The Ultimate Guide to Shopping in Seoul in 2020

Looking for the best places to shop in Seoul? Here is my roundup of different areas, neighborhoods, and online websites that’ll deliver you the best in K-Fashion and international brands that ship to Korea.

For plus-sized shopping (anyone that’s bigger than a US size 4-6), check out Where to Find Plus-Sized Clothing in Seoul, Korea 2020.

Best Shopping Neighborhoods in Seoul, South Korea

Some of my favorite places to shop are around Apgujeong Rodeo, Starfield Coex, and Garosu-gil in Gangnam, Seoul. Myeongdong is worth a hit, too, but most of the stores are the same as in my ‘hood, Gangnam. Hongdae, Express Bus Terminal Station, and Ewha University Station also have some really great, quintessential Korean fashion boutiques.

Luxury Shopping in Apgujeong and Cheongdam

This is where you want to go shopping in Seoul for a high-end, luxury fashion experience to epitomize the Gangnam girl style. To get there, you can take the subway or a taxi to Apgujeong Station (Google Maps, Naver Map).

You’ll find the big Korean department stores like the Galleria Department Store (343 Apgujeong-ro, Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul) which stocks brands like Ferragamo, Gucci, Fendi, and Bottega Veneta.

You’ll also see familiar international fashion brands like Lululemon, & Other Stories, Brunello Cucinelli, Miu Miu, Jil Sander, Loro Piana, Carolina Herrera, Chloé, Michael Kors, Kenzo, Burberry, Moncler, Giorgio Armani, and COS as well as famous Korean designer boutiques like Beaker (408 Apgujeong-ro, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), Boon the Shop (17 Apgujeong-ro 60-gil, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul).

Definitely check out my favorite Milan-based designer boutique, 10 Corso Como (416 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 04533) which stocks beautiful Alaïa bags, niche perfumes like Ex Nihilo and Andrea Maack, Seletti and Fornasetti housewares. Downstairs, you’ll find their bookshop and garden café.

Off the main street, you’ll also find the famous concept shop, Rare Market (24 Apgujeong-ro 80-gil, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), that stocks hard-to-find international designer styles by Martine Rose, Chopova Lowena, and Rare Market founders’ own fashion label, WE11DONE. Fun fact: Rare Market is also co-owned by G-Dragon’s sister, Dami Kwon.

Don’t forget to stop by the Chanel flagship store (431 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06010) and the ultra-cool Louis Vuitton flagship store in Seoul, Maison Seoul (454 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06015), which hosts an exhibition space called Espace Louis Vuitton Seoul at the very top floor. And while you’re at it, stop at the Café Dior by Pierre Hermé in the House of Dior (464 Apgujeong-ro, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul) for some delicious desserts.

Trendy Shopping in Sinsa and Garosu-gil

Take the subway to Sinsa Station (Google Maps) and head northwest towards the ginkgo tree-lined street, Garosu-gil. There are often many little tables and boutiques in the area selling trendy, affordable jewelry.

Definitely check out the Gentle Monster store for the coolest Korean designer sunglasses and their quirky window displays.

The one and only flagship Apple store in Korea is also located on Garosu-gil, usually with a line out the door. Though I’ve never been a big fan, there is also a Line Friends store. Living in Korea, you’ll notice that Kakao reigns supreme as the #1 social platform. Even my coworkers scatter their desks with Kakao tech accessories and plushies.

If you need your skincare/beauty fix, check out the ultra-cool Dr. Jart Flagship Store (46 Dosan-daero 11-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), Jung Saem Mool flagship store (40 Apgujeong-ro 12-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), Laneige, Sulwhasoo, Deciem (The Ordinary products), and Banila Co. There’s also the usual suspects like Olive Young and CHICOR.

You’ll also find international stores like Maison Kitsuné flagship store (Dosan-daero 13-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul) with its cute outdoor café, niche French perfume house, Le Labo (28 Apgujeong-ro 10-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), COS (18, Apgujeong-ro 10-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), Swarovski, Danish design store, HAY Design, H&M, Zara, Massimo Dutto, and MCM.

If you’re looking for quintessential Korean fashion, visit SJYP (534-24 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), athletic brand, Xexymix, Åland, Sappun, Stretch Angels (14-gil Apgujeong-ro, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), Find Kapoor, and streetwear brand, Vibrate.

