Getting Choked Up — 20 Choker Necklaces That Prove The ’90s Are Back!
From Fairuza Balk’s spike-covered leather number in The Craft to Natalie Portman’s charm-adorned, Victorian-flavored velvet piece in The Professional, Drew Barrymore’s daisy-themed crochet collars, and the plastic tattoo-style trinkets worn by Alyson Hannigan in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Melissa Joan Hart in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, choker necklaces were as crucial to ’90s style as tube tops, scrunchies, grunge-y flannels and combat boots, butterfly hair clips, and platform sneakers. While you may want to keep the winged hair clips in storage, you can officially dust off those choker necklaces that directed attention to your face and gave any ensemble a subtle goth edge or Boho flavor.
The ’90s are back in full force for Spring/Summer 2016 and that means chokers are staging an epic comeback, with leather, pearl, suede, metallic, velvet, grosgrain ribbon, crocheted, beaded, and acrylic variations ready to be wrapped around women’s swan-like necks. Unlike collar necklaces, which sit at the base of the neck, often grazing the collarbone area, chokers encircle the neck itself for a snug fit. Below, check out some choker necklaces that hearken back to the era that brought us Empire Records, She’s All That, and My So-Called Life.
Dannijo Crawford Choker, $148. Available at Dannijo.com
This navy velvet number looks like it came out of the set of The Tudors, with five buckle-shaped pendants lined up in a neat row, the outline of each rectangular piece’s frame adorned with clear Swarovski crystals.
Vanessa Mooney The Bombshell Choker, $216. Available at VanessaMooney.com
It’s officially festival season so, this year, you can leave your body chain at home and instead embrace your inner Bohemian queen with this necklace, made out of cylindrical turquoise howlite beads, tubular black bone beads, faceted round gold beads, copper spacers, and tapered gold heishi shell beads.
Lionette by Noa Sade Nico Choker, $280. Available at LionetteNy.com
Those spike-covered leather necklaces, like the ones Adrian Brody wore in Summer of Sam, tend to come off as menacing (mainly because they could potentially eviscerate someone or gouge their eye put!) and costume-y (like you’re trying way too hard to be punk). Instead, opt for a choker that’s demure but still has a defiant rock ‘n’ roll attitude. This brass-toned choker is the perfect examples since it features an antique-looking, purposefully distressed round snake chain and, directly above it, a hefty curb chain adorned with conical spikes. You can pick between an array of colors including the one pictured above, which features simulated opal spikes in a fiery pink hue.
Erickson Beamon Swan Lake Gold-Plated, Faux Pearl, and Swarovski Crystal Choker, $1015. Available at Net-a-Porter.com
The multi-strand pearl necklace Keira Knightley donned in Anna Karenina may have been striking, but it’s got nothing on Erickson Beamon’s Swan Lake design. The shape, height, and drape of the piece nods to Victorian lace stand-up collars, but it deliberately eschews any puritanical rigidity. The hand-strung Swarovski crystals and faux pearls, meanwhile, add an opulent theatricality that’s worthy of a Tchaikovsky symphony.
Topshop Semi-Precious Engraved Link Choker, $15. Available at US.Topshop.com
Inspired by vintage Navajo concho belts, this Topshop choker necklace nods to the Old West with its antique gold finish, intricate engravings, and turquoise-colored stones.
Suzywan Deluxe Disco Future Choker, €30. Available at Shop.Suzywan.com
If, 20 years ago, you were into huge raves held at warehouse-like locales, where walls were covered with UV artwork and revelers twirled around glow sticks while bumping their fists to the beat of the house music bass, then you’ll appreciate the trippy vibe of this Suzywan adjustable brass collar necklace, which features holographic tiles along its exterior surface.
Etro Printed Grosgrain and Enamel Choker, $420. Available at Net-a-Porter.com
The folkloric, breezy, feminine, irresistibly Bohemian air of this fanciful choker echoes the current obsession with ’70s style. Made of a lustrous black grosgrain ribbon printed with pink, orange, and red flowers, this choker also features enamel red rose charms that dangle below the lower edge of the ribbon. Talk about flower power!
Lulu’s Cactus Garden Turquoise and Silver Choker, $16. Available at Lulus.com
These Southwestern-flavored choker features engraved antique silver-toned charms with almond-shaped turquoise stone ends that, when joined together create a striking pattern that’s perfect for an on-trend choker. Imagine wearing this with cut-off denim shorts, an off-the-shoulder blouse, and cowgirl boots or pairing it with a lace-up blue suede minidress and fringe-trimmed sandals.
