STYLE

North Korea Even Has Rules On Fashion: Here's What You're Allowed To Wear

14/08/2014 16:42 | Updated 20 May 2015

We've all made terrible jokes about crimes against fashion, but in North Korea the fashion police are far more real and more menacing than the E! panel made up by Kelly Osbourne and Joan Rivers.

Unwritten rules on personal style are enforced by a small army of young communists in the world's most secretive state, with any "foreign" looking clothing strictly forbidden.

north korea

"Fashion is the easiest and most conspicuous way to mark the political affiliations of the wearer," Suk-young Kim, an expert on North Korean culture at the University of California, Santa Barbara told The Guardian.

"How to manage one's body, what to put on one's body, and how to present one's body in public and private lives do not seem to belong to a realm of individual choices in North Korea. Rather, it is a matter of strict state policies and regulations."

For example, women's trousers are painstakingly scrutinised, revealing outfits are a total no go and apparently, "sunhats invite suspicion".

Blue jeans are also completely off limits and anything too decorative (especially Roman lettering) could cause potential trouble for the wearer who can be scolded for their behaviour, followed by a series of lectures and even forced labour.

You wouldn't believe it but these rules are more relaxed than in previous years. Song Eun-byul, a 27-year-old North Korean who was stopped in the street for wearing Western-looking boots explained the changes.

"Women can wear trousers inside the city, but they need to be very loosely cut," she said. "Before, if I went to the city centre, I had to wear a skirt or traditional Korean dress."

While experts dismiss reports that all male students were ordered to have the same haircut as leader Kim Jong-un, the regime enforces tight regulations on hair styling. According to The Guardian, at one stage, state television ran a series titled Let's Cut Our Hair In Accordance with Socialist Lifestyle.

MORE! Reports out of North Korea say Kim Jong Un is forcing all men in his country to get his same haircut - find out all the details here...

North Korean Men Forced to Get Kim Jong Un's Haircut

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