A Short History of Chokers

Updated on April 9, 2018
Ebower profile image

Erin is a writer and content creator from Georgia, United States. She loves coffee, books, and puppies.

A black choker with a diamond shaped charm
A black choker with a diamond shaped charm | Source

Chokers: Trendy or Classic?

It seems like everyone is wearing chokers right now. It has been one of the hottest trends of late 2016 and 2017. Celebrities and models are seen wearing various versions of the choker, including ribbon, bejeweled, velvet, and tattooed forms.

What some may not know is that this is one of the oldest jewelry trends. It has had a resurgence about every 20 years. It is believed these necklaces were first worn in ancient cultures, such as those in Egypt and Mesopotamia. These groups thought that wearing chokers would protect them against evil and give them powers.

Chokers were worn again in the 1700s during the Renaissance, but didn't become extremely popular again until the 1800s. Queen Alexandra of Denmark, wife of the British king, Edward VII, wore chokers often. She made them popular throughout the 1800s and the early 1900s.

They were still popular through the 1920s, but fell off in the 30s. In the 1940s, they were referred to as "dog collars." Afterwards, some actors and celebrities wore them throughout the decades, but they weren't considered mainstream again until the 1990s. Velvet chokers and plastic "tattooed" chokers were popular in this decade.

Chokers didn't become trendy again until recently. Various kinds are worn, such as those made out of ribbon, suede, velvet, and leather. Some are more fancy: made with metals, beads, or jewels; while others are simply a casual black band. The "tattooed" plastic choker from the 90's is popular again with teenagers and other fashionable young women. Even faux chokers are made from high necklines and cut-outs in shirts and dresses. Will we see the choker trend come around again in 20 years? According to history, it will, but only time can tell.

The History of Chokers in Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sophisticated ladies from the 1700s wore black ribbon chokers.Portrait of Marie Antoinette in 1774 (artist unknown)Queen Alexandra popularized chokers in the 1800's and early 1900's.A black velvet choker worn in the early 1900'sJosephine Baker in the 1920'sJoan Crawford in the 1930'sLauren Bacall wears a pearl choker in the 1940'sChoker article from Life magazine, 1944Audrey Hepburn, 1955Vogue, February 1966Crafty chokers from the 70'sStevie Nicks, 1977Princess Diana wore chokers in the 1980's and 90's.Drew Barrymore in the 1990'sJennifer Love Hewitt in Seventeen magazine, 1997Cara Delevigne, Emma Stone, and Rihanna wore trendy chokers recently (2017).Types of trendy chokers in 2017
Sophisticated ladies from the 1700s wore black ribbon chokers.
Sophisticated ladies from the 1700s wore black ribbon chokers. | Source
Portrait of Marie Antoinette in 1774 (artist unknown)
Portrait of Marie Antoinette in 1774 (artist unknown) | Source
Queen Alexandra popularized chokers in the 1800's and early 1900's.
Queen Alexandra popularized chokers in the 1800's and early 1900's. | Source
A black velvet choker worn in the early 1900's
A black velvet choker worn in the early 1900's | Source
Josephine Baker in the 1920's
Josephine Baker in the 1920's | Source
Joan Crawford in the 1930's
Joan Crawford in the 1930's | Source
Lauren Bacall wears a pearl choker in the 1940's
Lauren Bacall wears a pearl choker in the 1940's | Source
Choker article from Life magazine, 1944
Choker article from Life magazine, 1944 | Source
Audrey Hepburn, 1955
Audrey Hepburn, 1955 | Source
Vogue, February 1966
Vogue, February 1966 | Source
Crafty chokers from the 70's
Crafty chokers from the 70's | Source
Stevie Nicks, 1977
Stevie Nicks, 1977 | Source
Princess Diana wore chokers in the 1980's and 90's.
Princess Diana wore chokers in the 1980's and 90's. | Source
Drew Barrymore in the 1990's
Drew Barrymore in the 1990's | Source
Jennifer Love Hewitt in Seventeen magazine, 1997
Jennifer Love Hewitt in Seventeen magazine, 1997
Cara Delevigne, Emma Stone, and Rihanna wore trendy chokers recently (2017).
Cara Delevigne, Emma Stone, and Rihanna wore trendy chokers recently (2017). | Source
Types of trendy chokers in 2017
Types of trendy chokers in 2017
Plastic choker
Plastic choker

Questions & Answers

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      • Ebower profile imageAUTHOR

        Erin Bower 

        13 months ago from Georgia

        Thanks, steph! I didn't know much about them either until I did some research.

      • profile image

        steph 

        13 months ago

        i got a lot of chokers but i didnt know about this history but i love it

      • Ebower profile imageAUTHOR

        Erin Bower 

        14 months ago from Georgia

        Thanks, Nathan! I enjoyed researching this topic. I learned a lot myself!

      • NateB11 profile image

        Nathan Bernardo 

        14 months ago from California, United States of America

        I hope chokers get even more popular again, I've always found them attractive. I didn't know they had such a long history, very interesting information.

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