Are ‘Ankle Scarves’ the New Hot Fashion Trend?

In December 2018, a number of viral news sites began sharing posts about ankle scarves, the purported “hot new trend” in winter footwear.

Country Living‘s post admitted it “didn’t know what to say” about ankle scarves on Facebook above a link to an article and a photograph of a man in boat shoes with a scarf on each ankle. Clicking through to the link led to a page with the following text:

Ankle Scarves Are the New Cold Weather Accessory We Didn’t See Coming

Why should you have to sacrifice fashion just because winter brings arctic-esque temperatures? Instead of opting out of skin-showing bottoms, just wrap your ankles with scarves, because, apparently, that’s the thing now.

While you could easily just wear long, regular-length pants, there are scarves specifically meant to be wrapped around your ankles. The trend was first reported by Milan-based publication Lercio.

The post didn’t address the claim’s veracity, although it did link to an article which eventually (not immediately) noted that no such “trend” existed — but not before a few paragraphs excoriating the non-fad:

The Hottest New Winter Trend is… Ankle Scarves? Please God No

Nah. No. Nope. Absolutely not. This is a fashion troll. No decent human being would wear these. If you see someone in Ankle Scarves you place them under citizen’s arrest. If this catches on I will literally buy a van and drive around my city abducting ankle scarf wearers. I’ll throw them in my van, put a bag over my head, drive them to the ocean, and set them adrift on a raft to live in exile forever. This is insanity.

There are few if any other things you could wear that are worse than these. All that’s coming to mind are, “A human skin jacket made from orphans you murdered” and “an actual SS Nazi uniform.” It would be more acceptable to walk around naked than to wear ankle scarves. Don’t even think about it, you monsters.

What’s insane is that this started out as a joke from the German satire site, Der Postillon. Think of it as Germany’s version of The Onion. Somehow, though, someone thought this was actually a cool idea and the joke article took off on social media. Just think, in arctic-esque temperatures, it’s better to wear a tiny scarf around your frozen ankles rather than something practical like boots.

Bizarrely, the outlet goes on to continue to argue against a trend in which no one is actually engaging, by its own acknowledgement. The English-language item linked to a German outlet which states outright that its pages are satirical in nature. In the interim, it appears an Italian site was snookered by the claim in mid-December 2018.

Given the high engagement rate of fake trends on Facebook and Twitter, it’s likely the “ankle scarves” story will be reposted throughout winter 2019, and probably far beyond, by sites like Country Living regardless of how true it is (or isn’t.) Nevertheless, the nonexistent fad emerged on a satirical site, and there was no other source suggesting that anyone in the world was legitimately wearing ankle scarves.