WITHIN THE SHADOW, LIGHT

After a time of comfort and convenience, things are changing. The last two years have been about self-care and self-reflection, nurturing our needs and prioritizing comfort. In a rejection of all things casual and comforting, Millennials and Gen Z are now increasingly embracing refined aesthetics that speak to “old money” looks. Dark academia jewelry, prep school polos, and country club blazers are all at home in this growing trend.

WHAT IS DARK ACADEMIA?

The dark academia aesthetic is aspirational, timeless, and even a rejection of the status quo. While tech startups and billionaires lounge in leisure wear, those chasing a preppy vibe do so in thrifted Oxford shirts, plaid skirts, blazers, other clothing with a traditional palette of beige, black, brown, dark green, navy, and white. Nostalgia runs deep during trying times, and dark academia clothing reflects this pining for a different era, rife with potential and possibility.

The associated subculture prioritizes the development of oneself. It draws upon themes of higher education and the trappings of academia. Feeling at home in libraries and quiet places where one can practice their art or read in peace is practically mandatory. Clutter and texture feature prominently, painting a pastiche of learning, darkness, and perhaps even a touch of madness. Dark academia is the romantic poet, the old money student, and the bohemian artist.

DARK ACADEMIA JEWELRY

In response to the long-lasting trend of minimalism, dark academia accessories take a maximalist approach – luxurious watches, tasteful heirloom-inspired dangle earrings, and the signet ring are all great examples. Many discover these treasures through second-hand sources like estate sales and lucky thrift shop finds. However, not everyone has those opportunities. Thankfully, those sleepless nights can be saved for your next cram session thanks to these ready-to-go curated costume pieces.

WRIST WEAR

The right accessory often can make or break a look. Carefully choosing a signature piece will aide this endeavor. Whether a bracelet or a time piece, either will help create the image of a sophisticated socialite. A good wrist piece can become a focal point of your look, especially if you find wearing rings inconvenient or cumbersome.

TEMPORAL TIMEPIECES

A timepiece is no mere watch. No, a timepiece is a cut above, featuring a luxurious movement, high-quality craftsmanship, and complications (and we don’t mean drama).

Dark academia watch.

GAMAGES OF LONDON is one such example. This British-born company hand assembles and meticulously designs many breathtaking time keeping devices. With decades of experience, these are some of the finest accessories around.

Four generations of watching making knowledge merges with cutting edge techniques to beautifully make hand assembled timepieces at affordable prices.

TENNIS TEASE

A tennis bracelet is a timeless accessory that’s extremely versatile. Also known as a line bracelet, it features a line of gemstones that are set in precious metal like gold or platinum.

Dark academia bracelet.

Diamond tennis bracelets remain a first choice, as made popular by tennis star Chris Evert. In the now famous story, Evert lost her bracelet in the middle of a match when the clasp broke.

However, there are many options for a stunning dark academia bracelet. Gems like moissanite are a sleeper hit, more scintillating than diamond, born in a lab but originating from the stars.

To keep it classy, gemstones like sapphire and emerald are good alternatives. Their reputation precedes them and are an excellent choice to showcase against a mostly neutral old money palette.  

REFINED RINGS

For both masculine and feminine looks, a ring on the finger can draw attention. The devil in in the details, after all. But what sort of ring captures this studious, refined, and mature energy? Thankfully, there are several options to consider, no matter the path you walk.

THE SIGNET

For many men and those with masculine tastes, a simple wedding band is all that they would wear. However, comparatively, there is a far older and more esoteric option – the signet ring. Signet rings predate wedding rings considerably.

Dark academia ring.

And, for centuries, they were used to identify membership into various exclusive societies, clubs, and brotherhoods. The modern signet ring is coming back, in no small part thanks to shifting tastes as we embrace preppy, Ivy League looks.

Not yet heard back from the local cult? Fret not, as you can always customize your own personalized signet ring.

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

Boys don’t get to have all the fun, even if you are standing alone. The humble solitaire ring remains a powerful statement as a popular dark academia ring option. And, while we primarily thing of the engagement solitaire ring, that’s not all that’s on offer.

Dark academia ring.

For a mysterious flourish, consider something beyond traditional white diamonds. Champagne diamonds add a deep burnished color which seem to glow with an inner light. Salt and pepper diamonds, on the other hand (haha), keep things monochromatic if you prefer to see things in black-and-white.

However, there is no need to stop here. If you’re feeling a bit confined by your clothing palette, inject spot colors with vibrant gems like peachy pink morganite, lemony citrine, or watery aquamarine.

THE PERSONAL QUEST

At its core, the dark academia aesthetic emphasizes personal exploration. Whether that be a reflection of one’s inner darkness, or the light we shine upon others is our choice.

With a mind toward sophisticated accessories, we can project our personal style and express ourselves to others as we navigate a changing world. And, sometimes, doing so from a place in the past keeps us rooted.

Discover more dark academia jewelry and refine your sense of expression.

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