Flashback for Fashion Inspiration

A look back at the history of the choker

By Camari Hairston

Have you ever wondered where fashion trends come from? Many trends popular now were once worn before. After recently looking through an old family album, I noticed some of my mother’s style choices. I thought, “I would definitely wear that blouse today.” Fashion trends seem to repeat every several years. I guess you could say even though the picture of my mother was from the ’90s, her outfit could still be worn today, just styled in a different way.

Today, there are numerous trends we have recycled from the 1920s, 1970s, as well as the 1990s. There are three that seem to be most popular now: chokers, overalls and peasant blouses. There is so much history with each one of these trends. This summer, I will share how each has resurfaced with a new twist. The stories will be in three installments beginning this month, then in July and later in August.

First up: chokers. A choker is a close-fitting necklace worn like a collar. According to National Jeweler, the stylish fashion trend became popular in the 1800s, mainly among the women of Ancient Egypt and Photo Credit: National Jeweler Magazine Mesopotamia. Chokers and other jewelry in these cultures were worn to protect women and give them power. The writer, Michelle Graff, said these chokers were often adorned with six beads sealed by zig-zagged-shaped spacers.

A century later, in the 1920s, the trend became popular again. Who What Wear attributes the chokers to the Art Deco style at the time and said the fashion stayed through the 1940s. In the ’20s, the chokers were known as “dog collars.” They were made up of pearls or just a simple velvet ribbon with a central decal. Gold and other fine materials were also used to design the jeweled necklaces.  

Fifty years later, the fashion reappeared during the free-spirited ’70s. Classic 70s said
Photo Credit: Pinterest via Vogue Magazine chokers were worn with peasant blouses and other casual, free-flowing shirts. The chokers were often made of a thin, black (or other color) velvet strip of ribbon—sometimes adorned with a cameo or some other icon like a peace symbol—much like during the ’20s, except the material was typically less expensive.

Taking another step into the spotlight, the choker was seen again in the ’90s. The chokers then were often black and made up of plastic material and sometimes resembled a tattoo. They were also wrapped and tied, similar to a ribbon.

Photo credit: Pinterest via Huffington Post As of 2016, the choker trend has been on the rise. Celebrities like Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, Zendaya and many others have embraced this 200-year-old style. Even when this fashion is worn in different ways and of materials such as natural stone or in animal prints, we can thank the early civilizations for a fashion that has surpassed generations.

Will chokers continue to resurface every few years, or will 2017 be the end? Personally, I think chokers will slowly fade out of style within the next year. Although chokers have been repeated throughout history, each decade adds a spin to the original design. If the trend re-emerges, it may have a new name but I bet the next generation will take the style a bit further to customize it to their era. And that I look forward to seeing. 

Tags: #fashion #style #jewelry #chokers #fashionhistory #flashback #decades #1920s #1970s #1990s #freespirited #spotlight #generation #fashionrewind
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