The Past, Present, and Future of Choker Necklaces

After a long history dating back through ancient civilizations, choker necklaces have re-emerged as an on-trend accessory. Read on to learn about the history of chokers, why we’re glad they’re back, and styles to choose now that look better than ever.

What Is a Choker Necklace?

Although the choker necklace is a universally popular and widely heard jewelry style, many of us do not know its precise definition. Allow us to explain it.

A choker is a close-fitting necklace that is worn around the neck, mostly just a little above the bottom of the neck. 

A choker is crafted out of pearls, latex, leather, silver, gold, platinum, and other materials, and it usually ranges in length from 14 to 16 inches. If you are looking for a statement gold or diamond neckpiece, a choker should be on the top of your wishlist.

A Brief History of Choker Necklaces

Although chokers have made their big way into the contemporary fashion book, their long and brilliant history can be traced back to ancient times. Around 2500 BC, the Sumerians were the first to wear golden choker necklaces. The ruling Pharaohs also wore these necklaces and prized them in the Egyptian culture. Chokers have been a much-in-demand fashion accessory throughout history, and every century brought us a fresh style of these accessories.

One of the historical eras that lavishly portrayed chokers was the Victorian Age, when these accessories experienced some significant changes to reflect the age’s decorative aesthetics. It is stated that Victorian women were “powerful, gloved, parasol-carrying entities,” and when it came to jewelry, they showed an unrelenting commitment. Alexandra of Denmark, who succeeded Victoria as queen, was one royal woman who served as a living example of this. Although Queen Victoria also wore choker necklaces during her reign, Princess Alexandra was the one who hugely impacted choker fashion, creating trends that lingered for over 50 years.

Chokers continued to trend in the 1920s when beaded or ribbon chokers became vogue. These necklaces were more intricate and inspired by the Art Deco styles. They were adorned with pearls, diamonds, and other precious and semi-precious stones.

Let’s jump to the 2000s when the choker necklace trend soared to new heights. Modern choker designs experimented with different textures, patterns, styles, materials, and fashions. It is not wrong to state that this jewelry piece originated much before Christ’s era and has subsequently undergone alterations. However, what has remained intact is the choker’s snug fit against the wearer’s neck and its unfailing glamorous appeal.

What Does a Choker Necklace Represent?

Throughout history, chokers have been portrayed using various metaphorical connotations. Currently seen as a strong fashion statement, they are laden with profound historical significance. Having said that, remember that from ancient Egypt to the 21st century, the meaning of choker necklaces has evolved significantly. 

These necklaces represent various things instead of just one. The contrasting meaning and symbolism behind this necklace style over different times in history are almost staggering. Many believe the style originated in the 1790s during the French Revolution. The martyrs’ women wore red ribbons as a tribute to those who died. But there are also references to Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, wearing chokers in her portraits during her reigning era (1507-1536). This was much before the French Revolution. While in the 1960s and 70s, chokers were worn as slave collars, the Victorian Era witnessed the Royals proudly flaunting chokers as regal accessories. Several portraits of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) showcase her adorning a choker necklace in her looks. Taking inspiration from the Queen, many wealthy socialities and high-profile dignitaries of the time started wearing chokers as a mark of their social status. Their choker necklaces were bejeweled with diamonds and other sparkling stones.

Surprisingly, before this, in the 1940s, chokers made of leather, lace, ribbon, and velvet served as “dog collars”.

Undoubtedly choker necklaces have had quite a journey through history, full of paradoxes and varied sentiments.  

Since the onset of the 1990s, choker necklaces have only been soaring in their popularity. Fashion magazines and celebrities have warmly embraced the trend and don’t shy away from flaunting it full-blown. Post-2015, they made a huge comeback on the runway with major international designers, making them a part of their showcasing looks. 

Are Diamond Chokers a Vogue in 2022?

Diamonds aren’t called women’s best friends for no reason. Diamond chokers are the real head-turners and are eternally recognized for their shine and brilliance. Although not a new style, diamond chokers are ruling the roost in the fashion jewelry world of 2022. And sure, diamond chokers stood a shining light in the dismal Covid-19 pandemic.

