Wearing a Choker Doesn’t Make You Basic

The choker necklace is under siege. Small-scale, fashion-industry-centric siege, sure, but siege nonetheless.

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The trend has been on the rise for the past year or two, but really hit fever pitch this year, with red carpet regulars and Tumblr teens alike snatching up the accessory at an alarming pace. It hit something of a breaking point in April when Taylor Swift christened choker “the new flower crown” at Coachella and Gigi Hadid’s birthday party was populated with more of them than there were people. Since then, accusations of chokers being the “basic” uniform of 2016 have abounded (thanks, Alexa Chung). But you know what? Screw that. There’s no need to avoid them like the plague just because the Kardashian-Jenners have practically made them their official family attire.

Chokers have endured since the days of Cleopatra, when they were thought to impart power to the wearer; they were all the rage during the Victorian era, when wealthy women would wear layers of diamonds and pearls, and poorer girls would deign to wear a simple ribbon (oh, how times have changed); they—as we all well know—were perhaps the defining necklace of the ’90s, with Gwyneth Paltrow making headlines at the 1999 Oscars in a diamond version and every teenage girl in suburbia rocking the stretchy mesh version at their local mall.

Nowadays, they can be an edgier alternative to the now-ubiquitous summer bandana, a flattering way to set off a plunging neckline, or a clever layering piece to accompany longer pendants and chains.

So for now at least, don’t let the haters get you down.

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