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The Best Choker Necklace

Last updated on October 3, 2022

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Our Picks For The Top Choker Necklaces

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
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Buying Guide

From the moment we humans started hanging things around our neck, there’s been room for all sorts of styles. From lush and layered to dangly and dainty, there’s no end to what you can do with a chain and some bling. But when it comes to slimmer necks, it’s never been more true that less is more. With just a little strip of cloth or metal, choker necklaces have a way of elongating and accentuating the neck like no other style can.

Chokers can be made of almost any material that bends, from thick chains to lace. You know them when you see them, though: Any necklace that fits tightly around the neck with a minimum of dangle (if any) is considered a choker. So how do you find the right one?

First, you’ll have to consider whether a choker is right for you in the first place. This type of necklace is undeniably sexy, but it works best on those with longer necks. If yours is short and wide (or you’re covering it up with a high-necked blouse), that choker will look awkward at best. At worst, it can even make your large neck look larger.

Assuming you’ve cleared that hurdle, you’ll want to look at material first. Again, chokers can be made of almost anything, and the thicker the material, the bolder the statement.

Fabric chokers are probably the most common type, and probably the most versatile. When in doubt, the classic solid black choker works with just about any outfit. Those with a diamond or cameo in the center will draw a little extra attention, but they’re still a great choice for a night-out ensemble.

Lace or leather chokers are timeless picks that seem to keep their “alternative” edge no matter how styles change. Lace chokers go back to the Victorian era, and they can add a little bohemian flavor to any ensemble — or make a goth outfit even more goth. Leather chokers, especially those with spikes, are a staple of punk rebellion.

Chain chokers can be bold or demure depending on the thickness of the chain. They’re also easy to layer: A thin chain with a pendant can pair especially well with larger necklaces if you have a plunging neckline. You will want to take a little extra care with this type of choker if you have metal allergies, however. Those who are sensitive to nickel or other heavy metals can suffer from itching or a rash when wearing cheap jewelry — and the middle of a long neck is not where you want that rash.

Finally, don’t just think below the neck when you’re choosing your choker. Earrings look great with this type of necklace, but you’ve make an active choice about how to pair or contrast these accessories. Thick chokers can be made even bolder when worn with dainty earrings, and thin chokers can really draw attention to longer earrings in the drop or hoop style.

What to Look For

As you might imagine, fit is crucial when you’re choosing this type of necklace. Chokers that hang too loose are a little pointless (and unfashionable). On the other hand, you don’t want it to actually choke you. For most fabric chokers, the material will be stretchy enough to be one size fits all — just slip it on over your head and go. But if you’re buying a chain choker or one that has a clasp, you’re going to need measurements. Simply use some measuring tape wrapped around the middle of your neck to get your size, then add a couple of inches for safety’s sake.

More to Explore

The choker may not be the oldest accessory, but its history has had a lot of twists and turns. It’s one of those rare adornments that was worn by both queens and prostitutes during its big heyday in the Victorian era, but there are paintings of women wearing chokers that date back to the 1500’s (Anne Boleyn’s portrait being one of the most notable). Red chokers were even worn by women after the French Revolution as a sign of solidarity with those who went under the guillotine.

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