Outfits that Fall Under the Light Academic Aesthetic – How is it Different from Dark Academia? - The Jacket Maker Blog (2023)

Dark Academia continued to dominate the fashion scene last year – it was everywhere on social media to the streets. A fashion school that is brooding with an element of mystery and dejection is facing a slight decline as its sister subculture, light academia, has attained the center stage this year.

Deemed as one of the hottest trends of this year, alongside Y2K fashion, light academia fashion is domineering with its uplifting spirit that is reflected in the style and outfits that has made it a lifestyle. The light academia aesthetic has graced every social media platform imaginable. You can see women wearing dress shirts, flowy dresses, pleated skirts, and feathery tops along with ribbon and pearl bands in their hair.

Light academia fashion is essentially a soft take on goth fashion; it’s refreshing and enchants the wearer with positivity and pastel beauty. From the color palette to the unique outfit combination, in this article, we’re going to discuss everything about the light academia aesthetic along with what makes it different from dark academia and Cottagecore fashion.

What To Expect In This Article?

(Video) Guide to Dark Academia fashion #shorts #darkacademia #dark #academia #aesthetic #fashion #outfits

What is Light Academia?

If you see anybody wearing a judicial collar with plaid pants and a blazer know that they’re following the light academia aesthetic. Light academia aesthetic can be defined as a soft, neutral palette filled with cozy knit sweaters, vests, plaid and pleated skirts.

Similar to dark academia aesthetics, light academia aesthetic follows the liberal, scholarly approach. The main colors that you will find in the light academia palette are crepe pink, buttercream yellow, powder blue, vintage grey, dusty tan, etc. Basically, you can choose any color as long as it falls under the neutral and soft palette.

The pastel palette is further supported by cardigans, sweaters and crewneck vests. There are feminine elements like flowy dresses and pleated skirts. There’s a pop of print with plaid here and there, otherwise solids are keenly observed.

In addition to this, you will also find a mixed range of outerwear; double-breasted blazers, peacoats, and vintage jackets. Of course, there are high-rise jeans and tailored pants. As for the accessories, this category is dominated by wire-rimmed spectacles and lace-up boots, and Mary Janes.

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With the light academia aesthetic, the idea is to focus on the fabric; light academia relies heavily on cashmere, cotton and corduroy. There is immense regard for vintage fabrics that instantly punch you with a fist of nostalgia. The fabrics, generally, give a sense of being lived in for that relaxed and cozy vibe.

Light academic style can essentially be described as a soft academia aesthetic that is filled with relaxed silhouettes, elegant cuts, neutral colors, and old-school, scholarly charm.

Light Academia vs. Dark Academia

As we said earlier, light academia is a contemporary fashion that has replaced the traditional dark academia aesthetic. The gloomy charm promised by dark academia is brightened with hope and positivity with light academia – typical of the name. There are many differences between light and dark academia starting from the dark and light academia colors.

The discussion of dark academia vs light academia is extensive but can be boiled down to a few things. The most apparent difference between light and dark academia is evident in the names. There is obviously no question that the color palette of the dark and light academia are poles apart.

While dark academia relies more on dark and broody shades such as mocha brown, beige, black, charcoal grey, sage green, cobalt blue, etc. Light academia aesthetic has lighter and pastel tones of the same colors.

(Video) DARK & LIGHT ACADEMIA STYLE || How to get the Look, Analysis, Essential Pieces & Outfit Ideas 📚

Both romanticize intellectual and literary pursuits – dark academia aesthetic, however, is slightly more dramatic and concerning in terms of devotion and keenness. Light academia fashion entails bright tones – the outfits are made of feminine and chic garments. You will find flowery prints, plaids, ruffles and feathers, beads, pearls, ribbons, etc.

Are Light Academia and Cottagecore the Same?

There are often comparisons drawn between light academia clothing and cottage-core aesthetics. Despite having a similarity in terms of how basic and simple they both are, the two aesthetics are actually quite unique from one another. While light academia aesthetics explores intellectual pursuits and literary ambitions, cottage-core fashion mainly fetishizes rural life and country lifestyle.

Light academia clothing is defined as a chic and feminine style that has lesser frills. You could say that one is more shabby-chic in terms of its overall appearance while the other style is more authentic to clean and crisp looks.

Light Academia Aesthetic Outfits

If you want ideas for light academia outfits, we have created a list of five for you. You can take inspiration for the light academia outfits from the light academia clothing recommended to you. By understanding the essence of the fashion aesthetic, create your own version of light academia style. By now it should be easy for you to identify what would qualify as a light academia dress and what would not – from the color palette to the cuts and fabric of the outfit.