FUN FACT: German leather goods maker MCM was founded in 1976, but acquired in 2005 by Sungjoo Group, a South Korean retail business.

Korean Stores

Shopping at Popular Korean Shoe Stores in Seoul

Babinheel – Korean shoe store that stocks shoe sizes up to 270.

Big Girl Shoes – Korean shoe store that stocks shoe sizes up to 270.

Youbyyeolna – Korean shoe store that stocks shoe sizes up to 270.

Kumkang Shoes – Korean shoes and accessories store that carries both men and women’s shoes and a very small selection of big-sized shoes — often overpriced, but worth mentioning. Sells international brands like Clarks, Bruno Magli, and Renoir. Physical locations all over Seoul.

Sappun – Popular women’s Korean shoe store chain (online and offline) that carries shoe sizes up to 260. Unfortunately, too small for me!

ABC Mart – Popular Korean shoe store chain (online and offline) that carries both men and women’s shoes. Women’s shoe sizes don’t seem to extend past 250mm but check men’s unisex styles.

Shopping at Popular Korean Fashion Stores in Seoul

Don’t forget to check the sizing chart and take your measurements in centimeters!

Guka – Love their styles, but runs small like most Korean clothing brands. Sizing only goes up to a large (US 6). I’ve managed to fasten up a maxi dress, but it felt like a tourniquet.

Stretch Angels

Rare Market

Vibrate

A-Land – Mostly free-size clothing, but worth peeking at for beauty, accessories, and loose styles. A-Land is very much like Urban Outfitters back home. Korean clothing can be found online and offline.

8 Seconds – Affordable, fast-fashion Korean clothing chain that carries sizes up to an extra large (probably equivalent to a US medium or US 8). Quality is on the lower end (as are prices).

Okkane – Mostly men’s big-size clothing, but carries some unisex items.

4xr – Mostly men’s clothing, but carries some unisex styles.

Romi Story – Feminine, plus-sized women’s Korean clothing store with physical locations in Korea (see locations here).

09women – Korean women’s clothing store that carries plus-sized and free-size styles.

Hotping – Korean women’s clothing store that carries up a size XL (US 10).

LadyPlus – Women’s plus-sized Korean fashion brand with offline locations (here). Also carries bigger sized shoes! Probably one of the more popular big-sized clothing chains.

Jstyleshop – Plus-sized women’s fashion in trendy, Korean styles. I appreciate that their marketing on their YouTube channel features real, plus-sized ladies.

Crebig – Women’s Korean big-size clothing all over Korea. Locations can be found here.

Pippin – Women’s clothing store that offers big size clothing!

Moulian – Korean women’s clothing store that carries sizes up to 77 (Korean XL or US Medium).

Jull-log (Instagram) – Trendy Korean fashion, but unfortunately, “free size” only. Their latest bags are serious Bottega Veneta dupes.

Jaju (Instagram) – Jaju is often compared to the famous Japanese basics store, Muji, for its minimalist style. They stock all sorts of housewares, lifestyle products, and clothing. Jaju products are owned by Shinsegae, so you can also find their products at E-mart or their standalone stores like the one in Sinsa (536-16 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul).

Around the Corner – Trendy Korean boutique that stocks both international and Korean clothing styles.

Beaker

Boon the Shop

Shopping at Popular Korean Lingerie Stores in Seoul

6ixty8ight

Shopping at Popular Second-Hand Luxury Stores in Seoul

Koibito – Pre-loved designer shop in Korea. Bought a Louis Vuitton bag from Koibito and I am in love. I think the prices are a wee bit better at Gugu’s, but check both stores to compare!

Gugus – Another used luxury designer shop in Korea. I’ve bought designer bags here before and it’s been my little guilty pleasure! Like any pre-loved luxury bag store, make sure you do your due diligence and check MSRP. Bag condition is rated A+, A, B+, B, etc! A lot of luxury bags do tend to be marked up in Korea compared to buying them overseas, so it’s also worth checking the price in the designer’s home country in case you have a trip planned in the future. Checkout online is a bit finicky (like a lot of Korean e-commerce stores) and may require access to Internet Explorer, but I was able to wing it by avoiding Chrome and switching to Safari on my iPhone.

