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by Jesus Zabala - 6 min read

What Does a Choker Chain Symbolize?

You've seen chokers in movies, historical pictures, and even Egyptian pharaohs. You already know that choker chains are not plain jewelry pieces. Instead, they have a history and meaning behind them. So, what does a choker chain symbolize?

This article will examine the cultural and historical contexts of choker chains. We'll cover every fashion era in which chokers were popular and discover their meaning and symbolism.

Let's dive into the choker fashion show, from Ancient civilizations to the latest fashion trends.

What Does a Choker Chain Symbolize
Source: jewelrylab.co

The Symbolic Meaning of Chokers Throughout History 

The beautiful choker chain in your jewelry box is not a regular necklace. Instead, it dates back to ancient times and has a rich history. 

Throughout time, you can see every type of choker, starting from men gold choker chains to women wearing diamond chokers. 

Let's see who wore chokers and what their purpose was back in the day.

Ancient origins

Choker chain necklaces date from ancient civilizations. In Egypt, both men and women wore chokers to symbolize their social status. Their chokers were made of gold and adorned with gemstones.

Also, Ancient Egyptians believed that chokes had healing and protective power. Pregnant women used to wear chokers to summon the goddess of childbirth to protect them.

Middle Ages

Chokers gained popularity during the Middle Ages, particularly in Europe. Noblewomen wore them as fashion accessories to state their wealth and social standing

Chokers made of velvet, lace, or ribbon were very popular. They were often embellished with pearls, gemstones, or precious metals.

The French Revolution and Victorian era

The 18th-century French Revolution brought a shift in fashion. Chokers returned, with women embracing wide ribbon chokers symbolizing their revolutionary spirit. These chokers were often adorned with cameos or emblems representing their political affiliations.

Queen Victoria herself popularized chokers by wearing them as a mourning accessory after the death of her husband. 

After that, chokers were a fashionable symbol of mourning and were made of black velvet or ribbon adorned with lockets, cameos, or mourning charms. They also symbolized modesty, femininity, and romanticism.

The 1920s and 1960s

In the early 20th century, choker necklaces took on a more daring and glamorous aesthetic. They were popular with the Jazz Age flappers who sought to challenge societal norms with their fashion choices. Chokers made of long strands of pearls, often called "dog collars," were particularly fashionable during this period.

The 1960s saw another revival of choker necklaces. Women embraced a bohemian style in this period, wearing leather and suede chokers with colorful beads, feathers, and pendants. These chokers became a staple accessory, symbolizing the counterculture movement and the desire for individuality.

The 1990s revival

Choker necklaces experienced a significant return in the 1990s, becoming an iconic accessory of the grunge and alternative fashion movements. 

The popularity of chokers skyrocketed, with various styles emerging, including black velvet, tattoo-style, and plastic or leather versions. They were often worn around the neck and symbolized rebellion and nonconformity.

To this day, choker necklaces continue to evolve, adapting to changing fashion trends and personal styles. 

What Does a Choker Chain Symbolize Today?

Power and authority

The choker necklace has long been linked to power and authority. Its close-fitting nature symbolizes control and dominance. It was a favored accessory of queens, empresses, and other influential figures. 

Today, the choker chain represents confidence, strength, and authority.

Power and authority
Source: jewelrylab.co

Sensuality 

The choker chain is often associated with sensuality and femininity. Its placement around the neck draws attention to the collarbone and the neckline. It creates a seductive and alluring effect. 

The choker's intimate connection to the throat, a symbol of communication and vulnerability, adds to its sensual appeal.

Rebellion and individuality

The choker necklace is seen as a symbol of rebellion and nonconformity. It gained popularity during the punk and goth subcultures and became a symbol of counterculture and self-expression. But is the choker chain symbolizing anything today?

Nowadays, chokers allow individuals to express their unique identities and challenge societal norms.

Good style

There is no doubt that choker chains are fashionable accessories. You can see them in celebrities like Rihanna, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian. 