Light Academia Aesthetic: Double Breasted Blazer

There are so many ways to wear a double-breasted blazer. You can opt for plaid pants with a collared shirt underneath the double-breasted blazer. Add a pair of loafers or boots with laces. You can wear a tie as well if you want to add accessories and give it a tidy, formal look.

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Light Academia Aesthetic: Cardigans

Cardigans would work incredibly if you are going for a casual look. Wear beige or creamy cardigans with knit sweaters or ribbed tops. You may wear smart jeans and add a belt or ribbon on the waistline to add dimension to your outfit. Wear Mary Janes or ballet shoes with the outfit for a finished look.

Light Academia Aesthetic: Collared Shirts

Collared shirts are an important part of light academia fashion. You should ideally have a wide collection of collared shirts – in pastel and neutral colors. Wear these collared shirts with plaid pants or smart jeans. You can also pair the collared shirts with pleated skirts.

Light Academia Aesthetic: Plaid Pants

Plaid pants are the only garment that brings together three different aesthetics: dark academia, light academia and Cottage-core. What makes the aesthetics different is the way you wear plaid pants and the color combination you choose.

Thus, you can create an effortlessly chic look that has the right amount of scholarly vibes by adorning plaid pants with a plaid blazer and a collared shirt. The suit and pants can be in a beige or a lighter tone of brown while the collared shirt can be in light pink, cream, or white in color.

Light Academia Aesthetic: Pleated Skirts

There are a variety of skirts available but pleated skirts are especially popular in light academia fashion. You can wear these feminine and versatile skirts with ruffled or feathered tops for a casual, smart look. However, if you are going for a semi-formal look, it’s best to wear a ribbed shirt top underneath a single-breasted blazer. You can wear knee-high boots if you want a posh, cultural look. However, it’s best to minimize the accessories and wear loafers without any socks.

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In Conclusion

Light academia aesthetic is pleasing to the eye and gives an extremely soft look. The overall appearance impresses the onlookers with its scholarly charm. To create a light academia aesthetic, make sure you choose to add only neutral and pastel tones to your wardrobe with plaid pants and jackets and pleated skirts.


What is the difference between light and dark academia fashion? ›

The dark academia embraces dark browns, gray, and black, meanwhile light academia leans into lighter and brighter variations of browns, beiges, and pastels. Staple pieces of clothing like turtlenecks, wool/tweed/plaid coats, pleated skirts, and smart trousers are necessities in achieving any academia look.

What is light academia outfits? ›

Light Academia focuses on optimism, sensitivity, joy, gratitude, friendship, motivation, and happy endings, often originating from classical romantic literature. The color scheme of this aesthetic consists of beige, cream, light brown, white, plaid, dim shades.

How would you describe dark academia clothes? ›

The unofficial uniform includes preppy mix-and-match staples—luxe fabrications like cashmere and worsted wool reign supreme. Keeping patterns to a minimum is essential, with plaid, houndstooth and argyle making the grade. Most important for dark academia fashion is the juxtaposition of light and dark colors.

What is the difference between light academia and romantic academia? ›

Philosophically, both aesthetics value education, curiosity, compassion, and optimism, but Romantic Academia differs from Light Academia in its focus on individualism, appreciation of nature, and aesthetic expression of intense and sometimes negative emotions.

What do dark academia girls wear? ›

Meet Dark Academia, the cozy, preppy aesthetic that TikTok is going wild for. Crisp button-ups, plaid knits, tweed mini skirts, chunky loafers, and schoolgirl blazers — these are the benchmark pieces of the viral dark academia style.

Can you wear dark academia in the summer? ›

If you're looking for a unique and sophisticated look, consider adopting Dark Academia fashion as your go-to spring and summer style.

What are dark academia fashion colors? ›

Dark Academia Colors

The color palette of Dark Academia can best be described as prep school meets Gothic design. It consists mainly of black, white, dark brown, navy blue, forest green, and burgandy. These are sometimes contrasted with lighter colors, like orange, gold, and cream.

What is Normcore aesthetic? ›

Normcore is a unisex fashion trend characterized by unpretentious, average-looking clothing. Normcore fashion includes jeans, T-shirts, sweats, button-downs, and sneakers.

Does academia have a dress code? ›

The Accademia Gallery does not have a dress code.

