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First, it was the side fringe, then it was the skinny jeans and now the humble ankle sock is under fire from Gen Zs across the globe. 

Recently coined on TikTok as the "un-cool" sock of choice that's only worn by millennials, the ankle sock is under fire and fans of the silhouette have been left with mixed emotions. As we all know, nothing in this world can stop Gen Z TikTokers from curating a fashion cancellation, especially when there are cold hard facts to back them up. 

According to one thread on that video platform that we all know and love, you can easily spot the difference between a Millennial and a Gen Z by their sock choice, because millennials love ankle socks and Gen Zs love crew socks. 

If you're a part of the ankle sock-wearing community we’re aware this news might come as a shock and perhaps might even be a little upsetting (take a moment to mourn your sock drawer, we’ll wait…) but if there's one thing we know about fashion it’s that there are other options out there readily awaiting a new stylish home. 

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Here are five other options to replace the officially-cancelled ankle sock...

What to wear instead of ankle socks:

Sporty  Socks 

alome Chaboki wears white oversized shirt  from ELITÉE, white flared double-layered mini skirt,  green Galuchat handbag, Oliver People sunglasses and Casablanca Socks outside Casablanca during the Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024/2025© Getty
Sporty and chic

In light of the recent cancellation news, crew socks in all forms couldn’t be hotter. Easy to wear with sneakers, running trainers, loafers and even sling-back heels, sporty socks have been elevated to all-new heights in the fashion scene and they’re only set to rise. 


Emili Sindlev wears black college jacket, asymmetric skirt, red bag, orange black shirt, knee high tights, pointed heels, sunglasses outside Fendi during the Milan Fashion Week© Getty
Pointed pumps and opaque knee-highs make the perfect pair

Perfect for those of us channelling our inner preppy girl style this season, sheer knee-high socks in particular are seriously cultivated at the moment, loved by the likes of Zendaya, Sydney Sweeney, Bella Hadid and Rosie Huntington Whitley. Pair with ballet flats, heels, loafers or boots and get ready to feel like a trendy French ‘it’ girl.

Slouchy Knits

A guest wears sunglasses, a colored scarf, a green leather bomber jacket, a black top, a midi white skirt, white socks, brown suede Ugg shoes, outside Aeron,  during the Copenhagen Fashion Week AW24© Getty
Cosy, casual and cool

Slouchy socks are a Y2K staple and deserve to be at the top of the elite sock podium. Worn in the 90s by Jennifer Aniston on Friends and now 20 years later by off-duty supermodels in The Big Apple, slouchy socks give major cosy-girl vibes while adding texture, shape and structure to any outfit.

Lace, Bows and Frills

A guest wears sunglasses, earrings, a white shirt, a black mini leather skirt with bow details, a pink fluffy Coach bag, black leather platform shoes, white socks outside Coach, during New York Fashion Week© Getty
The more frills the merrier

Cool girls at the moment love nothing more than pairing their pleated mini skirt and sport ballet flat sneakers with a pair of lacey, frilly socks, usually adorned with ribbon bows galore. There will always be a space in the style sphere for cute socks and these fun-loving options can easily spice up a more masculine ensemble.

Business Casual

Anna Rosa Vitiello seen wearing Miu Miu white high socks and pointy leather heels shoes outside Miu Miu Show during the Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024/2025© Getty
These socks mean business

Men's business socks are right up there on the comfort and style sock podium and have recently made a resurgence at fashion weeks around the globe. Usually made from lightweight knit fibres, the classic business sock is not too long nad not too short making it perfect for a mid-calf statement or a slouchy bunched ankle look.