Dark Academia is a Goth subculture centered around higher education, book and journal reading and writing, poetry, the arts and architecture.
Where Poe might be considered to be more "traditional" Goth, Lovecraft would be very D.A.
Just as in all creative processes, there are many variations and opinions on the subgenre.
Dark Academia as a genre saturates itself in beautiful gothic imagery, historical contexts, and enigmatic characters and storylines, but at its rooted core, it is a lovesong to classic literature and learning.
D.A. has some very similar vibes to cottage core, but in the Dark Mori (Dark Forest) kind of way.
It's not always black, but usually has dark and deep colors, heavier fabrics and useful extras.
It does carry a very witchy or secret society type vibe.
It's definitely a mood.
Books. Books a plenty & Libraries.
Bookshelves containing your favorite books from classical to magical is a must when creating a Dark Academic style. Journals and field books as well.
Backpacks and field bags are the carriers of choice when on the go; the more pockets, the better.
The style flourished from media portrayals of secret societies, arcane literature and adventures, from movies such as Harry Potter (*ducks*), and T.V. series' such as The Magicians, A Discovery of Witches and the like. Some shows that are deeply D.A. are:
The Frankenstein Chronicles
A Discovery of Witches
The Queen's Gambit
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
The fashion in regard is mostly comfortable, yet collegiate. Chunky shoes or boots, leggins under skirts and oversized sweaters all compliment this style. Plaid skater skirts are a must.
Trinket boxes, magical keys, vintage and weird medical diagrams, maps and Gothic art are all a part of this aesthetic. History, mystery and magic. By the way, have you joined the Gothic Poets Society?
Yes, I said it. It's the elephant in the room, isn't it? Staying up late reading that book, writing that journal or adventuring down that weird hallway to the old wooden door with a funny lock, requires a cup of coffee. Perhaps decaf, or a nice herbal tea instead?