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Casual Clothes for Women in Their 30s

Posted November. 19, 2005 08:21,   


More new casual clothing brands targeting women in their 30s are being launched.

Up until the first half of this year, “Crocodile Ladies” dominated the ladies’ casual wear market. However, with the launching of “Olivia Lauren,” “Zishen,” and others, the casual clothing market is expected to become competitive.

We Want to Wear Pretty Clothes, Too –

Many women in their 30s complain that “there aren’t clothes available” for them. Clothing favored by women in their 20s does not fit them, and designer brands at department stores are too expensive.

Hyungji Apparel’s “Crocodile Ladies” was the first to realize and act on these needs of thirty-something ladies. “Crocodile Ladies” provided them with comfortable and practical casual wear.

The number of “Crocodile Ladies” shops started increasing rapidly from 2002 and as of late last month, there are about 310 shops in Korea.

Now, other brands are entering the ladies’ casual wear market as well. This August, the clothing company Sejung launched “Olivia Lauren,” and Wivis launched “Zishen.” Just two months after its launch, “Olivia Lauren” saw its number of stores increase to 100.

The greatest appeal of ladies’ casual wear is its “reasonable” prices. Shirts cost between 30,000 won and 60,000 won, and pants and skirts are priced between 60,000 won and 100,000 won. These brands are more expensive than Giordano or Maru, which are casual brands favored by the younger generation, but they are only about one-third the cost of designer brands.

Next year, E-land and The Basic House are also expected to enter the ladies’ casual wear market. Also, Hyungji Apparel plans to launch a similar brand, “Chatelaine,” next year, to maintain its lead in the market.

Sophisticated Consumers –

If “Crocodile Ladies” clothes are comfortable and simple, the later brands have launched clothing that is more stylish. However, the garments are also pricier.

One employee at “Olivia Lauren” said, “The market is fracturing as the number of brands increase. These days, sensuous and sophisticated styles are popular.”

The ladies’ casual wear market is evaluated to be the “blue ocean” in the clothing industry, because of its potential for future growth.

As the five-day work week trend expands throughout Korean companies, the demand for casual clothing has increased. However, there have not been many brands that have made casual wear for women in their 30s.

Kim Jeong-hee of Samsung Fashion Institute said, “The women currently in their early 30s did not have to wear school uniforms, and they have been able to enjoy international travel, so they are very stylish and sophisticated. Their fashion sense and style will be on a whole different level from ladies in the earlier generations.”

Jin-Suk Huh jameshuh@donga.com