K-pop Female Solo Summer Comebacks: Sunmi, Somi and Chungha

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

This summer, we’ve gotten a lot of comebacks from female solo artists, ranging from Hwasa’s sexy trap single Maria to Lee Hi’s soulful ballad Holo. Although unfortunately unable to cover all of these comebacks, I’ve decided to dive in deep with three MVs: Sunmi’s pporappippam, Somi’s What You Waiting For and Chungha’s Play. These three have the most put-together, eye-catching looks to choose from, and they all share a common theme – dresses! Breezy dresses are a no-brainer during hot months, which explains why Sunmi, Somi and Chungha are clad almost exclusively in dresses in their MVs. Whether you live in dresses or aren’t yet a big fan, read on for some inspo on how to rock them this summer!

Sunmi’s pporappippam

The MV for pporappippam (which means “purple-hued night” in Korean) is edited with an old-school film cam effect and captures a nostalgic, summers-of-bygone-past vibe with scenes of bonfires, fireworks, night drives and romantic rendezvous. Sunmi continues to solidify her nonchalant femme fatale status with the looks in this MV. She flaunts a number of mini dresses that show off her famously long legs, and adds dimension and interest with puff sleeves, balloon skirts, bold prints and plenty of sparkle. As the dresses speak for themselves, she doesn’t rely on too many extra accessories, mainly making use of only the most classic of earrings. I really appreciate the repeated appearances of the few pieces of jewelry and footwear we do see, as this serves as a guide on how to re-wear pieces to create vastly different outcomes. Part of me will never forget Kate Sanders screaming, “Lizzie McGuire, you are an outfit repeater!” so it’s reassuring to see that even the biggest of stars recognize the versatility of certain staples.

Outfits from the MV can be split into three broad categories, with the first being monochrome sleeveless ensembles. For the first look in this category, Sunmi rocks a faux leather and mesh top paired with a ruffled A-line mini skirt, all in black, and this mesh-panel black tube dress is a close dupe. Sunmi keeps up the sleek, sexy yet simple vibe with large rhinestone hoops and grounds the look with skater-girl cool platform high-tops. She’s also seen in a bright cobalt blue tube dress with a low-cut sweetheart neckline and fun ruffled hem, and she accessorizes with the same hoop earrings while adding toughness with edgy mid-calf biker lace-up boots. The third look is the only non-dress outfit of this MV, but is still in keeping with the sleeveless monochrome theme. Sunmi wears a three-piece lace set comprising a cropped tube top, high-waisted shorts and an open-front jacket. Again, the ultra-pristine and femme look is paired with some casual platform sneakers – only this time, they’re topped with a not-so-basic iridescent scale fabric.

That leads us into our second set of outfits, which features dazzling sequins and glitter – worthy of the commanding pop diva Sunmi is. The first piece is a drop-waist balloon-skirt tube dress that elongates her torso while adding curves. Its bodice is speckled with glittery touches that mirror her rhinestone hoops as well as her bedazzled eye makeup. The second is a figure-hugging sleeveless sheath dress adorned with allover sequins, while rhinestone tassels hanging from the hem and shoulders add extra movement. She pairs this dress with the same sparkly, silver-tone sneakers mentioned above for a matchy-matchy look that juxtaposes old-school glamor against contemporary street style. While set against the same rhinestone backdrop, she transitions into an even more extravagant gown with a high-low tulle skirt, sequined bodice and mesh balloon sleeves. To complete her mini dress’s evolution into a full-skirted maxi gown, she also trades her sneaks in for a pair of equally glittery strappy heels.

Finally, for the last category of outfits, Sunmi steps away from monochrome and glittery pieces and moves into printed territory. All three pieces come in a luxe silky material to keep things elegant and mature despite the loud, youthful prints. Her first piece is a bright yellow leopard-print mini dress with off-shoulder puff sleeves, which she balances with multi-strap Mary Jane blocks heels for a schoolgirl touch. The second is also a puff-sleeve mini sheath dress, but one enlivened with multicolored polka dots, which she pairs with complementary blue spherical stud earrings. In her most femme look of the MV, she lounges around at home in a sultry slip dress. The figure-hugging spaghetti strap midi dress comes in a soft pink, with allover floral print. At home, where comfort is key, these no-fuss but still chic mini alloy hoop earrings are ideal.

Somi’s What You Waiting For

Her first single since debuting with Birthday, this catchy synth-pop-meets-electronica track is not only an instant party hit, but it also shows Somi emerging as a mature singer, songwriter and producer. The MV depicts scenes that are extremely relatable during quarantine – Somi lounging around in a very messy room while wrapped up in an enviably cozy off-shoulder PJ dress. Her powerful alter egos use sheer force to break her out of her home and bellboys roll in gift boxes and deluxe meals on trolleys while she sits in bed. For those dreaming about days when you can party with friends again, perhaps witnessing Somi dancing around in a dark room while holding that signature red solo cup will give you vicarious enjoyment.

