Dark Academia Is the Latest Trend You're Going to Hear a Lot About

Elinor Block
·3-min read

Remember last year's cottagecore trend? Well, here comes fashion, ready to give us yet another trend with a questionable moniker. This time, it's dark academia. While it absolutely sounds like a class that would be taught at Hogwarts, it's actually much more about fashion than it sounds. The dark-academia aesthetic takes its origins from Donna Tartt's novel The Secret History, and is, in essence, about wearing blazers and looking like you love reading. In recent years, and especially in 2021, it's picked up speed thanks to TikTok. Over the past few months, the trend has been spiking on Google Trends with searches starting to go up in October 2020 and hitting a high in February this year.

From what I can gather, this look is all about a particular style. The New York Times describes it as "traditional-academic-with-a-gothic-edge," and blazers, shirts, checks and jumpers are what you need. But I think the danger with these trends is that they can end up looking a little like you're doing cosplay rather than latching on to a trend that's genuinely chic. The good news is that this look has absolutely seeped into the A/W 21 runway trends. From Dior to Cinq à Sept, there are plenty of designers showcasing academic-inspired looks, including pleated skirts, oversize jumpers and tweed blazers. To help you style this look, I've delved into Instagram to hunt down how to do dark academia without looking like you're about to head off to Platform 9 3/4. Keep scrolling to see the best way to pull off this trend and then where you can find the ultimate dark-academia items.

Cinq à Sept A/W 21 collection

Dior A/W 21 runway

Bevza A/W 21 runway

Style Notes: Can't you just see it? Cycling around the nearby university wearing your trench coat with a pile of books on the back of your bike.

Style Notes: Cricket jumpers just meet the dark-academia criteria.

Style Notes: A white shirt and high-waisted trousers make for the ultimate chic librarian look.

Style Notes: Head-to-toe check is absolutely dark academia.

Style Notes: Loafers and a blazer are both very 2021 but also fit this trend perfectly.

Shop the Dark-Academia Wardrobe

& Other Stories Relaxed Belted Cotton Trench Coat (£120)

Isabel Marant Étoile Peter Oversized Belted Cotton and Linen-Blend Trench Coat (£495)

Mango Contrasting Knitted Polo Shirt (£26)

Mango Striped Vest (£36)

H&M Oversized Sweater Vest (£18)

COS Mesh Panel Knitted Top (£59)

Mango Multicoloured Knitted Gilet (£30)

Weekday Caity Cardigan (£45)

Weekday Luxa Skew Wide Trousers (£45)

Whistles Eleni Check Wide Leg Trouser (£75)

Isabel Marant Magali High-Rise Prince of Wales-Check Trousers (£480)

Purdey Ruffled Cotton-Jacquard Shirt (£165)

Simone Rocha Ruffled Pleated Cotton-Poplin Shirt (£595)

Arket Relaxed Poplin Shirt (£55)

Arket Oversized Twill Blazer (£150)

Zara Check Blazer (£90)

Raey Single-Breasted Wool-Twill Waistcoat ($304)

Zara Check Mini Skirt (£30)

Reformation Robin Tie-Front Georgette Maxi Shirt Dress (£265)

Gianvito Rossi Leather Loafers (£640)

Arket Chunky-Sole Leather Loafers (£150)

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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