Trend or Foe? Chokers

Fashion fads come and go. That's why the flannel shirt craze, the pointy stiletto party, and the high-waisted pants phenomenon reemerge (and quickly disappear from racks) every few years. But unlike the aforementioned trends, the more recent, '80s-inspired boom — complete with shoulder pads and denim jackets — seems to be here to stay. No, Urban Outfitters and American Apparel aren't stocking as many oversized sweaters and Wayfarer knockoffs, but there's no denying that certain elements, like neon, aren't going anywhere, anytime soon. And while fashions from the decade of indulgence still sell well, they'll soon start facing serious competition from gear that got its start in the 1990s.

That's right, the decade that delivered grunge, "90210," and "Clueless" is back, and items from that era are starting to pop up on store shelves from coast to coast. In fact, chunky footwear is already hitting the pavement, so dust off your old Doc Martens. And while you're at it, you may want to rifle through your accessories drawer and dig out that choker you used to rock in 1993. Yep, the choker!


The choker necklace — which made its first appearance in 18th century Europe — was all the rage in the early '90s. Nearly every woman between 13 and 30 had at least one, and nearly every famous female — from Demi Moore to Drew Barrymore — was photographed wearing one on the red carpet. Satin ribbons, leather cords with crosses, diamond studded velvet bands, and tight pearl strands were everywhere. Now, whether you missed the trend or not, it's back in a big way.

A few weeks ago, budding fashionista Chloe Moretz ("Let Me In") was spotted sporting a choker at the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Jules Massenet's "Manon." The actress successfully paired her tiered Yves St. Laurent gown with a simple black band. And back in February — at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party — Olivia Wilde showcased her stunning face by topping off her Gucci ensemble with a gold choker.

At first, I was appalled. How could such a dated fad return at such a grand events? And why?! After the initial shock subsided, I came to the conclusion that a simple choker secretly looks amazing with the appropriate evening wear. It can actually take an ensemble, with a strapless dress at the foundation, to a whole new level. Problems only really arise when other accessories compete with the statement necklace or when a choker is improperly paired with a casual outfit.

Maybe I'm right! Maybe I'm wrong? Maybe you have a different opinion (which you should share with me in the comments section below). But the point is: the '90s have returned, the choker trend is here, and we're all going to be seeing a lot more of the polarizing neckwear in the coming months. So, brace yourselves or get back on board!

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