Search icon


28th May 2021

North Korea bans skinny jeans and mullets in fight against capitalism

Danny Jones

North Korea bans skinny jeans and mullets

Dictatorships stretch to fashion as well. Ask the blackshirts

As reported by numerous sources, it would seem Kim Jong-un has put a ban on skinny jeans. He’s also set to outlaw big, hipster sunglasses, flannel shirts and festival wristbands worn longer than a week after the fact.

On a serious note, though, the North Korean Supreme Leader (dictator, despot—whatever you want to call him) has made it illegal to wear skinny jeans, ripped denim, branded t-shirts; lip piercings, certain hairstyles like mullets, and a number of other things that are deemed to point towards a “capitalistic culture”.

The ban was delivered from upon high via Rodong Sinmum, the nation’s state newspaper. Yonhap News Agency – a South Korean outlet – said it warned the youth, in particular, against the “exotic and decadent lifestyle” of capitalism which could cause the country to “collapse like a damp wall”. Basically, young Kimmy is being proper wet in order to prevent the damp, in his eyes.

This isn’t the first time, by any means, that there’s been a crackdown on clobber, as The Guardian reported on North Korea’s ‘fashion police’ all the way back in 2014. The surveillance state essentially deploys groups of young communists to enforce fascistic fashion laws, like a bunch of jumped-up hall monitors who spend their time checking if you’re wearing rolled-up jeans with no socks on.

As it turns out, denim actually has a historic thread throughout protest culture: beyond the rebellious mods, rockers and punk movements we’re familiar with over here, jeans were also a symbol of youth empowerment and anti-Eastern Bloc in Berlin around the time of the Cold War.

In addition to denouncing denim, the communist regime has reportedly outlawed all but 15 officially acceptable “non-socialist” haircuts, those remaining being deemed as somehow “proper” hairstyles.

Let’s just hope people don’t go for Kim Jong-un’s two main options: the super square slicked-back fade or the slightly more casual centre-parting. The barber done did you dirty, bro. He’s not mainstream or indie, he’s just a twat.