Essentials of Academia Style

Kastle Waserman
by Kastle Waserman

The academia trend is all over social media at the moment. And it just happens to be a perfect look for fall because it’s loaded with layers and warm textures. In case you haven’t heard of it, here’s some background:

Academia style pulls from a love of literature and the arts and cozy old world, homey aesthetics such as bookcases, candles, drinking coffee and slowing down to enjoy a more cultured life with activities such as reading and journaling. It pulls a lot of style inspiration from preppy boarding school uniforms but gives it a darker, more stylish spin. Think living in a Harry Potter movie set. There are several forms of academia style that include - but aren't limited to - dark academia (dark colors, heavy fabrics), light academia (lighter neutrals, soft fabrics) and romantic academia (muted colors, frilly trims, flowing fabrics). You can mix and match any way you want. All carry the same basic aesthetic.

Here are some essentials for the academia style and looks to inspire.


You can’t think of academia without plaid – plaid skirts, pants, vests and pinafores. Plaid is everywhere with this look. Again, this calls back to those boarding school uniforms where plaid skirts were the standard. So find your plaid and pull it on! Shop here.


Cloth vests and sweater vests are a nerdy-gone-chic accessory that’s a must-have. It’s also a great layering piece to add texture and interest to the outfit. Wear them over button-down shirts or turtleneck sweaters.  Shop here.


Did you ever see anyone in boarding school who didn’t have a blazer on? Blazers are traditional and give this look a sense of formality not found in casual-wear these days. Make sure it is fitted and tailored. Look for blazers with lots of texture – tweeds, corduroy and velvets – for a sense of luxury. Shop here.

Oxford Shoes

Oxford shoes have that practical, vintage charm and harken back to school days of running from class to class. These days you can find them in flat, low heel and even high heel versions. Shop here.

Satchel Purse

What else is a bookworm going to carry all her books and journals in? A leather satchel is a necessary accessory. All the better if it’s a worn leather vintage find. Shop here.

Now that you know some essentials of academia style, which one are you drawn to – dark, light, romantic or a little bit of each? (Side note: I like them all!)


See more of my looks in the Stiletto City blog and my Instagram page.

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