Let’s face it: the styling is a huge part of any comeback. No matter how good the music is, it won’t draw our attention if they don’t look good singing it. It’s a sad fact, but the Kpop industry is very very visual. The wonderful upside of that is that you get some truly incredible comeback looks.
BTS – Blood, Sweat, & Tears
You can fight me on this: Wings is BTS’s most creative and inspired album. It is somehow a perfect cohesion of all their musical styles while still being the only album to showcase them as individuals. It has an array of songs, both hype and contemplative, and it has one of the best–if not THE best–title track of all their albums. But BTS did not just deliver on sound, oh no, they also delivered looks to end all other looks.
I don’t know exactly what the discussion was when the stylists put together BTS’s looks for the BST MV, but I imagine they must thrown around the words “rich,” “luxury,” “velvet,” and “vampires” pretty often because that is what they gave us. BTS oozed wealthy Victorian elite in this comeback while still making it dark and edgy and not at all what we saw from the Young Forever photoshoot. It was perfection and I thank them for it.
TWICE – TT
I know there’s someone out there thinking “The only iconic look TWICE has ever had was during Fancy” but they would be wrong. FANCY is a great song and it’s amazing to see TWICE try something totally different in both their styling and music, but their outfits didn’t stand out to me nearly as much as they did during TT. TT is one of my favorite TWICE music videos and it’s easy to see why. It has adorable nods to famous movies and it’s Halloween themed, which is my favorite time of year (my birthday is October 30th).
Their outfits are also truly unique. This music video has some very small but still present 70s horror movie vibes and their styling is an extension of that. From Sana’s feathery bangs to Nayeon’s middle part to Chaeyoung’s low pigtails, there is a distinct look they were going for here. It’s also seen in Mina and Chaeyoung’s knee high socks, Dahyun’s clunky Mary Jane’s, and the whole sweaters and collared shirts attire they gave to everyone.
Red Velvet – Peek-A-Boo
Red Velvet is made of iconic looks. Nearly every one of their comebacks are incredibly well styled and suit whatever delightful weirdness they have in store for us in the music video. This one, however, was something totally new. Peek-A-Boo was rife with implications of human sacrifice, murder, and other wonderfully creepy things. I loved seeing Red Velvet in this brand new light and I was thankful that their wardrobe suited everything so perfectly.
They sported two main outfits for this MV/comeback: the red dresses and the rhinestone rainbows. Neither ones of those concepts are menacing on their own, but when you put them together with a creepy setting and little Yeri holding a crossbow, you get a perfect comeback.
VIXX – Chained Up
Let me start off by saying this is my all time favorite VIXX song. Shangri La is a close second but this was my first VIXX comeback and I instantly fell in love with the song. I’m not really a VIXX fan, but I respect their style and their concept.
I think it’s safe to say that VIXX are the kings of sexy comeback attire. They pretty much revolutionized the use of chokers and suits. Nothing represents that better than Chained Up. The white suits with no shirts underneath? The red chokers representing the chains that this person has on them? If this isn’t provocative and intriguing then what is?
SHINee – 1 of 1
SHINee never disappoints. That’s just the way it is. Their concepts are stellar, their vocals are impeccable, and their music is always the absolute best. 1 of 1 was no different. It was such a well-thought-out concept that embraced 90s nostalgia completely. You could even purchase the CD in a limited edition cassette form. It was perfect and every song on the album suited the theme wonderfully.
Their outfits were just as incredible. The fluorescent colors, the turtlenecks in contrasting colors underneath well-fitted suits, and the thick chains were all so perfectly done that they managed to bring back the most outdated 90s fashion and make it cool again.
f(x) – 4 Walls
This is one of my favorite comebacks of all time. It is also the only one in this post where the looks that I’m talking about are not featured in the music video but rather in the live stage. The wide leg pants with the tight-fitting long-sleeve crop tops were iconic. This one stage in particular was amazing and I loved the pastel colors they chose as well as the choice to have the backup dancers blindfolded. It was beautiful and it’s honestly such a shame that we haven’t gotten anything from them since.