Necklaces are a common accessory worn by both men and women around their necks. There are several different types of necklaces that are worn by people across the world. One among them is the choker necklace which is known for its unique style. Chokers are necklaces which are close fitting around the neck and are typically 14 -16 inches long. Choker necklaces are not new to the jewellery and fashion industry. In fact, their use dates back to the ancient times. Choker necklaces have been in and out of trend for several decades and have been associated with different causes at different times. They seem to have been used for varied purposes and not just as jewellery that is worn to enhance beauty. With choker necklaces coming back into fashion recently, there are several celebrities who have been spotted wearing this charming necklace. As we embrace the choker necklace as a fashion trend yet again, let’s have a look into its remarkable history and the reason why it came into existence.
The healing power of Choker Necklaces
The use of chokers actually dates back to the ancient Mesopotamian civilization in Egypt, where people did not wear it as a trending ornament but as an ornament which had special protective powers. Hence, metal chokers were worn around the neck and wrists since these parts of the body were considered to be most fragile and needed protection. They were made of a thick strips of metal or numerous strips and worn as amulets to keep negative energy away.
One of the earliest people who was known to wear choker necklaces is Anne Boleyn. She lived in the English society in the 1500’s and was one of the most fashionable women of her times. She was a person who used to inspire fashion trends when it came to jewellery. Choker necklaces were her favorite accessory and she was often seen wearing them. A particular choker necklace made of pearls were her personal favorite, a jewellery item that she can be seen wearing in one of her paintings.
Chokers played an important role in the French Revolution by being an important symbol of revolt. Chokers were worn around the neck by the people who opposed the extravagant French monarchy in the 1700’s. A red ribbon was tied around the neck by women who wanted to pay homage to the people who were sacrificed at the guillotine.
For a brief period of time in the 1800’s, choker necklaces were considered to be ornaments that were particularly worn by prostitutes. Despite this fact, they were quite popular among the people of the Victorian Era. Princess Alexandra of Wales had an ugly scar on her neck from a childhood operation and therefore she was particularly fond of the choker necklaces which hid the scar on her neck. During her time in India, she was fascinated by Indian jewellery especially the choker necklaces. Therefore, she brought home with her a dozen choker necklaces made with exotic Indian jewels and inspired a raging trend among British women having a royal stature. This trend continued for a long time even after her death.
In the early 1900’s, the chokers reemerged as an iconic fashion jewellery but this time around they were more popularly known as dog collars because they were used both by dogs and humans. They were considered to represent elite glamour and various women would flaunt dog collars made of various materials such as velvet, pearl, lace, ribbon and diamonds.
The 1990’s saw a major makeover of the choker necklaces with Gothic accents such as spiked collars, silver ball chains and pentagrams. These became a hot trend especially among the teenagers. Another variation of the choker that was introduced was the tattoo chokers that was made of plastic and had a netted design with various textures.
The Revival of Choker
The year that brought back chokers into fashion again was 2015 and they don’t seem to have gone out of fashion till date. Today, chokers are available in a multitude of designs made of various materials, fabric, stones, ornaments, textures, patterns and color palettes. You have embroidered chokers, accent chokers, floral chokers, applique chokers and chokers with metal details. It’s amazing how a simple ornament of protection has evolved into something so fashionable.