Dark Academia is an aesthetic that revolves around classic literature, the pursuit of self-discovery, and a general passion for knowledge and learning. It is one out of several variations, each with their own unique historical focus. Dark Academia visually stems from European cultures, as with its most well known variations.

(Dark Academia es una estética que gira en torno a la literatura clásica, la búsqueda del autodescubrimiento y una pasión general por el conocimiento y el aprendizaje. Es una de varias variaciones, cada una con su propio enfoque histórico único. Dark Academia proviene visualmente de las culturas europeas, al igual que con sus variaciones más conocidas.)


  1. While this aesthetic is not inherently negative, it has come under scrutiny as of late due to its seeming encouragement of classist/elitist attitudes (menial work being 'inferior' to mental work) and unhealthy behaviour (sacrificing sleep, relationships, mental health, and hygiene for study). If you are interested in this aesthetic, please be sure to embrace the positive aspects and be cautious of the potentially harmful ones.
  2. While the aesthetic lends itself to Eurocentrism, let it be known that every culture is welcome and you are encouraged to find ways to blend your heritage with this aesthetic. Do not feel as if you are not Dark Academic enough because of where you are from. (And feel free to share POC book recs in the comments or in the main list.)
  3. The Style Guide is first and foremost a guide, not a uniform. It is meant to inspire, not hold you back. You should not feel inadequate if you cannot wear everything featured on the list; those are mere suggestions and what you wear is up to you. If you prefer following the aesthetic to a 'T', good for you; if you prefer taking inspiration and wearing bits and pieces, congrats.
  4. There is no place for any type of shaming or bullying within the community. Be it against race, religion, social status, sexuality, education, ability, or body type, etc. it is not welcome. The academic community is here for anyone who holds an appreciation for learning.

Si bien esta estética no es intrínsecamente negativa, últimamente ha sido objeto de escrutinio debido a su aparente aliento de actitudes clasistas / elitistas (el trabajo servil es `` inferior '' al trabajo mental) y el comportamiento poco saludable (sacrificar el sueño, las relaciones, la salud mental y Higiene para estudio). Si está interesado en esta estética, asegúrese de aceptar los aspectos positivos y regular los que pueden transformarse fácilmente en cosas negativas.

Si bien la estética se presta a ser extremadamente eurocéntrica, deje que se sepa que todas las culturas son bienvenidas y se le anima a encontrar formas de combinar su herencia con esta estética. No se sienta como si no fuera lo suficientemente académico oscuro debido a su lugar de origen. (siéntase libre de compartir las recomendaciones de libros de POC en los comentarios o en la lista principal)

La Guía de estilo es ante todo una guía, no un uniforme. Está destinado a inspirarte, no a detenerte. No debe sentirse inadecuado si no puede usar todo lo que aparece en la lista, esas son meras sugerencias y lo que use depende de usted. Si prefieres seguir la estética a una 'T' buena para ti; si prefieres inspirarte y lucir partes y piezas, felicidades.

No hay lugar para ningún tipo de vergüenza o intimidación dentro de la comunidad. Ya sea racismo, estatus social, homofobia, educación, habilidad o vergüenza corporal, etc., no es bienvenido. La comunidad académica está aquí para cualquier persona que aprecie el aprendizaje.


Art Academia: Based in classical art movements.

Chaotic Academia: A mixture of Dark Academia and 'chaotic' or 'feral' aesthetics like Goblincore. Cramming for tests at midnight and riding caffeine highs for days until you crash. Committing arson with your friends and shoplifting stationary. Spraying 'fuck the electoral college' on brick walls. Falling asleep in the school library and saving all your Monster Energy cans.

Classic Academia: A mix of the Academia family of aesthetics. Impeccable notes in class. Leatherbound bags crammed with textbooks and pens. Lots of coffee with scones, and even more late nights. A wide vocabulary (that people constantly comment on). Lives in the library.

Darkest Academia: Similar to Dark Academia, but with darker, even sinister visuals and more serious themes.

Fairy Academia: Based in the visual aesthetics of Victorian and Edwardian childhood.

Fantasy Academia: Dark Academia but with themes of magick, fantasy and fiction. Often takes cues from Harry Potter, Dungeons & Dragons, or Discworld.