Post the pandemic, consumers have indulged in revenge luxury shopping, and these figures are a testimony to that. Recent market research showed that choker usage increased by almost 25% from 2021 to this year. Similarly, the Met Gala 2022 also exhibited the choker sparkle on a grand scale as stunning diamond choker necklaces were worn with tiaras and cocktail rings by impeccably styled celebs.

Our Favorite Diamond Choker Necklace Designs

Choker necklaces are a raging jewelry style, and if you still do not have one in your jewelry wardrobe, we suggest shopping for one soon. Though an evergreen style, they are currently an in-trend accessory for women who have a desire to wear neat, precise looks. There are countless choker designs to try, whether made of diamonds, gold, platinum, or silver.

Let’s look at our top choices to help you show off your sense of style to the world!

A horizontal pavé diamond bar cinches this mixed metal lariat choker necklace finished with two dangling diamond spikes.

This delicate choker with a curved diamond bar and five marquise diamond charms is a versatile option for layering with other necklaces.

A series of dainty spikes bring an unexpected edge to this classic diamond choker necklace rendered in trending 14K rose and white gold.

In this luminous diamond choker, alternating round and kite shapes create a simple yet striking geometric silhouette.

How to Style a Choker Necklace?

Choker necklaces come in a variety of styles and designs. Choose the right style for you depending on the occasion and mood. That said, while a dainty piece of the diamond necklace is perfect for almost any time and event, a choker of pearls beautifully fits a classic romantic evening.

Still, if you are not sure, here is a precise guide on how to style different chokers in different ways.

● Dainty Metallic Chokers

Dainty metallic chokers are a fine accessory for your office look. Since they are quite a statement, do not add more accessories for more bling. Pair your choker with a clean, open-collared shirt or a closed round neck to exude chicness. Let the choker grab attention.  

● Diamond Chokers

Cocktail dresses go particularly well with glamorously diamond-studded chokers, especially if they are more understated in design. To complete the sleek style, keep your ear jewelry to a minimum.

On the other hand, to achieve a romantic vintage style, wear a stacked diamond choker and teardrop diamond earrings with an off-the-shoulder gown in a solid color.

● Pearl Chokers

Pearls are classic, and so are the pearl choker necklaces. Several dresses and accessories go well with pearl chokers, almost effortlessly. For instance, pair your evening gown or a summer dress with a pearl choker and pearl studs for peerless elegance. You can quickly put together a stunning and classic ensemble for a casual look by wearing your choker with a white shirt and a pair of blue jeans.

Do Choker Necklaces Suit Everyone?

Undeniably, choker necklaces draw attention to your neck. For someone with a long, slender neck, chokers are the most suited style of neckpieces. It highlights the beauty of the neck, pulling attention to your face. If you realize, chokers have a way of putting the whole look of an outfit together. With just a choker on with your dress, you feel sufficiently dressed up to the part without putting in much effort.

Women with shorter neckline should avoid chokers. Rather than accentuating the beauty, a choker draws undesired attention to your shorter neck, which is not necessarily your strongest feature. The broader your neck is, the slimmer should be the choker you wear. Instead, we suggest wearing a deep neckline outfit with a layered chain necklace or a pendant that focuses on the collar bones and décolletage area rather than the neck.

What is the Right Size for a Choker Necklace?

Chokers are generally 15 to 17 inches in length. They wrap around the neck firmly, worn around the base of the throat. You may wear the choker slightly upwards of that, depending on your neck’s length and if you desire an edgier look. While buying a choker, look for the right fit. It should neither be too tight, else to choke you, nor too loose to cease to create the impact. In terms of width, there are varying choker dimensions from 4 mm to 3-4 inches. An extremely thin and sleek choker can be hurtful to wear for a longer time. So, avoid that.

This was our take on choker necklaces and their various aspects. Chokers modernize office ensembles, set off a simple white t-shirt, and are the focal point when you’re dressed to the nines. With the diverse array of choker options at your fingertips, you’ll find endless ways to experiment and make this storied necklace style feel fresh once again. Explore a wide range of choker necklaces at Gabriel & Co.

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