Your guide to the romantic academia aesthetic

Move over, dark academia. The popular TikTok aesthetic's lighter, more flowery cousin is here to stay.

Do you dream of old-fashioned love letters and swoon-worthy springtime picnics? Flowy dresses and fancy updos? If so, romantic academia may be your new vibe—and we're here to break it *all* down for you.

What is romantic academia?

This elegant, vintage-inspired aesthetic is dreamy and wistful. It emphasizes learning, self-discovery and being aware of one's emotions.


A post shared by Melis Ekrem (@melisekrem)

Romantic academia activities might include writing poems, reading, studying philosophy or history, sewing, sipping tea and ballet—think Bridgerton vibes.

Outfit inspo

If you're looking to channel romantic academia vibes, we've got *just* the right outfits for you. Dress in flowy skirts, ruffled blouses and muted colors. Slip on a pair of kitten heels and some vintage jewelry, and you're golden, bb

Breath of Youth, $64

For a more casual version of the romantic academia aesthetic, pair a sweet, white crop top (we love how feminine lettuce trim is) with high-waisted jeans. Throw on a cozy beige cardigan to keep warm. Don't forget a dainty necklace and a pair of ballet flats to finish off your outfit.


A pretty, vintage-inspired dress is the perfect addition to your romantic academia wardrobe. Opt for a flattering sweetheart neckline and a pair of nude kitten heels to elevate the look. The best part? You can probably find a stunning frock for cheap at your local thrift store.

Lulu's, $52

You can't go wrong with a gorgeous blouse. Choose satin or silk to channel some seriously luxurious vibes. Pair the blouse with jeans to dress it down, or level it up with flowy, wide-leg pants.

The Styling Dutchman

Pleated skirts just scream academia, and flirty colors like soft pink and warm beige are perfect for a romantic look. A blush skirt looks gorgeous with a cozy sweater and lacy tights.


Reply to @sunshinechatty 🍂 #romanticacademia #darkacademia #lightacademiaaesthetic #academia

♬ original sound - Alexander Joseph music

What trendy aesthetic have you been channeling lately? Let us know on Twitter or tag us in your Insta pics @girlslifemag!

Slider image: @theliteraryhours


by Kathleen O'Neill | 2/25/2021