How to Rock Choker Necklaces (Period Drama Style)

If you’re a follower of fashion trends, you’ve probably noticed that chokers have become popular again. The revival of the choker necklace is in large part due to 90s fashion coming back in style. I’m a huge fan of 90s fashion, so this resurgence has gotten me super excited.

Clueless Choker Necklace
Don’t be clueless! Chokers are back in style!

Clueless: Choker Necklace

Reese Witherspoon 90s choker
Could Reese Witherspoon look any cuter or any more 90s here?
Kate Winslet & Leonarod Dicaprio: 90s choker
Kate in a choker & Leo looking dapper, aka what 90s dreams are made of.

However, while most of us associate the choker necklace with the 90s, it actually goes back much farther than that. Chokers, in fact, have a long history, dating as far back as Ancient Egypt. But since this is a blog on period dramas, I’m going to focus on the use of choker necklaces through that medium.

Chokers are very prevalent in period dramas. It’s easy to see why. They’ve played a huge part in fashion throughout the centuries. Ann Boleyn’s famous “B” choker, circa the 1500’s, springs to mind. They were also very much in style during the 1700’s among royals in various countries, including Spain and England.

Natalie Portman in The Other Boleyn Girl, Wearing a Choker
Natalie Portman as Ann Boleyn, owning the choker trend

Even more interesting is the role chocker necklaces played during the French Revolution. During this time, women would don a thin red ribbon tied into a choker as a silent tribute to their friends and family members who were victims of the guillotine. They could either be worn tied in a bow or crossed into an “x” at the back for a more fashionable look. Women would also adorn their ribbons with pendants or cameo pins to make them even more fashionable. It wasn’t long before this French trend of the ribbon choker spread to England.

Fast-forward to the 1800’s and chokers, specifically black chokers, had begun to take on a more scandalous connotation. A black ribbon tied around the neck was frequently used to identify prostitutes.

However, later in the 1800’s, Alexandra, Princess of Wales was pretty much the sole person responsible for getting rid of the distasteful reputation that chokers had taken on. Alexandra visited India often and couldn’t help but notice and love the way the women there wore their jewelry. With this in mind, as well as a desire to hide a scar on her neck, she began piling on ropes of pearls and velvet, wearing them tight to her throat and stacked high. The choker trend took off yet again!

Alexandra, Princess of Wales Wearing a Choker Neckalce
Alexandra, Princess of Wales rocking some flashy chokers

Keeping this history in mind, it’s easy to see why chokers play such a large role in period drama fashion. If you want to get in on the current choker trend, try looking towards some of these period drama choker necklace moments for inspiration:

Choker Necklace: The Abduction Club
Anne Kennedy (Sophia Myles) from the Abduction Club looks very chic while wearing an understated choker
Anne Kennedy from The Abduction Club: Chocker Necklace
A closer look at Ann Kennedy’s simple choker necklace

A lesser known period drama, Lover’s Prayer, features several great examples of choker necklaces. The Zinaida character in the film, played by Kirsten Dunst, is sure to give you some choker inspiration.

Lover's Prayer: Kirsten Dunst Wearing Choker Necklace
Bow down to the power of my choker!

Angelica Fanshawe from the sweeping (and bloody) miniseries, The Devil’s Whore, manages to stay stylish in chokers even while dealing with the chaos of the English Civil War. Props to her!

Kirsten Dunst yet again pulls off some pretty chokers. This time in Marie Antoinette.

Denise (middle) and Clara (right) from The Paradise show us how it’s done.

The Paradise: Denise Wearing a Choker
What do you mean we can’t film the scene with my sunglasses on?

Sugar from the gritty miniseries The Crimson Petal and the White looks sweet in a simple black choker.

The Crimson Petal and the White: Sugar Wearing a Choker

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire knows the stylish impact a simple black choker can have.

The Duchess: Period Drama Style Choker Necklace

Get the Look:

Black Velvet Choker: Period Drama Fashion
Choker with Charms: Period Drama Fashion
Forever 21
Purple Stone Pendant Choker Necklace: Period Drama Style
Ribbon Tie Choker Necklace: Period Drama Style
Jeweled Choker: Period Drama Fashion
Rhinestone Pendant Choker Necklace: Period Drama Fashion
Choker Necklace with Pendant: Period Drama Style
Urban Outfitters
Lace Choker Necklace: Period Drama Style
Free People

Girl Wearing Choker Necklace: Period Drama Style
Here I am wearing a choker from Forever 21

What are your thoughts on the choker trend? Which period drama choker moment is your favorite?

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14 thoughts on “How to Rock Choker Necklaces (Period Drama Style)

  1. When I was 15, I wore a red-and-black crystal choker to school. (hahaha) As much as I love black velvet ribbons as a necklace, I gag too easily so I try not to wear them. 😦


  2. I used to wear choker more often in college (similar to that one worn by Alicia Silverstone in Clueless), not sure why but I thought it was so cool. But now I think it suits those w/ long, delicate necks like Keira Knightley. Oh I LOVE Sophia Myles, I just think she’s such an underrated actress!


      1. No, never even heard of it! What is it about? But I’ll watch it just for her.

        Btw, if you like period dramas, check out this documentary on youtube & hulu called The Rise & Fall of Versailles, esp the one on Louis XV with my French crush Stanley Weber as the king. It’s such a great documentary, learning French history couldn’t be more fun than that 😉


      2. It sounds kinda ridiculous, but it’s basically about a group of younger sons who can’t inherit any fortune bc they’re the youngest, so they flirt with, abduct, and marry wealthy heiresses. It’s definitely one of the funner period films I’ve seen.

        And I’ll have to set aside some time to watch that documentary. Sounds interesting 🙂


      3. Hey sounds good! Where can I watch it? I doubt Netflix has it. As for the doc, well the eye candy factor is through the roof, it’s funny as I never imagined French monarchs to be THAT good looking 😛


      4. Yeah, it’s not on Netflix. I’m not sure how I managed to watch it when I did. I think I may have googled the movie title and was able to stream it. I know not everyone likes watching movies that way however lol.


  3. Cool history lesson on chokers. The simple black ribbon was a big favorite back then it would seem. What’s your opinion on the pearl choker for today?


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