What Do You Need To Know About The Dark Academia Aesthetic?

With the rise of aesthetics in the social media world, the aesthetic dark academia is not unheard of. Besides the Cottagecore, E-girl, Grunge one of the most popular aesthetics is Dard Academia. 

If you are unaware of what the term aesthetic means nowadays, it is the visual theme and overall look of a social media account. Even Youtube video creators are abiding by aesthetics for a while now. 

What Is the Dark Academia Aesthetic?

Dark Academia is an aesthetic the romanticizes an era when the upper classes of society were engrossed in liberal education.

Characteristics of this subculture are great interests in classical literature, languages such as French, Greek, Latin, architecture, art, poetry, and fashion from Western Europe. Dark Academics view education in a good light, it is something that is exciting and is associated with joy instead of boredom.

The term “academia” describes a group of aesthetics that are related to learning mainly through reading and large-scale research. While the “Dark” in dark academia represents the members liking for unusual things such as mystery, murder, cults anything that has a certain darkness to it. That is what distinguishes it from its sister aesthetic called “light academia”.

What does the background hold?

Dark academia first sprung on a blogging platform such a Tumbler around 2015. In the beginning, it resembled a book club because of the 1992 novel “The Secret History” by US author Donna Tart. The story revolved around a group of unusual students at an elite university who along with their professor isolate themselves to participate in intellectual discussions.

So, over the years, Dark Academia developed from a studious community to a lifestyle, thanks to social media platforms. People find visual expression within this aesthetic community.

What is the inspiration behind this trend?

The greatest inspiration is European culture. The era of Renaissance, Romanticism, and Baroque mostly fuel this aesthetic. Literature is also the major theme of this trend. Writing is just as important as reading the works of authors like Percy Shelly and Lord Byron.

Using fountain pens to do complex calligraphy, experimenting with linguistics and handwritten letters are all a part of this aesthetic.


The passion for getting knowledge and learning is also translated into the wardrobe choices of Dark Academics. Their wardrobe color palette comprises of darker shades such as:

  • Black
  • Dark Brown
  • Forest Green and burgundy contrasted with Cream, gold, and orange colors.

Generally, the style can be considered preppy. Staples include:

  • Oxford shirts
  • Blazers
  • Trench coats
  • Tweed trousers
  • Duffles and knitted waistcoats
  • Chelsea boots
  • Loafers and many more

So, to accessorize dark academics use brooches, glasses, ties, watches, and umbrellas. Knee-high socks are quite popular with short pleated skirts. Jumpers are also included which are worn loosely around the shoulders and tied at the front.

Top locations of the Trend:

General places:

  • Museums 
  • Libraries
  • Coffee houses 
  • University campus

If you are looking for someplace special then you can plan a trip to a baroque palace, a victorian street, or an English country estate. Ivy League universities such as Oxford and Cambridge also play the role of Dark academia aesthetic as well as the cemeteries.

Media Representation:

Dark Academia has a massive media presence. It includes the classics and most influential works of literature as well as art. Furthermore, it is presented in popular culture too.

Literary Work  Representing Dark Academia:

  • Demanding works include Sophocles’ Antigone.
  • The lighter option includes J.K. Rowling’s, Harry Potter.

Representation of Dark Academia In Films and Dramas:

  • Dead Poet’s Society(1989) directed by Peter Wier.
  • Knives Out From(2019).
  • Freud – a joint production between ORF and Netflix.
  • Sherlock – BBC’s famous series adaptation.

The Impact of the Pandemic on Dark Academia:

 Some students were happy about not having to go to universities, looking up services like Take My Class Online, or any writing services from the comfort of their home. This was not the case for all. That is why pandemics played a big role in Dark Academia’s recent rise to popularity as some students yearned for a tangible education instead of remote classes.

Dark Academia regards with great respect ancients looking institutions and it also aligns with the “main character” Tiktok trend which romanticizes your own life allowing you to enjoy the most mundane activities of your day. This provides relief to your frustrated mind.

The Dark Side of Dark Academia:

1. It is Eurocentric:

This aesthetic extremely lacks diversity as the origins of things such as books, movies, and fashion are from ancient Greece or Rome, or present European countries.

2. Promotes Unhealthy Behaviours:

Caffeine addiction and Lack of sleep as well as overworking are the unhealthy behaviors that Dark Academia glorifies and promotes.

3. Only For The Rich:

To fit in this aesthetic or have this lifestyle one must own Tweed Coats, go to a boarding school, and have an ocean of books. Moreover, these books have to be classic and all of these are expensive.


This is the most concise information that could have been provided to you. So if you are interested in Drak academia and want to pursue this as just an aesthetic or a lifestyle hopefully the information above helped you out.

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