I’m not big on trends. My dress sense is pretty boring; bar maybe two or three items of colour, my entire wardrobe is black and, at risk of sounding pretentious, ‘miminalist’. I prefer to stick to relatively timeless pieces and I flat out refuse to buy anything that will for sure be out of fashion in six months time – partly because I am economic with spending – but mostly because I don’t really care about how ‘fashionable’ I appear to others. (I promise that you will never find a here’s-what-I-wore-today post on this blog)
But I am a sucker for jewellery. I feel naked if I leave the house without a ring on every finger and count scouring Etsy for pendants as a weekly hobby. Therefore, a trend that I am personally really enjoying right now is chokers.
If you’d told me five years ago that girls would soon be donning those stretchy plaited tattoo chokers from the nineties, I’d have cringed and spat out whatever I was eating at the time. But sure enough, with the monuments resurge of nineties fashion, they became a staple in every sassy kitsch gal’s OOTD, along with crop tops, flatforms, flannel shirts, baggy denim and Adidas shelltops.
Believe it or not, a young Drew Barrymore wasn’t the first woman to model a tight band around her neck – there is actually an intriguing history behind the unassuming choker.
During the French Revolution, women began tying red ribbons around their necks as a tribute to recipients of the guillotine.
In the 1800’s, a black ribbon worn around the neck was a signifier that the woman was a prostitute. In vast contrast, it was also popular amongst ballerinas. Pre celebrity, female royals were the fashion icons of their time. Alexandra, Princess of Wales, donned thick rows of pearls and velvet ribbons, reportedly to cover a scar on her neck. The Alexa Chung of her time, the popularity of ‘chokers’ sky rocketed, and elevated the trend to high society women.
A century later, chokers were prominent amongst the fashion icons of the 1960’s.
And then… along came punk. Chokers became A LOT more sexually suggestive with a not so subtle bondage connotation.
But the 1990’s was undoubtedly the peak of the choker. Personally, I see the standout 90’s choker as Mathilda’s in Leon: The Professional.
A close runner up being Nancy’s in The Craft.
Honestly, I’m not a lover of the tattoo choker or the beaded variety. Maybe it’s because it sub consciously conjures memories of gel pens and school discos. But very recently, I’ve seen many a celebrity and party goer wearing thicker, plain versions.
First time around, I found the 90’s versions really unflattering. I remember my mum wearing them and thinking it ruined her previously acceptable (by nineties and early noughts standards) outfits. But somehow, these recent pieces are in contrast extremely flattering and in most cases, extremely sexy; maybe because of the s&m implication… Maybe because it takes confidence to wear something so restricting and harsh.
In fact, like my rings, recently I feel underdressed if I haven’t added a chocker around my neck. Instead of taking away from an otherwise girly or understated outfit, somehow, this simple accessory can completely elevate an outfit, act as a statement piece in amongst minimalism, and appear sophisticated as well as bohemian, depending on your styling.
There is even a sudden surge of thick neck ties connected to tops or dresses. They’re not yet in every high street store – the best I’ve seen while searching online are by BooHoo and American Apparel.
Even movie star Kate Hudson sported a dusty pink version at the the Golden Globes this week, elevating the trend to Hollywood and to the masses.
But if this look is too bold for you, finding simpler chokers online is easy. And it’s so easy to make your own unique version. I have used black wool and a charm… Plenty of creative master minds are selling their own handmade pieces on EBay and, my favourite market place, Etsy.
IN CONCLUSION. Chokers have a beautiful, long winding history, proving that a ‘trend’ can be timeless and unique to you and your own personal style.
(ALL IMAGES FOUND ON WWW.PINTEREST.COM)