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Why This Korean Trend Won't Work In America

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    PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN YAMAGATA.

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    It's hard for me to get embarrassed about what I wear. As someone who prefers my pants saggy and baggy, and print-mixes to a sometimes dizzying degree, I'm used to my share of side-eye. As long as I'm not pissing people off along the way (apologies to the woman whose small children I may have scarred for life with my Ostwald Helgason sweatshirt), I have a pretty good time trying out new trends, silhouettes, and styles. However, upon receiving this assignment to test-run one of the most prevalent fashion trends in Korea, I broke into a cold, miserable sweat. When I told my boyfriend he'd be roped into it, too, he turned a similar shade of gray.

    Couples in lookalike outfits are a rising trend in Seoul, as seen in our Style Out There documentary that explored the burgeoning industry that revolves around the tradition of celebrating relationships. Stores cater to this matchy-matchy aesthetic, and dedicated couples can purchase coordinating clothes that act as a real, unavoidable symbol of their union. For many reasons, it's become much more than a fad in Korea. But could it ever work in the United States, where casual dating is the norm?

    So, on one fateful Monday, my live-in boyfriend, Nathan Reese, and I pulled on similar moto jackets, cuffed jeans, and button-downs and headed out into the world. (Well, first we laughed so hard we cried, and then left the apartment.) Between the judgment from strangers, grief from our friends, and struggle to find clothes that coordinated between two very disparate closets, we attempted to see if matching our clothes made us feel a new sort of affection for each other…without killing each other first, of course. Here's how it played out.


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