light academia aesthetic outfits: easy guide 2022

Last Updated on 22/10/2022 by Rashi

With Light Academia taking over fall and spring every year, I say spring/summer 2022 will also build a runway for aesthetic outfits inspired by it. (scroll a bit if you’re only into outfit ideas)

If you’re not sure what it is, Light Academia is a subculture of “academia aesthetic” that romanticizes academic life, art, culture, music, and history and is inspired by European aesthetics and style. The concept, however, is now being expanded to include academic pieces, music, and clothing from non-western and European cultures and works by non-white, and non-English-speaking artists, writers, and poets.

Light Academia Aesthetic vs Dark Academia

a fashion infographic on light academia aesthetic and how to style outfits based on it with the help of clothing and basics ideas.

The difference between light academia and dark Academia aesthetic is that, as the name suggests the former is a conceptually ‘lighter’ version of Dark Academia.

While Dark Academia typically involves intense and often negative concepts, like literary tragedy, contemplating the existence of life, heartbreak, oppression, escapism, and death.

In contrast, Light Academia holds generally positive themes, focusing on optimism, sensitivity, joy, gratitude, friendship, hope, and happy endings.

Accordingly, both aesthetics have an almost-opposite color palette. Dark Academia aesthetic highlights maroon, dark grey, tons and tons of brown and black.

While light academia leans more towards light shades like white, tan, cream, gold, and soft pastel colors.

Staple Clothes And Inspired Outfits To Dress For Light Academia

Let’s start with 8 staple clothes for this aesthetic and outfits styling these pieces.

1. Button-ups

Do I even need to explain here? You most likely already have two-three in your closet (or someone else’s closet in your house).

Other than being a Light Academia aesthetic essential for your wardrobe, this one can single-handedly provide you with “I have nothing to wear” outfits.

Light academia outfits inspo and ideas to try in 2022 with grey turtleneck layered under beige oversized shirt and light blue flare jeans

2. Turtlenecks

Talking about any Academia aesthetic and not including turtleneck is a sin I refuse to commit.

For Light Academia, use turtlenecks in lighter shades to layer under chunky cardigans, blazers, button-ups, coats, and strappy dresses.

how to dress in light academia aesthetic and how to style inspired outfits with visual ideas: turtlenecks in grey shade styled under beige button-up.


Go for a relaxed style or oversized single and double-breasted blazers. Checked or any print that feels vintage is +1.

If you tend to prefer your outfits more trendy, you can also style a cropped blazer (a major AW trend).

You can pair trousers and a turtleneck, or a collared knit dress with the cropped blazer to maintain the academia vibes.

4. Cardigans

Just like oversized sweaters, this comfy outerwear is a must-have for outfits in the light academia style or for your fall 2022 wardrobe. If you prefer skin-fit cropped ones, try structured and loose trousers with reading glasses to maintain the academic charm. You can also layer them over a skin-fit turtleneck. And if you prefer chunky ones, you can tuck them in cute skirts (ex- tennis skirt) to still look trendy.

5. Oversized sweaters

This is your excuse to hoard cozy cable knit, crewnecks. Not only do they rarely ever go out of trend, but dressing with oversized sweaters is super easy as they fit any style of aesthetic!

For the Light Academia outfit, you can style the sweaters over a collared shirt, dress, or blouse -any inspo you like. You can also get a turtleneck one and pair it under a chunky sweater when it gets colder.

A light academia aesthetic outfits on a brown blogger consisting of a white sweater, beige shirt and white jeans.
an oversized sweater styled with accessories rhinestone diamond earrings and yellow baguette bag with all white fall look of light academia outfits

6. Coats

Trench coats and long coats are the next staples for aesthetics -that again, you can easily find in any closet.

7. Blouses

Look for blouses that give off vintage vibes. It shouldn’t be hard given the number of trends that are inspired by old gems. Collared ones, cropped blouses with a mock neck, puff-sleeved ones, milkmaid tops, or ones with lace detailing, or classic embellishments.

white corset blouse with puff sleeves paired with white linen wide leg pants for light academia outfits to try.
An outfit styled by a brown style blogger consisting of a white milkmaid top and white pants for light academia aesthetic vibes and outfits.

