Dark Academia is both an aesthetic trend and a subculture. Donna Tartt's 1992 novel The Secret History, set in a New England elite school, has been credited as the inspiration for the Dark Academia literary genre. Since 2015, It has gone on to inspire an entire lifestyle amongst young people interested in the Classics.
The features of the fashion aesthetic include clothing worn by Ivy League college students of the 1930s & 1940s. Classic preppy college looks consisting of dress shirts, cardigans, blazers, knitted vests, tailored trousers, pleated skirts, houndstooth, tweed, corduroy, loafers and brogues/oxfords are abound.
The colour palette consists of black, white, beige, browns, dark green and occasionally navy blue and burgundy.
It shares similarities with Goth subculture, finding beauty and poetry in dark themes. So, it's somewhat a menswear-inspired goth Ivy style look.
It grew more in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were shut down and students romanticized the college lifestyle that they couldn't obtain.
This trend is heavily Autumnal. Layering is key- mix up the textures and opt for sophisticated outerwear.
Other key inspirational novels include Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and 'Maurice' by E.M. Forster. Films and TV series that fit the aesthetic include 'Dead Poet's Society', 'Kill Your Darlings' and 'The Queen's Gambit'.
Check out the looks we've put together inspired by this trend and shop our Dark Academia collection through the link at the bottom.