Grey Academia: A deliberate push back against the elitest attitudes, Eurocentric view, and exclusion of neurodivergent, poc, and queer people from some (not all) academia spaces. There is a trend towards more diverse styles of dress, tools used, and a focus on activism and social issues.

Light Academia: Similar to Dark Academia, but with a distinctly lighter color palette and overall aesthetic.

Pagano-Lovecore: A hybrid of Academia aesthetics and Lovecore, based in love in Greco-Roman mythology.

Pastel Academia: Less mature than the other forms of academia, pastel academia showcases much more colour and a childlike "kawaii" aesthetic. It is less Eurocentric and more based around Japanese styles of study and clothing.

Romantic Academia: Closer to Light Academia, with a focus on romance and elements of Baroque.

Theatre Academia: Based in plays, operas and other musically inclined types of art

Witchy Academia: Similar to Dark Academia, but with themes of Witchcraft.

Writer Academia: Also known as writercore or poetcore, is a branch of Academia specifically for writers. Writer Academia holds the belief that anyone could be a writer, or poet, as long as you enjoy writing and hold a passion for your work.



Books (by author surname)

  • The Women in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe
  • The Lessons by Naomi Alderman
  • The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis
  • Emma, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Bunny by Mona Awad
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Books of Blood by Clieve Barker
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • The Secret Garden and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson-Burnett
  • Possession by A.S. Byatt
  • The Shakespeare Secret by Jennifer Lee Carrell
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • The Glass Essay by Anne Carson
  • Belle du Seigneur by Albert Cohen
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  • The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
  • The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Phillip K. Dick
  • Crime And Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Bacchae by Euripides
  • The Great Gatsby and The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • The Magus by John Fowles
  • Maurice by E. M. Forster
  • The Likeness by Tana French
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  • The Lie Tree by Frances Harding
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
  • Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
  • Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
  • The Montague Siblings series by Mackenzi Lee
  • We Were Liars and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  • The Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft
  • Oleanna by David Mamet
  • Vampire Academy and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
  • Songs of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller
  • The Wild Girls by Path Murphy
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Tapestry Series by Henry H. Neff
  • I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
  • The Satyricon by Petronius
  • In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  • The Golden Compass trilogy by Peter Pullman
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • The Mortal Engines Quartet by Phillip Reeve
  • If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • Memoirs of a Woman Doctor by Nawal El Saadawi
  • All for the Game by Nora Sakavic
  • Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Vicious by Victoria Schwab
  • Frankenstein, or: A Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (especially book 5, The Austere Academy)
  • All The Wrong Questions By Lemony Snicket
  • Antigone by Sophocles
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Goldfinch and The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and The Death of Ivan Illyich by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Glitter and the Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Truants by Kate Weinberg
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

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Authors (by author surname)

  • Dante Alighieri
  • Maya Angelou
  • Aristotle
  • Jane Austen
  • James Baldwin
  • Beat Generation (post-war literary movement)
  • The Brontë sisters
  • Albert Camus
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Nicolai Gogol
  • Donna Tartt
  • Greek Tragedies
  • Homer
  • Franz Kafka
  • John Keats
  • Count Lautréamont
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Milton
  • Vladimir Nabokov
  • Friedrich Nietzche
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Plato
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Alexander Pushkin
  • Arthur Rimbaud
  • Sappho
  • V.E. Schwab
  • William Shakespeare
  • Lemony Snicket (pen name)
  • Sophocles
  • Noel Streatfield
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Virgil
  • Walt Whitman
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Virigina Woolf

Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan, Left) and Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe, Right), both have their hands held out as if to 'high-five'. Allen's palm is visible to the audience reveling a gash down the center, Lucien is holding the knife they used with his other hand. The characters are performing a 'Blood Oath' while at a party.

Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan, Left) and Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe, Right) are performing a blood oath while at a party.

