Everyone loves a statement necklace, and nothing is more statement than a choker. Decade after decade, the choker remains a popular accessory choice among stylish individuals and jewelry lovers. No matter your style, there's a choker necklace to suit you. Whether it's the feminine pearls of the nineteen-twenties or dark and mysterious nineties grunge, there's been a choker that suits your style at some point in history.
In this blog post, we're exploring the history of the choker. We'll be uncovering how this simple piece of jewelry has had such a profound impact on fashion industries around the world and throughout time.
History Of The Choker Necklace
Many assume the choker necklace first appeared during the Tudor dynasty. The second wife of Henry the eighth, Anne Boleyn, is depicted wearing a tight-fitting, beaded necklace around her neck. However, Anne Boleyn isn't the trendsetter in this instance, and the choker necklace dates back even further than the House of Tudor. Artifacts from as far back as the Sumerians in Mesopotamia suggest some of the earliest civilizations wore chokers. Not worn for fashion purposes, these choker necklaces were believed to attain powers of protection. The Egyptians also favored the tight-fitting accessory for this purpose. Images and statues from the Egyptian era show Ancient Egyptians wearing layers of close-fitting necklaces. Not only did the Egyptians believe their handcrafted necklaces attained healing powers, but they also wore them as a symbol of the gods. The different shapes, materials and textures represented the different gods. For example, beaded chokers made with gold symbolized the sun god, Ra.
The choker necklace has always been part of jewelry history. During the French Revolution, women wore red ribbons around their necks as a tribute to those who had lost lives. Queen Victoria frequently wore an ornate choker, symbolizing her wealth and status as the queen of England. Princess Alexandra, the daughter-in-law of Queen Victoria, became what we'd now term a 'style icon' during the era. The popular princess often wore an ornate choker necklace made from pearls and other luxurious materials. Anne made the choker necklace a popular choice among Victorians who could afford to spend money on lavish jewelry.
A few decades onwards, during the nineteen-twenties, beaded chokers made a comeback. Similar to Princess Alexandra, women wore tight pearl chokers with longer beaded necklaces. During this decade, other luxurious materials such as diamonds, lace and velvet became popular for chokers too. These expensive-looking materials depicted wealth and beauty.
The nineteen nineties introduced the choker in new ways. The choker we're probably most familiar with is the iconic nineties dog collar or tattoo choker. These grunge accessories recently made a comeback and remain popular due to their alternative and rebellious sentiment. Even if we don't intend it, the jewelry we choose to wear reflects who we are and our attitude to the world around us.
The Choker Necklace Today
The choker necklaces popular today are an amalgamation of the rich history and legacy of chokers in the past. Some prefer to style the glitz and glam of the twenties with pearls and ribbons, whilst others prefer to pay homage to those that came before us.
One of the reasons the choker necklace remains so popular is because of how flattering it is. The choker necklace sits high up on the neck, shaping the face and elongating the neck. Due to its short length, the choker never clashes or fades into the background of an outfit. Unlike other pieces of jewelry, the choker steals the show. Rather than being an accessory, the choker is always the point of interest. A choker may be small and dainty, like the beaded chokers styled by nineties trendsetters, or they can be a statement piece, powerful and symbolic, similar to how the ancient Egyptians wore them.
There’s one reason the choker necklace manages to defy the odds and stay in style, and that’s its diversity. The beauty and flattering nature of the choker necklace transcend across trends. No matter your personal style, the choker necklace is destined to suit you.
Jewelry, like all accessories, runs on rotation. A piece of jewelry may be popular one season and overlooked the next. The choker defies this cycle and never looks out of place. No matter the season or the trends, the choker necklace is guaranteed to work its magic and add interest to your appearance.