Light Academia is an academic aesthetic and emotionally positive and visually lighter counterpart of Dark Academia.

Dark Academia typically involves intense and emotionally negative themes, including literary tragedy, discussion of the meaning of life, heartbreak, oppression, escapism, and death. Light Academia’s themes, in contrast, are generally emotionally positive, focusing on optimism, sensitivity, joy, gratitude, friendship, motivation, and happy endings.

Like Dark Academia, Light Academia also involves an interest in literature, music, art, history, and learning in general. Light Academia visuals, literary inspirations, and philosophical themes are generally Eurocentric and classicist. Some proponents of Light Academia have attempted to resist this Euro-centrism by utilizing academic clothing from non-Western European cultures, and recommending, quoting, and discussing books by non-European, non-English-speaking, and non-white authors. However, visuals from classical antiquity still play a significant role in Light Academia, and the Western canon are a significant part of the philosophy. Images of Western architecture, including church buildings, libraries, museums, and universities, feature frequently in Light Academia visuals.

Visuals

Note that a lot of the imagery here crosses over with Dark Academia. The color palette and time of day will look different, so the two aesthetics are distinct enough.

  • Antique books
  • Art museums, with people interacting and viewing the art
  • British estates, especially oak-paneled rooms
  • British moors
  • Boarding school-related imagery such as uniforms and sneaking out
  • Campuses of prestigious universities such as Oxford and Harvard
  • Chateaus and palaces
  • Coffee and tea
  • Desks that showcase the OP's stationary collection
  • Fountain pens
  • Gothic and Beaux-Arts architecture
  • Homoeroticism
  • Newspapers at cafes
  • Paintings in the Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Academic, Aesthetic, and Pre-Raphaelite periods
  • Sculpture in the Classical, Hellenistic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical periods
  • Streets of antique European cities such as Paris and Florence

Fashion

Tops

  • Blazers
  • Turtlenecks
  • Corduroy jackets
  • Cardigans
  • Cable knit sweaters/jumpers
  • Button up shirts/dress shirts
  • Sweater vests

Bottom

  • Linen shorts
  • Dress pants
  • Cigarette pants
  • Skirts

Outerwear

  • Trench coats
  • Pea coats
  • Duffle coats
  • Overcoats
  • Waistcoats
  • Uniforms

Shoes

  • Wingtips
  • Mary Janes
  • Doc Martens
  • Oxford shoes

Accessories

  • Headbands
  • Glasses
  • Hair ribbons
  • Hair clips
  • Knee high or ruffle socks
  • Watches
  • Leather belts
  • Cufflinks
  • Brooches
  • Pearls
  • Berets

Colors

  • Browns
  • Cream
  • Rose
  • Burgundy
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Navy blue
  • Beige
  • Off-white
  • Grey
  • Black
  • White

Patterns and Materials

  • Tweed
  • Corduroy
  • Plaid
  • Leather
  • Houndstooth
  • Gingham
  • Flannel
  • Tartan
  • Madras
  • Knit and crochet
  • Lace
  • Argyle
  • Cashmere
  • Silk/satin

Websites & Stores

Room Decor

  • Tea sets
  • Old photos
  • Mini statues
  • Candles
  • Vintage board games
  • Old-looking books
  • Record player
  • Old writing tools (fountain pens, dip pens)
  • Dried/pressed flowers
  • Bookshelves
  • Wood furniture and antique furniture (lighter shades)
  • Fancy mirrors
  • Framed photos and art
  • Antique mirrors
  • World globes
  • Posters of classical artwork
  • Upholstered or tuft headboards

Music

Genres

  • Baroque Pop
  • Easy Listening
  • Jazz Swing
  • Light Classical
  • Soft Rock
  • Theme/Orchestra

Artists

  • The Beach Boys
  • Billie Holiday
  • Camille
  • The Carpenters
  • Chopin
  • Edith Piaf
  • Foxygen
  • Frank Sinatra
  • The Ink Spots
  • Lana Del Rey
  • The Supremes
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Vince Guaraldi
  • Johannes Bornlöf
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Playlists

Spotify

YouTube

Films

Movies

  • The African Doctor (2016)
  • Another Country (1984)
  • Billy Elliot (2000)
  • The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (2019)
  • Dead Poets Society (1989)
  • The Emperor's Club (2002)
  • Enola Holmes (2020)
  • Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
  • First They Killed My Father (2017)
  • The Goldfinch (2019)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
  • The Half Of It (2020)
  • The Harry Potter movie series (2001-2011)
  • Hidden Figures (2016)
  • Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  • Hugo (2011)
  • Indian Horse (2017)
  • In This Corner Of The World (2016)
  • Kill Your Darlings (2013)
  • Little Women (2019)
  • Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
  • Nigerian Prince (2018)
  • Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  • The Riot Club (2014)
  • Roma (2018)
  • School Ties (1992)
  • A Silent Voice (2016)
  • The Theory Of Everything (2014)
  • Tolkien (2019)
  • Whiplash (2014)
  • Yes, God, Yes (2019)
  • Five Feet Apart (2019)
  • Wonder (2017)

Television

  • Anne With An E
  • Bear in the Big Blue House
  • Between the Lions
  • The Crown
  • Dear White People
  • Derry Girls
  • Fleabag
  • Franklin
  • I Am Not Ok With This
  • The InBetweeners
  • Politician
  • The Queen's Gambit
  • A Series Of Unfortunate Events
  • Sex Education
  • Skins
  • Lark Rise to Candleford
  • High Fidelity

Books

  • Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
  • Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
  • Emma - Jane Austen
  • The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  • Room on the Roof - Rusking Bond
  • The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Activities

In general, it all is about the warm and positive, pleasurable parts of student life. Frequently used examples are:

Travel

  • Bakeries
  • Bookshops
  • Cafés
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Old Buildings

Outdoors

  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Foraging
  • Gardening
  • Hiking
  • Picnics
  • Runs
  • Swimming
  • Walks

Sports

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Boxing
  • Croquet
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Ice skating
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Water polo

Games

  • Board games
  • Card games

Liberal Arts

  • Learning an instrument
  • Visual arts
    • Calligraphy
    • Drawing
    • Painting
    • Photography
    • Sculpting
  • Literary arts
    • Poetry
    • Music
    • Letters
    • Note-taking
    • Language learning
  • Culinary arts
    • Baking

Crafts

  • Carpentry
  • Crochet
  • Knitting

Gallery


Resources

Pinterest Boards

Reddit

r/LightAcademia

Amino

Light Academia Amino


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