Academic but make it fashion. That’s the vibe we get from the dark academia trend.
It’s like dressing up as one of the cast members of Dead Poets Society or Mona Lisa Smile but without the need to rummage through your parents’ wardrobes because the pieces are readily available.
And there is an abundance of them now — especially since this trend, which was started and popularised via TikTok, continues to rise.
More than an aesthetic, it has helped in the formation of communities. There’s a 30,000-member-strong sub-Reddit dedicated to it. Of course, there’s also the TikTok sub-culture, where videos posted about the aesthetic have garnered more than 890 million views.
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If you don’t want to dive deeply though, you can still definitely wear the trend.
Don’t know where to start? Here are the key pieces you need to have: turtlenecks, sweaters, or long-sleeved blouses for tops; trousers and skirts for bottoms; oversized cardigans, blazers, and tweed coats for outerwear; Mary Janes, Oxfords, and loafers for shoes.
Ready to start styling? Here are a few options from Arket, ASOS, & Other Stories and more that we’ve specially selected for you.
Unisex Oversized Double-Breasted Dad Blazer in Heritage Check, £50, ASOS COLLUSION – buy now
This oversized blazer’s great – not just for the Dark Academia look, but also with just about any casual look you want to upgrade.
Flared High Waist Trousers, £85, & Other Stories – buy now
Pair it with a plain tee and you’re good to go.
Chunky Leather Oxfords, £120, & Other Stories – buy now
These shoes are a must-have for achieving the aesthetic.
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Classic Beret, £8, Monki – buy now
Wearing hats can be intimidating if you’re not used to it, but this classic beret is a good gateway to this realm of accessorising.
Oversized Poplin Shirt, £59, Arket, – buy now
An oversized white shirt is a wardrobe whether you’re dressing for the aesthetic or not.
Knitted Waistcoat, £27.99, Zara – buy now
This beige piece is incredibly versatile and easy to pair and layer with just about anything for that preppy look.
Merino Wool Turtleneck Jumper, £24.90, UNIQLO – buy now
As you may know by now, turtlenecks are a staple in the dark academia aesthetic. This one may seem basic, but it may be the only thing you’ll need to pull off so many different looks.
Oversized Trench Coat, £150, COS – buy now
A coat for all occasions, this one’s a staple for sure.
Single Breasted Blazer in Camel, £60, Topshop at ASOS – buy now
For lighter outerwear, opt for a blazer. This one’s a delicious camel colour too.
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High Waist Leather Belt, £59, Arket – buy now
This would look great over blazers as well as dresses and oversized shirts.
Kimber Cropped Sweater, £25, Weekday – buy now
Pair it with dark neutrals for the dark academia look or dungarees for something urban-inspired.
Mid Brown Weejuns 90s Layton II Kiltie Leather, £115, G.H. Bass via Urban Outfitters – buy now
Loafers are trending in 2021. Opt for a brown pair for the bookish look.
Check Mini Skirt, £29.99, Zara – buy now
A check mini skirt is a must-have to achieve the look. This Zara one reminds us of Chanel, but with an edgier vibe.