How to rock a dark academia aesthetic in warm weather

Last year, the dark academia aesthetic took the world by storm, influencing playlists, design and fashion. 


I saw @snowtea1 do this and had to give it a shot! It looks like a trailer for my account😆 #darkacademia #darkacademiaaesthetic #aesthetic #vintage

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For those who don't know, dark academia focuses on learning and intellect, with spotlights on literature, history, art and classical music (with an underlying Gothic flair.) Influences come from The Secret History (Donna Tartt), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Kill Your Darlings (2013), and the name itself brings to mind books haphazardly stacked high in dusty libraries, towering ivy covered English universities and days spent studying Greek arts and sipping coffee in a quaint café. 


The absent-minded university student look is a solid one to go off of when you're looking to style dark academia: cable knit sweaters, trousers, turtlenecks and pea coats. While these options are perfect for the rainy, gloomy, overcast days the aesthetic calls for, they don't work so well for warm summer weather. You don't have to wait until autumn rolls around to rock the dark academia aesthetic though, because we've got your summer style guide right here. 


The half-tucked button down shirt—not to mention the frayed shorts—give off a casual vibe that balance the academically rigorous side of the aesthetic, as if you were so busy with your nose in a book that you couldn't be bothered to give your outfit much thought (which makes it so much cooler, naturally). 


Save the cardigans and cashmere sweaters for fall and pull out short sleeves in muted earth tones like shades of brown and tan. When it comes to accessories, look for simple quality pieces like leather belts and necklaces that can be worn and reworn.


Oversized tops are a great choice, plus with a fabric like linen, you'll stay cool even in the hottest of temps. Khaki cutoffs are a fun play on classic jean shorts, plus they adds a prep school touch to your fit. 


Tweed is the holy grail of fabrics for dark academia—these shorts *rock.* Accessorizing elevates this outfit from polished to chic; the subtle jewelry, slim belt and rad suspenders go perfectly with the aesthetic. 

Image: Pinterest/curatedbyhim

You can never go wrong with pleated skirts or the color black in dark academia fashion. Especially if you're looking for dressier options, you'll want to pair a plaid or pleated skirt with tall socks and boots or Mary Janes. School uniform style, but made cool. 

Have any other recommendations for warm weather dark academia? Let us know on our socials @girlslifemag


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by Elina Graham | 6/7/2021