Choker necklaces—bold forcefields of power and style—have a long, gripping history. They were staples in early societies like Ancient Egypt and Sumer in Mesopotamia, where the daring necklaces were believed to be an emblem of protection for the wearer. And once they'd made their mark, chokers stayed popular throughout every century, with their meanings evolving with the eras. Ballerinas wore plain ribbon chokers, and during the jazz age, the accessories (then dubbed colliers de chien or dog collars) were a sign of semi-ostentatious, charming rebellion, comprising fine materials and custom fit for the elite. Chokers had a resurgence in the ‘90s, when they simultaneously served as a staple of the era's endlessly cool minimalism as well as a fun statement visible on The Spice Girls and other iconic figures. They were—and are—emblems of power.
Every few years, the news that “chokers are back” surfaces—but the truth is, chokers never actually went away. They’re a bit more seductive and attention-demanding than longer necklaces, and the right choker can add depth and allure to any aesthetic. It just takes a bit of work, as just like with earrings, there’s a very direct, visible conversation that takes place between the choker and your face shape and features.
Chokers are versatile: They can strike conversations with a variety of necklines, from crew and V-neck T-shirts to button-downs to strapless and plunge-neck dresses. Here, see 18 of the best choker necklaces at every price point.
As with everything else that Tom Ford introduces, this padlock choker necklace is a showstopper. Take your favorite T-shirt or cashmere sweater to the next level with this sleek, seductive, and timeless investment piece that you can wear every day.
This choker necklace by Dries Van Noten is a moonlit dream. We love how there are a few different ways to wear it. It’s simultaneously elegant and playful—a wearable work of art.
This gold choker is accessible, sleek, and simple. It’s ideal for whenever your outfit needs a dose of strong, gleaming design.
It’s difficult to find initial jewelry that stands apart from the rest, and this handmade, timeless piece does. Each necklace is made to order, so get your initials, your full name, the initials of someone you love, or a favorite word.
We have hearts in our eyes for this green heart and cubic zirconia choker by Hanadi’s Jewelry, which will have others green with envy towards your classy and fun choice. Pair it with your favorite sage green pieces for a monochromatic look to remember.
We're also in love with this string of ruby red hearts by Ami Paris. It glints with the eternal charm of a valentine.
The perfect way to embrace subtle tropical vibes year-round, this piece by Yam reinvents the classic pearl choker by adding a brass citrus charm. Wear it with linen or with an all-black ensemble for a playful yet sophisticated moment.
The giant conch shell on this otherwise simple gold choker is a sculptural, extreme, vacation-ready eye catcher. It’s not necessarily an everyday piece, but it’s a work of art that will thrill you every time that you wear it.
This Éliou choker comprises hand-selected freshwater elongated baroque pearls. We love pearls, but we acknowledge that they can sometimes be a bit stiff—and this necklace is anything but. Pair it with a T-shirt or a strapless ensemble.
A row of icy gems for your neck: This Fallon piece is simple but glitzy, just as a choker should be.
This necklace by Stone and Strand has a barely-there chain that will bring a dash of glitz to your neck—and the heart-shaped diamond makes it a romantic, subtle piece that's perfect for date night and minimal enough for every day. It’s also a great gift idea for anyone you love, including yourself.
This dazzling choker by Nasty Gal is a layered icicle of a necklace. Pair it with a V-neck sweater or T-shirt for a daytime statement or a strapless dress for a night out.
This collar-style choker necklace could be vintage, or it also could be a piece from the future: Either way, it’s unlike anything that we’ve ever seen. It looks like an icicle formation and works with any neckline—it’d even be incredible over a turtleneck.
This choker is like a bold floral crown for the neck. Wear it with a T-shirt and denim jacket—it’s a tough, handmade piece that's like the grown-up version of the DIY flower necklaces from summer camp.
This affordable Joomi Lim choker echoes the spirit of a going-out top. It’s simple but loud, and it has the perfect amount of seductive energy without being too much. It’s a great evening piece that echoes ‘90s and Y2K style in the best way.
This handmade neon green serpent wrap choker brings a nice splash of color and energy to any outfit. It’s a good vacation piece, and it’s a conversation starter that you can even wear to work.
Pair this pearl and smiley face beaded choker necklace with jeans and a tee for a simple day-off look that’s just right.
If gold is your favorite metal, this thick chain necklace will fit right in with your favorite hoop earrings and statement jeans. Pair it with a blazer and slip dress for a put-together look that can go from day to night.
If you aren’t already wearing chokers, now’s the time to start. You just may find that they’re one of your favorite styles of jewelry—and they have major staying power.