After a year-plus of wearing sweatpants almost exclusively, I am suddenly longing for a glamorous return to dressing up. And it’s all thanks to a K-drama. Grazie and kamsahamnida, Vincenzo.
My elastic-waist ennui was shattered when my Netflix scrolling led me to Vincenzo (빈센조), a wildly popular K-drama about a Korean-born, Italian-raised mafia consigliere on a quest for revenge and hidden gold.
I was smitten. Not only with the swoon-worthy title character, Vincenzo Cassano, played by the equally swoon-worthy Song Joong-ki (송중기), but also by the fresh take on power suiting brought to you by the most of-the-moment superstars in tailoring: Moon Choi, JayBaek Couture, Max Mara, and more. I sighed over scene after scene of pressed pleats, sharp shoulders, tailored waistcoats, and bespoke button-downs paired with gold collar pins. Even Vincenzo’s silk pajamas are achingly gorgeous — and they are about as far away from the cozy sweatpants cocoon I have been trapped in for the past year as you can get.
While Vincenzo is my first K-drama, I have been riding the Hallyu wave for a few years thanks to my devotion to global K-pop superstars BTS (annyeonghaseyo, ARMY!). For those unfamiliar with K-dramas, they’re often compared to telenovelas thanks to their high drama, gorgeous cast of actors, and serial nature. K-dramas span a wide range of genres from historical period pieces to zombie horrors to pure, ooey-gooey romances. The shows are usually limited to only a season, but unlike American shows, that season is usually 20-plus-episodes long with each episode stretching up to 90 minutes. Thanks to that deep well of bingable content, paired with the rise of streaming services, the popularity of K-dramas is skyrocketing. In fact, in a 2017 poll, the Korean Tourism Organization found more than half of foreigners who visit Korea did so after watching a K-drama.
I feel like Stefon when I try to list all of my favorite parts of Vincenzo, because this K-drama has everything: a hockey-stick-wielding evil CEO, a courtroom full of bees, family rifts, makgeolli hangovers, a pigeon who just won’t leave, a flaming vineyard, corn salad, a secret basement full of gold bars, a horseback-riding, double-crossing honeypot caper, and more plot twists than a fusilli noodle. The series is wildly entertaining and shifts its moods from dark mafia crime drama to silly slapstick to starry-eyed romance with whiplash speed. There’s drama, adventure, and most of all, capital-F Fashion.
Summer dressing usually conjures up thoughts of bright bikinis and sexy crop tops, but here I am lusting over three-piece suiting and chic, old-fashioned accessories like pressed handkerchiefs, engraved Zippo lighters, and paisley silk scarves worn while horseback riding on an undercover mission. Along the way, Vincenzo joins forces with equally chic, equally cutthroat lawyer Hong Cha-Young (played by Jeon Yeo-been, 전여빈), and my wardrobe lust was instantly doubled. Cha-Young is outfitted in a nonstop parade of suits so beautiful, it makes me want to burn all my hoodies.
Here’s some good news if you’re as whipped as I am: you can still snap up some of Cha-Young and Vincenzo’s stunner pieces to add to your post-sweatpants pivot. Scroll through the gallery for my favorite pieces as we wait to see if we’ll get a season two.