What Is Dark Academia? Our 2022 Style Guide.

What Is Dark Academia? Our 2022 Style Guide.

What is dark academia all about? Learn the secrets behind this trending aesthetic inspired by Victorian fashion and dark literature and, most importantly, how to style it yourself!

The darkest secrets hide in hidden shelves and books with yellowed pages.

You’ve probably seen the term “dark academia” popping up on your feed or scrolled past videos of calligraphy, literature recommendations and poetry on TikTok. It’s a new subculture and fashion movement that’s steadily been gaining popularity on social media and it seems right up the alley of Victorian goths and alternative leaning bookworms. But what’s it all about? Let’s get down to the deets!


Dark academia is an aesthetic that takes inspiration from classic literature and fashion trends of the 19th century. Dark academia romanticises education and the pursuit of knowledge, particularly concerning dangerous subjects surrounded by a sense of mystery; think The Picture of Dorian Grey, Victor Frankenstein pursuing the creation of life or Evelyn transcribing ancient hieroglyphs in the 1999 film The Mummy. 


Dark academia is a mash-up of different eras of styles, including sweater vests and sweaters tied over the shoulders popular with the American prep aesthetic, vintage blazers modelled on the school uniforms of the 1940s, and tweed fabric. Footwear is often Victorian-inspired, including oxfords, Mary Janes and brown leather-look lace-up boots. This can be easily given a gothic twist by swapping out white or athletic knits for black sweaters and witchy boots, tweed jackets for brocade coats and brown shoes for black Mary Janes with broguing. Imagine how you’d want to look exploring ancient bookshelves in forbidden libraries or happening across demonic inscriptions no mortal was meant to see.

Here are a few dark academia outfits to get your inspiration flowing:

Going Batty dark academia outfit flatlay.

This cute collection is for the scholarly night creatures! The Samantha Long Sleeve Top features dramatic flowing sleeves, which pair well with the Victorian vibes of the To Die For Lace Skirt. The batty accessories take it over the top, with the matching Release The Bats wallet and brooch adding some vampire energy along with the Restyle Bat Wing Hair Clips.

Moonlight Rituals dark academia outfit flatlay.

Let's get a little fancy! This outfit is perfect for special occasions and nights out with your fellow witches; the Carpe Noctem Dress is a velvet wonder featuring burnout patterns, a long, dramatic collar and ruffled sleeves. The GOTHIKA-53 heels are a match made in hell, with beautiful shining silver/black nubuck and elegant ribbon trims. The accessories take the outfit from gorgeous to stunning, with the oversized Ursula Necklace, Victorian inspired Vivian Hairclip and the batwing Ominous Handbag.

Scholars & Sorcery dark academia outfit flatlay.

Channel your inner corpgoth! The figure hugging lines of the Candence Flocked Skirt and the Narcisse Long Sleeve Top are a great winter office combo, with the Not So Sacred Necklace adding a subtle pop of colour. Journal your thoughts, spells and dreams into the Beast Journal before storing it away in the matching Beast Messenger Bag. Layering with the Midnight Hollow Cardigan adds an air of mystery while keeping you warm.

Have we got you inspired? Check out our full dark academia collection here!

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