Choker necklaces were all the rage in the 90s and worn by virtually every model, celebrity and influential style icon including Kate Moss and Alicia Silverstone. Trends come and go but have a tendency to circle back into style after years of dormancy. One fashion accessory that made a major comeback in 2016 and is still trending today is the choker necklace.
You’ve likely noticed the choker craze again via bloggers and influencers on Instagram. Here’s the deal: the 90s are back in fashion and here to stay. Contrary to popular belief, the choker necklace was not introduced in the 90s but dates back hundreds of years. The most iconic depictions of chokers appear in the Victorian era, made evident in oil paintings and portraits of both prostitutes and royalty wearing ribbon chokers with pendants.
Some historians claim chokers date back to the French Revolution, while others insist on prehistoric origins. And how could we write a choker guide without addressing the obvious link to promiscuous fetish cultures? With a broad and contextual history, it’s understandable why many questions arise when discussing choker necklaces.
What does a choker necklace mean? Why is everyone wearing chokers? Are choker necklaces bad or taboo? We’re answering all your burning questions in this guide to choker necklaces.
You might be wondering if there is symbolism or meaning to wearing a choker necklace. Yet if you think about it, the choker necklace is really just a chain or ribbon with a pendant. There is likely more meaning to the pendant itself than the actual necklace. While choker necklaces are linked to provocative subcultures including prostitution and fetishes, this doesn’t mean that all choker necklaces symbolize sexuality.
In fact, chokers are more popular for being a feminine and delicate accessory. Which is why everyone and their mother was portrayed wearing one in oil paintings, and everyone since has followed suit. Let’s hop in a time machine back to 19th century England. The most powerful and influential person alive was Queen Victoria. Her accessory of choice? A choker.
300 years before the Victorian Era, Anne Boleyn, the romantic and strong-willed wife and victim of Henry VIII, donned her signature string of pearls choker with the letter “B” as a pendant in nearly every portrait.
Truth is, we don’t exactly know when or why choker necklaces became so popular. Yet the fact remains: chokers are still a jewelry staple.
Why is everyone wearing chokers and when did they make their comeback? In order to answer that, let’s revisit the era of Clueless, Rachel Green and the Spice Girls. Yep, back to the 90s we go.
The common thread, or should we say ribbon, is choker necklaces. Think chokers went down with Leo and Kate in the Titanic? As if. Choker necklaces are back in style with no signs of stopping. Why the sudden resurgence? Simply put, the 90s are all the rage right now and you can’t bring back the 90s without its most beloved accessory, can you? We think not.
Supermodels, bloggers and influencers started sporting chokers again on social media and the result is: chokers galore! So, one thing’s clear: choker necklaces are on trend. You might be wondering, “should I wear a choker?” and if so, “what kind?” Don’t worry, we’ll show you all the popular choker necklace styles to help you choose which is right for you!
There are many stylish ways of wearing choker necklaces, let’s have a look at each one.
Ribbons: Perhaps the most classic choker style is a single ribbon around the neck that ties into a bow. This is an understated yet elegant accessory made popular by ballerina dancers. Typically, ribbon chokers are made from cotton or satin, however velvet and lace ribbon chokers accentuate the femininity of this style. Whereas thin ribbons create a delicate, feminine look, chunky or thick ribbon chokers add an edge.
Layered choker necklaces: One of the simplest, most stylish and popular necklace trends is to layer your choker with other necklaces. You can buy a layered choker necklace, or layer it with other similar necklaces. Generally, you’ll want at least three layers and can even add a pendant to one of the layers.
Chain Chokers: If you really want to make a bold statement, wear a chunky chain choker made from thick metal.
Leather choker necklaces: Leather chokers definitely tap into the fetish niche, however they can also be mixed with metal pendants to evoke a rugged, Americana style.
Here are some helpful tips to help you style your choker necklace:
Style: The type of choker necklace you wear depends entirely on the outfit and overall look. The great thing about chokers is that you have the option to either accentuate or contrast an outfit. For example, embellish the femininity of a soft, satin blouse with a blush-colored ribbon choker. Conversely, you can contrast the same blouse with a chunky chain or leather choker.
Neckline: There are a variety of choker styles, however not every neckline fits with a choker. Take for example a high neckline, you won’t necessarily be able to showcase a choker with a turtleneck. Then there’s the plunging neckline which, if you’re going to wear a choker, is begging for layers to fill the space in a flattering way. The important thing is to play around with different styles to find the right look.
Earrings: If you’re wearing a chunky choker, you’ll want to pair it with smaller earrings so they don’t overpower the choker. However, if you’re wearing a thin, feminine ribbon choker, you can take more liberty with statement earrings to contrast your elegant neckline.
There you have it! Now that you know all about choker necklace styles, which one is your favorite? Perhaps you need the perfect pendant to pair with your choker? We’ve got ya covered with our collection of beautiful and unique pendants!
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