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Nordic patterns charm winter fashion

For a New Year gift, 25-year-old Nam So-hyun picked out a pullover with a line of reindeer patterns for her sister and a pair of leggings that give out a similar Nordic vibe for herself in Myeong-dong last weekend.

“These warm patterns brighten up winter clothes which are usually dull and somber. They put me in a fairy tale-like mood,” said Nam.

“Nordic knitwear,” which is best known for its repetitive patterns of snowflakes, reindeers and pine trees, is stealing the hearts of many fashionistas in Korea as the winter deepens. 
A model wears Nordic patterned knitwear.
A model wears Nordic patterned knitwear.

They are called Nordic because they originate from the patterns found in traditional clothes from the cold and snowy Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Norway. All the while reminding one of the freezing weather and the beautiful snowscapes, the patterns somehow add extra warmness and coziness to garments.

In Myeong-dong, the fashion-savvy district where its street shops best reflect the latest style trends in the city, various winter clothes from leggings, sweaters to cardigans and capes adorned with patterns from Northern Europe are easily spotted.

Celebrities such as Ha Ji-won, the leading actress in SBS’ hit drama “Secret Garden,” Moon Geun-young who starred in KBS’ drama “Marry Me, Mary!” which ended last week and reality-show regular Ga-in, a member of Brown Eyed Girls, are heating up the craze, showing up on the small screen, decked in Nordic sweaters and dresses.

Here is a simple tip to remember when wearing the patterns: Tone down all other items.

“Nordic patterns are loud themselves so it is better to choose a soft backdrop color. If you are wearing the patterns on the top, you should tone down the pants or skirt, and vice versa,” said Choi Na-young, a PR official at Stefanel, an Italian brand which rolled out Nordic patterned garments this season. 
A model wears Nordic patterned capes. (Stefanel)
A model wears Nordic patterned capes. (Stefanel)

Choi suggested wearing one Nordic pattern item like a dress or a sweater inside a one-color coat so that it could naturally accent your look.

Or wearing patterned outerwear, like a cape, which happens to be this season’s “it” item, would be another covetable look. When wearing a cape, make sure you do your best to slim down the bottom by matching it with skinny jeans or leggings.

If you are reluctant to put on an overflow of patterns, begin with smaller items like Nordic pattern mittens, gloves, hats, mufflers or warmers. Arm warmers will especially come in handy when you wear capes.

By Park Min-young  (claire@heraldcorp.com)
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