Shopping at Popular Korean Department Stores and Malls in Seoul

Shinsegae Department Stores or SSG.com – Shinsegae department stores carry both Korean and International brands like BCBG.

Lotte – You may find some luck at Lotte Department Stores like Lotte World Tower Shopping Mall as they carry international brands in-stores. I was able to find some medium-sized clothing with international brands at the Lotte Department Store in Myeongdong, but I doubt they may stock anything bigger than that in-store.

Starfield Coex Mall

SSF Shop

Kolonmall – Korean online shopping mall that carries brands like Couronne, Lucky Chouette, and Marc Jacobs.

W Concept

S.I. Village – Owned by Shinsegae International, you’ll find brands like Marni, Yohji Yamamoto, Juicy Couture, and Studio Tomboy in this online shopping mall.

Shopping at Popular Korean E-Commerce Websites

Gmarket – Owned by Ebay, you can easily switch from Korean to English. You can also easily pay with a foreign (e.g. US) credit card or bank transfer. Gmarket was the first Korean online shopping site I used upon arrival and the learning curve was easy. The prices are usually better if you switch to the Korean-only site though.

11street

Coupang – Modeled after Amazon.com, Coupang also offers Rocket Shipping. Prices are super competitive, and I usually find all sorts of goods here! I use Coupang when I need to find plus-sized tights in Korea or when I need to stock up on a lifetime supply of Ritter Sport chocolates to hoard.

International Stores

Shopping at Popular International Clothing Stores in Seoul

You’ll notice that international brands may have different sizing — e.g. Asian Sizing — than what you’re used to back home. Best to try on items in store if you’re unsure.

Zara – Stocks all sizes albeit more expensive than what you may be used to back home. In terms of sizing, I’m still a size medium in Zara clothing. Bigger shoe sizes (like European 41 or US size 10) may not be available in-store, but can be found online. Also, you can purchase online and return in-store if the fit or quality is off. There are a few physical locations scattered around Seoul like on Gangnam-daero, Garosu-gil, or Myeongdong.

H&M – Also offers sportswear, seasonal swimwear, and lingerie! You can find larger-sized stockings here as well. Available both online and offline with multiple locations around Seoul, carrying shoes and clothing up to a size 42-44 in-store. Some items are clearly labeled as Asian Fit. Sinsa location is 21 Apgujeong-ro 12-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

& Other Stories – Sinsa location is at 342 Apgujeong-ro, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Benetton – You can find a Benetton section at big department stores like Lotte, Shinsegae, or Galleria.

Mango

Columbia Sportswear

Maison Kitsuné

Massimo Dutti

Lululemon

All Saints

Dior

10 Corso Como

Club Monaco – I’ve only seen Club Monaco at department stores, but you never know! Selection is limited.

Marimekko – I’m a Marimekko addict, and the clothes tend to run quite roomy. The sales are not as competitive as other countries, probably because Marimekko Korea runs independently to Marimekko Finland. But that also means you may find odd things here are there that are sold out in other stores.

American Eagle – Locations all over Seoul.

Hollister – I personally haven’t shopped at a Hollister since middle school, but it exists here.

Nike – I bought gym leggings here the other day at their location on Gangnam-Daero, but be warned: the fit is small. I am normally a medium in Nike clothes, but had to buy an XL despite losing a little weight in Korea. Most of the leggings at the store were also on the shorter side, and I had to search high and low for full-length leggings that weren’t capris on me.

Adidas

North Face

Carolina Herrera

Chloé

Michael Kors

Kenzo

Burberry

Giorgio Armani

Moncler – They carry Moncler at big department stores like Shinsegae. There’s also a standalone store in Apgujeong.

Under Armour – Sportswear store but sizing is similar to Nike, aka Asian Fit.

COS – Minimalist styles and leather goods. I did see COS stock size large in-store which is comforting. They also have size EU 41 (US 10) shoes on their Korean website.

Uniqlo – Heattech is a godsend during the cold, Korean winter. Sizing is limited in stores, but you may have luck ordering online.

Tommy Hilfiger – Who knew there was a Tommy Hilfiger in Korea?

Guess – Really overpriced to what you’d find in the United States and the selection is much smaller. Only saw a size small on display.

Theory – Located in the big department stores like Lotte and Shinsegae.