What does dark academia aesthetic consist of? ›

Dark academia is both an aesthetic and subculture that is primarily focused on higher education, the arts, calligraphy, museums, writing/reading, and shadowy classic Greek and Gothic architecture. The subculture focuses primarily on studying classic literature, ancient art, and “high-brow” liberal arts topics.

What is the opposite of dark academia style? ›

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

Is dark academia a clothing style? ›

Dark academia fashion style is designed to reflect a subculture that emphasises education, learning, reading, writing, and hence the 'academic' touch. However, what makes Dark Academia fashion look so distinct from the classic academic fashion style is the 'dark', gothic aesthetic influence.

What is angelcore aesthetic? ›

Angelcore is a contemporary aesthetic inspired by imagery and depictions of angels, and is adjacent to devilcore. It is very similar in vibe with the Rococo style of the 18th century.

What does dark academia romanticize? ›

Universities that are often featured in dark academia imageboards include University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and Harvard University. The subculture shares similarities with Goth subculture, tending to romanticise the finding of beauty and poetry in dark themes.

What is Gray academia? ›

The Gray Academy for Exceptional Children with Neurological Disorders is a non-profit, non-public* K-5 Elementary School for children with special needs located in Santa Monica, California.

What color is a dark academia room? ›

Dark Academia Decor Color Palette

Additionally, fall-centric colors such as shades of brown, muted earth tones, white, off-white, dark orange, and gold are ideal. Deep moody palettes with forest and olive green and burgundy work well when it comes to dark academia decor.

What is dark academia girl personality? ›

🗝 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.

How to act like a dark academia girl? ›

Dark Academia Lifestyle
  1. Wear vintage clothes, elegant accessories, monochrome colors. Emphasize sharp features with purely dark or light colors and jewel tones. ...
  2. Listen to jazz and classical music. ...
  3. Light candles. ...
  4. Stay ahead in school. ...
  5. Make Ancient Roman or Greek food. ...
  6. Have routines. ...
  7. Hang stuff up on your walls. ...
  8. READ.

What age range is dark academia? ›

Age range 14 to 18Step into the world of Dark Academia with three vivid and mesmerising titles from the best in the genre, collected for the first time. The perfect gift for fans of contemporary horror.

How do you dress dark academia on a budget? ›

Dark Academia and fashion
  1. Sweater vests.
  2. Tailored trousers.
  3. Shirts and blouses with collars.
  4. Oxford or Derby shoes.
  5. Long coats.
  6. Small leather backpacks or satchels.
  7. Plaid skirts.
  8. Knee-high socks.
Mar 2, 2023

Why can't I wear black in summer? ›

Truly, black fabric feels hotter because it absorbs heat from both the sun and your skin. White fabric, on the other hand, could reflect that heat back to you. The best path to staying cool in the sun is to choose loose-fitting UPF clothing that wicks the heat away.

What is dark academia aesthetic called? ›

Classic Academia. Darkest Academia, also known as Gothic Academia and Goth Academia, is an academic aesthetic that incorporates gothic studies, literature, poetry, arts, architecture, music, the occult, and general Gothic related topics. It is related to finding beauty within the darkest places.

What is the difference between preppy and dark academia? ›

Another way of looking at it is to think of preppy as a spring look, and dark academia as the autumn equivalent. It has the same love for argyle and crewneck sweaters. While preppy fashion focuses more on lighter colours and nautical themes, dark academia has a darker colour palette.

Is Grey a dark academia color? ›

10. Gray and gold. Gray is a great color to achieve the demure of dark academia without the oppressiveness of an all-black color pallet.

What is boujee aesthetic? ›

Boujee visuals tend to be very decadent, affluent, and over-the-top in its luxury, showing off things such as name brand luxury items, high-end fashion, expensive jewelry, etc.

What is Menocore style? ›

Menocore means the more simple, the more practical the better. Perhaps 'Practicore' would have been a better neologism, one that is ageless, classless and genderless.

What is menocore fashion? ›

Menocore is everything fashion previously closed its mind to: Linen ensembles, loose-knit sweaters, khaki and jogger pants, blouses that are way too wide with an exposed bra, scrunchies, bucket hats, clunky sandals or slippers, tropical prints, kaftans as well as shapeless dresses, skirts in an undefined length and a ...

What do college kids wear? ›

Typical outfits include either a pantsuit or skirt suit with a button-down shirt or blouse for women and a suit, dress shirt, and tie for men. Skirts and dresses should hit below the knee for women, even though you may see shorter styles in the classroom.

Does every school in America have a dress code? ›

Most middle and high schools have a dress code governing what students can and cannot wear.

