How To Embrace The Dark Academia Fashion Aesthetic This Fall

If you are ready for crisp days, falling leaves, and roaring fireplaces, you are not alone! We cannot wait for fall days, not only because of the coziness of the season but also the incredible fashion that comes with it. This fall, the dark academia fashion aesthetic is in full swing.

With more of us going back to in-person work and school this fall, it is no surprise that we are looking to swap our work-from-home wardrobe for something more fashion-forward. Nothing says fashion-forward and scholarly like dark academia. Imagine back-to-school style with a gothic twist (via Nylon). That is the dark academia fashion aesthetic at its core.

The dark academia fashion aesthetic revolves around plaids, dark hues, and cozy knits. Whereas light academia fashion is also a trendy aesthetic, it is just as you would expect: based on optimism and lighter subjects (via Trendspotter). This fall, we want to look as if we have just stepped onto an Ivy League campus for a semester of self-discovery. Stock up on blazers, and get ready to hit the books as we run full force into the dark academia fashion aesthetic. 

Inspiration behind the dark academia aesthetic

The dark academia aesthetic is derived from TikTok's obsession with romanticizing education, self-realization, and classical literature. Dark academia first became popular on Tumblr in the early days of 2015 but has once again gained attention due to Instagram and TikTok (via L'Officiel).

"The Secret History" by Donna Tartt is the story of New England classics students and a murder that has taken place within the group, according to Book Riot. This book shows a glimpse into what inspires the dark academia aesthetic. The aesthetic is full of dark thoughts, mystery, gloomy days, and classical music. Lovers of the aesthetic also gather fashion and lifestyle inspiration from films and television series such as "Dead Poets Society" and "Derry Girls."

This life leaves a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of dreams for which to yearn. Therefore, the dark academia aesthetic is the romanticization of trying to learn as much as you can about both the world and yourself. Most followers of the aesthetic try to do so in a beautiful, gothic-style library or an old coffee shop on a rainy day. Tayla Glowacz, a TikTok star who follows the dark academia aesthetic, tells CNN that the aesthetic is "portrayed generally as a sort of secretive, individual, and intense thirst for knowledge, which is what makes it moody and 'dark' academia."

How to incorporate the aesthetic into your fall wardrobe

Grab a book, turn up the classical music, and begin thinking deeper and you will have successfully infiltrated the mental side of dark academia. All that's left is to crack the fashion of the aesthetic. If you are looking to incorporate dark academia into your fall wardrobe, social media is the perfect place to gather inspiration. The aesthetic has over 1.2 billion TikTok views under #darkacademiaoutfits and hundreds of Pinterest boards created under its name. Luckily, the outfits under these hashtags and Pinterest boards tend to revolve around several key factors.

When adding dark academia pieces to your wardrobe, keep it simple. Most of the dark academia style's core pieces are minimal, often mixing shades of brown, black, and white. These may even be pieces you would find in a typical school uniform. What's more, dark academia fashion is often gender-neutral. Fashion historian Dilara Schloz tells The New York Times that "the silhouette of a classic dark academia outfit often reminds us of a 1930s or 1940s men's look". Today, the style is typically seen online worn by women.

Scholz also makes it very clear that the vintage blazer is perfectly representative of the trend. When scrolling through dark academia looks, you will see a common theme of blazers, turtlenecks, slacks, and plaid. These pieces are often layered, making this the perfect aesthetic for fall (via Stitch Fix). One of the most common looks in the dark academia trend is a turtleneck, plaid skirt, and black loafers. Another popular outfit choice includes one made from slacks, button-downs, and blazers. Ultimately, the key to the dark academia aesthetic is to embrace the classics, whether in music, literature, or fashion.