9 Dark Academia Outfit Ideas That Nail the Latest TikTok Trend

Josy Bun
by Josy Bun

In this lookbook, we’re going to be exploring one of TikTok’s latest trends: dark academia. I’ll be providing you with a range of dark academia outfit ideas.

For those of you who are new to this trend, dark academia is a social media aesthetic and subculture centered around higher education, writing/poetry, classic literature, the arts, and classic Greek and Gothic architecture.

Moody professor aesthetic

1. Moody professor

This first outfit I think is what you’d immediately find when Googling ‘dark academic looks’. It’s got everything I associate with the style and overall has a kind of moody professor vibe.

It’s structurally sound but still stylish as I’ve introduced some print mixing between the checkered tailored trousers and the wool and leather blazer.

Underneath I’ve got one of my absolute wardrobe essentials and that is a vintage white button-up with some stitched detailing and a knitted sweater vest over the top of that.

My actual glasses do play a role in this look and a pair of Italian leather loafers finish off the studious aesthetic.

Dark academia outfit

2. Student

So now we’ve got a professor, now we just need a student. Up next I’ve got definitely more of a youthful approach to this style. I’ve introduced some preppy vibes with a beige tennis skirt and another vintage blouse.

This time I’m introducing some floral with the blouse as it’s something I personally didn’t come across in any of my research for this lookbook and I wanted to try styling a dark academic look that did have some floral accents.

The blouse is in beautiful dark jewel tones with some of the flowers in a neutral brown color that ties in with the skirt. It’s definitely a bit outside the box for dark academia, but I wanted to try it out, and the overall silhouette of this outfit is rather classic. 

Vintage leather bag

Lastly, to give the outfit some utility since it lacks pockets, I’ve got a vintage leather bag, and to tone the blouse down a bit, I paired it with a cardigan in a complementary color.

Dark academia schoolgirl look

3. Mean girl

Every prep school has a mean girl, and I feel like this outfit gives me mean straight-a-student private school vibes. I’ve used a sleeveless knitted black mock neck and paired it with the same cardigan as the last outfit, only I’ve tied it around my shoulders.

With it, I’m wearing a grid-patterned skirt in a basic black and white pattern way and a dark burgundy belt to break up the black and cinch in the waist. Grid patterns, tartans, and flannels are basically a requirement of this aesthetic.

Keeping in with the trend, I’m wearing a pair of knee-high gray socks.

How to style dark academia outfits

4. Mean girl’s best friend

Since I seem to be doing a sort of character study for the style, this would definitely be the mean girl’s best friend. She’s just as wealthy but maybe not quite as mean.

I’ve taken the dark academia aesthetic as an opportunity to bust out this formal silk leaf vintage vest, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve paired the vest with my favorite ivory button-up that has a bishop sleeve to add some dramatic character to this outfit. I’m also wearing a gingham skirt.

What is dark academia?

5. Artsy girl

I know dark academia is well regarded as void of color and has a very neutrals-only color palette. But again, I just couldn’t help myself and had to present you with a more artsy take on dark academia.

This girl likes painting and poetry and utilizes color in her work and her wardrobe. I’ve got a beautiful jewel-toned raspberry blouse that has a little bit of houndstooth detailing in the fabric.

I’ve paired the top with a red, black, and gray plaid pair of trousers. I like that they are a bit more Capri-style pants and show off my heeled, faux-crocodile boat shoes. I finished the look with a beret in a complementary color to the blouse.

Chic dark academia aesthetic

6. Grandma chic

I call this look Grandma chic, but in the best of ways. This vintage blouse is ruffled and stitched to perfection and has adorable pearl buttons as the closures. It feels so luxurious and very Chanel-like.

I’ve styled the blouse with some black and green gingham trousers that are cuffed at the bottom and tailored perfectly.

Brown dark academia outfit

7. Browns

Another quintessential outfit for a dark academia lookbook will be one with lots of shades of brown. I have a chocolate brown turtleneck with a beautiful ribbed texture worn under one of my most-used plaid blazers.

This blazer adds structure and style, as well as providing nice deep pockets to keep pens in for poetry verses that might come to mind on a walk to the local coffee shop. I’ve chosen these paper bag trousers in a camel color to keep things very structured, which is essential to the vibe I’m trying to create.

Green dark academia outfit

8. Green

Here I’ve kept the color palette a stunning shade of green with a men’s v-neck sweater layered over the top of a black and white button-up top. I’ve let the sleeve cuffs pop out of the sweater as well. The top half pairs really nicely with a classic plaid skirt.

I accessorized with a black belt with a gold buckle to break up the green. This outfit feels young and flirty with the short mini-skirt but still studious at the same time.

Styling dark academia outfits

9. The wacky character

This was the most fun out of all the outfits to style because it’s so colorful and aesthetically pleasing. I have a vintage gold locket that nestles so perfectly into the ruching of the cream blouse.

Over the top of that, I’m wearing a deep navy cardigan with gold and red accents as well as a natural crest to call back to the preppy origin of this style.

I’m leaning into the theatrics a little bit with a midi-length flowy skirt in a darling mustard color and cinching in the waist with a brown leather belt.

Dark academia clothes

If it’s a bit chilly out, I’d dress this up even further with an oversized brown plaid blazer. I pinned a broach on the lapel, keeping this look smart but also heavily styled.

Dark academia outfit ideas

Dark academia outfit ideas

There we have a collection of dark academia outfits. I hope that I’ve provided you with some style inspiration for how to channel this aesthetic to suit you.

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