'I'm an elder millennial who just discovered the Gen Z sock rules.'

In case you missed it, Gen Z's have cancelled ankle socks and sockettes. 

It's a hot topic in the Mamamia office, so I decided to film some of the sock commentary and post it on TikTok to see if other millennials, like myself, were feeling as baffled and confused as we brave this scary new sock world.

And it turns out I'm not alone. One of my videos went viral - currently it's sitting on 2.8 million views. News Week in America interviewed me. Socks, it seems, are a globally divisive and hot topic.

@annaliese.todd #genz #eldermillenial #sockdebate #socktok ♬ original sound - Annaliese Todd

After a week of sock rabbit-holing, researching and guidance from the Gen Z counsel here at Mamamia, I have created a summary with visual aids to update other millennials on these findings. 

Because there is a whole new sub-category of evolving trends and rules when it comes to the humble foot warmer, who knew! 

Watch: The real face of the millennial. The post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Before we go any further, I'm not saying anyone has to wear or not wear a certain sock. I'm just an old millennial vessel, passing on learnings from a younger generation about the latest trends in feet coverings. 


And it's all done very much with love and humour. 

Everyone is absolutely free to either lean in and evolve on their SockTok journey, or ignore it and be buried in your skinny jeans and ankle socks. You do you, boo.

Learning 1.

The biggest revelation and cause of distress: ankle socks are out. 

There is one exception to the rule: they are kind of acceptable but ONLY in the one context of exercise and active wear. 

The one ankle sock exception. Image: Supplied. 


Ideally you want to be aiming for Princess Diana leaving the gym circa 1993. I have started experimenting with this and I must say, I am now converted.

Image: Supplied.

Learning 2. 

Sockettes or no socks — also known as "raw dogging" with trainers — is just a flat out hard no. 


Apparently our ankles are just too sexy to be seen now. 

Don't shoot the messenger. 

Learning 3. 

Brand logos e.g. skater logos like Santa Cruz, are not acceptable unless you're a teenager or tween. 

I learnt that one the hard way when I wore my 12-year-old's socks into the office. 

It was "giving" try hard, apparently.

Images: Supplied and Vans.


Learning 4. 

When wearing boots ankle length and higher, there is no expectation for a sock to be visible. 

But it is actively encouraged that you can for fashion purposes. 

I have experimented with this since and I quite like it. 

Socks with boots are a yes. Images: Getty.


Learning 5. 

Cropped jeans are no longer ideal, particularly a high, skinny cropped version. You want to be aiming for a relaxed fit, with a slightly cropped roll (I plan on doing a future mini series on jeans because I am equally as confused about this). 

If you are wearing them and with trainers, you need to wear a crew sock length minimum, that’s covering the ankle (always).

Learning 6. 

Bold colours, cute patterns like strawberries, florals or different textures like sheer or lace are a fun way to showcase personality and are actively encouraged. I am here for this trend. 

Learning 7. 

Ribbed socks are no longer good, I don't know why. But this is one rule I am not listening to. A crew ribbed sock feels acceptable and I am actively ignoring this learning from the youths. 

(Actively ignoring this rule.) Images: Getty.


 Learning 8. 

A very surprising finding; with a long skirt or dress and trainers, visible socks are still encouraged, I would go the crew length. 

Image: Supplied.  


Learning 9.

With trainers like low Vans or Converse, it's advised to go with a crew-length minimum. 

Ankle socks (as stated above in learning one) are never okay, even with this style of trainer. 

Learning 10. 

Socks with sandals, Birkenstocks, CROCS and heels… are apparently more than fine and "cool". 

I admire it as a fashion statement but not really for me. Not to mention wearing socks and heels doesn't feel safe, like I might roll my (old) ankles. 

Socks with heels, CROCS and sandals? Yes. Images: Getty.


An easy way to remember the new world order, is to think of it like it's the 18th century, and when it comes to socks, ankles are just too sexy to be seen. 

One of the things I admire about my Gen Z colleagues and their fashion is that they mix styles and outfits that I wouldn't think to put together. I feel like as millennials, we kind of grew up with a uniform that we stuck to and I like that the humble sock is just another way we can express our personality and make a statement.

Thanks for coming to my SockTok Ted Talk. 

Again, please remember nobody is actually telling you what to do, or wear. Wear plastic bags on your feet for all I care. 

But toe socks? That is a hard no.  

Feature Image: Supplied/TikTok: @annaliese.todd. 

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