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A choker is a close-fitting necklace worn on the neck. Chokers can be made of a variety of materials, including velvet, plastic, beads, metal such as silver, gold or platinum, leather, etc. They can be adorned in a variety of ways, including with sequins, studs, or a pendant.
The common type of chokers include Victorian, vintage, open collar, Gothic, pendant, gemstones, or tattoo.
Historically, it was associated with high fashion, but could take on different meanings under different circumstances. For example, a plain red ribbon choker had ties to prostitution, while a plain black woven choker or ribbon could signify secret lesbianism (a trend which arose in the Depression era).
Chokers appeared in 1798 as a French cultural jewel that was worn by wealthy ladies. Some years later in 1860 it was worn by prostitutes, in 1874 by ballerinas and in the early 1880 by queens. Today it's considered to be part of grunge style which is part true and part lie, because when grunge was in fashion women used to wear jewelry similar to chokers. Lastly it's also considered to be worn for psychological reasons, (choker=choke) in order to express feelings.
- Aldrich, Robert (2006). Gay Life & Culture: A World History. p. 212.
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