Choker necklaces are a trend that cuts across many cultures and class lines. Centuries before chokers were donned by the celebrities and fashionistas of today, women in ancient civilizations wore them to protect the neck, a very important and vulnerable part of the body. Women from the Sumer Empire in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, for example, often paired chokers with other necklaces as a type of amulet.
In later decades, high jewelry chokers were prominent, including during the Renaissance and notably the 20th century when Alexandra Princess of Wales influenced their popularity amongst her people. According to legend, Alexandra wore them to disguise a childhood scar on her neck, however the tale has never been confirmed.
Chokers were a continued trend through the Art Nouveau period, and eventually were nicknamed “dog collars.” The style diversified during this time as well, with some women wearing layered, long pearl necklaces around their neck, and others donned a simple black ribbon.
Despite a dip in the fad in the 1930s, Chokers prevailed again in the second half of the twentieth century, becoming commonplace in the hippie and rock-chic eras. Today, women of all ages are wearing the choker, which can be found in a variety of prices. From costume jewelry to haute couture, the choker is a style sure to have staying power. Popular styles include thin strands of gold or silver, often set with gemstones and diamonds.
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