How To Achieve the Dark Academia Look

Photo found here:

Photo found here:

Have you ever felt a calling, a summons, a vocation to the classics, ancient statues, Gothic architecture, or earthy tones? To philosophy, studies, Latin, or poetry? All of these described aspects fall under the erudite aesthetic known as “dark academia”, a growing coterie of qualities emerging through the younger generations in recent times.

Photo found here.

Dark academia is a category of the broader aesthetic known as “academia”, which includes light, classical, and chaotic academias. Focusing on Eurocentric lifestyle and society, dark academia is obsessed with literature, philosophy, studies, mythology, Gothiciscm, and libraries. Changing your way of life to fit the vibes of dark academia isn’t that difficult at all and is the reason I’m here! Achieving the gloomy mystique of the dark academia look through fashion, house/room decor, education and interests is simple enough: just follow these suggestions below!

Literature & Studies

The entire aesthetic of dark academia is founded on romanticizing the idea of studying and reading. “Dark academists” devote much of their time to reading novels, consisting mostly of classics and poetry (think Shakespeare, Greek Myths, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, the Bront√ęs, etc.) and studying for entertainment.

Photo found here.

People drawn to dark academia tend to have a natural hunger for learning and knowledge and are always on the quest to find out more information in the interests they are passionate about. If you’ve always been eager to learn more in the typical dark academia fashion, purchase some classic novels (bonus if its gothic literature!) and if you want to be a step ahead of the game, start writing your own poetry, stories, or letters. It doesn’t have to be good; it just has to satisfy your liking. When doing homework, try to enjoy it (I know it’s difficult to enjoy AP Physics or Calculus, but at least try) and take the time to light some candles and play a dark academia playlist on Spotify consisting of Bach or Mozart to set the mystifying, dreary vibes.

Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society (1989). Photo found here.


One of the easiest ways to get into dark academia is to watch movies that carry the same aesthetic. The most famous example is the 1989 drama, Dead Poets Society, starring the late Robin Williams. John Keating (played by Williams), a newly arrived English professor at a wealthy, pretentious all-boys school, defies rules and traditions when he teaches his students to “seize the day”: carpe diem. Kill Your Darlings is a biographical drama revolving around the stories of the Beat Generation writers: Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr, Allen Ginsberg (played by Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter) and William S. Burroughs. The Dreamers (2003), The Riot Club (2014), Maurice (1987) and Pride and Prejudice (2009) are also dark academia aesthetic movies (Warning: most of these movies are R-rated).

Photo found here.


Dark academia fashion is labeled by dark, earthy tones. Browns, creams, grays, and dark greens are common colors seen on dark academic clothes. Finding clothes fitting this criteria isn’t difficult: dress pants, pencil skirts, turtlenecks, linen shorts, sweater vests, cardigans, trench coats, Oxford shoes, Mary Janes, and wire-framed glasses are readily available at multiple stores.


Photo found here.

Some of the easiest ways to decorate your room or home to fit the dark academia aesthetic is to add ornate mirrors or miniature statues or busts of Greek/Roman statues (both found on Amazon for relatively cheap prices). Books, fake (or real) vines, vintage posters, type writers, candles, instruments (like pianos and violins), coffee mugs, and old telephones are some fun and easy-to-find features of dark academia.

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the suggestions to achieving the dark academia look; remember, you aren’t required to do all of the above to attain peak dark academia. Do what draws you in and what makes you happy. In the words of the late Robins Williams, seize the day, Knights.

More information found here.