These styles of clothes are perfect for this light academia -especially when you have to dress for dates!

8. Slightly flared or straight leg trousers and jeans

A more covered-up option for bottoms for the colder days. Or just options.

9. Pleated skirts

Tennis skirts stayed on top of the whole internet throughout last year. So them staying amidst spring and summer light academia outfits in 2022 isn’t surprising in a bit. And this tennis skirt trend has definitely made all pleated skirts more trendy.

Now, trendy clothes and styles fit well in the aesthetic.

10. Ribbed tops

These lightweight basics are not only super on point with the aesthetic (I recommend as layering pieces as per fall & winter trends) but are also the best transitional clothes. They also aren’t going off trend any time soon.

A pastel polo top used in one of a light academia aesthetic outfits with white jeans and cream sweater hanging from shoulder.

12. Knit dress

For the days you are not in the mood for cropped, fitted cardigans and pretty blouses but still wanna look cute as a button.

In addition to being perfect for the minimal style of light academia aesthetic, a knit dress is warm AND trendy enough to be your AW wardrobe staple piece this year.

11. Sweater vests

Yep. The grandpa trend that has been booming since fall 2020 is gracefully moving to 2022. While spring and summer can see pastel, and cropped sweater vests, for transitioning to fall, all neutrals style in outfits will match better the somber vibes of light academia.

13. Slip dresses

Slip dresses are one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your closet and not just for Light Academia. They are easy to dress up or down according to the situation and can be paired with many pieces. In addition to that, they look super sophisticated.

mis size light academia aesthetic outfit ideas and inspo with blue slipdress and black cardigan with black boots and bag outfits
cream slip dress outfit ideas and inspo under light academia aesthetic -styled with blazer and brown bag.

14. Tweed

What’s says vintage and academia more than tweed? Not only is it the best basic outfit topper but it also adds chicness to ANY outfit.

You can style an outfit with light academia basics and then add a tweed jacket -or style the outfit around a tweed dress with dark-toned and pearl accessories.

You can also style a stylish yet cozy fit with a tweed skirt or top -make sure your other pieces are not that fancy though. We are styling outfits inspired by light academia not old money aesthetic -need to look like scholars!

15. Ribbed sets

Ribbed sets are comfortable, effortlessly chic, cute, and super versatile. Other than being perfect loungewear, they can be worn as separate pieces for a trendy Light Academia outfit.

modern light academia aesthetic outfit with a -top and trouser knit set paired with gold jewelry
three piece knit set with cardigan jacket, cami top and trousers for light academia aesthetic.

16. Waistcoats

Androgynous fashion and academia style are pretty good friends you see. And with so many fits by fashion people and runway looks including this piece in 2021, waistcoats are guaranteed major trend.

Inspired Accessories

  • Bucket hats– So just because light academia is vintage style doesn’t mean you can’t wear the cutest accessory trend at the moment.
  • Knee-high socks
  • Chunky boots and loafers– classic pieces for aesthetics, and thick soles for the sake of trends.
  • Thick leather (or similar) belts
  • Reading glasses– we’re romanticizing knowledge and learning after all.
Light academia aesthetic museum background with beige artwork and a blogger in white blouse and gold necklace -art aesthetic outfit

jewelry for Your light Academia outfits

  • Chains– dainty ones. chains are a must-have accessory for dark, chaotic, light, or any academia aesthetic fashion.
  • Pearl jewelry– If you prefer more trendy pieces, try baroque pearls. If not, you always have classic pearls.
  • classic brooches– antique-looking ones, such as locket ones.
  • Leather watches
  • Tennis bracelet– simple, timeless, and versatile to be styled with whatever
  • Pendant– romantic engraved ones or minimalist coin ones.
  • Collar pin, brooch, or clip– what says light academia more than outfits with expensive-looking shirt collars?
  • vintage jewelry– locket-style romantic necklaces, custom-made necklaces, your grandma’s pendants, cuffed bracelets, and dainty dangling earrings, for example, are perfect for academia lovers.

Check Out: Popular TikTok Aesthetics and Outfits inspired by them