To suit the vibes of this song, Somi is seen in a number of party-ready outfits that are every bit as glam as the sparkly ensembles donned by Sunmi. The first is a blue shirred tube mini dress with a large front ruffle adorned with allover sequins. Somi pairs this high-energy piece with glittery blue eye shadow, strappy platform sandals in silver and sheer long white socks, as well as a rhinestone choker with a ring pendant and three-tier rhinestone-encrusted heart earrings. Although slightly over-the-top, the matchy-matchy accessories actually add a touch of little-girl-dress-up innocence befitting of Somi’s 19 years of age. The second is a halter-neck sequin mini dress with waist cutouts, which Somi pairs with matching knee-high sequined boots. While manning an excavator and leading a group of men in medieval armor, Somi rocks a silver-toned mini dress with a cutout neckline and long ruched sleeves. She finishes off the dress with an intricate rhinestone headpiece and knee-high white cowboy boots for a look that’s equal parts fierce and stately. Her fourth piece is a darker, more dramatic rendition of the other three: a mini sheath dress with allover glitter and enormous puff sleeves made of gathered silk material, complete with a rhinestone choker centered by a rectangular gemstone and matching dangling rhinestone earrings.

Apart from glitzy party-ready looks, Somi also rocks some ladylike ensembles. The first is a powder blue double-breasted two-piece made of a cropped blazer and an A-line mini skirt. Layered pearl necklaces, white gloves and a blunt bob with bangs further elevate the sharp, classy piece. The second is a flowy maxi emerald green gown, which is made more low-key with a trendy safety pin necklace and all-white high-tops – perfect for Somi’s Cinderella-esque escape all the way to a running track, which marks the close of the music video.

Chungha’s Play

While the first two MVs share a lot in common in terms of scenes of partying with friends and incorporating plenty of sparkle in outfits, Chungha’s Play paints a different picture, as she really taps into the hippie, flower-child aesthetic often associated with summer. The vibrant music video for the tropical pop track with Latin influences features circus backdrops, scenes of Chungha bullfighting with a red sports car and even captivating rainbow-hued powder dancing. In terms of her sartorial choices, the talented dancer is seen in mostly patterned dresses featuring theatrical high-low hems and gathered skirts, along with cowboy boots and an abundance of tonal accessories.

Although there’s a lot of overlap with Chungha’s dresses, I’ve roughly split them into two categories: patterned and non-patterned. The first patterned piece is an ethereal floral sleeveless maxi dress in pink with mesh overlay and flouncy, full skirts. To add to the fairy-like aura, Chungha puts on a romantic flower crown as well as dangling fabric flower earrings, both in pink to match with her dress. The second is a one-shoulder high-low dress in a dizzying purple, red and green pattern, adorned with allover ruffles. Chungha accessorizes with a blue-and-silver rhinestone headband, large purple hoop earrings and unconventional booties in a bright violet. Also boasting an asymmetrical hem, the third dress is in a darker palette and made of an airy chiffon material. Chungha brightens up the look with metallic accessories: a fringed metal belt and teardrop-shaped cutout earrings.

Chungha’s non-patterned pieces are no less dynamic. The first is a rather complex look consisting of a white corset top and ruched drawcord lace skirt with a high-low hem. She keeps the Victorian theme running with ruffled lace gloves, a pearl choker centered with a flower pendant and pearl cluster dangle earrings, breaking up the sea of white with a pair of contrasting black cowboy boots. The second “dress” is actually a long blue and white sleeveless tasseled top worn over denim shorts, making it one of the more chill outfits in the MV. Brown-toned accessories such as a wide woven belt, layered wooden bangles and knee-high lace-up boots add a rustic warmth, while stacked gold-tone necklaces and perforated turquoise dangle earrings add subtle bling in a Coachella-approved fashion. Finally, in her most daring look yet, Chungha changes into a tiered dress in shocking red to step into the shoes of a bullfighter. The dress’s bodice is embellished with tasseled gold brooches as well as gold and black embroidered stripes, and its sequined black cap sleeves add to the contrasting effect. For accessories, Chungha goes all out with red gemstone earrings, a flower and rhinestone necklace and a gold-tone open bangle. For footwear, tight-fitting thigh-high black boots echo the cap sleeves on her dress and keep the silhouette somewhat streamlined.

Let us know in the comments below which music video was your fave for sartorial inspiration, or if there’s another female solo summer comeback you want to see us cover!

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