The massive heat wave that has hit much of Northeast Asia this summer has led to a new fashion trend in South Korea – refrigerator pants.
The thin, light and wildly patterned pants are what all the girls in Seoul and Busan are wearing, largely because of their “cooling” functionality.
The nation nearly had a blackout Monday with power demands reaching record heights, and the government has started a power-saving campaign, even resorting to the drastic measure of turning off air conditioners at 19,000 public organizations.
As the unbearable heat continues, refrigerator pants keep flying off the shelves at both online and offline stores.
“We started seeing the trend last summer, and this summer, around 70% of our sales are coming from these refrigerator pants,” says Seung-won Lee, a spokesperson for Coco Marlene, South Korea’s largest online pants and leggings store.
Thanks to the sale of refrigerator pants, the store was ranked number one on the shopping section of South Korea’s largest online portal.
“I started wearing them last summer and I have been this summer as well, and the reason I like them so much is because of the light fabric — you can still wear long pants in this heat,” says Suzy Kim, age 30. “They’re airy and don’t stick and I also like the comfortable elastic waist.”