Monday, April 18, 2011

Seoul Spring Fashion 2011, Dongdaemun Shopping Haven in Korea

Going to Seoul in Spring means the city will be a shopping haven for fashionistas. The city is so vibrant, even in the middle of the night. I don't understand why would anyone wants to shop until 4am though...

One friend got more than 20 pcs of clothings in a few days! And each piece averages around SGD30+.

In early April, most shops are selling thin long sleeve (i.e. Chiffon material etc) tops, sweet dresses and loose thin tops meant for layering for the cool Spring weather. It's great for Singapore's weather if you don't mind wearing a tube inside. Most of the clothings come in free size so be prepared to wear them loose if you're a S size.

And jackets are cheap in Seoul too. You'll be able to easily get chic ones at less than SGD40. Guys will also be spoilt for choice with the many sweaters available.

Just take note that at places like Doota, if you pay in cash, you'll be able to get some discount and ask for your tax refund if the salesperson forget to mention it. 

For myself, I didn't manage to get anything until my last night in Seoul. That was when we finally located the night wholesale market in Dongdaemum meant for retailers. And the great thing is they seem to be stocking more summer clothings with short sleeves and tighter clothings too.

To locate this area can be a little tricky. It's more obscure and cannot be easily noticed from the main Dongdaemum street. Follow the area in pink in the map above and when you past the few building in front, you'll be transported into a world of midnight shopping madness.

Shops here open only from 8pm and close only at 8am. I was told that they are catering mainly to retailers and it's interesting to see bags and bags of clothings in front of the shopping complex waiting to be picked up and shipped to various places. 

So, don't even bother to bargain as some shops may not even sell 1-2pcs. If you're lucky, you'll be able to buy loose pieces at a cheaper price than shops like Doota.

Only KRW and RMB cash is accepted here. It seemed to me that clothings here are a step ahead from the ones retailing in normal retails shop in Seoul.

Although the shopping queen in me came alive only on the last night in Seoul, I only managed to get 2 tops (I had to buy 2pcs of the same design at one go) and 2 pretty skirts. The tops weren't cheap at 29,000KRW each but I so love the green. :P~

BF got some shirts at 15,000KRW and the material is good!

The one below cost only 26,000KRW and pardon the badly taken pic by the lousy iPhone...

The other pieces that caught my eyes were meant for wholesale, meaning I had to buy several pcs at one go. Oh well, at least I know where my first shopping stop in Korea will be the next time I go back.

I just love the energy of this place and it's interesting to find that RMB is actually a accepted currency there.

Other good buys I found in Seoul were scarves and tights. these I got from Myeong-Dong and the scarves below cost me only 7,000KRW each. Now, I love Zebras!

If you are looking for international brands like H&M and its likes, Myeong-Dong is the place to be.

For the latest hip place to shop in, one must head down to Gangnam by exiting Sinsa Station on the no. 2 green subway line.

Night Shot of Gangnam

The shops here are more upmarket and at night, it's lovely to have dinner here and chill at one of the many coffee houses littered along the street. 

As usual, I didn't forget the little ones and got them sneakers made in Korea. For cheap children wear, head down to Nandaemun Market instead. You'll get a better chance of getting inexpensive items. 


Sharnie Hung said...

Ah, shopping! Is it hard shopping in Seoul if you don't know their language? Do they understand English or Mandarin? Are they patient with haggling? Lol. It's the most important part. :P

The wholesale market seems fun and intimidating at the same time. How many pieces of clothing counts as wholesale though? I'm always hearing about Dongdaemun, maybe should make it my first stop if the prices are really cheaper. :)

Mei said...


Yah, you should check out Dongdeamum first because it's cheap! Especially the wholesale night market.

People aren't all that friendly like normal retail stores 'coz they can tell we're not stores buyers but they're alright on the whole. In the wholesale night market, they don't allow haggling. It's fine for the other places (like Dooota, Miglore etc.) though.

It'll help if you can speak a little of their language like "How much is this?" = "I-ge ŏl-ma-ye-yo? "

Check out this site:

They can't really speak English. Some at the wholesale night market can speak Mandarin, I think it has got to do with them catering to the up and coming Chinese market. ;)

Sharnie Hung said...

Thank you for the link! :) Yeah, they're saying I should bring a Korean phrasebook so I wouldn't be so lost. Haha. But it's going to feel weird trying out their language for the first time. I am a bit unsure on how they treat foreigners in general though. I always think that maybe the younger generation knows a lot of English now. :) Thank you so much! Your answers really help!

Mei said...

Hi there,

Haha.. ya, I think basic Korean would help and maybe let the people warm up to you.

I find that the younger generation are still not that good with English. Sometimes they kind of understand but cannot converse back.

You enjoy yourself, Korea is lovely! =)

Sharnie Hung said...

It's definitely a challenge. It's easy to get tongue-tied. :D Thank you! And thanks again for the help. Greatly appreciated! :D

Anonymous said...

I'm leaving for Korea soon and you're blog was great pre-reference. However, I'm curious. Are the clothing sizes in Myeondong and Dongdaemun like Migliore and Doota all small??

Mei said...


No, they're not. In fact, when I was there in April, there was a lot of big free size clothings which fit a size L person comfortably or even in a loose manner.

I guess they may be meant for layering since the weather was still cooling. But they can be worn on their own too.

I'm not sure about summer though. Wish you luck in having a great shopping trip!=)

Anonymous said...


looking at the map u posted, should i get off at Dongdaemun stadium station since its nearer to the wholesale market? is there any prominent building to indicate that im at the right place?

Mei said...

Hi there,

Not that I know of. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi,the 2 tops that u bought from the wholesale night market,got any labels indicate they are made in Korea?

Mei said...

Hi there,

Not for that 2 tops that I got but there is for some other tops that my friends got.