What happens when geek-chic meets goth? You get a whole new aesthetic that you can take both to the club and to the office. And the bleak, chillier months are the perfect time to make the most of it.
Dark academia is all about old libraries, musty books, skulls, Greek busts, typewriters, old fashioned science equipment and gothic architecture, and to go with that there is very much a certain look. It definitely draws influence from Parisian glamour and Oxford chic, with an emphasis on being “smart”; both visually and academically.
We’re talking off-white collared shirts teamed with crew-necked sweaters that are ALWAYS tucked into the skirt (pleated or straight) or pants (straight-legged and high-waisted), Argyle sweater vests, brogues, blazers, satchells, spectacles and more wool and tweed than feels strictly necessary particularly if you’re under 25.
When it comes to patterns, you won’t find any funky motifs or overt florals here! Dark academia is mostly a plain situation, with a few notes of classic plaid and check. Argyle sweaters and socks aside are popular, but the sophistication of dark academia is in the understated colours. Black, brown, burgundy and earthy greens, teamed with cream and light fawn - and occasionally bright white.
One thing to be said for this look is that it's great if you’re an environmentalist. Natural fibres are the order of the day with cotton, linen, silk and wool being the prime materials for this look. Woven fabrics like tweed, corduroy and velvet are also perfect if you’re feeling fancy, but avoid polyester and viscose. This is what separates dark academia as an aesthetic and not just your average workaday outfit.
Checked scarves are a must for winter, while knee-length socks and wool tights are perfect with mini skirts.The daring can team the look with a beret, flat-cap or wide-brimmed hat, and the myopics can opt for either metal frames or horn-rimmed glasses. Delicate, understated jewellery work with this look; chunky chains and multiple bangles are far too noisy for the library after all.
As for shoes - Dr Martens go with anything, but brogues and loafers in brown or black are the key to this look. Sling a satchel over your shoulder and stay warm in a wool trench coat or blazer.
If you look like you’ve just stepped out of the world of Harry Potter, you’re doing the look right. And whilst you’re at it, make sure you’re getting stuck into a good book too.