10 Ways To Nail TikTok’s Dark Academia Aesthetic

So many tweed blazers and leather loafers.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 18: A guest (L) wears black sunglasses, a black t-shirt, a white with black ...
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Haven’t quite nailed down your 2022 fashion aesthetic yet? Relatable. With countless trends to consider — from the Y2K resurgence to the cottagecore phenomenon — there are plenty of options to pull inspiration from. But today, we’re here to make a not-so-subtle case for giving Dark Academia a try.

In case you’re not yet immersed in this TikTok subculture, here’s what you need to know: It’s a mix of styles, from classic preppy to worn-in vintage. Essentially, the objective is to look like you just walked off the set of a Harry Potter movie, or like you’re about to teach a class on Greek literature.

On TikTok, searching for videos tagged with “Dark Academia” yields thousands of pieces of content, with creators sharing their moodiest, slightly edgy, slightly gothic ensembles. You could easily spend hours scouring the platform for #OOTD inspo, which includes everything from oversized tweed blazers to tailored plaid pants. Dark Academia embraces a romanticized view of all things considered to be traditionally “academic” — think lecture halls, libraries, letter writing — you get the idea. It’s like if college only had the learning aspect and not, you know, all the dating drama and terrible hangovers.

Whether you’re currently a student or not, Dark Academia offers a stylistic roadmap that you can refer to whenever you need some fashion motivation. And while this subculture hasn’t gone mainstream yet, its popularity continues to grow. To add elements of the cute-and-sorta-spooky Dark Academia lifestyle to your wardrobe, check out the shoppable round-up below.


A Classic Coat

Throw this oversized coat on top of literally anything for an instantly pulled-together ensemble. It’s especially chic with a turtleneck and fitted trousers.


A Plaid Skirt

You can’t channel Dark Academia vibes without multiple plaid pieces, beginning with this classic skirt. Pair with a cable-knit sweater and Chelsea boots for a complete look.


A Cropped Cardigan

Never underestimate the power of a cute lil’ cropped cardi. Layer one over a tank top or a sleeveless turtleneck for a totally refined feel.


A Patterned Sweater Vest

You heard it here: Sweater vests are officially back, and the bolder the pattern, the better. Plus, who doesn’t love these retro hues?


A Plaid Bustier

Plaid is a bit unexpected in bustier form, but it makes for an unmissable sartorial statement. Layer it over a long-sleeved top for a year-round look that’s perfect for date night or brunch with the gals.


A Pair of Leather Loafers

No matter which Dark Academia outfit you wear, odds are that these chunky loafers will go with it. We love a multipurpose queen!


A Chunky Scarf

The bigger the scarf, the better. That’s all we have to say. (And hey, this checked print is super eye-catching, too.)


A Chic Sweater

A timeless cable knit sweater is a closet staple because it’s so easy to style. Layer under a tweed blazer and add some worn-in bootcut jeans for a head-to-toe Dark Academia ensemble.


A Plaid Blazer

Yes, more plaid, please! This timeless blazer works flawlessly with a button-down or pussy-bow blouse, as styled here.


A Sleek Bag

This hand-stitched bag is the perfect size for everyday wear: big enough for the essentials, small enough to not take up too much space. It’s ideal for hands-free access when you’re on the go.