Nikki’s Inbox: Channeling f(x) Amber’s Style

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Hello Nikki! One of my favorite K-pop idols just had their solo debut, Amber of f(x). I love her tomboy style but I have no idea how to dress like her. I feel really awkward in girly clothes, so I feel like Amber’s style is more like mine. Thanks!

Rachel, 20/USA

Hi Rachel! I confess I’m not that well-versed in the K-pop world but I’m also not one to back out of a fashion challenge either! I am familiar with who Amber is and I do understand why a lot of K-pop fans love her style and her talent.

The art of androgyny is, I’m happy to say, something that’s now more common these days. Tilda Swinton and Marlene Dietrich are some of the celebrities that I admire because they make menswear styles look good and they also have the attitude to match, just like Amber.

Look for Relaxed Fits, Not Oversized
Korean fashion tends to either emphasize curves via nearly skin-tight clothing, or go to extremes with very oversized sweaters and bottoms, which I’m not a fan of. f(x)’s Amber goes for the middle ground. Her clothes aren’t that oversized nor are they that tight. The fit is just right – they don’t over-emphasize her curves, but neither hiding them.

Take note of her casual tops in her videos – the sleeves start exactly where her shoulders are, or just a few centimeters past it, so her outfits don’t look sloppy on her. Keep these in mind for tops and tees, and especially blouses and button-down shirts. I recommend looking for darts in your shirts to avoid making them look too baggy even when wearing them untucked. Try boyfriend-cut jackets and shirts, which accommodate curves but are tailored to a certain degree for a boyish look. Pair them with a sleeveless top or short-sleeved tee, skinny jeans, plus sneakers or boots.

Amber’s photo from BNT News

Color Your World
If there’s one thing that K-pop fashion is known for, it’s being fearless about color. Amber’s stage outfits are all about bright splashes and contrast. In your case, Rachel, if you’re not that confident about color pairing just yet (I highly recommend just looking at a color wheel for a basic guide), start out with just one bright color in your outfit, like a red graphic print sweatshirt, and keep the rest in neutral hues such as white, black or gray. Slowly build it up in the next few days with small, similarly-hued accents like a red plaid scarf or patterned red socks. As you gain more confidence, add another hue (like cobalt blue or leaf green) to the mix but always grounding your outfit with a neutral color. Once you’re used to a more varied palette, there’s no stopping you from coming up with eye-catching combinations!

Amber’s photo from

Compound Textural and Visual Interest
Color isn’t the only way to channel Amber’s playful outfits, darling. Textures and patterns add plenty of visual depth even when you’re only wearing three or two colors. It can be anything simple such as wide stripes, to something more mesmerizing like gothic prints, colorful logos or appliqués. Aside from visual accents, textures can also pave the way to give your outfit a more nuanced look especially if you’re in a monochromatic outfit. Team distressed charcoal skinny jeans with a studded black leather jacket and black patent boots. The contrast of different fabrics creates a more interesting mix.

Amber’s photo from

Accessorize To the Max!
It needs to be said that accessories serve as the icing on Amber’s outfits. Aside from her hats and caps, she’s not averse to wearing earrings, bracelets and necklaces. I also like how her styling team is creative with her makeup, adding rhinestones and sparkles to her eyelids or brows. For some of her airport fashion photos, a leather cuff and a necklace elevate a simple gray tee, shorts and sneakers. Start with simple earring – you can wear a pair, or sport different ones in each ear. Contrast an androgynous outfit like a fitted, buttoned jacket and jeans with rhinestone ear cuffs, a trio of cute rings or a cute bowtie pendant necklace.

Amber’s photo from Pinterest

I wish you the best, Rachel!


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