Light Academia Aesthetic Male Outfits – Visual Guide

The light academia aesthetic is inspired by classical European intellectual pursuits. But how do you actually pull off the light academia male outfits? Let’s break it down.

What is light academia aesthetic for men?

The “light academia aesthetic” for men is a fashion style that leans into lighter and brighter variations of beiges, browns, and pastels and is based on school style and historical essence.

It’s a style based on a love of knowledge and scholarly pursuits and is characterized by comfortable-yet-dignified fashion, as well as uplifting, technology-free interactions.

Although the light academia aesthetic shares many similarities with the dark academia aesthetic, it leans into lighter and brighter variations of beiges, browns, and pastels.

Think of the strong sense of justice, loyalty, and patience that many Harry Potter fans associate with Hufflepuff rather than the brooding, mysterious aura of Slytherin.

How to style light academia aesthetic for men

The style leans into brighter variations of beiges, browns, and pastels, and can include items like neutral pastel sweaters, tweed jackets, and other comfortable yet dignified pieces.

First, let’s address color. The color palette of light academia consists of light, neutral hues you’d find in the scholarly world, like soft neutrals, dusty roses, and muted tones, like vintage brown.

These are sometimes contrasted with darker colors, like olive green, dark brown, and maroon. Here’s how to style light academia aesthetic outfits for men.

A long, light-colored coat (outerwear)

The foundation of the light academia aesthetic is outerwear. A long, light-colored coat, which comes in a variety of styles, is a must-have item to provide that charming aura of intelligence.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Tweed car coat – a herringbone car coat in tweed wool.
  • Trench coat – a coat made of waterproof heavy-duty fabric.
  • Peacoat – a heavy wool jacket with buttons down the front.
  • Parka or Poncho – a kind of plainly formed, loose outer garment.
  • Duffle coat – a coat made of duffel, typically hooded and fastened with toggles.
  • Chesterfield coat – a formal, knee-length overcoat with a velvet collar.

Whichever piece of outerwear you go for, make sure you choose a muted light color like cream, khaki, or off-white, to highlight the vintage academic vibe.

Tweed, corduroy, or flannel suit jacket

When the weather gets super chilly, you can wear a classy suit jacket underneath outerwear. Or, you can remove the outerwear and let the suit jacket be the highlight of the outfit.

Either way, you’ll need a tweed, corduroy, or flannel suit jacket to complete your light academia aesthetic male outfit. Again, choose muted bright variations of beiges, browns, and pastels.

Now you’d be ready for the “Charms” class at Hogwarts with your fellow Hufflepuffs.

Knit sweater or cardigan

For days when you’re going to spend time at the library, you can wear a knit sweater or cardigan, a common style of preppy school uniforms and vintage college attire.

Think fine art, history, and classic literature. The light academia aesthetic is inspired by classical European intellectual pursuits and academic dress, after all.

There are many options including a cable knit sweater, cashmere turtleneck, shawl collar cardigan, fair isle sweater, or cricket sweater, all of which are classy and old-school.

Stick to rich, luxurious fabrics, like velvet, corduroy, cashmere, and tweed.

For fabric patterns, plaid and houndstooth are good choices for light academia fashion for men. They’re widely seen in the academic world, so it fits the mood perfectly.

Classic slacks, pleated cords, or flannel trousers

Once you’ve got the top covered, it’s time to move on to the pants. Classic slacks, dress pants, corduroy pants, pleated cords, and flannel trousers all work well for the light academia look.

One important thing to remember is that sweatpants, as well as denim jeans, particularly the slim-fit variety, are some of the things that light academia practitioners are not very fond of.

However, I think it’s okay to mix and match your outfit. For example, I think white Converse sneakers would look good with a pair of classic slightly faded denim or light-colored jeans.

Also, the validity of “skinny fit” depends on the wearer. I wear skinny fit because other pants just look a little goofy. It looks like I’m going after that soft boy look combined with Y2K fashion.

Ankle boots or loafers

Last but not least, it’s time to complete the light academia aesthetic outfit with footwear. Again, you’d want to stick with bright, muted colors but here are some options to consider:

  • Penny loafers – a leather shoe with a decorative leather strip over the upper.
  • Derby shoes – a traditional leather or suede semi-formal shoe.
  • Creepers shoes – a shoe with thick crepe soles, often with suede uppers.
  • Chelsea boots – ankle-high boots with an elastic side panel.
  • Ankle boots – a boot that reaches to or just above the ankle.

You don’t have to go for light colors here, as darker-colored footwear provides the right amount of contrast to balance the bright colors of your outfit. Black or brown works.

If you want to avoid the “sweats/hoodie undergrad” look you can still opt for skinny jeans paired with minimalistic white sneakers like the Adidas Stan Smith of Common Projects whites.


If you want to go all-in on the light academia aesthetic male’s outfit, you could add accessories like a Tartan wool scarf, a Herringbone wool tie, or a pair of leather gloves.

Or, add a pair of spectacles to complete the Fantastic Beasts look.

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