If you spend a lot of time on Pinterest or TikTok, you’ve almost certainly seen the dark academia costume aesthetic before, whether you realize it or not. The chilly winter months, the melancholy 2020 we all experienced, and one too many hours spent reading and watching Harry Potter under quarantine all contributed to this dark aesthetic.
You’re either already dressing in an academic style, or you have lots of things that could work for the appearance. If you’re looking for a timeless look that’s both affordable and on-trend, you’ll want to discover how to put together a dark academic wardrobe in no time with 16 classic basic pieces.
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What is Dark Academia all about?
So, I’ve already mentioned how hot Dark Academia Fashion Shop is right now. But what is it, exactly? Dark academia is essentially a glammed-up academic look focusing on key pieces in neutral colors like brown, black, and beige. It’s a modern take on the classic preppy look, but without the bright colors, patterns, or high-end labels. Instead, the academic look is built on staples like brown loafers, plaid slacks, dark sweaters, and leather trench coats. For inspiration, I always think about Harry Potter characters or college kids studying in London.
Which pieces do I require and where can I purchase them?
The beauty of the academic design is that it’s made up of basic pieces, so you’re likely to already have a lot of them, especially if neutral items are your thing. Start with the essentials before adding statement pieces. To achieve the dark academia look, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. If you’re looking for a vintage style, go to a secondhand store like GoodWill. If you don’t have access to a secondhand store, online retailers such as Amazon, H&M, Zara, Shein, Nasty Gal, and Princess Polly, to mention a few, can help.
1. Turtleneck sweaters
Turtlenecks are an essential part of every dark academic’s attire. They have a serious appearance while also keeping you warm, which is ideal for the current winter season. Choose one in a neutral color to pair with your slacks, plaid skirts, and jeans.
Sweaters made with cable knit
Cable knit sweaters are a versatile garment to have in the fall and winter, and they’re especially good for layering under turtlenecks or collared shirts. Cable knit sweaters are available in a wide variety of shapes and colors, but the most typical academic aesthetic sweaters I see are black, brown, or beige. Depending on your personal style, you can wear it cropped, large, or longer.
3. Vests with Sweaters
Sweater vests exude a decidedly academic atmosphere. A sweater vest is required if you wish to appear studious and intellectual. Although they are now fashionable, they are also incredibly practical and easy to layer in everyday life. Sweater vests are a fashionable addition to any ensemble.
With a plaid or neutral blazer, you may channel your inner student and professional. Blazers are a simple and economical basic piece that go nicely with neutral sweaters, sweater vests, checkered pants, and any bottom. You will not be disappointed with this purchase, regardless of the style you choose.
Trench Coats (5)
Trench coats are an essential item of a black academic clothing and a classic coat to have in your closet. If you’re looking for a coat that will complement your clothing while still keeping you warm, this is it. If you want to build a professional appearance, investing in a black or beige trench coat is a terrific choice.
6. Shirts with Collars
A few collared shirts are a must-have for every academic wardrobe. Collared shirts are as professional as they come, and they’re a perfect piece to include in your wardrobe if you want to look like an academic. Collared shirts can be layered over practically anything, from dresses to tank tops, to instantly spruce up an outfit.
Dresses in Plaid
Plaid is a must-have for any dark academic outfit. Layering is key in this look, so grab a checkered pinafore dress and pair it with your favorite collared shirts or turtlenecks. Depending on how you style it, you can wear this piece in any season.
Pleated Skirts in Plaid
Pleated skirts are all the rage right now, and the easiest way to incorporate them into a traditional academic wardrobe is to choose a plaid one. For school days, study dates, or casual work days, plaid skirts are classic and preppy. Once you start combining it with everything, you won’t regret adding it to your wardrobe.
Plaid Pants (nine)
The women in practically every dark academia outfit I discover on Pinterest are wearing a pair of plaid pants. I can understand why, because they’re both classic and adorable. These pants are ideal for any situation, no matter what it is. My favorite way to wear them is with a collared shirt and a cable knit sweater or a sweater vest.
Trousers are an essential part of any dark academic attire. Brown or beige trousers are the most prevalent, but brown corduroy and green corduroy are also popular. For a casual look, pair them with your favorite turtlenecks or collared shirts.
11. Shoes (Loafers, Mary Janes, Oxfords, Doc Martens) (Loafers, Mary Janes, Oxfords, Doc Martens)
Pick for a pair of traditional loafers, mary janes, oxfords, or Doc Martens to complement your ensemble, as the dark academia vibe thrives on preppy schoolgirl looks. Any polished and professional-looking shoes would suffice!
Knee Socks 12
During the fall and winter, accessorize with knee socks if you’re wearing a dress or a pleated skirt. Knee socks are both comfortable and utilitarian, so you can’t go wrong with a pair. When you put these on, you instantly become more intellectual.
Leather Belts (nineteen)
A leather belt appears in almost every dark academia aesthetic clothing shot I’ve seen online. The most frequent colors are brown and black, but don’t be afraid to experiment with others. Olive green, maroon, beige, or rust are also good choices. Add a playful element with a suede belt with an enormous buckle.
A studious bag will complete your dark academic outfit. The most typical bags used with an academic aesthetic outfit are crossbody purses or small shoulder bags.
15. Necklaces with pendants
Pendant necklaces, like the rest of the dark academic aesthetic, are elegant and sophisticated. Because this look emphasizes neutrals and basic accessories, gold, pearl, or cameo pendants are ideal.
Hair Accessories (nineteen)
Headbands and hair clips aren’t required for this style, but if you prefer to accessorize your outfits, you’ll want to get your hands on some. A black headband or a pearl hair clip gives this otherwise bland appearance a feminine touch.