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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. in 1874 it was worn by ballerinas and in the early 1880 by queens. Today it's considered to be part of emo-punk, and even grunge style. It has additionally become a cultural indicator between those who practice BDSM that they are open to the idea of certain practices. Lastly it's also considered to be worn for psychological reasons, (choker=choke) in order to express suicidal feelings.
- Aldrich, Robert (2006). Gay Life & Culture: A World History. p. 212.
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