Trendy long padded coats puts financial strain on Korean parents

With temperatures dropping nationwide, long padded jackets have become trendy among Korean middle and high school students, but parents are feeling the pinch from their expensive price tags.

Such jackets are similar to those worn by sports players on the bench.

A report said a housewife in Daegu surnamed Kim felt compelled to buy her daughter, who is in junior high, a long padded jacket that cost 500,000 won (S$615). Kim initially hesitated over the price, but her daughter had insisted on having one, as she did not want to be "singled out" by her classmates.

Students wearing long padded jackets can be easily spotted on the streets these days.

One high school student said, "I think more than half of my peers wear it. I had to ask my parents many times before they bought me one."

Jackets vary widely in price, ranging from 50,000 won to over 1 million won. However, some students are not satisfied with those that cost less than 200,000 won, according to reports that quoted parents.

Therefore, parents have begun calling expensive long padded jackets "spine breakers" in Korean, referring to how they are so pricey and burdensome.

Another parent surnamed Hwang said she had bought her middle school daughter an expensive winter coat last year, but had to buy her the popular long-padded coat this year.

Similar to other Korean parents, Hwang expressed concerns over the financial burden of the long padded coats.