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Image: Ralph Lauren Fall Fashion Show 2006

A Guide To Dark Academia Fashion

A fan of dark academia aesthetic? Check out our Guide to Dark Academia Fashion. Everything you need to know to dress up in this dark moody aesthetic, all in one place. 44+ Ideas and inspirations for Dark academia outfits.

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What is Dark Academia Aesthetic?

If you are active on social media, you have definitely come across this trend by now. It gained popularity on platforms like TikTok and Tumblr.

New York Times Article: What is the TikTok subculture Dark Academia? 

☞ the quiet and contemplative aura of museums and libraries, rainy clouds darkening the edge of the horizon, a stack of books on the floor,…
@geminnorum on Instagram


Dark Academia is an aesthetic that revolves around literature, academics, mystery and arts. It is heavily inspired by European architecture, history, Greek Arts, Gothic and Dark elements.

Although, the aesthetic sounds intense and dark to some but its harmless and creative. In fact, it’s based on a passion for learning.

This growing subculture has taken the internet by storm and there are many online communities that revolve around dark academia.

girl, coffee, and vintage image
@annasofiapark on Instagram


A Guide To Dark Academia Fashion

Colors – Earthy Tones

The color palette for Dark Academia consists of earthy, natural tones. Go for muted, darker colors.

Ye Old West Color Palette. #colorpalettes #colorschemes #design #colorcombos
Image Via


Upscale Fabrics

This aesthetic is serious sophistication. So, the fabric or material you choose need to be upscale and luxury. Go for fabrics such as cashmere, Egyptian cotton or wool, for instance. You can or may include linen too, selectively.

the secret history | Tumblr


Minimal Accessories

The accessories you go for need to be minimal and complimenting the outfit. Nothing too much or too flashy. Dark academia is all about mystery and elegance. So, go for lightweight gold or silver jewelry, a silk scarf for hair and a minimal leather bag, etc.

via Tumblr

Also, this aesthetic is very fitting for the fall. So, if you are looking to redo your wardrobe with a new aesthetic, Dark academia is looking good. You can check out more ideas for fall fashion 2020 in the post mentioned below.

Also Read: 12 Perfect Fall Outfits For 2020


Ralph Lauren Fall 16 Classic
Ralph Lauren RTW Fall 2016

Dark Academia – Wardrobe Staples


For tops you can wear light blouses, turtlenecks, shirts or polo shirts. The idea is to keep it elegant and a little studious. Also sweater vests or knitted tops look great.

Buying Recommendations:

pin / chloelehmann1 🦋



Plaid skirts or straight fit woolen skirts are a go to.

Buying Recommendations:

#Skirt: #Farbberatung #Stilberatung #Farbenreich mit ? Catalina Christiano ? Day to Day Fashion ? Feel free to message me! ? ? clothes casual outfit for teens movies girls women . summer fall spring winter outfit idea
via flickr

Buying Recommendations:

Aesthetic person - •𝑫𝒂𝒓𝒌 𝒂𝒄𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒂 - Página 2 - Wattpad
via 𝐒𝐨𝐲 𝐒𝐨𝐟𝐢́𝐚 on wattpad


INSPIRED BY @dillothel1 HER BTS 8TH MEMBER IMAGINE BOOK IS AMAZING A… #fanfiction #Fanfiction #amreading #books #wattpad

For pants, you can choose from cigarette pants, dress or ankle pants. Summer aesthetic can be a pair of linen shorts.

Michael Kors Collection Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show in 2020 | Fall fashion coats, Autumn fashion, Fashion
Michael Kors Fall Collection 2018 Ready-to-wear


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Blazers, trench coats, cardigans are the suited options for DA. All of these in neutral muted shades.

Buying Recommendations:



the "a european neoprep who had a tryst with normcore and then travelled back to the 90's" - Album on Imgur

Oxfords/brogues, Short Heels

Shoes need to be formal. Therefore, you should go for oxfords or brogues. But pencil or tall heels do not really go with this aesthetic.

So, choose short heels.

Doctor Martens are also popular in this aesthetic.

Buying Recommendations:

Fendi Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show Details
Fendi Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show


Image about black in lit; gallagher girls by t
via Pinterest


The accessories should be minimal. However, they are an important aspect of the Dark Academia aesthetic. Its the small details that make your outfit in DA fashion.

Página Inicial / Twitter


For bags you can go for leather backpack or satchel. Make sure you fill it up with some old moody books or a journal.

Buying Recommendation:

The Debussy is a durable and stylish satchel for men with good taste. Sustainably and locally made with Horween leather and solid brass hardware, perfect for work or a weekend away. Adjustable strap. Size: Approximately 14 1/2" (length) x 5 1/2" (width) x 9 1/2" (height) We care about quality and we're passionate about American craftsmanship. That's why we purchase our hand-dyed and tanned leather from Horween, one of the oldest family-owned tanneries in America. Solid brass hardware and rivet

Fashion Inspo Board: Dark(ish) Academia - Imgur


Minimal jewelry in silver or gold. Nothing too flashy, as mentioned earlier. You can tie your hair in a silk scarf or a minimal headband, for instance.

Some other accessories can be stuff like knee high socks. It goes with the old prep school uniform aesthetic. Carry some aesthetic, old books with you.

Ralph Lauren at New York Fall 2016 (Details)
Ralph Lauren at New York Fashion Week Fall 2016

Buying Recommendations:

You can definitely not go in with an Apple watch. As we’re going for Dark academia not spy kids aesthetic, lol. So, add a vintage watch for a more polished look.

Nobody knows his name, the only thing people know is that he's a dang… #romance #Romance #amreading #books #wattpad
via wattpad

Dark Academia – Ideas & Inspirations

Here are some more Dark academia outfits, moods, aesthetic and inspirations to get you going.

Ralph Lauren Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show


Chic Style | @auneetuh
bestdressed on Youtube
10 Timeless Fashion Trends We'll Continue To Follow Next Year - Society19
via Pinterest
Des Petits Hauts-Des Petits Hauts Vilma Midi Skirt In


Lena Hoschek With a collection appropriately named “The Brits”, the Austrian designer pays homage to national icons including the Queen and infamous literary characters, Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes. But the collection is anything but cliché. A series of well-to-do tweeds and earthy florals create elegant looks perfect for channeling your inner English rose.
Lena Hoschek Fashion Collections for women via

Crop Bralet top - modus


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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Signet Ring UK

    Nice blog! You are sharing a wonderful blog with us. I like this blog and found it very helpful. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. Sylvie

    I love this post so much! I’m so into the dark academia aesthetic. Just wondering if you’ve come across and whether you think the clothing there is any good?

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