Benetton – Found Benetton in Lotte and Shinsegae Department stores, but they only had a size small on display. Asked for a medium which they had in the back which suggests they may carry other sizes. Their website does have a fuller range of sizes, however.

Ralph Lauren

Calvin Klein

Sandro

APC

Max Mara

Muji

Louis Vuitton

Shopping at Popular International Lingerie Stores in Seoul

La Perla

Wolford Boutique – I am absolutely obsessed with their tights and bodysuits. I’ve seen tights like Velvet 66 go up to a size L online at Wolford Korea.

Calvin Klein Underwear

Etam

Oysho

Shopping at Popular International Shoe Stores in Seoul

Camper – Doesn’t seem to carry bigger sizes. I am heartbroken.

Dr. Martens

Tod’s

Repetto – By some miracle, they actually seem to carry size 41 and 42 on their Korean website. They are however on the pricier side as far as shoes go.

Aldo – Occasionally, I do see larger sizes on their website in very few styles. Sadly, they don’t seem to carry bigger sizes at offline Aldo stores.

Stuart Weitzman – You can find Stuart Weitzman at department stores like Shinsegae or Lotte! However, sizes seem to stop at a Korean 250.

Charles & Keith – Large sizes are available online.

Crocs – I’ve only seen one style in a US Women’s 10 online, but you never know! As Crocs have become less hideous over the years, it’s worth considering.

Vans – Since Vans Sneakers are pretty much all unisex styles, you’ll be able to find most sizes online and offline!

Jimmy Choo – You can find Jimmy Choo in most department stores in Seoul! Bigger sizes are limited online, so watch out.

Converse – Ditto on unisex styles!

Skechers – Women’s styles seem to be limited in sizing (nothing past a Korean 250).

Shopping at Popular International Online Stores that Ship to Seoul, Korea

If the selection at local stores doesn’t work for you, embrace the power of online shopping.

IMPORTANT: Take notice of any import fees that you may have to pay to ship to South Korea. Unless the store includes the custom duties & VAT in your final price, you may be charged extra when the item goes through customs in South Korea. If the order is under $150-200 (including shipping), you may be okay. More information about Korean customs clearance can be found here.

Borderfree.com – Includes retailers that are part of BorderFree shopping, shipping worldwide.

Everlane – Ships to Korea with duties included in price.

Nordstrom – Ships to Korea with duties calculated at checkout.

Asos – Ships to Korea, but watch out for duties for orders over $150.

Shein – Fast-fashion chain that ships to Korea. I’ve heard the quality is lacking but carries plus-sized clothing.

Aliexpress – Extensive selection of goods, mostly from China.

Amazon.com – I’ve heard if you make friends with someone on the military base, you can bypass some of the customs duties. You may get the person in trouble, however. Opting for Amazon Prime in Korea may not be worth it if you don’t shop as frequently. You’ll still have to pay to ship but at a slightly lower cost. Their global store can be a godsend when you can’t find an item’s equivalent on Coupang.com or Gmarket.

The Reformation – Duties and taxes calculated at checkout.

ShopBop – I’ve ordered shoes from ShopBop to Korea which took about two weeks to arrive (the usual).

FarFetch – Luxury fashion!

Luisviaroma – Luxury fashion!

MyTheresa – Luxury fashion! You can also find MyTheresa goods on SSG.com which could be helpful if you’re paying with a Korean credit card and want to choose payment installments.

How much are import fees to Korea?

If you’re shipping items to Korea from overseas, keep in mind that you will have to pay duties over 150,000 KRW. For most products, you’ll have to pay 8% customs duties and 10 % value-added tax (VAT). However, some goods are liable to special excise taxes and other taxes. More information is available here: customs.go.kr. Sign up for a personal customs clearance code here: unipass.customs.go.kr. You won’t need a personal customs clearance code on Amazon.com though.

Some (but not all) websites will calculate duties and taxes at checkout like Everlane or The Reformation.

Pro-Tip

Use Google Translate plugin to navigate Korean-language stores. For department stores like Shinsegae, sign up for their points program which you can also use at their grocery stores like E-mart or No Brand.

gif via giphy.com

Now, that you’ve read my list of essential clothing stores in Seoul and did some damage to your wallet, where did you end up visiting? And if I’m missing any stores that you think need to make this list, tell me below!

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