Gift Guide for K-pop Hags

A holiday gift guide for K-pop fans full of love, dread, and anxiety

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For those not in on the joke… In English-language fan spaces, K-pop fans often use the term “hag” in regards to anyone or anything remotely older than 20. There are dedicated accounts to K-pop’s hag idols, and there are frequent conversations about the term’s sexist, ageist usage. Just generally it’s slang that I’m utilizing here in the sense of taking ownership, and maybe laughing a little bit at, the term. Since I am a thirty-something person who first became a fan of K-pop in 2008, I am most definitely considered a hag.

I have been thinking a lot lately about being old, and particularly being old in fandom and journalism spaces. I have a lot of thoughts about ageism, how women especially are treated as we get older, and just generally am filled with angst and stress about my future now that I am officially over the hill emotionally thinks to being no firmly in my 30s.

So, of course, as one does… I stress shop a lot. I stress online-window shop too. Which is why as we approached the most wonderful gifting time of the year, I knew that rather than write a newsletter about how these feelings play out in my career and in K-pop spaces, I would opt more for shopaholic listicle than any confessions.

None of these products are sponsored, I just like these things. Please share your own favorite K-pop-inspired gift ideas in the comments!

Without further adieu, here are some K-pop-ish, K-pop-adjacent, and sometimes not so-K-pop, that I feel are worth considering as that perfect gift for a K-pop hag in your life.

For the foodie K-pop hag…

Etsy is my go-to for personalized, or at least personal, fandom gifts, since there’s such an amazing variety of goods and creators. I’ve had my eyes on these wooden “Girl Dinner” K-pop spoons for ages now.

The older I get, the more I realize that adults are really just children still growing up, albeit in older, achier bodies, and the idea of having a wooden “Eat Jin” or “Horanghae” spoon while eating my faux-healthy oatmeal in the morning? That’s what dreams are made of.

Bonus rec: Artist-related shot glasses.

A picture of bowl of soup with a wooden spoon in it. Other wooden spoons also are on display, with words such as "Eat Jin" or "Borahae" on their handles.
Link Here

For interior decorating K-pop hags…

I’m a big fan of subtle K-pop merchandise, and my friend Alexis (check out the It’s a K-pop Thing podcast!) delivered when she got me this The Chaser by Infinite wall print by yoonnotes  as a gift. I had to add to it, so now it’s also featuring graphics inspired by TWICE, NCT 127, and BTS. I really want to buy like a dozen of these and hang them up all over my apartment, but am resisting.

Picture of four graphics featuring The Chaser by Infinite, Fancy by TWICE, Cherry Bomb by NCT 127, and Anpanman by BTS
Buy these and others on Etsy. Sorry for the glare. My apartment’s lighting isn’t the best.

Also, people are making very cute light stick stands.  Considering how many I have, I don’t actually own any. But for someone who likes having merch on display, there are many options that are perfect.

For photocard collecting K-pop hags…

I may or may not have made this whole shopping guide because I saw fellow writer Abby Webster with one of these photocard-holding crocheted purses at a concert recently. I don’t collect photocards, but they’re adorable, and useful! I just started knitting, and unfortunately couldn’t find any equivalent patterns… Maybe I’ll have to start crocheting!

Crochet Kpop Photocard Bags image 1
Buy it here

You can also opt for adorable SKZOO totes, if you just like crocheted K-pop merch.

For the candle K-pop hag…

There are many K-pop-inspired candles out there, whether the Catholic-inspired prayer candles with your faves’ faces, or candles that pretend they smell like your faves themselves. But only one (very expensive) candle is the Joshua Hong Han River Walk candle from Lola James Harper. Unlike the NCT DoJaeJung perfume that I’m very sad I don’t own, it is not currently sold out so get your hand on one if you’re a fan of this 17 boy. Or just love nice candles.

New life goal: Be turned into a candle. You can Joshua Hong’s here.

If you don’t want to spend a small fortune, Etsy has many, many K-pop-inspired candles. My personal favorite that I’m resisting is one inspired by BT21’s Koya taking a nap. What a mood.

For the perfume loving K-pop hag…

While there are official perfumes inspired by K-pop stars, like the aforementioned DoJaeJung one, I recently discovered the joy of creating my own perfume and now it’s perhaps my favorite experience ever. It’s not the cheapest, but here in NYC there’s a brand called Olfactory where you can mix your own blend. They even have an at-home option, so you don’t have to be in New York to gift the experience.

