Apparently, ankle socks are the new sign that you're old, and millennials are done

Ankle socks, like the ones seen in this 2016 file photo taken in Barcelona, Spain, are a sign of being old, according to generation Z. (Miquel Benitez/Getty Images - image credit)
Ankle socks, like the ones seen in this 2016 file photo taken in Barcelona, Spain, are a sign of being old, according to generation Z. (Miquel Benitez/Getty Images - image credit)

First, gen Z came for the skinny jeans. Then, they came for the side part.

And now, in a death knell against 30- and 40-somethings just trying to live their lives, the youth have cancelled ankle socks. According to trend reports, social media and Generation Z themselves, ankle socks are out. Crew socks are in.

"Alright, millennials, brace yourselves: Gen Z has a message regarding your fashion choices, and I'm here to deliver it, so get ready to take notes," a gen Z writer announced last week on Kidspot, an Australian lifestyle news site.

"I'm here to talk to you about those ratty little pathetic excuses for socks you have on," she went on.

"Yes, I know they're there. Even though they're trying sooo hard to be invisible, I see them, and I'm sorry, but they're officially cancelled."

For millennials who have spent the last few years trying to figure out how to wear pants, feeling personally attacked by the return of Y2K fashion and still trying to use "gaslighting" properly in a sentence, this one ... may feel a lot like gaslighting.

But the trend is real. Fashion magazine In Style reported back in January that showing off socks is "in again," with crew socks, specifically, making a comeback. Last month, the New York Times wrote that we're living in a "sock proud era."

And the star of Gucci's 2025 fashion show earlier this month? A $320 pair of ribbed crew socks paired with loafers.

According to Pinterest, Canadian searches for "crew socks with sneakers outfit" saw a huge jump in May. And for those who might associate rolled-up socks with their grandfather, well, Pinterest also predicted that 2024 would be the year of embracing "eclectic grandpa" style.

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Gucci
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Gucci

"It's time to cover your ankles — crew socks are in and they're here to stay," fashion stylist Christie Moeller said in a TikTok video posted Thursday.

"Ideally, you want to be aiming for Princess Diana leaving the gym circa 1993," wrote an elder millennial on the website MamaMia.

Meanwhile, gen Z has called ankle socks a "millennial giveaway," and a video trending on TikTok claims you can tell a person's age by the type of socks they wear while working out.

Johnny Eggitt/AFP/Getty Images
Johnny Eggitt/AFP/Getty Images

Millennials have had it

Millennials have faced their share of fashion-related rude awakenings lately. (Speaking of which, apparently the front tuck is also out, and if you're wondering how or if we tuck in our shirts, you're also old, because the youth wear crop tops.)

But for some, the ankle socks are just a step too far, especially coming from a generation that brought back the mullet and Crocs.

WATCH | Crocs are back: 

People in their 30s and 40s have fired back on X, formerly (in millennial times) known as Twitter.

"You'll get my ankle socks over my dead body. In fact, bury me in ankle socks," author and tech leader Emily Freeman wrote on X.

"Hey Gen Zers, you'll have to pry my ankle socks from my cold geriatric millennial feet," wrote a freelance writer.

"I'll be damned if you take away my right to show a little ankle every now and then," notes the Curb Your Millenialism newsletter.

And on TikTok, users of a certain age have posted videos expressing their frustration and confusion over the banning of their beloved socks.

"We've gone too far," writes one women in a video where she tries to wear pink crew socks with yellow crocs.

Another joked in a video with 1.4 million views that she saved on Botox by "just buying the damn socks." And in a comment on the same video, someone else joked that they wore crew socks to the gym instead of ankle socks "and the receptionist called me miss instead of ma'am."

But others have taken the news that ankle socks age them a little harder.

"Going to wade into the sea," wrote a user on X.