Strange Korea: Couple Tees


Korea is crazy for couples. It’s so crazy that it’s common for couples to display their affection by dressing in matching outfits. Korean couples aren’t just dressing similarly from having spent countless days together developing a strong emotional connection. They dress in exactly matching clothes bought for the sole purpose of identifying that they are, in fact, a couple and demonstrating to society that their love for each other is so profound that it emanates from their inner-core and manifests itself as matching textiles.

For my Yankee brain, with its deep ingrained necessity for independence and non-conformity, the Couple Tee, as it’s called in Konglish (Korean-English), is unfathomable, incomprehensible, and causes a small amount of vomit to reach my mouth each time I encounter this aberration of societal behaviour. My immediate reaction, after my involuntary one has subsided, is to be subversive. Is it possible to get custom made Couple Tees with “Friend” written on one and “with Benefits” written on the other? Or how about getting 3 shirts made with “open”, “relation”, and “ship”? One could go for a stroll as a couple and see if anyone wants to wear the 3rd shirt.

Below is an example of a Couple Tee pair. The non-sensical English writing on the shirts will be the topic of a future blog post. Non-sensical English on clothes is common here as is the liberal use of the word fuck – it makes for some interesting clothing options. Needless to say there is sufficient demand for Couples Tees that an industry exists to provide them. Fortunately, this subdivision of the clothing industry had the ingenuity to diversify its products into Couple Hats as well. This leads me to imagine: what is the ultimate Couple article of clothing? I’m imagining a colour-coordinated four-legged couple-onesie with shared poop flap – that would be next-level intimacy.


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