You've likely heard the phrase ‘Dark Academia’ being thrown around on social media, but many people aren't quite sure what it means.
Over the past few years, TikTok has emerged as one of the biggest influences in fashion. When a fashion trend or aesthetic goes viral on TikTok, it is seen and copied by the masses.
Now, we are seeing more and more of what’s called “Dark Academia” themed style and aesthetic.
The elements of the Dark Academia genre include moody low lighting, dark hallways, gloomy skies, dark libraries, and journals filled with notes and entries.
If you’re trying to picture what this might look like in your mind, think about the Hogwarts castle from the Harry Potter films. The long dark stone corridors, dim library, dark forest, grand hall, and dark-coloured uniforms are all perfect examples of a Dark Academia setting.
Dark Academia romanticises the idea of knowledge with a more gothic, moodier twist. It puts emphasis on classical Greek works of art, and literature by revered writers like Jane Austen. It has a lot to do with appreciating being intellectual and expressing oneself through reading and writing. It takes on philosophical discussions surrounding life and death and is all about exploring these ideas through academic means.
But how do we translate this mood into our wardrobes? Think of a put-together preppy style, but with a darker colour palette.
Dark Academia style characterises itself through the dark, angsty vibe it gives so the colour palette includes grey, black, dark green, burgundy, navy blue and brown, although neutral colours like tan, beige, white, and cream are welcome. There is not a wide variety of prints used in Dark Academia looks, but plaid and argyle seem to be popular patterns within the aesthetic.
Dark Academia is traditionally a style that works for the colder months, but, while the color palette is not very expansive, the Dark Academia style is filled with texture and mixes the different textures to add interest and depth to a more neutral outfit.
Materials associated with this style are wool, leather, knit, velvet, tweed, tartan, corduroy, and crepe. Because of the mix of materials, layering seems to be a huge part of achieving the style.
A popular outfit might consist of a plaid skirt, sheer tights, a white button-up layered under a knit sweater vest, a trench coat, and a pair of loafers. You might also add a messenger or large crossbody bag that could fit a journal or a book to finish off the academic look.
Other clothing items to try are neutral-coloured trousers, boots, argyle knits, chunky sweaters, collared dresses, and blazers.
If you picture yourself at an old historic university or you enjoy gloomy weather and a good book, Dark Academia might be the aesthetic for you.
Here’s how to get the look…