Haters will say this is not worth a year in media story. Haters evidently have not hopped onto the choker trend, or they wouldn’t be questioning it.
Chokers have been slowly moving back onto runways, Instagram and Sheridan Road for a few years now. The well-known online fashion publication Refinery29 wrote about their comeback way back in August 2014, and little necklaces of different materials have been creeping steadily up a lot of our necks since. Fortunately for everyone, the chokers only ‘90s kids will remember made of multicolored plastic woven together like some kind of kindergarten cursive are mostly excluded. What has taken their place is an abundance of fun materials with which to choke yourself: leather, velvet, twisted metal, beads, etc.
If you’re like North West (our second mascot?), you like to wear your custom Fallon choker leaving ballet. Or maybe you’re more low-key and like to casually throw a shoelace around your neck like this girl, post a pic and wait for the Internet to go crazy in response. Regardless, chokers have proven themselves this year to be like some sort of instant ramen for cooking coolness. Put one on, shake your hair out and let it sit for a second and you’re pretty much guaranteed to feel seven times as edgy as your previous library-dweller, Nerdwestern self.
It’s certainly not the first instance of the choker trend, and it won’t be the last. According to Buzzfeed, women have worn chokers for centuries to symbolize their status, as part of their professional uniforms and even to make political statements. Perhaps you remember the grunge craze of the ‘90s? You’ve seen a nineteenth century Degas painting depicting dancers wearing tutus and accompanying neck tutus? During the French Revolution, women even wore red ribbons around their necks to commemorate victims of the guillotine. Chokers have been a symbol of status repetitively throughout history (especially when they have jewels), and yet you only need catch a glimpse of Manet’s Olympia to see that the shoelace choker also was part of prostitutes’ uniforms.
Morbid name aside, the choker has proven itself an uplifting (literally) fashion trend of 2016. If you’re feeling down about the rest of the stuff that has happened this calendar year, go try one on.