Blue jeans are not permitted. They represent global imperialism in North Korea. If you are a tourist, however, no one will speak to you, but you will have to make an effort when visiting the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il monuments. Wearing foreign clothes shows disrespect for the country's leaders.
The preferred thing to wear in North Korea is the traditional Korean dress: jeogori for women and yanggu belt for men. These garments are easy to find in South Korea and other Asian countries but not so in Europe or America where they can only be bought in speciality shops. The cost of shipping them overseas makes them unrealistic for most travellers. However, there are some small boutiques in South Korea that sell authentic articles.
In North Korea, people also wear clothes that they call "comrade clothes". These are mostly blue jeans but also include shirts with Chinese characters on them. The government allows these goods in public because it believes that everyone should have equal access to Western culture. However, nobody except high-ranking officials is supposed to wear foreign clothes in North Korea. The rule is very strict and often gets broken by young people who think that wearing jeans is cool. They know that they will get punished if found out but this doesn't stop them from doing it.
There are two ways around the Jeans ban in North Korea.
Blue jeans are prohibited in North Korea. North Korea has ruled that wearing blue jeans is prohibited because it represents American imperialism, which the east Asian country considers to be its adversary.
In Iran, it is illegal for women to wear pants.
In India, it is illegal for women to wear pants.
In Israel, it is forbidden for men to let their hair grow out of shape.
In Japan, it is illegal for women to wear pants.
United States In the United States, it is against the law to fail to provide medical care for one's self or others. In most states, it is also an offense to avoid medical treatment by going somewhere else to be treated or by seeking alternative remedies instead.
In some states, such as New York and California, it is also a crime for someone who can't pay their medical bills to be thrown into jail while they await trial.
In other states, such as Mississippi, it is not a crime for someone who can't pay their medical bills to be thrown into jail but rather a crime for them to be forced to sell their belongings and rent out their home in order to raise money for their defense.
Although tourists are permitted to wear blue jeans, you must wear pants of a different color before entering the Kim II Sung and Kim Jong II Memorial Hall. Taking photos of underprivileged people is a crime in North Korea. North Korea argues that this tarnishes the country's image.
In an effort to limit western influence on its citizens, the nation has also prohibited piercings and established rigorous criteria for selecting a hairdo.
Jeans were originally imported into North Korea by Chinese traders around 1980. The first pair of jeans to be sold in the country was called "The Blue Shark" and came with a tag attached saying they had been bought in South Korea. This inspired many young people to want to wear jeans, so they started making them here in factories. However, due to lack of knowledge about manufacturing clothes, they were never able to make a good quality pair of jeans.
Today, most North Koreans dress in traditional Korean clothing or Soviet-style uniforms. Only members of the elite and some government officials can afford jeans.
In 2002, North Korea banned women from wearing makeup, nail polish, and hair extensions. The same year, it became illegal for men to wear shirts with buttons. In 2003, the law was changed to allow men to wear button-up shirts if they have a special permit issued by their work unit.
In 2004, it was reported that North Koreans were required to cut their hair in a formal style called the "bomohawk".
Clothing regulations are generally low in North Korea. In the summer, shorts and light clothing are appropriate, while in the winter, we recommend carrying thermals and winter coats. Long trousers and enclosed shoes are required for men (sneakers, travel or hiking boots are fine, but no sandals or flip flops). Women are allowed to bare their shoulders and knees.
Carrying a backpack is prohibited at airports and railway stations. If caught with one, the owner will likely be fined or arrested. You can buy snacks and drinks at the self-service shops at airports and train stations.
Yes, but they are not popular tourist destinations. The most famous beach is called Changbaishan in Shanxi Province. It is a large bay with clean white sands and clear blue waters. There are many small islands in the bay where dumplings in red wine sauce are sold by vendors who come on motorbikes. This is part of a larger tourism development project that also includes a hotel, restaurants, and shopping malls. Other options include South Pyongan Province's Nampo Beach or Kangwon Province's Pohang Bay. These are far from being pristine places, though.
Public phones are available at airports and railway stations.
As a visitor, there is no dress code, and you are free to wear anything you choose. However, it is welcomed when travelers dress appropriately and in accordance with local standards. And if you run out of clothing, a North Korean outfit is always available!
In fact, the government-run shop that sells everything from clothes to food has something called the "North Korean Dress Code". This is what people are expected to wear when going into the country. Men should wear dark trousers or skirts and light-colored shirts. Women should wear blue or black dresses, white blouses, and red scarves/capes. Both men and women are expected to wear shoes.
The dress code is not mandatory but it is recommended so people don't take advantage of the tourist system. If you do want to stick to North Korean fashion, there are some shops in Beijing where you can find such items. The problem is that they don't have much choice on clothes, so if you look like someone who visits these places regularly, then you will probably get some funny looks.
Overall, dressing in accordance with local customs is important for making friends and having fun. So, feel free to experiment with different outfits and types of clothing, but keep in mind the culture of the place you're visiting.