Comprehending the prevailing ideals of the body within a specific era requires grasping the intricate interplay between social phenomena and the evolution of clothing. Accordingly, this study investigates the distinctive facets of the perception of the Neo-Confucian body as reflected in men’s dress during the Joseon Dynasty. We examine a comprehensive body of scholarship, literature, and historical records concerning the body and dress. Additionally, we also employ a framework developed by M. Y. Kim, which categorizes the Neo-Confucian body in three ways: as the natural body, the cultural body, and the body as a fully-realized moral subject. Our findings unveil three crucial insights: firstly, guided by Neo-Confucian discourse positing appearance as a manifestation of innate energy (氣), men’s dress was deliberately designed to demarcate stylistic distinctions in women’s dress; secondly, the Chinese gwan (冠) was employed as a tool of self-cultivation (修身) to symbolize the legitimacy of Joseon’s Neo-Confucian governance; and thirdly, sim-ui (深衣), a philosophical emblem of Confucianism extensively represented across through an intensified exploration of historical sources, served as a means to consolidate the political standing of the Neo-Confucian faction. As a consequence of these factors, the attire of noble men conferred upon them both sexual and moral ascendancy as political entities; men’s dress became a visual manifestation of the legitimacy of their power, thus embodying Neo-Confucian ideals. This study carries significance by applying a discourse analysis approach to Korean dress research and elucidating the factors underlying the development of men’s dress during the Joseon Dynasty.