It is not out of the ordinary that every other month we would always be welcomed by new trends emerging from social media like TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter. Social media has been utilized by people as a medium to express themselves; trying and experimenting with new things that may impress others with the same interests. While the trends of the pandemic lockdown might come and go--like whipping dalgona coffee 'til your arms sore, to name a few--many aesthetics boomed during this restless time such as cottagecore, e-girl or e-boy core, and academia aesthetics.
School/ Foto: Pexel Abdel Rahman Abu Baker
According to The New York Times, the academia aesthetic first emerged in 2021 from the rising app TikTok. If described, academia is an aesthetic whose inspiration is deeply anchored in the classical influences of European universities. Think of preppy style like dress codes in Ivy League, along with woolen textures, plaid pattern, warm tones, tweed blazer, shirt over vest, cozy mood, and books. As if it's not obvious enough, academia refers to a style that is influenced by learning, particularly through study, research, and reading. Even if you are not a student, it's not hard to fall for the undeniable appeal of academia.
Academia/ Foto: PEXELS COTTONBRO
The academia aesthetic has spun off into various sub genres like art academia, romantic academia, chaotic academia, with dark academia and light academia being the most popular ones among them all. According to The Vou, light academia promotes optimism, friendship, motivation, and happy endings over pessimism, sadness, and sensitivity. In contrast, dark academia is rooted in rather cloudy themes like literary tragedy, the meaning of life, escapism, and death. What links the two is a passion for obtaining knowledge in classic literature, music, art, and history.
V BTS/ Foto: Big Hit Entertainment
Fashion-wise, the difference between light and dark academia falls on its color palettes. 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. So, here are pieces of academia clothing you can try to build!
Lisa BlackPink/ Foto: Instagram @lalalisa_m
Remember, the key is to look simple and sophisticated. Wool, tweed, beige, brown, and plaid are your friends! For light academia, the color combo to go is white, beige, and brown. Look chic and feminine with a white shirt, pleated or plaid mini skirt, and layer with a beige coat or cardigan. On the other hand, if you are leaning into the comfortable style, choose beige turtlenecks and brown smart trousers or corduroy shorts, slap a belt and you're all set! You can substitute the lighter clothing with a darker shade of brown, and mix it with black to achieve the dark academia look. Think of Hogwarts uniforms, but add a touch of your own style into it!
In today's digitalized era, social media possesses great power as a trend distributor by and for people around the world with various interests, regardless of age, gender, or background. Beyond these trends, it is fascinating how the global pandemic has introduced us to creative movements and subcultures, revealing new ways how youngsters express themselves in times of isolation and uncertainty.