How many schools in the US have strict dress codes? ›

Nearly all – about 93% – of the nation's schools have some kind of dress code policy, with about half of all schools enforcing a strict dress code, and about 1 in 5 schools requiring uniforms, the Government Accountability Office found in a report late last year.

How many Academia styles are there? ›

Academia refers to a style that is influenced by learning—think tweed blazers and cozy reading nooks, perfect for spending hours in while studying. The aesthetic then divides into sub-categories like dark academia, darkest academia, light academia, art academia, and even romantic academia and chaotic academia.

How do I know my aesthetic? ›

You can also try out these quick ways to find your aesthetic style:
  1. Find your favorites in your closet.
  2. Try to mix and match outfits.
  3. Choose the outfits that reflect your personality.
  4. Get to know yourself and your taste.
  5. Try to express yourself through clothing.

What is the problematic side of dark academia? ›

Criticism of dark academia

One of the more common criticisms of dark academia is that of its superficiality and pretentiousness – that it is more a fetishisation of intellectual life than real intellectual life; not a reading society, but a Dead Poets Society cosplay.

What are the characteristics of dark academia? ›

Another description suggests that it's a book which features an academic setting, like a college or boarding school, and usually features some kind of a dark twist. Hence dark academia. Another description focuses on its themes: a focus on the pursuit of knowledge, and an exploration of death and morbidity.

What are the 3 types of aesthetics? ›

These three aesthetic theories are most commonly referred to as Imitationalism, Formalism, and Emotionalism.

What does Lovecore mean? ›

Lovecore, also known or associated with heartcore, crushcore, or cupidcore, is about the appreciation or incorporation of the visual aspects of romance and affection. Think hearts, chocolates, pink, red, cherries, and flowers.

What is red academia? ›

Red Academia is an academia aesthetic that revolves around the pursuit of knowledge through reading, writing and research.

What is vibrant academia? ›

Vibrant Academia is an academic aesthetic similar in theme and style to Light Academia and Pastel Academia but with brighter hues. It is unusual with the Academia aesthetic genre as it is not as subdued in colour. Vibrant Academia focuses on the joy of learning and the pursuit of knowledge out of curiosity.

What is green academia aesthetic? ›

Green academia, also known by various other names [Note 1], is a splinter Academia aesthetic specializing in biology and earth sciences, especially botany, ecology, geobiology, mycology, and zoology.

Which is better light or dark academia? ›

Dark academia's sister aesthetic, light academia, takes a similar approach to the style but instead chooses to adopt more positive themes, concentrating on poetry and nature in addition to classic literature. Light academia is more bright and lighthearted, where the fashion includes more beige and cream colors.

What is darkest academia style? ›

Darkest Academia, also known as Gothic Academia and Goth Academia, is an academic aesthetic that incorporates gothic studies, literature, poetry, arts, architecture, music, the occult, and general Gothic related topics. It is related to finding beauty within the darkest places.

What design style is dark academia? ›

Dubbed "dark academia," this design trend is a studious-yet-sultry style that combines scholastic nods with 90s gothic touches. Think: plaids, vintage books and accessories, and well-worn leather with a moody, gothic color palette that would make Wednesday Adams feel right at home.

What ages are dark academia? ›

Created largely by users 14 to 25 years old, posts tagged with the Dark Academia moniker have racked up over 18 million views on TikTok; there are over 100,000 posts on Instagram.

How many academia styles are there? ›

Academia refers to a style that is influenced by learning—think tweed blazers and cozy reading nooks, perfect for spending hours in while studying. The aesthetic then divides into sub-categories like dark academia, darkest academia, light academia, art academia, and even romantic academia and chaotic academia.

What is the theme of dark academia? ›

Dark academia is more than a scholastic setting. Thematically, it's all obsession: obsession with truth, obsession with perfectionism, obsession with death and beauty.

How do you make a dark academia aesthetic? ›

Additionally, fall-centric colors such as shades of brown, muted earth tones, white, off-white, dark orange, and gold are ideal. Deep moody palettes with forest and olive green and burgundy work well when it comes to dark academia decor. Consider a neutral palette with a gothic twist as a good starting point.


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2. I DIY'd my house in ✨Dark Academia✨
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3. styling my 18 piece dark academia capsule wardrobe into 45 outfits
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4. i tried the dark academia aesthetic for a week *fashion, books, music, and activities*
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5. The Dangerous Worship of Internet Aesthetics
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6. AESTHETIC STYLE GUIDE: Dark Academia | Episode 2 | outfit ideas, visual moodbooard, movie recs, etc!
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