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Shop-a-holic Hell

Shopping in Korea was a little like being in shop-a-holic Hell. Everywhere I turned there was store after store selling ridiculously inexpensive clothing ($10 US for a new coat)…but it was a little like that saying “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink” in that there wasn’t a single, solitary under-priced piece of clothing that I justify spending even a dollar on.

And I tried. For two days. I’d emptied out my savings account before I left Tokyo and brought only four outfits for a week long stay in South Korea, with the express purpose of buying some discounted designer-knockoff clothing. I’d been starving myself on this insane shopping-diet in Tokyo, whereby I only bought two outfits and two pairs of shoes in seven months and was craving some retail therapy in a major way.

But try as I might, I just couldn’t find anything remotely wearable. It was maddeningly frustrating, in that at first glance, I’d think “Well, now this could be a possibility” but then I’d soon notice the giant pink bow sewn on to shirt’s collar, or the puffy ‘princessy’ sleeves, or the reindeer/moose/cow/chicken/cat patch ironed onto the pocket. Every shirt was knee-length or had giant, clown suite-like buttons or some extra piece of flappy fabric that was sewn on as an afterthought. And of course, there was the lace. And lots of it.
I’m not even exaggerating. See for yourself. And mind you, this is the men’s clothing.




The last two photos I threw in there because, well….they’re hilarious. If someone knows what the Hell that poor man’s Tony the Tiger is doing riding around with a panda in a golf cart…please let me know. What’s the sign say??? Anyone?

I did, however, end up buying a suitcase worth of skincare products. I’m not sure how my friends and family felt about receiving Korean moisturizers and conditioning products as Christmas presents (they were the lucky winners of my Korean shopping spree), but I was certainly excited. The company is called Skin Food and if you ever venture to South Korea, I’d definitely recommend you check out one of their stores, (they’re everywhere!). It was sort of like a less expensive version of the Body Shop or Bath and Body Works (two of my favorite stores in the whole World).
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3 thoughts on “Shop-a-holic Hell

  1. Well, did you look around to see what Koreans dress like? That might have given you a clue. 🙂

    BTW, it’s all made in North Korea. Let’s hear it for Communist Monarchy!

  2. Hmm..The bad clothing situation in S.Korea is perplexing b/c I went to high school(boarding/day school) with a few South Korean girls and they had the most beautiful designer clothes that a lot of the American girls were envious of. I mean I’m talking Prada and Gucci not Gap and Abercrombie. Those girls must have had insider info on where to shop in S.Korea, or else they bought the majority of their clothes in the U.S.!?
    I love a good bargain shopping spree now and then so I feel for you that all of the super cheap clothes were super fugly 🙁

  3. Vin D. Alsace – Yeah…for some reason the clothes looked okay on the korean girls! Somehow they’re able to pull off the whole ‘pink sweater with a reindeer’ than I am, I guess. : )

    Sarah – There were quite a few designer brand stores there too…but the prices at THOSE STORES were even more outrageous than at home…so I didn’t even consider shopping there…

    Yeah, oh well. It’s been like that in every country I’ve been to where the prices are cheap…I guess it’s too be expected. Cheap price = cheap product.

    But on a more positive note, I LOVED Korean food..and that was super cheap but super delicious. : )

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