What Is a Choker Necklace? Here's What You Need to Know

Chokers are a breath of fresh air! They are some of the trendiest necklaces on the market, yet they have a timeless and beautiful aesthetic.

But you shouldn’t grab hold of a choker just yet. To make the most of this incredible necklace, you need to learn everything about it. What is a choker necklace? Here’s your guide to answering that question! 

The Basics of the Choker Necklace

A choker necklace is a tight-fitting necklace around the neck. You can wear it around any part of your neck, though most people like to wear theirs on or near the bottom of their necks.

You can wear chokers of any material or length. Most chokers are more than one foot long to wrap comfortably around the neck.

Chokers are perfect if you’re looking to draw attention to your neck. They work best for people with long and slender necks, though people with short necklines can wear them.

Related: Most Popular Necklaces

Types of Choker Necklaces

Chokers date back to Sumer in 2500 BCE. Since then, choker necklaces have been a status symbol for wealthy people and royalty. Wearing a choker can make you seem more formal, conservative, and classy. But you can find many types of chokers with various effects on your attire.

Bandana Chokers

Some bandana chokers are made with actual bandanas, which makes them a perfect choice if you want soft fabric against your neck. Other chokers resemble bandanas but have different materials, creating an informal aesthetic. You can find bandana necklaces with gold hardware, including clasps.

Dainty Chokers

As the name suggests, dainty chokers are thin necklaces with few accessories. You can wear them to formal events and in offices and pair them well with open and closed-collar shirts. 

Diamond Chokers

Diamond chokers have at least one diamond as a centerpiece. They work well as jewelry for black dresses and off-the-shoulder gowns. In addition, you can pair them with other jewelry pieces with diamonds in them, including diamond earrings.

Pearl Chokers

Pearl chokers have multiple pearls, and some of them are made entirely with pearls. You can buy necklaces that have flowers made of pearls, various strands, and gold-filled pearls. You can wear a pearl choker with an evening gown, cocktail dress, or summer dress.

Related: How to Clean Your Pearls

Ribbon Chokers

Ribbon chokers are made with ribbons, usually black ones. They are the simplest form of chokers; most have no accessories, and you can tie them around your neck. They are also very soft on the skin and comfortable to wear. To add texture to your necklace, make a knot on the front of the throat and have a piece of fabric dangle. 

Tattoo Chokers

Tattoo chokers resemble henna tattoos, which are thin and have many shapes. Most tattoo chokers are black, but you can find ones in other colors. You can purchase a necklace with an accessory like a precious gemstone.

Tattoo chokers were a major fashion trend in the 1990s, so they’re great if you want your outfit to refer back to that time. They also work well for Halloween or goth-themed parties.

Velvet Chokers

Velvet chokers are perfect if you like a gothic aesthetic. They are also easy to spot from a distance, and you can pair them with casual outfits. You can find necklaces of various colors, though most velvet chokers are black. 

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Tips for Wearing Chokers

Before you start wearing chokers, there are a few things you need to know so you wear them correctly.

Measure Your Neck

Before you buy a choker, you need to measure your neck so you know how long your necklace should be. Grab a flexible tape measure and wrap it around your neck, measuring your neck in inches.

You want a necklace that is only slightly bigger than the circumference of your neck. Your choker should wrap around your throat without sagging or being too tight.

In general, the wider your neck is, the thinner you want your choker to be. You don’t want it so thin that people cannot see it, but wearing a thick necklace around a wide neck can look awkward. 

Try Out Your Chokers

Never buy a necklace without trying it on first. This rule is essential for chokers, as wearing a choker that is too tight can be highly uncomfortable.

When you try a choker on, stand in front of a mirror and look at the sides and back of your neck. Your skin should not bulge out from the sides of your necklace. Try slipping a finger underneath your necklace; if you cannot fit your finger underneath the choker, the choker will likely be too tight for you. You should also try turning your head left and right to see if it chokes you then. 

Layer a Few Thin Chokers

You can wear a few small and thin chokers instead of wearing one large one. Wearing multiple chokers can call more attention to your neck and let you incorporate different colors and textures into your wardrobe.

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You can also pair your choker with another type of necklace. A lariat necklace has no clasp; you tie a knot with it, and the necklace drapes down to resemble a pendant.

Consider wearing your lariat necklace in reverse, with the long part dangling down your back, which will call attention to the back of your neck. Pairing your choker with a bar necklace can create a mixture of textures that is visually appealing.

In general, you want to wear two or more necklaces with the same metal. Mixing gold with silver necklaces can be too jarring, especially if they are of different sizes and shapes. If you want to wear chokers with different materials, consider matching a metal choker to a ribbon, rubber, or plastic choker. 

Related: Mixing Metal Jewelry

Wear Smaller Earrings

Small earrings can complement your choker well. They won’t dangle down and touch your necklace, and they can add a balance of widths and textures to your appearance. 

Try to wear earrings that won’t make your face look boxy. Round jewelry can balance the shapes of your accessories.