Movies (by year)

  • The Invisible Man (1933)
  • Rope (1948)
  • Dial M for Murder (1954)
  • If... (1968)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
  • Suspiria (1977 or 2018)
  • Another Country (1984)
  • Maurice (1987)
  • The Unnamable (1988)
  • Heathers (1988)
  • Dead Poets Society (1989)
  • Metropolitan (1990)
  • School Ties (1992)
  • Peter's Friends (1992)
  • Scent of a Woman (1992)
  • Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
  • Heavenly Creatures (1994)
  • Little Women (1994 + 2019)
  • Se7en (1995)
  • Total Eclipse (1995)
  • Wilde (1997)
  • Good Will Hunting (1997)
  • The Ninth Gate (1999)
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
  • The Skulls (2000)
  • The Skulls 2 (2002)
  • The Emperor's Club (2002)
  • Bright Young Things (2003)
  • Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
  • The Dreamers (2003)
  • The Skulls 3 (2004)
  • Jane Eyre (2006)
  • Like Minds (2006)
  • The Prestige (2006)
  • The Great Debaters (2007)
  • Northanger Abbey (2007)
  • Brideshead Revisited (2008)
  • Cracks (2009)
  • Dorian Gray (2009)
  • Black Swan (2010)
  • Hugo (2011)
  • Midnight in Paris (2011)
  • Moonrise Kingdom (2012
  • Kill Your Darlings (2013)
  • Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
  • The Riot Club (2014)
  • The Theory of Everything (2014)
  • Testament of Youth (2014)
  • Carol (2015)
  • Victor Frankenstein (2015)
  • Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden (2016)
  • Indignation (2016)
  • Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them (2016)
  • Yesterday Once More (2016)
  • Handsome Devil (2016)
  • The Beguiled (2017)
  • Phantom Thread (2017)
  • Colette (2018)
  • Mary Shelley (2018)
  • Postcards From London (2018)
  • Vita & Virginia (2018)
  • Tolkien (2018)
  • Knives Out (2019)
  • The Goldfinch (2019)
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
  • The Mortuary Collection (2019)
  • Enola Holmes (2020)


  • The Magnus Archives

TV Shows

  • Brideshead Revisited (1981)
  • Sherlock (BBC)
  • How To Get Away With Murder
  • The Magicians
  • Peaky Blinders
  • The Alienist
  • Deadly Class
  • House of Anubis
  • Carnival Row
  • Hannibal
  • Mindhunter
  • Riverdale (Season 4)
  • Gilmore Girls (Seasons 4-7)
  • What We Do In The Shadows
  • Daredevil
  • Endeavour


  • Archie's Weird Fantasy
  • Spring Awakening
  • Othello
  • Total Eclipse
  • Another Country
  • The Inheritance


  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Natasha Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman
  • Bare: a Pop Opera
  • Queer: an Opera
  • Dracula
  • Hadestown
  • Something Rotten
  • Spring Awakening
  • Anastasia
  • Light in the Piazza
  • Assassins
  • Dogfight
  • Fun Home
  • Hamilton: An American Musical


  • Claude Monet
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Rembrandt
  • Sofonisba Anguissola
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Caravaggio
  • Artemisia Gentileschi
  • Michelangelo
  • Camille Claudel
  • Roberto Ferri
  • Trevor Henderson
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Jenny Holzer
  • Raphaël
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Alfred Kubin

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  • Black Butler (especially the Public School Arc)
  • Beastars
  • Whisper of the Heart
  • The Cat Returns
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • The Wind Rises
  • Steamboy
  • The Garden of Words
  • Your Name
  • Colorful
  • Bungou Stray Dogs
  • Violet Evergarden
  • Code Geass


  • Morning Glories
  • Gotham Academy
  • Mother Panic
  • Deadly Class
  • Strange Academy
  • The Umbrella Academy
  • Unwritten
  • Sandman
  • Promethea
  • Spider-Man Noir
  • Fangs

A violin rests on a bed of open faced books featuring sheets of music.



This list is adapted from Snookersneek's Tumblr post

Black and white image of a regatta. The boat in frame holds eight rowers and one coxswain. The regatta is taking place in front of a tree filled landscape


  • Rowing
  • Fencing
  • Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Golf
  • Swimming
  • Polo
  • Skiing
  • Water Polo
  • Equestrian
  • Figure/Ice Skating
  • Running (to prepare for chasing after your lover, or maybe for being chased by the cops after an act of civil disobedience)
  • Boxing
  • Javelin, discus, wrestling while covered in oil (ancient Grecian Olympics)
  • Archery
  • Ballet, ballroom dancing, any traditional dance works
  • Snooker/Pool/Billiards
  • The "Oscar Wilde approach" (aka no sports)

Black and white image of white men playing chess.


