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While I don’t often rely on anything with the term wiki in it as a valid source, when it comes to fandoms or aesthetics, the wiki contributors tend to do the best job of hunting down research to explain pop culture references.

That said, the Aesthetics Wiki on Fandom.com does a rather good job of describing the term dark academia. “Dark academia is a popular academic aesthetic that revolves around classic literature, the pursuit of self-discovery and a general passion for knowledge and learning,” the wiki site reads. “It is one of several variations of academia aesthetic, each with a unique subject focus.”

The dark academia aesthetic took the fashion world by storm during the height of the pandemic. Social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok all had influencers creating lookbooks that started to incorporate dark academia themes, and it’s likely the trend will take full storm this fall. 

Although, they all seem to have a familiar feel to them. Anyone that’s seen the dark academia aesthetic will likely recognize a few elements that tend to be commonly worn in offices or places of work. 

For instance, in @dark.academia.fashion’s Instagram post outlining masculine winter outfits — a matching suit set, pairs of beige and wool slacks and formal trench coats, all tend to be outfits that one would catch a fashionable co-worker wearing to their corporate nine to five gig.

Similarly, in this Pinterest board by user Alex Ringler, the plaid skirts and slacks paired with plain black, white or dark blue tops are all a great use of the dark academia aesthetic, but at the end of the day — it’s just business casual. 

The figuring-out-what-to-wear-to-work struggle has always been real, but fashion beauty bloggers and influencers have been around long enough to help out. 

Anh, or @9to5chic on Instagram has been creating business casual looks on her page for a while now. Her outfits are primarily business casual, and off the bat, traces of the dark academia aesthetic have found their way into her wardrobe. 

From a plaid blazer paired with a wool top, to a brown trench coat and scarf accompanied by a pair of ankle boots, her outfits tend to greatly resemble the dark academia aesthetic we tend to see on Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok nowadays.

Although, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means that by owning a couple of basics in dark muted tones, and a few pieces of plaid here and there, you can achieve the dark academia aesthetic whilst at work, or while strutting out on the town. 

Photo credit: @dark.academia.fashion on Instagram

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