashion as a young girl but Kpop made her further realize her passion.

“When it comes to concerts, you see, people have to show out,” Linda laughs. “So, that’s also another thing that made me want to bring up my fashion game.”

Courtesy of Esther Linda

Linda has seen BTS, Stray Kids, IVE, Ateez, and more in concert and has attended several Kpop festivals where she has witnessed a vast array of Kpop fan fashion.

“I love seeing it,” Linda said. “People expressing themselves in their own way, in their own styles and all just like coming together for one thing. I feel like that’s just special to see because whatever you wear, whatever you like, you all have that one common thing that you’re there for.”

Shemar Jackson, 20, a Kpop fan from Kentucky feels the same way. 

“I think it’s amazing,” they exclaimed. “As an artist and member of the LGBTQIAP+ community, part of the way I express myself is through fashion. I love seeing other people who may dress the same, it can feel very inspiring. And I love seeing people with styles far different than mine.”

Courtesy of Shemar Jackson

Jackson has attended concerts of artists like CIX, Omega X, Loona and is planning on seeing KARD in July as well. In addition to showcasing their own unique styles, some fans, like Jackson, recreate iconic looks by their favorite artists as well.

“If there is a member of a group I really love, I’ll try to match my favorite outfit from a music video or something,” Jackson said. “I find it fun and entertaining when people attending the concerts can recognize the member I’m drawing influence from.”

“It’s fun to pick apart a group’s discography and see all of their era to recreate,” Said Jahkyah Harris, 21, is a Kpop fan and influencer based in Atlanta.  “For example, for my NCT127 concert, I tried to aim for their most recent comeback at the time, 2 Baddies concept. The concept was race cars, so I wore something that looked like I could fit in the music video.”

Courtesy of Jahkyah Harris

Harris’ NCT 127 concert outfit (left) and Ateez concert outfit (right).

Harris has attended several concerts; The Boyz, OnlyOneOf, Golden Child, Seventeen, Ateez, Super M – just to name a few. She says in addition to seeing the idols perform, she also often looks forward to seeing how fans dress to impress. This fashion culture motivates her and expands her creativity.

But fans don’t only recreate looks but they also take certain aspects of a group’s recent concept such as the prominent colors to create an overall concert outfit based on that. 

Jaelyn Jones, a 21-year-old Kpop fan from Virginia, maintains her style but changes the colors of her outfits based on the group she is going to see.

“I knew they [NCT Dream] would wear a lot of black and they had more of a ‘fire-y’ concept at that time so I wore a whole black get up, more of a punk style,” Jones said. “But for TXT, I still had a similar theme but I wanted it to be more of a colorful pink-purple to match their album.”

Courtesy of Jaelyn Jones

Jones’ NCT Dream outfit on the left, TXT outfit on the right

Now, we all know not to judge a book by its cover, figuratively and literally, but the Kpop community likes to have a little fun with that universal saying. Kpop fans are said to have something like a sixth sense where they can guess what group someone is a fan of based on their fashion style or aesthetic.

“When you see specific colors, you can sometimes tell who people are there for,” Linda cuckles.

“Certain idols have an individual style that they dress like on their own time or have expressed that they like. I think many Kpop fans take that and create around their own biases,” Bryant-Whittaker explains.

Harris agrees with that concept.

“Because some K-pop stans are heavily influenced by their idol, they seem to adapt to their idol’s style,” she says. “There are some clothing items that are associated with certain K-pop groups, so when they wear it, you cannot help but to think of the K-pop group. Every K-pop group is different and has their own color and style, so most of the time their fans try to match their concept.”

The Kpop concert fashion culture will only get greater as fans prepare their closets for the influx of concerts this Summer/Fall.

Glow Ngwe

Glow Ngwe is a Cameroonian-born writer based in Washington D.C. She has written for Teen Vogue, CNNStyle and has won two Student Production Emmys for her work as a journalism masters student at the University of Maryland College Park. Glow has a strong passion for dance and is a member of the DMV area K-pop dance team, Konnectdmv. Through her interests and passion in fashion, dance, culture, and more, she hopes to embody her name, "Glow," in the lives of those on--as well as off--line. Follow her on instagram, tik tok or twitter @gloworldd.

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