my late-90’s choker collection


posted on November 22, 2011



if you’re heading back to your parents’ house for thanksgiving…and you have parents that are kind enough to have kept your teenage bedroom as-is, since the day you left home (eight years ago for me!), then i strongly urge you to rummage through all your junk. i will be doing so all week and updating you with my finds, which you will then be envious of.

***excuse the exhausted-ness and how it looks like my eyes are closed in every pic - they basically are. i had been on airplanes for most of the latter half of the day. i am in fact barely awake as i document this, but also far too fascinated to let it wait til tomorrow. you’re welcome.

these chokers, if my estimations are correct, were all sported between the ages of 12-16.

here are the earliest gems from my collection:

the flower choker was a gift from an aunt…and i never wore it. i loved it but worried that kids at school might find it too flaunty and silly. obviously it’s not very crazy at all, but suburban youths could be pretty tough on any remotely unfamiliar fashion choices - learned that the hard way when i wore 3” patent white platform sandals on the first day of school in 7th grade, but i digress. i would wear the shit out of that choker now…so, a belated thank you to my aunt linda.

everyone remembers the tattoo choker, right? the bracelet versions, worn on the upper arm and paired with a tight tank and baggin’ pants, felt really mel c/spice girls/girl power, and i loved that. the choker versions, on the other hand, have always given me this super trashy vibe. i think it may have to do with the fact that you could buy these things out of gumball machines at wal-mart.

now here are two chokers that i wore frequently in high school:

remember “invisible” necklaces? everyone had these for a while! they were really simple pendants strung on fishing line to give the illusion that it was “floating”. kind of like a fake chest piercing…maybe…though it’s confusing to me why vanilla high school girls would want to mimic such a look. anyway i had the goth version of it, a teeny cross on a black fishing line. don’t really get this at all. fishing line around the neck seems weird and maybe kind of dangerous.

and ah, hemp chokers. remember when it was edgy to be a dmb-loving, suv-driving suburban teen? i wore my beaded hemp choker ‘til death, then i upgraded to it’s more badass cousin…the spiked dog collar hemp choker. i want to lie and say i never wore this with fake dreads in my hair…but yeah.

now saving the oldest and best for last:

this has been my favorite choker for all of my choker-wearing years. i got it to wear to the 8th grade winter dance in 1997. it’s a web of black seed beads and silver circular beads, and i wore it with red lipstick, black velvet cross strap platform wedges, black tights and a long-sleeve floral-embossed black velvet dress. there’s photographic evidence of that outfit somewhere. also, i think i presently own newer variations of those exact same items. plan to recreate that outfit and sport it all winter.

—GRACE