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Breaking News: Sock Lengths Will Be Replacing ID Checks For Millennials and Gen Z

There are many ways to spot a millennial in public. They part their hair to the side, wear their jeans like a second skin, and can proudly tell you their Hogwarts house. But just in case there is any doubt about who belongs to this tote-bag-carrying generation, you can now just check their socks. That’s right, sock lengths are about to become the new ID check. Next time you go to your favorite dive bar or try to buy a pack of White Claws at Trader Joe’s, you won’t have to show your actual birthdate; just give them a flash of bare ankle, and you’re in. 

Most recently, Vogue applauded “I’m-So-Random” Hunger Games queen Jennifer Lawrence for “bravely” stepping out in millennial socks, AKA ankle socks. Meanwhile, Billie Eilish made scarlet crew socks a vital part of her look for the 2024 Golden Globes, and fucking ate at that. Socks have become as much a part of your outfit as thong colors once were to ‘whale tails.’ So here’s what we know just from looking at your socks.

What your sock length says about you

No socks

Unless you’re in sandals or Birkenstock clogs, there is absolutely no excuse for this. It translates to gross hygiene. You should never be wearing shoes with laces without some kind of sock. Even a no-show sock is better than this — barely, though. This isn’t an age group, it’s giving unwashed fuckboy. I’d bet everything you have: one pair of grey sheets and a towel that snaps in two. Go away.

No show socks

Like I said, this is barely better than no socks, but only just. Let’s be honest: Your little scrap of a sock will slip down constantly. You’ll give everyone the ick by consistently bending down to try and hook it over your finger and tugging it up. This millennial red flag might make people think you’re in the dreaded no-sock category. 

Look, I get why you ended up here. Back in the olden days, people were bullied for having their socks showing as much as they were mocked for not having their ass crack out in low-waist jeans. But the dog days are over, socks are in, and you can stop getting Athlete’s Foot every other day.

Ankle socks

MILLENNIAL ALERT. Look around any gym or public space and know with certainty that anyone with visible ankles is a millennial and would’ve gotten branded a witch in Victorian times. Those little socks are adorable on babies and nowhere else. You’re also likely wearing a baby’s size that cuts off your blood circulation. I don’t care if you’re wearing shorts or a skirt. Get them socks high and proud. This also gives you less leg to shave in the shower — you’re welcome xoxo

I’m all for showing a little skin, as long as it isn’t your ankles. 

Crew socks

Excuse me, were you born before 1996? I can tell by the mystery surrounding your ankles. Do you even have ankles? 

If you get carded when buying a bottle of wine, it’s probably because the cashier spotted your covered ankles. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to flash your lower legs as ID. However, if you’re asked to flash any higher than that, be very concerned and report this immediately.

Gen Z is all about those crew socks. The higher, the better. They’re just so comfortable!!! Goodbye blisters, goodbye smelly shoes, goodbye bending down to adjust them, goodbye socks that have holes after one wear, and embrace the era of CREW SOCKS.

Some believe crew socks are a remnant of the post-pandemic shift towards comfort in clothing. Others consider them a result of unpredictable summer weather that doesn’t encourage sandals, making us turn to new methods to spice up our lower legs. Trend forecasters claim we’re just recycling yet another 90s trend. 

Whatever the reason, cover those ankles, girlie; your age is showing.

Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman, a European-based copywriter. She’s interesting (cause she’s from Europe), speaks multiple languages (again, she's from Europe), and is mentally unhinged (despite socialized healthcare). You can find her European musings on Twitter @ByFleurine and her blog, Symptoms of Living, both of which are written to the sounds of unhinged Taylor Swift playlists.