  • Chess
  • Croquet
  • Backgammon
  • Checkers
  • Cards: rummy, poker, blackjack, speed, whist, etc.
  • Cluedo/Clue (for the murder of course)

Video Games


  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Embroidery
  • Weaving
  • Lacemaking
  • Gardening
  • Realistic Drawing
  • Cooking
  • Sewing
  • Calligraphy
  • Painting
  • Needlepoint
  • Bookbinding



  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Places of historical interest
  • Pubs/Bars/Cafes (bonus points for sketching people around you)
  • Parks and gardens
  • Churches/Synagogues/Temples/Mosques/Quaker meeting houses (these are quiet places to think, most will be welcoming as long as you are respectful, and remember to not take pictures.)
  • Graveyards (be respectful and leave if there is a funeral happening, don't use grave markers as props for photoshoots)
  • The theatre
  • The opera
  • Concerts
  • Libraries
  • Art stores
  • Sporting Events
  • Special events (tours of local schools/universities, open houses, etc. It's an opportunity to learn and spark local intrigue because of your dark, mysterious, and alluring demeanor.)
  • Searching for small independent bookstores

Things to Do When Bored

  • Write essays (doesn't have to be intellectual, just about something you are passionate about)
  • Research
  • Daydream (about preventing the burning of the Library of Alexandria)
  • Write about a murder/heist
  • Read something light (suggestions above)
  • Read aloud
  • Dress up
  • Perform a play alone or to a pet
  • Play or practice an instrument
  • Take a bath
  • Fake your death (murder perhaps?)
  • Draw or paint something (it doesn't have to be good, it just has to be yours)
  • Write a narrative piece
  • Watch a movie
  • Write a movie review
  • Reflect back on the past
  • Journal
  • Read philosophy
  • Admire cityscape/nature (wherever you're at)
  • Read a physical book
  • Write poems for compilation
  • Practice calligraphy
  • Learn bookbinding
  • Write lists about something you like


The main inspiration for Dark Academic fashion comes from 1940's prep school uniforms. Elements of the 1950's suburban American preppy look are often incorporated, such as sweater vests or sweaters worn tied over the shoulders. The main colour scheme is black, grey, beige, brown, cream, ivory, dark green, burgundy, and soft yellow. Usual fabric choices are more upscale, like cashmere, wool, and tweed, but linen and cotton are also very common. Accessories are usually minimal, like bracelets, rings, pendants, watches, cuff-links, and other dapper add-on pieces.

(La principal inspiración para el estilo Dark Academic proviene de los uniformes escolares de preparación de los años 40. El esquema de color principal es negro, gris, beige, marrón, crema, marfil, verde oscuro, burdeos, un amarillo suave. Las opciones habituales de telas son más exclusivas, como la cachemira, la lana y el tweed, pero el lino y el algodón también son muy comunes. Los accesorios suelen ser mínimos, como pulseras, anillos, colgantes, relojes, gemelos y otros complementos elegantes.)

Tumblr 6a25622fdda202d1e5d838f2954b3c50 8a71433a 640.jpg


  • Turtlenecks
  • Oxford shirts 
  • Fisherman's sweaters 
  • Sweater vests 
  • Light blouses 
  • Large polo necks
  • Cable knit jumpers
  • Sailor-collar shirts

Tumblr de1c5b8eaf6e37ea6464a5f2f58b721c 96fccb7c 640.jpg


  • Dress pants
  • Ankle pants
  • High rise pants
  • Trousers
  • Cigarette pants
  • Linen shorts
  • Tweed trousers
  • Plaid skirts
  • Mid-length or long skirts
  • Pinafore
  • Sailor skirts

Tumblr 3bdd6b40ae71a843320841b027b60423 9db693cd 640.jpg


  • Cardigans
  • Blazers
  • Waistcoats
  • Pea coats
  • Suit jackets
  • Trenchcoats
  • Overcoats
  • Duffle coats
  • Chesterfield coat


  • Oxfords/brogues
  • Loafers
  • Wingtips
  • Boat shoes
  • Dr. Martens
  • Mary Janes


  • Silver or gold jewelry
  • Broaches
  • Simple rings
  • Satchel
  • Wire-frame glasses
  • Short neat fingernails
  • Belts that match your shoes
  • Knee-high socks
  • Watches
  • Sweaters tied over the shoulders
  • Undone or loosely tied ties





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