5 Stylish Ways to Wear the Dark Academia Trend
Here’s how we’re rocking the American prep, 19th-century Europe-inspired aesthetic.
Dark academia was one of many trends that took over Instagram and TikTok this year, in addition to aesthetics like dreamcore. In our latest style guide, we’re highlighting “dark academia” — a style described to be inspired by American prep and 19th century Europe.
For those unfamiliar with dark academia, think boarding schools, Oxford shirts, trench coats and check patterns. The trend revolves heavily around a neutral palette of black, brown, dark green and more, while go-to shoes include loafers and platform boots.
Below, we’ve put together five stylish ways to wear the trend this season. Whether you’re out running errands or on a weekend date, look to our latest style guide inspired by dark academia.
While you’re here, see how we’re wearing Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year, “Very Peri.”
Ready for School
Check patterns are essential when it comes to the dark academia aesthetic. Here, we’re styling Nanushka’s wool houndstooth pants with Paloma Wool’s navy sweater contrasted with red stripes. Pair the top with a matching navy beanie along with an Acne Studios scarf to keep warm. Eytys’ chunky black boots round out this look.
One of the easiest ways to put together winter outfits is to start with your coat or jacket. Using Balenciaga’s hourglass coat as the main piece, we’re adding garments such as Gucci’s wool polo shirt for an extra preppy feel, along with Ganni’s straight-leg pants and Gucci’s denim hairband. The fit is complete with TOGA’s tassel brogues and Loewe’s Puzzle bag.
Dark academia isn’t just for school — you can also incorporate the aesthetic into your party looks. We’re wearing Wales Bonner’s tailored jacket with Miaou’s leather pants. Burberry’s mohair beanie is added for that preppy touch, while Yuul Yie’s Dollie boots and Paco Rabanne’s 1969 bag balance out the fit.
This versatile look can be worn any day of the week, whether you’re meeting friends for lunch or simply running errands. Peter Do’s trench coat is worn atop Helmut Lang’s ribbed crewneck top and We11Done’s bootcut pants. The look is kept casual and simple with Museum of Peace & Quiet’s tote bag and both’s boots.
Kijun’s check-patterned skirt and Burberry’s Horseferry Print Title bag serve as the core of this preppy look. MSGM’s psychedelic tee, paired with Loewe’s Wedge Slipon shoe, makes the outfit wearable for parties as well.