How To Master Every Iteration Of The Academia Fashion Trend

This fall is sure to be defined by iterations of the academia trend. Academia centers around a romanticization of academics and everything in the realm of education. With over 22 million posts under #academia on Instagram, the fashion trend has truly turned into one of the most sought-after aesthetics. Academia is generally thought of as a trend that embraces an individual's thirst for knowledge, which is what drew TikTok star Talya Glowacz to the aesthetic, she told CNN.

If you are a lover of Oscar Wilde, beautiful libraries, and dream of attending university across the pond, you most likely have that in common with those who practice the academia aesthetic. It's often seen as a lifestyle before a fashion trend, but the fashion of the trend is beautiful and should be celebrated on its own.

While often it is just seen as menswear being worn as womenswear, the trend has many iterations of how it can be portrayed in fashion and culture. These are often based more on the aspects of what the wearer prefers to study and how they prefer to display themselves outwardly. If you are looking to master your preferred iteration of the aesthetic, look no further. We have curated a guide to mastering each version of the academia fashion trend.

Light academia

Light academia focuses on a love for light, both in reads and clothing colors. YouTuber Liz Ruth says that light academia paints a "calm, softer aesthetic" (via YouTube). The themes of light academia focus on optimism, friendship, and motivation. Whereas light academia is still menswear heavy, the common colors of the clothing are tans and beiges. There is also a more feminine side to light academia, which includes more frills and lace. Think light plaids in skirt form with cozy, oversized knit sweaters and a pair of frilly ankle socks.

Dark academia

Dark academia is usually the first picture that comes to mind when the academia aesthetic is mentioned. Contrary to light academia, dark academia is just that — darker. The themes of the aesthetic revolve around tragedy, which plays into the fashion trend. You wouldn't wear bright colors if you were constantly thinking about tragedies. Instead, darker and modest clothing defines the trend. Black turtlenecks, dark plaid pants, and loafers tend to be the fashion staples that define the aesthetic (via Instagram).

Romantic academia

Romeo and Juliet lovers will love the romantic academia aesthetic. The aesthetic specializes in love, romance, and literature, showing us all that you don't have to love the darker things to appreciate academia. The aesthetic still focuses on a love for learning and reading in general, but specifically a love for wistful romance. The fashion of the aesthetic therefore reflects as more feminine and girly (via YouTube). Florals, pinks, and frills combined with traditional classic academia pieces are seen in most romantic academia outfits.

Art academia

This academia aesthetic is centered around a love for creating art. Those who practice the aesthetic often enjoy not only creating art but walking through museums and admiring architecture. Since art academia followers are often creating art, their fashion must be functional. Collared tops with pockets to hold their brushes, berets to hold the hair back, and oxfords tend to be the fashion staples of the art academia aesthetic (via Instagram). If you are extremely dedicated to the artist's academia aesthetic, you can even purposefully add paint splatters to your clothing.

Theatre academia

Theatre academia is exactly what it sounds like. Those who love drama and the stage prefer the theatre academia aesthetic. To imagine this variation of the trend, picture yourself in a coffee shop, writing the next biggest broadway play full of love and angst. Shakespeare and old Hollywood combine to create the fashion of the aesthetic. The lovers of the aesthetic often re-imagine how a famous playwright would dress. Fur wraps, dresses, puff sleeves, and berets are common themes in the fashion of the trend (via Instagram).