Dark Academia Is the Latest Trend You're Going to Hear a Lot About

Remember last year's cottagecore trend? Well, here comes fashion, ready to give us yet another trend with a questionable moniker. This time, it's dark academia. While it absolutely sounds like a class that would be taught at Hogwarts, it's actually much more about fashion than it sounds. The dark-academia aesthetic takes its origins from Donna Tartt's novel The Secret History, and is, in essence, about wearing blazers and looking like you love reading. In recent years, and especially in 2021, it's picked up speed thanks to TikTok. Over the past few months, the trend has been spiking on Google Trends with searches starting to go up in October 2020 and hitting a high in February this year. 

From what I can gather, this look is all about a particular style. The New York Times describes it as "traditional academic with a gothic edge," and blazers, shirts, checks, and sweaters are what you need. But I think the danger with these trends is that they can end up looking a little like you're doing cosplay rather than latching on to a trend that's genuinely chic. The good news is that this look has absolutely seeped into the A/W 21 runway trends. From Dior to Cinq à Sept, there are plenty of designers showcasing academic-inspired looks, including pleated skirts, oversize sweaters, and tweed blazers.

To help you style this look, I've delved into Instagram to hunt down how to do dark academia without looking like you're about to head off to Platform 9 3/4. Keep scrolling to see the best way to pull off this trend and then where you can find the ultimate dark-academia items. 

Dark Academia on the Runway
dark academia fashion: Cinq à Sept Autumn/Winter 2021 collection


Courtesy of Cinq à Sept

Cinq à Sept A/W 21 collection

dark academia fashion: Dior Autumn/Winter 2021 Runway


Courtesy of Dior

Dior A/W 21 runway

dark academia fashion: Bevza Autumn/Winter 2021 Runway


Courtesy of Bevza

Bevza A/W 21 runway

Dark Academia on Instagram
dark academia fashion: brittany bathgate wearing a trench coat and on a bike



Style Notes: Can't you just see it? Cycling around the nearby university wearing your trench coat with a pile of books on the back of your bike. 

Style Notes: Cricket jumpers just meet the dark-academia criteria. 

Style Notes: A white shirt and high-waisted trousers make for the ultimate chic librarian look. 

dark academia fashion: emma spedding wearing a checked suit



Style Notes: Head-to-toe check is absolutely dark academia. 

Style Notes: Loafers and a blazer are both very 2021 but also fit this trend perfectly. 

Next up, the four types of swimsuit coverups every fashion girl owns

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.