Chokers go along with every outfit and are combined with other jewelry. They are statement pieces, and it's the perfect way to enhance an outfit.

Elegance and sophistication

Choker's chains symbolize elegance and sophistication, particularly when made with luxurious pearls, diamonds, or precious metals. They can add refinement to formal attire and excitement to a boring outfit.

Sexuality

Choker chains are a sensual and provocative accessory. They are often designed with specific materials or feature provocative motifs. So, what is the symbolism of a choker chain? In this context, they symbolize confidence and a desire to express sensuality.

Love

A choker chain can represent love and freedom. It means the person wearing it also has self-love and respect for others. Also, it can signify every form of love. 

So, choker chains are a great gift for someone you want to express love and affection. 

Love
Source: jewelrylab.co

How to Style a Choker Chain Like a Pro?

Don't get fooled by the simplicity of this piece of jewelry. It can blend very well with different outfits, colors, and other necklaces. 

If you run out of inspiration, take a look at the following tips on how to style a choker chain:

Pair it with a casual outfit

Choker chains work well with casual attire. Wear a choker chain with a plain t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers for a cool, effortless look.

Layer with other necklaces

You can layer choker chains with longer necklaces for a stylish and unique effect. Choose necklaces of different lengths and styles to create an appealing layered look.

Wear it with a dress or blouse

You can style choker chains with formal outfits too. Pair a choker chain with a little black dress or a blouse to add a touch of edginess to your outfit. 

Men can wear them with suits and a plain white shirt. 

Choose complementary accessories

Coordinate your accessories with your choker chain. For instance, if you're wearing a silver choker chain, opt for silver earrings or rings to tie the look together. This will help create a sleek appearance.

Consider your outfit's neckline

Consider the top's neckline of the dress you're wearing with the choker chain. Choker chains work best with low or scoop necklines, as they highlight the collarbone and neck area. Experiment with different necklines to find the most flattering combination.

Follow your style

Styling a choker chain expresses your style and preferences. Feel free to experiment with different outfits, colors, and textures to create a look that suits your taste.

There are no strict rules when it comes to styling choker chains. Enjoy your unique style while incorporating a choker chain into your outfits.

Types of Choker Necklaces

Choker necklaces come in various styles and designs. They can be elegant, luxurious, and casual. 

Here are some common types of choker necklaces:

  • Classic Choker: This simple, close-fitting necklace sits around the base of the neck. It is usually made of materials like velvet, lace, or ribbon.
  • Pendant Choker: A pendant choker features a small charm or pendant that hangs from a thin chain or cord. The pendant can be a gemstone, a symbol, a locket, or any other decorative element.
  • Collar Choker: A collar choker is a wider and stiffer style that covers a larger area around the neck. It often has a structured or rigid design made of metal, leather, or plastic.
  • Tattoo Choker: This type of choker was popular in the 1990s. It is made of stretchy, elastic material that creates the appearance of a tattoo around the neck. It is usually made of plastic or fabric.
  • Statement Choker: Statement chokers are bold and eye-catching. They can feature large pendants, chunky chains, and elaborate designs. You can use them as a focal point of an outfit.
  • Velvet Choker: Velvet chokers have a luxurious and elegant look. They can have a soft velvet fabric and come in various widths, with or without embellishments.
Types of Choker Necklaces
Source: jewelrylab.co

Conclusion

Choker chains have been associated with different cultural and fashion trends. So, what does a choker chain symbolize? One common symbolism of the choker chain is its representation of power, dominance, and sexuality. 

They have made comebacks in various fashion eras, from the Victorian era to the latest fashion shows. As a fashion accessory, choker chains signify style, confidence, and individuality. They can elevate every outfit and be styled with other jewelry.

Furthermore, choker chains can carry personal meanings for individuals who wear them. They can serve as reminders of significant moments, relationships, or experiences in one's life. Also, some people may wear a choker chain to symbolize mourning.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.

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