By now, we all know about the popular Korean trend known as the “couple look.” To achieve the look, a couple coordinates their outfits with the same color, shirt, shoes. They can even go to extreme lengths and match head-to-toe in identical his-and-hers versions of an entire outfit.
Many couples have said they do this in an effort to show affection. Others say it helps as a clear sign for strangers to know they are off the market. Some even claim that they simply do it for fashion since it is so attention grabbing.
Whatever the reason may be, the matching trend has clearly been a hit for Korean couples. So what about American couples? It’s certainly not uncommon to see couples in the same color, but what about entire matching outfits?
Luckily for us, we don’t need to wonder. Refinery21 writer, Connie Wang, decided to go ahead and use this trend for her social experiment to see how it would play out for a couple in America.
“It’s hard for me to get embarrassed about what I wear,” Wang wrote. “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.”
The couple went through an entire week of matching and documenting their experience. On the first day, they admitted that the process of picking the outfit and getting ready was quite fun, but as soon as they stepped outside, things changed.
“Immediately after we left the apartment, I felt more self-conscious about my outfit than I’ve ever felt in my life,” she recalled. “It was like a joke, and like we were in costume instead of in clothes, and I wanted to hide.”
The next few days remained uncomfortable for the two. In fact, Wang’s boyfriend had a tendency to keep away from her in public to avoid the discomfort. The couple did prove one thing though. Some Korean couples claim that they matched to make sure others are aware of their taken status. That also seems to be the case in America.
“Note to all women who want to avoid being hit on: Dress up in the exact same outfit as one of your male friends. It’s like wearing a wedding ring on your entire body.”
Eventually the couple became a little bit more accepting of the idea, but “not so bad after all” isn’t exactly the best response you can get. There were various emotions involved. Wang’s boyfriend felt emasculated while Wang herself felt the need to put on lipstick to appear more feminine than the man sitting next to her. Oddly enough, the couple eventually stopped noticing.
“I can’t say I liked it,” Wangs boyfriend said on the very last day of the experiment. “But now I get it.”
All photos courtesy of Refinery29.