Now Reading
Romantic Academia: Embracing The Aesthetic

Romantic Academia: Embracing The Aesthetic

Romantic Academia: Embracing The Aesthetic

In both the British Isles and the United States, there was a revolution of literature known as The Romantic Period, (roughly from 1783 to 1855). The Romanticism movement can be seen as a revolution of the mind and its connection to the “heart” and soul of the individual.

Some of the more important characteristics of Romanticism are passion and nature over reason and achievement, being rebellious and brilliant, and loving for love’s sake. There is an importance of spontaneity and the impulse of feeling and glorification of the ordinary. Though, there is also the element of escapism when it comes to works published during The Romanticism movement, a sort of ideal world being written where there is a freedom in choice and a spotlight on those who were financially comfortable (as a way to calm fears and protest violent revolution, industrialism, and outdated tradition).

In these worlds, emotion and philosophy were discussed through fiction. While we find ourselves nostalgic because of the rapid development of technology and we find ourselves in two nations, the rich and privileged versus the poor and powerless, we have infinite sources not just to use an escape, but to find strength. The more we read about others, the more we understand ourselves.


Romantic Academia is an aesthetic that puts a romantic spin on literature, the pursuit of self-discovery, and is committed to both understanding The Romantics and the concept of love. Though it is very similar to Light Academia, it comes with a lovey-dovey twist. It involves enjoying the little things in life, and life in general; the outdoors, enjoying the company of others, writing poetry, and shared affection. It also involves an interest in literature, music, art, history, and learning new things. Though Romantic Academia is widely Eurocentric in general, with a heavy focus on Classic and Renaissance architecture and art, there is also a devotion to vintage Parisian life. The most significant values of the aesthetic are a passion for learning, a love for life, and a hopelessly romantic heart.

There is nothing wrong with being able to describe your style with a word or two. In fact, it can be quite exciting and liberating to figure out exactly what you are into and how to expand your world to your liking. Self-discovery and self-expression are one of the best things about this aesthetic… instead of wandering around bookshops, scrolling through Netflix, and searching through Instagram, you now know a fantastic jumping-off point to find things you will love.

So, here are 6 ways to embrace the aesthetic…


1. The Aesthetic

Romance: categorized by a feeling of excitement associated with love; a quality or feeling of mystery and remoteness from everyday life.

Academia: the environment or community concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship.

The key motifs are reading and writing, literature and poetry, art, European architecture, classical music, and the timeless fashion of the well-educated. The key values are curiosity, intelligence, romance, emotion, and individuality. A few things that are important to Romanticism and Romantic Academia are the glorification of the ordinary, a love for nature, awareness, and acceptance of emotions, and the celebration of creativity.


Often, trips to museums to see Francesco Hayez’s The Kiss or to the theater to see Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet are favorable over parties and barhopping and your common wardrobe seems like you are “dressing up”. In this community, you will be with like-minded people that can spend hours upon hours talking about literature, cinema, art, philosophy, etcetera. Then, your introverted battery can be refilled when you go back to your happy place; your home that is filled with books, French antiques, watercolor paintings, bouquets of roses, with a collection of wine in the kitchen, and your cat on the couch.

2. Literature

“A movement from the late 18th century that broke away from Neoclassicism and which emphasized nature, the imagination, and emotions.”

From The Romanticism Movement here are the known authors:


Emily Dickenson, Jane Austen, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Gordon, Lord Byron, Percy Blysshe Shelley, and John Keats.

“A genre of novels which emerged in the 20th century, that focuses on romantic love, with many sub-genres.”

For more other authors and modern works I suggest:


William Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde, J. R. Ward, John Green, Morgan Matson, Jennifer E. Smith, Kasie West, Lisa Brown Roberts, Sandy Hall, Julie Buxbaum, Amber Garza, Robin Constantine, Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka, Emery Lord, and Huntley Fitzpatrick.

3.  Film And Television


Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Marie Antoinette, Romeo & Juliet, French Kiss, The Holiday, You’ve Got Mail, Notting Hill, While You Were Sleeping, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Wedding Planner, 27 Dresses, Black Swan, Little Women, Pride And Prejudice, and The Theory Of Everything.



The Crown, Queens Gambit, Gossip Girl, Friends, How I Met Your Mother and Brooklynn Nine-Nine.

4. Music

Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, and Tchaikovsky are just well-loved, household names but also perfect for this aesthetic.


Other genres might include opera, ballet soundtracks, musical soundtracks, and jazz.

See Also

But, if you are interested in more modern options, here is the shortlist:


Queen, Panic! At The Disco, Lana Del Rey, Fleetwood Mac, The Velvet Underground, Lorde, The Beatles, Florence And The Machine, Paramore, and Evanescence, (plus a variety of playlists on Spotify and YouTube).

5. Fashion

Professor or student, painter or muse, can you tell the difference? Romantic Academia fashion is a beautiful mixture of two worlds:

1. The iconic looks of university students of the British Isles and teenagers of American prep schools from the early 1940s to the late 1950s.


2. The quintessential looks of French fashion from the 1930s to the 1960s, taking direct inspiration from Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton.

The main colors are pastels; either Earth tones of white, cream, light brown, and soft grey, or sunrise colors such as ballet pink, sherbert, buttercup, mint, baby blue, and lavender. There is a subtle but elegant infusion of various fashions, inspired by school uniforms and scholarly professionals,  but also ballet dancers and movie stars.  Turtlenecks are often matched with plaid skirts, button-up blouses with high-waisted slacks, and shirt dresses with sheer tights, all complimented with pearls. Vintage-inspired lingerie and Chanel perfume may be matched gold and fabulous designer accessories, such as a Tiffany necklace and a Coach purse.

Perfect for a day at the Louvre, afternoon tea, watching romantic comedies, and studying French, your clothes will be a graceful and lovely extension of yourself. They will bring a sense of sophistication and romance, your gentle and poetic personality shining through. You will be ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day, have long afternoons studying in the library, wander around an English rose garden, and pant watercolor scenes of Paris.


6. Activities

Academic Inspired:

Chess, card games, nature sketching, exploring bookstores, reading and writing, poetry discussion groups, going to the theater, photography, hiking, and traveling the world.

Vintage Parisian Inspired:


Shopping, picnics, panting, gardening, exploring museums, antiquing, going to cafes, baking macarons, self-care days, seeing ballets, reading fashion magazines, and watching Old Hollywood movies.

Though there are a few variations you might flirt with here and there–like light academia, writer academia, cottagecore–romantic academia is the aesthetic that umbrellas your life. Now, you can go forward knowing exactly how to describe yourself and where you belong. Now, you can also go forward and be inspired by new literature and films, music, and art that fit your interest. Now, you know exactly what to tell people when they ask for a holiday wish list. Comment below any other wonderfully Romantic Academia items I may have missed!