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A brief history of the Choker

Posted on 16 June 2017

Choker necklaces aren’t just the domain of punk chicks, goth girls or haute couture-wearing models -- to name just a few devoted fan groups! This sexy yet playful accessory is thought to have first originated in the First Century A.D. and has been a fashion mainstay ever since. Archeologists trace the choker all the way back to Ancient Egypt and the Sumer Empire in Mesopotamia. At this time, most jewelry was worn for superstitious reasons and thought of as a magic amulet to protect the wearer from harm and ward off evil spirits. Egyptian chokers were often designed with four to six strands of beads, or made of gold (associated with the sun).


You can spot choker-style necklaces in some stunning Renaissance portraiture, and on paintings of ballerinas and aristocratic women around the 19th century. These necklaces often were more decorative or colorful, as plain red or black ribbon chokers were associated with prostitution. Around the Jazz Age, chokers got rebranded as ‘dog collars’ by a clever flapper and came back with a bang. Dog collars were ornate and decadent, using expensive materials like pearls, velvet, lace and diamonds. Later 20th century revivals include the delicate beaded choker of the hippie era and the infamous ‘barbed wire’ plastic tattoo choker of the 1990’s.


The choker never really goes out of style and is always fashionable, but we’re definitely in the middle of a choker moment right now. The necklace style beautifully complements the off-shoulder looks that are ubiquitous on the runways and in the high street shops now, and it’s considered the best (and easiest) go-to statement accessory for day or night. Here at Eyestunnish, our design team has crafted some truly delightful chokers - a range from simple leather chokers that dazzle with zirconia drops or silver flourishes, to modern multi-chain styles with dangly charm and pizzazz! For a boho look, we’re especially partial to this delicate double chain choker with pearls and this handmade leaf choker with pave set zirconia really goes with anything. Amp up your style and cultivate some edge with a sassy choker necklace!

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