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K-Pop’s Bold ‘No-Pants’ Trend Sparks Heated Fashion Debate

no-pants style by kpop artists

K-pop has always been a trendsetter in the world of music and fashion. Recently, a controversial trend called the “no-pants” look has taken center stage, causing a stir in the industry. Artists like Huh Yun-jin from LE SSERAFIM and (G)I-DLE have been flaunting this bold style, creating a buzz among fans and sparking a debate on whether it’s empowering or too much for the younger audience.

Lisa from BLACKPINK with NO-Pants Look / Capture from Instagram
Lisa from BLACKPINK with NO Pants Look / Capture from Instagram.

The Rise of ‘No-Pants’ in K-Pop:

Imagine sporting micro shorts or pairing briefs with tights – that’s the essence of the “no-pants” look that’s making waves in K-pop. Huh Yun-jin, a member of LE SSERAFIM, turned heads by donning gray briefs and black tights under a pink puffer jacket in a teaser for the group’s EP, “Easy.” Similarly, (G)I-DLE caught attention with all four members rocking bodysuits without pants in their latest music video, “Super Lady.” This trend isn’t limited to K-pop, as global stars like Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner have also embraced it.

Controversies and Concerns:

However, the “no-pants” look hasn’t escaped controversy, especially in the K-pop world, where a significant portion of fans are teenagers. Critics worry about the potential influence on young fans, cautioning against blindly imitating these styles. Some argue that the trend might be more about commercializing sexuality under the guise of fashion innovation, raising concerns about its impact on impressionable minds.

Huh Yun-jin from LE SSERAFIM with No-Pants Look / Capture from Instagaram
Huh Yun-jin from LE SSERAFIM with No Pants Look / Capture from Instagaram

Fashion Expert’s Perspective:

Kim Hyo-jung, an instructor at Ewha Womans University’s Department of Fashion Industry, acknowledges the polarizing reactions to the “no-pants” style but defends it as a form of self-expression and empowerment. She sees it as a bold look that signifies confidence and freedom, comparing it to the cultural shifts brought about by miniskirts in the 1960s. According to Kim, the style reflects the modern era’s confidence and empowerment of women to wear what they please without fear of judgment.

Historical Roots of the Trend:

The roots of the pantsless style can be traced back to the 1950s when dancers wore tight dancewear to accentuate their bodies. Over the years, it evolved with influences from the aerobic exercise craze of the 1980s, leading to a surge in fluorescent clothing and leggings. This style reappeared in fashion collections in 2023, making its mark on red carpets and urban streets alike.

The Evolution and Future of ‘No-Pants’:

Kim suggests that the “no-pants” trend may take some time to be widely accepted and integrated into mainstream fashion. While it currently remains a fashion choice for the daring few, she believes that if it evolves into a more accessible style, akin to how bras became part of sportswear for the athleisure look, it could appeal to a broader audience.

The “no-pants” trend in K-pop has certainly stirred the pot, sparking discussions on empowerment, self-expression, and its influence on younger fans. While critics voice concerns about the potential impact on impressionable minds, fashion experts like Kim Hyo-jung see it as a symbol of confidence and empowerment for women. Whether this daring trend will become a staple in mainstream fashion remains to be seen, but for now, it’s undeniably making a bold statement on the global stage.

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