Y2K aesthetics continue to hold a vice grip on the fashion world. The nostalgia surrounding the party years of the late ’90s and early 2000s gave us some of 2022's biggest trends, including low-rise jeans and micro skirts (thanks, Miu Miu). While I personally didn’t ever need to revisit low-rise anything, I have to say there is a certain solace that comes with the revival of my childhood fads. With the influence of Y2K following us into 2023, I am particularly excited about what I anticipate to be the one of the year’s biggest necklace trend: Chokers.
While never completely out of vogue, the choker has cycled in and out of fashion’s spotlight. In 2023, the neck-adorning silhouette, in all of its shapes and constructions, reigns again as the must-have necklace style everyone needs in their jewelry wardrobe. Don’t believe me? Just look back at the necklaces showcased on and off the runway at SS23 Fashion Weeks. From cool-girl brands Bluemarine and Alessandra Rich to the forever iconic Chanel, designers were clearly messaging shorter necklaces reminiscent of Y2K.
Let’s be honest, as much as I loved the simplicity of the chunky gold hoops and dainty chain necklaces that dominated the jewelry conversation over the past few years, the resurgence of maximalism and party dressing has sparked an excitement in my 20-something self, which is forcing me to find party-ready jewelry to style with my no-longer-in-sweats looks. That doesn’t mean that chokers can’t be dainty and minimalist, in fact I will share a few favorites that are, it just means that there is a variety in the necklace shape to compliment even the most bold and low-key dressers.
From crystal collars to whimsical pendants, here are some of my favorite Y2K inspired chokers at high and low price points (and how to style them).
The Y2K Party Choker
Made famous by Paris Hilton on her 21st birthday, over-the-top crystal embellished chokers have become synonymous with Y2K party culture. With the revival of nightlife, the party choker has also made a comeback, and it looks almost exactly like it did in 2002. This option by Emma Pills Studio is a shorter, chunkier version of Paris’s iconic choker, making it easier to wear and style with your next GNO or revenge outfit (yes, I am speaking to you Swifties).
Los Angeles-based sustainable jewelry brand Bychari has mastered classic, elegant jewelry. This pearl choker is perfect for the everyday, worn alone or as a layering piece. Whether you wear it with a sequin mini dress for a night out, or pair it with your favorite baby-tee and low-rise cargos, this versatile choker is guaranteed to zest up any 'fit.
Floral corsages have re-entered the chat, and they are definitely giving main character energy. This Crystal Flower Choker from Nué is a great party option. The thin ribbon combined with the oversized rhinestone flower makes this style the epitome of maximalism. So, next time you’re wearing an outfit with a décolletage exposing cut, think about popping on this corsage choker for a head-turning look.
Like something straight out of my Tumblr feed circa 2009, 8 Other Reason's Dark Heart Choker is a casual take on romanticism. The simply constructed black, silky ribbon, strung with an oversized heart pendant, is generating a lot of media buzz . The pendant is glass blown in a moody deep red, so you can wear it with your favorite slip dress for a ’90s-adjacent look, or layer it over a sheer turtleneck for something more contemporary.
The Goth Girl Choker
#Gothcore has over 25.5M views on TikTok, and chokers have long been an important styling piece for goth subcultures. With the aesthetic going mainstream, influenced by a return to pop-punk in Hollywood (I’m looking at you, Kravis), and, of course, the phenomenon that is Wednesday Addams, grunge chokers are emerging as a fashion piece in 2023. If you’re first experimenting with this trend, I recommend a thin leather choker with hardware details like this option by Minokhi. Wear it with a floor-sweeping, sheer black dress to complete the goth-girl look.
If you’re channeling your inner Portia, the controversial Gen-Z character from The White Lotus, then you definitely need to add Roxanne Assouline beaded chokers to your jewelry rotation. They look exactly like the necklaces I used to string together as a kid, yet the kitsch design has somehow become avant garde—probably because it’s been sported by fashion icons Gigi Hadid and Dua Lipa. Reminding us of the joys of childhood craft and play, these beaded necklaces add a youthful vibrancy to any streetwear or beach look.
Inspired by a growing appreciation for natural materials, seashell necklaces are back. Thankfully, they look a lot more modern than the famed Y2K puka shell versions. When thinking about buying a nautical necklace in 2023, I recommend looking at products with mixed materials for either a more contemporary or super kitsch feel. This Ulla Johnson choker is a great contender for the modern-boho chick. The hammered gold collar elevates the exaggerated shell pendant, giving the necklace an ethereal twist.
A tennis necklace has long been a staple in all jewelry wardrobes. The classic construction, previously deemed a luxury item, became trendy again last year with the help of more accessible brands adding tennis silhouettes to their assortments. From mix-matched stone shapes to triple layered diamonds, the tennis necklace has never looked cooler. And, while it comes in various lengths, I love this choker version. Not only does the shorter length give way to easy layering, there is something extremely regal about having a string of sparkles clinging to your neck.
The Everyday Choker
Jennifer Zeuner’s Odessa Choker is a chic and practical option for anyone looking to invest in a versatile, everyday choker. The contemporary, ribbed-gold necklace sits high on your neck, making it easy to layer with whatever is in your jewelry box (like those dainty gold pieces I previously mentioned). Styling tip: Layer it with a beaded necklace for an elevated Y2K moment.
Butterflies and crystal embellishments: What could be more Y2K? The motif and crystal details on this cuban chain choker from The M Jewelers make it inherently decade-adjacent. Available in both brass rose and sterling silver, this choker can be worn day or night and solo or layered, to add a touch of whimsy 2000s glam to your outfit.
I’m still not over Jenna Ortega’s Golden Globes look—especially her Tiffany & Co. jewelry. Seriously, who wasn’t drooling over this snake lariat collar? It looked stunning layered with diamond chokers—a balance of edgy and elegant. The Y-shaped design feels fresh and is a great approach to enhancing traditional choker silhouettes. This necklace, although an investment piece, has quickly become one of the coolest on the market. For something that gives off a similar vibe, but won't make as big of a dent in your wallet, this silver style from Yam will do the trick.