Fallon Jewelry Monarch Jagged Edge Choker, $300. Available at FallonJewelry.com
They may have become synonymous with angst-ridden, emo music-loving, establishment-loathing youths, but choker necklaces were once the epitome of regal elegance — in fact, Princess Diana was often photographed wearing velvet ones with diamond embellishments. This “Monarch” design, then, explores the more elegant side of this necklace style, incorporating almond-shaped, ruby red cubic zirconia stones set against imitation rhodium-plated brass for an enigmatic feel. The zig-zagging pattern in which the stones were arranged, meanwhile, creates a jagged edge effect that’s a bit dangerous and thrilling, and which is intensified by the strands of leather beneath it.
Ettika Bibi Tease Choker in Brass, $80. Available at Ettika.com
There’s a gypsy magic to this whimsical choker, which recalls the hip-grazing belts worn by belly dancers. It encircles the neck with brass-toned, coin-like discs and then floats above the décolletage with a web of interwoven chains that create a kerchief-shaped drop and culminate in a swing-y tassel. Such a tease!
Lele Sadoughi Floral Choker, $370. Available at CharmandChain.com
Instead of twisted hemp necklaces with floral appliqués or thin ribbon chokers with daisy pendants, longtime daisy and sunflower lover Drew Barrymore would look incredibly grown up, while staying true to her free-spirited style, in this elegant floral-themed choker, made of 14k gold-plated brass and featuring a veritable wall of sculptural daisies with Czech crystals at their cores. The necklace measures 0.75″ in height, so it covers most of the neck area, making it perfect for lavish garden parties, banquets, and even black tie affairs.
Venessa Arizaga Pretty Pearl Choker in Electric Rainbow, $195. Available at VenessaArizaga.com
New York-based jewelry designer does kitschy hipster cool like no one else! This handmade piece features her signature threadwork in a versatile black hue, while the marble-shaped crystal pearls adorning the piece add a fun-loving spirit (and will likely make you yearn for a gumball machine!).
Lulu’s All Eyes On You Gold and Black Choker Necklace, $16. Available at Lulus.com
Wide black chokers made of velvet, satin, and leather were ubiquitous on Spring/Summer 2016 runways. Make your neighborhood’s streets your own catwalk with this affordable and totally chic necklace, made of vegan leather and featuring a large, textured, gold-toned medallion with a domed black stone at its center.
Forever 21 Crochet Daisy Choker, $4.90. Available at Forever21.com
Sanktoleono Jewelry Alice Choker, $108. Available at FreePeople.com
This oxidized brass choker, handmade in Athens, features intricate geometric cut-outs inspired by Celtic tribal art (think knotted diamonds), along with traditional Native American arts and crafts.
Jenny Byrd Lyons Choker Necklace, $175. Available at UrbanOutfitters.com
Remember when we declared that pearls had officially gone rogue, taking on a risqué and rebellious vibe? Well, this choker necklace points to the changing prim-to-punk winds. Made of silver-plated brass, it features an open frame with gumball-sized pearls inset along the center.
Nissa Jewelry Gypsy Love Suede Choker, $68. Available at NissaJewelry.com
Western influences and ’90s nostalgia converge in this Nissa Jewelry number, which consists of slim suede strips wrapped around a hammered, silver-toned, oval-shaped disc, then tied into a simple knot, the ends of each long strand worn loose to resemble a bolo tie.
Lanvin Crystal-Embellished Choker, $895. Available at Barneys.com
The interlocking D-shaped rings along the front of this polished pewter and antique brass choker give the design a dog collar-esque vibe which may sound like a pejorative statement but is actually meant to denote the exciting and naughty nod to S&M role play. To elevate the design, meanwhile, the piece relies on plenty of luminosity and bling. In fact, the juxtaposition between the square white faceted crystals along the sides of the choker and the more somber, round, gray faceted crystals inset within the front rings provides a touch of Art Deco glamour. It’s like Jay Gatsby gone Christian Gray
Ettika Behind the Bit Choker in Black and Gold, $45. Available at Ettika.com
You’ll be chomping at the bit to wear this Boho rocker necklace, which features two braided leather strands connected by a hollow gold-toned ring inspired by the snaffle bit components you’d encounter in most equestrian events. The chain fringe trim dangling from the bottom edge of the center ring, meanwhile, gives the piece more of a commanding presence and adds movement, each fringe strand swaying as you bop your head during this summer’s outdoor concerts.
Dannijo Mariel Choker, $370. Available at Dannijo.com
Like a barbed wire fence around your neck, this oxidized silver plated necklace lets everyone know you’re not to be messed with! The oversize, faceted, oval and rectangular Swarovski crystals, meanwhile, add an urban disposition and a slightly futuristic feel,