Remember chokers? The 1990s fashion trend is back with a bang

You’ll be delighted to hear that the comeback of the choker hasn’t allowed the accessory to change one bit!

Mimi Raad

Published: Updated:

Fashion, with its boomeranging trends, is ever so capricious.

Trends often come and go, only to return again with a slight nuance - a subtle update that makes your pre-loved items miss the old style. But if you’re someone who has difficulties getting rid of your sartorial belongings (like me), you’ll be delighted to hear that the comeback of the choker hasn’t allowed the accessory to change one bit.

It appears that lately, necks are the new cleavage.

A photo posted by Yulia Vahanyan (@iamlenore) on

Chokers have resurfaced and adorned celebrity necks. Farewell to the statement necklace, hello to the skinny bit of fabric or leather that embellished many necks in the 90s.

Chokers peaked in the 1990s, flooded the 2004 catwalks, came back again in spring/summer 2012 and popped up last winter, last spring and again this season.

How to wear it?

Chokers undeniably work best with a low-cut top, anything that covers your collar bones is the wrong way to update your look.

Chokers can make anything revealing feel a little less naked. It is a versatile piece, as long as your neck’s length allows it. If nature didn’t grant you a long neck with enough space between the chin and the shoulders, then, a choker is not the accessory for you. Surprisingly, a choker looks good with pretty much everything – be it a masculine tuxedo jacket or a romantic gown.

Style wise, you can use it as a layering piece.

• Accessorize like a pro by wearing the “it” necklace over a turtleneck.

• Wear it with another necklace. Layer your choker with a long, beaded necklace for “à la bohème” vibe.

• Pair it with denim. Even a basic denim jacket and t-shirt are upgraded with this necklace.

• Team it with a girlie dress. Toughen up a feminine dress with this ribbon as necklace tied around your neck.

The choker is delicate. It's an unusual accessory and adds a different mood to your look; it gives a little bit of an edgy touch, like a rock star, to even the simplest of looks.


The choker has history too. During the French Revolution, women used to wear red ribbons around their necks to pay homage to those who met their death at the guillotine.

In the 1800s, Alexandra of Denmark was influential in expanding the trend due to her insecurities over a neck scar. She was inspired by adding a choker to her outfit from traditional Indian dress in Bombay, where she often traveled as the reigning Empress of India. If we go even further back, we’ll learn that Native Americans wore them to protect their necks and their spirits as well as to symbolize rank.
Debutantes in the 40s were showing them off at society luncheons and charity galas.

“Like hemlines, necklace lengths go up and down,” explains Sophie Quy, Net-a-Porter.com’s fine jewelry buyer. “The choker is the natural evolution after the long pendant of a few years ago, followed by the trend for layering minimal, smaller chains and short pendants.”

Chokers have various forms and material. Satin, velvet, leather, metal, a wide or thin band. We’ve seen some younger, more experimental dressers playing with the extendable tattoo-style chokers (which we’re not advocating here). We’re fans of the less grungy, more ladylike concoctions.

For women who would like to experiment a bit, it is a refreshing alternative to chains. It’s worth trying. Trust me!