Here’s How to Wear the Dark Academia Trend this Winter

dark academia

Are you seeing women dressed in dark, moody shades or looking more studious on Instagram these days? No, it’s not the winter blues or an attempt to appear smarter—it’s the fashion trend of dark academia infiltrating closets everywhere. Take cottagecore, make it dark, kill all the flowers, and you have dark academia. 

The trend, which became popular on TikTok and Tumblr, is not just an aesthetic popping up in fashion. Dark academia is a whole feeling. Candles, old books, teacups, gothic architecture, vintage anything; all add to this dark and a bit gothic vibe. 

If you want to get in the mood with this trend, pull out of your closet or start shopping for; blazers, vests, pencil skirts, tennis skirts, trousers, cigarette pants, and blouses. For colors, think brown, gray, navy, black, mustard, and burgundy. Fabrics include velvet, knits, plaids, cord, tweed, and houndstooth. And as usual, do not forget the accessories: Hair bows, headbands, long pendant chain necklaces, pearls, oxfords, Mary Janes, beret, sand glasses are a few ways to compliment the look.


dark academia fashion trend

Gossip Girl-esque

Nail the schoolgirl, Blair Waldorf vibe with a plaid jumper layered on top of a black turtleneck. Embrace the preppiness further but adding oxfords and a headband, whose beaded appliqué modern twist. A long gold chain gives it a more mature vibe.

Zara Plaid Pinafore Dress, $19.99,; Uniqlo Heattech Turtleneck T-Shirt, $19.90,; Tasha Beaded Headband, $30,; Jeffrey Campbell Moyra Oxford, $134.95,; Baublebar Gia Herringbone Chain Collar Necklace, $38,

dark academia fashion trend

East Coast twist

A lot of this trend is the juxtaposing pieces to play up or play down a style. A chunky camel turtleneck gives off that preppy New England appearance, as do a plaid mini and pearls. But add a combat boot and you will give off an edgier and gothic attitude.

Everlane The Cloud Turtleneck, $135,; Madewell Plaid Double-Breasted Mini Skirt, $54.99,; Baublebar Dafina Pearl Hoop Earrings, $42,; Dr. Martens 1460 Leather Boot, $134.95,

dark academia fashion trend

Library chic

Androgyny is a characteristic of the dark academia trend, so pieces that skew to both genders, like trousers with a paper bag waist, are great to embrace. Give the sweater vest some feminine styling, no offense to Chandler Bing, by placing it on top of a soft, silky, sexy button-down. Complete the co-ed in a mysterious library look with some glasses and heeled penny loafers.

Hotapei Sweater Vest, $26.98,; Madewell Plaid Paperbag Tapered Pants, $49.99,; Discount Glasses Westend Victorian Village Comfort Fit Glasses, $69.95,; Everlane The Washable Silk Relaxed Shirt, $110,; Linea Paolo Cache Pump, $139.95, nordstrom 

dark academia fashion trend

Throwback ‘fit

Bring out that vintage vibe, even when the pieces aren’t second hand, by mixing and matching colors. A long patchwork cardigan is the pièce de résistance. Dark brown, lived-in looking leather crossbody and belt with gold accents complement and a boot, are the finishing touches.

Everlane The Corduroy Straight Leg Crop, $54,; ADAY Made It T-Shirt, $88,; Anthropologie Nancy Eyelash Cardigan, $168,; Fossil Fiona Crossbody Handbag, $86.40,; American Eagle Thin Oval Ring Hip Belt, $19.95,  

dark academia fashion trend

Retro vibes

amazon.comDoes it get any more dark and dramatic than a long, black velvet skirt? Embrace more of those witchy vibes with a peasant top and lace-up boots. Plaid accents like an oversized blazer and headband keep it from feeling Halloween-y.

4th And Reckless Camille Plaid Oversize Blazer, $82,; Boden Roberta Velvet Skirt, $51.99,; Riah Fashion Bohemian Top Knot Fabric Headband, $10.99,; Susana Monaco Long Sleeve Sweetheart Top, $148,; Naturalizer Sevilla Boot, $102.79,