A Guys’ Guide to Light Academia

A Guys’ Guide to Light Academia

In today’s world, creating a specific look, or aesthetic, is a form of self-expression. The internet operates as a virtual mood board, readily providing music and visuals for inspiration. With just one search, you can collect all the ideas you need to express your artistic taste. By combining colors, fabrics, and silhouettes of the same mood together, it’s easy to create aesthetic-inspired outfits. Light Academia is one such aesthetic that’s been trending recently. Positive and uplifting, it’s become extremely popular. Read on to discover what it’s all about and how to incorporate it into your wardrobe.

What is Light Academia?

The Light Academia fashion aesthetic is inspired by classical European intellectual pursuits and academic dress. It draws from a range of subjects, including fine art, history, and classic literature to create a mood that’s romantic, dreamy, and soft. Novels like Dead Poets Society, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, and The Secret Garden are major influences of Light Academia. The aesthetic is also influenced by the style of preppy school uniforms and vintage college attire.

Light Academia Vs. Dark Academia

If Light Academia sounds familiar, it may be because you’ve already heard of Dark Academia. Dark Academia is similar to Light Academia in that both aesthetics are academic-inspired. They do share some themes, like romanticism, but their moods differ. Dark Academia is intense and brooding. The aesthetic also takes on darker themes, like tragedy, grief, escapism, and death. The most noticeable difference between the two is their contrasting color palettes.

Light Academia Colors

Light Academia color palettes consist of light, neutral hues that you would find in the scholarly world. This includes soft neutrals, like dusty rose, and muted tones, like vintage brown. Think of settings and objects that fit the theme, like old leather library books or old marble statues, for inspiration. This would give you a palette of whites, beiges, browns, and creams, for example. Other popular Light Academia hues include maroon, navy, pale pink, burnt orange, and hunter green.

Light Academia Fabrics

Fabrics that fit the Light Academia aesthetic tend to be inspired by vintage academic and modern preppy styles. So, while a poet’s shirt wouldn’t look out of place, neither would a mens’ polo shirt. When in doubt, stick to rich, luxurious fabrics, like velvet, corduroy, cashmere, and tweed. For fabric patterns, plaid and houndstooth are good choices. They’re widely seen in the academic world, so it fits the mood perfectly. Anything that looks washed and worn can work, too, to reflect a more authentic vintage vibe.

Light Academia Clothing

When it comes to Light Academia clothing, the options are aplenty. You can use your favorite literary character or college professor for outfit inspiration. Go for well-fitting pieces that look formal and academic, and keep your look neat and clean. Think cashmere sweaters, plaid blazers, cable-knit cardigans, and trench coats. On the bottom, it’s best to stick to long, tailored styles, like dress pants or chinos. Men’s corduroy pants and plaid pants also fit the Light Academia aesthetic. A typical outfit may include leather loafers, dress pants, a turtleneck sweater, and a long, wool coat. You could also pair leather boots with slacks and a cashmere sweater layered over a button-down shirt.

Light Academia Shoes

To finish off your Light Academia outfit, pop on a pair of classic leather loafers. You can also go for a pair of lace-up men’s boots. These shoe styles lend a scholarly look while also being comfortable to wear. Go for a pair in a neutral color, like black, brown, or gray. That way, you can wear them with pretty much anything in your rotation. For added effect, pair your shoes with Argyle socks. Plaid socks and ruffle socks will also work for the mood of Light Academia.

Light Academia Accessories

Accessories can add the final touches to an outfit and enhance the overall look. For Light Academia, it’s best to keep them to a minimum. A pair of thick eyeglasses is a fun option, as is a patterned bow tie. Men’s scarves, neckties, handkerchiefs, and hats can also be used to add flair. Add a leather belt, cufflinks, and a watch for elevated style, then tie your look together with a bag. Leather satchels, briefcases, and totes bags all fit the aesthetic.

By mixing colors, fabrics, and clothing pieces that fit the Light Academia style, it’s easy to try out the aesthetic. One of the best things about it is that your outfit won’t look out of place in today’s world. That means you can experiment with it in your daily life. Start with a pair of tailored men’s pants and a few accessories, and go from there. As you get more inspired and comfortable, you’ll be creating your own head-turning Light Academia outfits soon enough.


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