Embracing Instagram’s New Dark Aesthetic for Fashion Influence


With the ever-changing landscape of social media, it’s no surprise that popular trends and aesthetic tastes are constantly in a state of flux. What was popular yesterday may be passé today, and what was considered to be edgy and avant-garde could quickly become mainstream given the right kind of exposure.

Of course, this is a fact that those in the fashion world are all too aware of. After all, aspiring fashionistas and influencers must be ever-vigilant, always on the lookout for the next big thing if they want to stay ahead of the curve.

Right now, one major craze sweeping fashion Instagram is the dark aesthetic. A refreshing backlash to the bright pastels that often dominate our newsfeeds, this trend is characterized by ethereal, moody images with dark, often monochromatic color schemes.

While the dark aesthetic may seem like a departure from the airy, light-filled photos that have been popular in recent years, it actually builds on many of the same principles. After all, both trends emphasize creativity and originality over perfection.

What is the dark aesthetic trend?

Currently, there are over 3 million posts tagged with the hashtag #darkaesthetic on Instagram, making it one of the most popular trends on the platform. But what is this new aesthetic all about, and where did it come from?

Well, to get the answer to that, we need to backtrack to a Tik Tok trend that started at the back end of 2020,, called “Dark Academia.”

This aesthetic was all about romanticizing academia, through an artistic style that emphasized alluring photos of dimly-lit libraries, crackling fires, and people deep in thought, as well as the accompanying fashion style of tweed jackets, knee-high socks, and conservative skirts.

As you can see, the primary focus is on dark elements, with a cozy yet melancholic twist that makes it both relatable and aspirational to the viewer. The dark fashion imagery aesthetic trend draws on the same influences, except this time the focus is on vintage and classic looks, rather than literature and academia lifestyles.

Achieving the dark aesthetic look with your Instagram posts

Whether you are a business owner, a fashion blogger, or just an amateur enthusiast with an Instagram account trying to up your grid game, you can definitely benefit from embracing the dark aesthetic trend.

However, if you want to do it justice, you need to put in the effort to create ethereal and visually arresting photos that capture the essence of this trend. This might sound like a daunting task, but with a little bit of creativity and the right editing tools, you can be able to achieve the dark aesthetic look in no time.

For starters, you need to choose the perfect backdrop. Think dim and mysterious locations, such as foggy forests, historical buildings, or even just your own candle-lit bedroom. If you’re struggling with ideas, or you don’t have much space to work with, you can create a dark aesthetic background using Facetune’s new artificial intelligence image generator features, recently rolled out by Lightricks, the app’s developers. 

Using text prompts such as “moody,” “dark,” or “mysterious,” the AI will generate dark and atmospheric images that you can use as the backgrounds of your photos, leaving you with a stunning and original result. This saves you from having to search for the perfect location, and it also means that you can create a dark aesthetic background anywhere, anytime.

Elsewhere, the iOS native Photos app also has a number of editing options that can help you create the perfect dark aesthetic photo. For example, you can use the app’s powerful contrast and brightness editing capabilities to create a more sullen and dramatic look, which is perfect for nailing that ethereal vibe.

If you want to go the extra mile, try out a smartphone tripod, so you can get sharper photos in low light. It’s even possible to build your own makeshift tripod from household objects in a pinch.

You can also add some vintage-inspired filters to your photos before you post them. This will give your images an instant boost of dark aesthetic vibes, and it will make them look even more stylish and on-trend.

Dark aesthetics: What to wear

Both dark academia and dark aesthetics focus on classic, vintage-inspired clothing. For the latter in particular, black is obviously the primary color, but you can also experiment with deep reds, navy blues, and other dark hues. Opt for autumnal colors that evoke a sense of coziness and nostalgia.

As for silhouettes and style, think billowing shirts, tailored blazers, knee-length skirts, and high-waisted trousers. If you want to add a touch of gothic glamor, go for lace, velvet, and other luxurious fabrics. And of course, don’t forget the all-important accessories like statement glasses, delicate necklaces, and comfy sweaters.

In the end, it’s all about looking stylish, sophisticated, and a little bit mysterious – but don’t forget to let your unique personality shine through. After all, that’s what fashion is all about.


Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.