Crop tops, turtlenecks, combat boots, flared jeans and slipdresses have found a way back into our closets, joined by another '90s trend that has come back in style—and it’s cooler than ever. Chokers are this season’s must-have accessory, and by the looks of our favorite style icons and fashion bloggers, these cool neck jewels don’t seem to be going anywhere this year.
A simple strip of black velvet or ribbon is a '90s grunge go-to—think Jared Leto in My So-Called Life. His bad boy character, Jordan Catalano, routinely graced the hallways of Liberty High School sporting a string tied around his neck. Whether velvet, crocheted, delicate wire or the ever-so-popular 50-cent tattoo choker, this trend has seen some slight updates.
Avant garde Houston line Nonhuman includes two popular chokers in futuristic acrylic, one with an overhand knot feature in the front, the other a streamlined rod that encircles the neck with a wide opening that can be worn in the front or back. Nonhuman designer Michelle Yue says she has always loved chokers.
“I feel that the neck is so elegant and delicate. Accentuating that area of the body also leaves a beautiful garment unobstructed,” she says. “I think the chokers are statement pieces that can be worn for any occasion or look. I love seeing them paired with beautiful prints or low necklines."
Yue launched her collection in 2014, and her work can be purchased via her online store or at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
Another choker fan is native Houstonian Frasier Lipton of Frasier Sterling Jewelry. She was inspired by her grandmother, a jewelry designer in the 1980s, and creates her handmade line in Santa Monica, California, but that doesn’t mean these boho-chic pieces can’t be purchased in Houston. In addition to being sold at Planet Blue, located in the new River Oaks District, Frasier Sterling pieces can also be found at Abejas, Soho, Chardé, Mighty Aphrodity and More Than You Can Imagine.
Sterling said she has been making chokers forever but only recently began incorporating them in her line in the past year and a half. “You can wear a choker with anything!” she says. “I love wearing a choker with an old band tee, jean shorts and Converse.”
Elizabeth Irvine likes to say her jewelry “provides women with a calming and healing influence for bringing peace and serenity into their lives.” She is not only the creative drector of The Jewelry Project but also an educator, yoga instructor and award-winning author.
“We try to constantly update our collections staying with what is current but also with what we personally like to wear ourselves,” she says. The Mandala chokers are inspired by the ancient language of Sanskrit. In Sanskrit, mandala means sacred circle.
“Used for centuries as aides in healing, a mandala’s circular form helps to organize perception and thought in positive ways,” she says. The Mandala chokers come with options for several gemstones, each with a different meaning.
“For example, aquamarine symbolizes peace and calm. Garnet is a grounding stone often used as an aid for body awareness and confidence, and rhodochrosite helps you get in touch with your inner child or playfulness,” she explains. “We style the Mandala Choker in jeans and a T-shirt as your everyday look all the way to pairing it with a cocktail dress. I recently wore the black Mystic Spinel Choker to a wedding.”