Understanding Dark Academia via five products

Dark Academia is a subculture that was born out of a taste for knowledge, classic literature, and gothic architecture.  Its aesthetic is characterised by ‘preppy vintage’ pieces with a dark twist.  The idealisation of historical periods has influenced its followers’ style of dress, hobbies, and tastes.  Here are five products that every Dark Academia devotee owns.


A blazer

Blazers are a staple in the wardrobes of every fan of this aesthetic.  They are large, flowing, genderless, and the perfect example of the classic student look that defines this style.


My blazers collection #blazers #blazer #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #outfit #darkacademia

♬ son original – Nina Gayral


A fountain pen

Dark Academia is giving rise to a growing interest in calligraphy.  The romanticising of pre-tech life means that handwriting using a fountain pen and paper is back in fashion.  Social media sites like Tik Tok are full of tutorials that teach viewers how to write in a vintage style.


Idk what to do so I did a little bit of everything #fountainpen #journal #write #flute #draw #fyp #darkacademia

♬ Clair de lune – Classical Guitar Masters


A record player

Vinyl records are spinning in the homes of young people once again.  Going to a record shop, buying some classical music, and listening to it in your candlelit room is another frequent scene in Dark Academy images on social media.  Digital media is still a part of this subculture, which even has its own Spotify playlist.


how much sorrow can i take? #cmbyn #booktok #fyp #timotheechalamet #falltok #bookshelf #darkacademia #bookrecs #classics #vinyl #reader

♬ original sound – nina <33


An analogue camera

Dark Academy devotees edit their videos on electronic devices and upload them to social media, but their special photos are taken using Polaroid cameras.  We are seeing a rise in analogue photography smack bang in the middle of the digital age, with analogue cameras selling out everywhere.


Spending my last day of this Uni in this gorgeous library (I messed up the polaroid) #library #lightacademia #darkacademia #polaroid #academia

♬ because of you – soph rose<3


A book

This trend shuns e-books, tablets, and even laptops.  Dark Academy is all about paper books, with printed pages and that special smell.  Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, and On The Road are fixtures on the nightstands of teenagers once again.


Last one has got to be one of my prettiest books #BookTok #Bookishtiktok #bookish #books #fyp #reader #yabooks read #darkacademiabooks #bookrecs

♬ New Home by Austin Farwell – Austin Farwell