We’ve all seen them. It’s the wintertime and your bias group has a comeback. After waiting (impatiently) surviving on the music video alone for about a day or so, you go out on twitter to check for any updates, and the only HQ photos that have been uploaded so far from this comeback is labeled with something along the lines of “(Group/idol name) On the way to (weekly music show name).” The members are walking in to the building from their vans, shivering in these ginormous, full-body coats shaped like a honeycomb that are fatter than they are, and it looks like their tiny legs are being swallowed up by the puffy padding. These padded jackets have been around since the beginning of the second generation of Kpop, and I could bet some good money that there isn’t a single Kpop group that hasn’t worn these jackets before. Well apparently, these jackets have a name, and no, it’s not “Fat puffy jacket.” They’re called “Padded Jackets” in Korea, or “Padding” for short, and in the US they’re called Bench Down Jackets. I don’t know how to use all of those names in one title, so I’m just going with the more generalized term, Idol Jackets.
Idol Jackets have become a pretty popular fashion item in Korea. In fact, they’re so popular that they’re causing some problems. These kinds of fashion items apparently determine the social status over in Korea, so there’s been a lot of bullying and gang violence over these padded jackets, which are fairly expensive. When Big Bang endorsed North Face’s Padded Jackets years ago, there were about 5 cases of gang violence, and it all boiled down to gang member’s seeing a kid with that jacket, and beating them up just because they wanted one too. The whole social status ladder with these padded jackets are becoming a problem too. But, in this thread I wanted to show different idols wearing the padded jacket just in the name a fashion. So, let’s just enjoy some of the looks that we see here!
Idol Jackets on Different Idols
Weki Meki’s Kim Doyeon
I have no idea how many things she’s holding, but Doyeon definitely pulls this look off! Doyeon has a jacket that’s significantly less-puffy than what most padded jackets are infamous for, so if you’re looking for something more subtle, try this! Apparently, Fantagio has their own jacket brand now too? There doesn’t seem to be any sponsors on her jacket.
Somi wore this camo-green padded jacket from one of her photoshoots with “Jambangee.” This jacket’s also pretty toned-down in terms of puffiness, so I’m beginning to think that the trend nowadays is slightly less puffiness on these jackets. It’s probably a good thing for all of us. I can’t imagine female idols’ tiny frames holding those huge down jackets.
Red Velvet’s Seulgi
Ah, this is going more in the direction of the original padded jackets. Surprisingly, though, Seulgi manages to pull this look while looking effortless. I’m surprised!
Now, these are the kinds of jackets I think of when I hear about Idol Jackets. I think the arms on this jacket are wider than Tiffany’s face! At least we know she’s warm!
CoLoR!!! Finally! Just when I thought that this kind of jacket only came in black, BTS and Puma saved me from this colorless world of Idol Jackets! It’s definetely not a lot, but at least there’s some variety for us to choose from now.
Seventeen became the brand models for “Dynafit,” and these Idol Jackets were one of the clothing items that were released in the line. I like how the hoods on the white jackets have fur on them. It’s a bit different from the usual Idol Jackets that you see.
I think we all remember that one time the Kpop community was laughing because of that one picture of Kyungsoo at the airport looking like a walking caterpillar with his puffy jacket on. I thought that he wore the jacket just because of a sponsorship, but it turns out, he prefers this jacket on his day-to-day basis. It’s pretty clear that Kyungsoo didn’t care a bit about being called a caterpillar, he just needed to be warm.
Here’s some more Fashion Trends that have been raging in Korea: