I always like to point out that aesthetics for me is not just about new fashion trends, but a visual tool for finding your identity and living aligned with your moods and true values. In the dark academia aesthetic is not different. You probably stumbled on this gorgeous, vintage aesthetic and its timeless brown tones on Instagram.

In this post, we will take you into a deep dive into the vintage and moody mood and lifestyle that is visually represented by the fascinating Dark Academia aesthetic.

โœฆ Use of image disclosure: The big goal of The Mood Guide is to gather the best aesthetic content online and organize them by aesthetic or mood, to help people find what they truly love and add extra meaning with storytelling to these images. I promote and feature the best of the best, with a link to each creator. If you find your image without a tag, it was probably a mistake, so please, if you do not want to be featured, or want me to remove your image, send an e-mail to [email protected].

๐Ÿฆ‰ There are other types of Academia Aesthetics that maybe you don’t know about. See here: 10 Academia Aesthetics Beyond Light And Dark to Discover

That ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free

๐ŸŽป Dark Academia Playlist: Get in the mood to read this post:

What is the Dark Academia Aesthetic

Dark Academia is a post-modern subculture, lifestyle, and fashion trend (or mood), that revolves around the gothic aesthetic, academic knowledge, and passion for reading and discovering new truths.

It mainly symbolizes romantic erudite literature and vintage looks, and, on a deeper level, is a visual expression of people who cultivate and express a desire for learning.

Academia: the part of society, especially universities, that is connected with studying and thinking, or the activity or job of studying – Cambridge Dictionary

 ๐Ÿ•ฐ The aesthetic: The dark academia aesthetic is visually represented by:

  • beautiful old, vintage books with fine bindings and rich in pattern and texture
  • poetry, art, classic literature
  • vintage and classic things like typewriters
  • Hogwarts, Edinburgh, Victorian Gothic buildings aesthetic, greek and gothic architecture
  • dark romanticism
  • coffee shops, rainy days
  • owls
  • old libraries
  • classic piano music, violin
  • autumn
  • mysterious yet cozy and inviting moods.
  • brown, wine red, dark off-green colors
  • Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge) preppy style, scholar, grandpa inspired outfits in sober colors
dark academia aesthetic books
old vintage books with fine bindings l @the.vintage.library

dark academia aesthetic library
old libraries l @alixelay

๐Ÿ— The Dark Academia aesthetic girl personality:

This girl has little or no need to control or change the world; they just want to understand it.

  • Loves moments of solitude
  • introvert most of the time
  • bookish
  • values knowledge and wisdom
  • old school romantic
  • always carries a notebook around
  • wants to discover more and more about themselves and the universe
  • understands that there is no absolute truth and is always willing to learn more
  • loves studying for enlightenment
  • skeptical, nonattached
  • sophisticated
  • loves extensive vocabulary and words in general
  • encourages freedom of thought
loves moments of solitude l @coffeeyre

See Also:

Light Academia Aesthetic: The Ultimate Guide for Artistic Souls and Bright Minds

โ™Ÿ๏ธ The Dark Academia Girl activities and hobbies:

  • read books indoors with the window open while listening to the rain
  • play chess and other games related to solving riddles
  • go to museums
  • visit the city’s historic center
  • shelter in a cozy cafe on a cold and magical day
  • handwrite letters and poems
  • going to libraries and bookshops on a regular basis
  • loves mystery books to decode the clues
  • practice new calligraphy with fountain pens
Go to museums l @darkacademiaoutfits
handwrite letters and poems l @talesbytheshire

Shelter in a cozy cafe on a cold day l @sarahmantelin
read books while listening to the rain l @acozymoment

๐Ÿ“บ Tv Characters:

  • Beth (The Queens Gambit)
  • Elizabeth Bennet (Pride & Prejudice)
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Lexie (Euphoria),
  • Spencer (Pretty Little Liars)
Beth l The Queens Gambit. Photo: Netflix

It takes a strong woman to stay by herself, in a world where people will settle for anything just to say they have something

Queens Gambit

๐ŸŽž TV shows and Movies with dark academia aesthetic:

  • The Queen Gambit,
  • A Discovery of Witches,
  • Dead Poets Society,
  • Dorian Gray
  • The Dreamers
  • Peaky Blinders
  • Enola Holmes
  • Saltburn

The Strongest person is the person who isnt scared to be alone

The Queens Gambit

๐Ÿ““ Dark Academia Aesthetic Famous Libraries & Bookshops

  • Waterstone Bookshop Bradford,
  • John Rylands Library: manchester.
  • Chestams library: Manchester (the oldest free public library in the United Kingdom.)

Biblichor (n.) the comforting smell of old books

โ˜• Dark Academia Bucket List:

  • Visit 221B Baker Street, London.
  • the Louvre, Paris.
  • Visit National Museum, Stockholm.
  • Have a date night in a museum
  • Join a Book Club

โœ’ Books & Novels with dark academia aesthetic ambiance:

The Dark from Dark academia comes from Gothic fiction horror such as:

  • Dracula,
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde,
  • Edgar Allan Poe novels,
  • Frankenstein.
  • Dorian Grey

remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory


Also classics like stories set in the Regency period during winter with a bookish characters:

  • Jane Austen novels,
  • Jane Eyre

Curiosity is one of the permanet and certain caracteristics of a vigorous mind,

Samuel Johnson, The Rambler

Books set in London from the past with a big mystery or riddle to keep you thinking and attempting to resolve the riddle that usually involves a murder. This type of literature, like the horror gothic, is also a reference to the Dark feature of this aesthetic.

  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt (considered the dark academia Bible)
  • Agatha Christie novels

The Most Famous Dark Academia Books:

The Best Mystery Books with Dark Academia Vibes

Dark Academia Style and Outfits starter kit

Oxford and Cambridge’s preppy style aesthetic from the elite Western European students from the 40s has a big influence on this aesthetics.

Mix Bill Gates with Clueless clothing and accessorize with Sherlock Holmes-inspired stuff and you will visualize the dark academia starter outfit.

Dark academia clothing: Bennets, brown and orange tones twinning, layered grandfather-inspired old cardigans, woolen plaid skirts, Blazers, turtlenecks, cozy sweaters, tweed jackets, and blouses in every shade of brown, black and neutrals you can think of mixed with old gothic darker colors.

For the shoes, oxford loafers, vintage boots, and Chelsea boots are mandatory.

๐Ÿ‘ž Related:

The Best Stores To Buy Aesthetic Dark Academia Shoes

๐Ÿ‘ž Related:

| Dark Academia Outfits to Channel your Inner Old-Poet Soul |

l Dark Academia Summer Outfits (Plus Clothing Brands) l

| Dark Academia Dresses: How to Style |

| Suit Vests For Women And Inspiring Outfit Ideas | The Most Stylish Plaid Scarves For Men & Women |

| Wool Skirts For Every Style From Dark Academia To 90s Menswear |

| Dark Academia Hairstyles & Hair Cuts to Express your Inner Enigmatic Preppy Soul |

Incorporating the Dark Academia Aesthetic:

If all the stuff and images above speak to your heart but you do not quite know how to start getting in the dark academia aesthetic mood and embracing this lifestyle, you may want to start by taking the steps below:

๐Ÿท Enjoy your solitude, like a character in a movie.

๐ŸŽป Listen to classical music while having a coffee and reading Jane Austen on a rainy day.

โณ Read as much as you can. Allow yourself to turn off from the real world and immerse yourself in the story.

๐Ÿ‘ž Buy brown clothing

๐Ÿ•ฏ eat by candlelight

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Look for a museum in your town and visit it.

๐Ÿ“œ Read more poetry and notice deeper meaning in them

๐Ÿฆ‰ Study interesting and out-of-the-mainstream things like mythology, plants species, astronomy, animal behavior, a new instrument, music, read existentialist and philosophical stuff

โœ’ handwrite letters for yourself or for others

Remember to do it all for yourself, not for the image you think other people must have of you when you register a dark academia personal moment and post it on Instagram.

The images are a visual tool to help you give a chance to things that catch your eye and allow you to express yourself in moments when you feel – or want, or need to feel – wiser and engaged in learning.

carpe diem Seize the day, boys. make your lives extraordinary

Dead Poets Society

๐Ÿ–ค Dark Academia Aesthetic things to buy with deep meaning

Another way to incorporate the dark academia vibes is by owning and interacting with the right stuff.

Some old and antique goods are so aesthetically pleasing that hold the power to awaken some kind of magic in our senses.

The mechanical sound of typewriters, the weight of a rare and heavy old book, the texture of quill and ink writing on antique vintage envelopes, the wanderlust of antique globes… Possessing these objects may make us feel like a preppy, smart poet traveling back in time.

Final note: This website is called The Mood Guide because we truly believe that we have everything within us. Of course, you can be a 100% dark academia person, but you can also be soft and tough, bold and dreamer, a traditionalist and a rebel, a romantic and a hero, vain and simple, classy and adventurous, witchy and scientist. It depends on your moment in life, what qualities and strengths the situations of your day require from you to channel, and, of course, your mood. Therefore, our main goal in creating these aesthetic guides is to help you connect with your current mood in life and make choices that feel truly authentic.

What do you think?

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  • Peacholetta
    August 2, 2022

    Amazing Guide! I love dark academia aesthetic so much!

    • Lara
      August 2, 2022

      Thank you Peacholetta! As a graphic designer, I love to dig deep into the historical and visual meaning of the popular aesthetics of the internet to help people embrace their true selves. I feel so happy that this content was useful to you!

  • Pandora
    December 18, 2022

    Dark delight. The perfect aesthetic.

  • Mobina's soul
    July 21, 2023

    It’s so good