Olfactory NYC "Red Velvet" Perfume bottle.
Buy here, and stay tuned to find out what other K-pop-inspirations my perfumes take in the future.

For the book loving K-pop hag…

You may not know it, but there’s a Notes on K-pop bookclub! This year, we read we've read XOXO by Axie Oh, Idol, Burning by Rin Usami, Y/N by Esther Yi, Flowers of Fire: The Inside Story of South Korea's Feminist Movement and What it Means for Women's Rights Worldwide by Hawon Jung, Shine and Bright by Jessica Jung, The Comeback by Lily Chu, and This Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch: The Joy of Loving Something -- Anything -- Like Your Life Depends on it by Tabitha Carvan. Next on our list is Gorgeous Gruesome Faces by Linda Cheng, and we also plan to read Flawless: Lessons and Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital by Elise Hu.

Buy these books at your local booksellers in-person or on

New Tee New Jeans Bookmark | Cute Bookmark | Bunny Rabbit Bookmark | Kpop Bookmark
Everyone needs a NewJeans bookmark! I became a bookmark person this year, which is a weird thing to happen in my 30s.

For the techie K-pop hag…

My go-to suggestion for pretty much anyone wanting to get a gift for a K-pop fan, is a charging case for their bluetooth headphones, like a TWICE airpod one. If you want to go really all out, you can go even further and get the Stray Kids edition of the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro.

If you want to go a bit out of the K-pop box, mechanical keyboards are a good way to go. Many of us K-pop fans spend a lot of time online, and a comfy set up for stanning can go a long way to help us hags avoid carpal tunnel. Colorful light up ones to match K-pop’s bolder aesthetics, while darker ones can get you that sexy, even girl crush, style of things.

Update: Like 30 minutes after I hit publish, a friend told me about adorable K-pop-themed keycaps for mechanical keyboards, like these BT21 ones and this TWICE one, or this ITZY one.

My favorite discovery while working on this is that Castify made a Blackpink inspired iPhone 15 Pro Max “Kill This Love” case… with the members turned into cats???

product image
Buy this.

Personally, the biggest tech gift I bought myself recently is quite a retro one… Yes, I am now officially a vinyl girlie. After a near mishap, I bought a great Audio Technica record player (in lilac!) at the suggestion of Josh from . I don’t have the best speakers, but they work for my little NYC apartment, but oh was that an experience realizing that wow, I have no idea how to use a record player!!!

For the cozy K-pop hag…

Temperatures hit freezing here in New York City this week, which means that we’ve gone from sweater weather to scarves and hats, cocoa and cozying up at home in snowstorms. (Hopefully. I don’t know if NY can survive another year without snow…)

Dainty Knit literally makes knitted items for K-pop stars, so now is the time to add some cozy knit items into your closet, or that of a loved one.

Get yourself a “Not My Problem” beanie inspired by Johnny from NCT to stay cozy this winter. Or, if you prefer, may I present a Beomgyu of TXT cat ears one?

Also, it’s adorable and so wintery cozy cute, so but I am only half heartedly suggesting this $85 aespa fluffy purse that only just appears slightly bigger than photocards.

For the comfy athleisure K-pop hag…

I’m never going to buy it, but I want to give an honorable mention to the Le Sserafim sports bra and the rest of their workout line as a type of practical merch I’d like to see more of. I know people more fashionable than me would actually wear them as outfits, but I’d 110% work out in this if I had it.

Cotton Bra Top (White)_0

If you want some unique sweatshirts to go with it, Navanez on Etsy has really amazing, fun K-pop embroidery patterns that I have my eye on.

GI-DLE Queencard Kpop Embroidery Merch image 1
Buy it here.

For the K-drama K-pop hag…

I feel like I barely need to say this but… A year-long Viki membership will make pretty much everyone happy! I felt I had to add this, to be honest, because today Viki is celebrating International K-Drama Day today. Happy International K-drama day, everyone!

I hope you enjoyed this silly little gift guide! Happy shopping, and happy holidays if you’re celebrating anything. Please shop and spend responsibly, given that a) we’re all broke and b) consumerism is not great for the planet.