There was an outfit change made by Amy Poehler during last Sunday’s Golden Globes that really got me thinking about chokers.
“Why is she wearing a black ribbon on her neck? She looks ridiculous,” said my husband, Mr. Fashion Critic himself. I was inclined to disagree—in fact, I had been thinking she looked fantastic, beautiful, radiant. The outfit may have been a bit schoolgirl-era Britney Spears twee, but that’s never stopped me from liking something before. It’s actually precisely that ode to ’90s fashion that will always envelop me—an era of style often ridiculed but in fact the best one, for nostalgic purposes (for this ’90s kid, at least) and for its ability to keep cropping up again. (If you look to the fashion choices of Gen Z and younger, you’d think maybe they were purveyors of ’90s styles themselves, though they tend to see themselves as pioneers.)
Poehler’s midshow ensemble wouldn’t have been complete without that velvet choker, the detail that tied it all together. So simple yet effective, like the days we used to just tie a ribbon around our necks.
But chokers have come so far in range and style, and so far from an exclusive-to-youth status, that there really is something for everyone. No matter the age of the wearer, donning such a piece tends to evoke a youthful vibe, brightening the face and adding sparkle to the eyes.
The short style won’t ever fall off the map, but it has definitely had periods of bigger, more in-your-face popularity—the last time I wrote about chokers frequently for JCK was in 2016 and 2017. It was that mere few years ago when everyone was making chokers, flooding the market with an impossible array of options. Those options still exist, thankfully, and surely there are more to come.
There’s something so free-spirited and summery about a shimmering chain worn close to the neck, and plenty of other styles cooperate well in other seasons. We won’t all choose to string our necks with a velvet ribbon, but from the subtle to the extravagant, we have our choices.
My current hankering: a single charm dangling from a barely there gold choker-length chain, where the chain glimmers ever so but the charm appears to almost float. I picture a heart-shape diamond or something in colorful enamel, if I’m to imagine my perfect piece (which I’m almost always doing).
This summer, it’s time to welcome back the choker necklace in a big way, with playful color, style, and fun.
Top: Pop choker with lucky flower pendant in 9k yellow gold with hot pink enamel, $1,250; Bea BongiascaFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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