Very few jewelry styles have become fashionable as repeatedly as the choker. The simple necklace, often something as basic as a ribbon, has returned to jewelry boxes for centuries. The style is not something everyone is comfortable wearing, but many can appreciate the instant impact of the accessory.
Used as Protection
Many ancient cultures believed in the power of certain stones and metals and used the items to create amulets. The amulets draped the body in vulnerable areas, and the throat was considered one of the most vulnerable. Native Americans also used chokers crafted from animal bones as a form of protection. However, the aid of this neck adornment was more direct in offering safety, as it was used to cover the throat during battle.
Worn for Attention
Teenagers, punk rockers, and many other fashionable individuals favored chokers as well throughout the 70s and 80s. The attention-drawing accessory often resembled dog collars or had spikes. Hemp chokers were popular in the 1960s and saw a return in the 1990s. Hemp chokers were worn by some as a nod towards hemp’s controversial cousin, marijuana.
Another common attention draw was during the 1800s when prostitutes wore thin red or black ribbons to signal their availability. The jewelry choice was still a respectable form of accessory at this time, as ballet dancers also used them during their routines to accentuate their thin, long necks. Queen Alexandra increased the popularity of chokers even more as she wore one to help cover a scar on her neck.
Added for Effect
The wealthy ladies of the 1700s discovered chokers as the perfect way to display their most precious jewels. Many other necklaces would be overwhelmed by the layers of lace and ruffles adorning their busy gowns. A choker rose above the flouncy dresses and enabled the ladies to reveal their stunning gems to envious onlookers.
Chokers today can look innocent and demure, Gothic, or sensual. The item still helps to draw attention and add drama. Some women choose to wear a choker on its own, and others add with it a collection of longer, gleaming necklaces. There are many glittery, colorful and fun chokers available today. To see some of the options, click here.