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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

I was wearing chokers when you were a gleam in your mother's eye, maybe even your mother's mother's eye, depending on how young your mother was

Taylor Swift at the BMI Pop Awards in May, probably pointing to all the old ladies who said, "Back in my day, when we wore chokers..."


Taylor Swift at the BMI Pop Awards in May, probably pointing to all the old ladies who said, "Back in my day, when we wore chokers..."



Most people can recall a parental figure saying something along the lines of, "Bell bottoms are back in style? I should have never gotten rid of anything! I'd be cool again!" When you are young, this kind of remark is annoying at best, something that elders say while discussing how many miles they walked to school and which directions the hills went, and how many warm potatoes they carried in their pockets because back then you were grateful for what you had. 

It's like that until it happens to you. In my case, it's chokers.

They are back, in a really big way. Pick your favorite side of the Swift-Kardashian battle, and you'll find a choker with which to unite them. Head into any mall. Look around at all the young ladies who were still in nappies the first time chokers were a thing. Chokers are back in style? I should have never gotten rid of anything! I'd be cool again!

Me, below: 

See, I know from chokers. The first time I wore one was in the 90s, a velvet strip with a carved cameo on the front. I got it for my uncle's wedding, paired with an off-shoulder white peasant blouse and palazzo pants. A Jordan Catalano fever dream.

I'd like to provide a few more personal historical choker exhibits. Below, a collage of me from age 17 to, oh, maybe 22. Clockwise from top left: Me strangling my neck with a vanishing tattoo choker; me with the same choker, plus a rad pixie cut; me in a rhinestone choker from fine jeweler "The Icing" on prom night; me, half asleep wearing my favorite choker, which was actually a strip of black tights that I cut off in my bedroom and wore for like three years.

Here I am at 17, featured in the Tampa Tribune, job shadowing the woman who played Sylvia Fine on The Nanny for career day. In a choker. No, I did not make any of that up.

And finally, here is my driver's license, with all important information obscured by my wallet, so don't get any ideas.

AS YOU CAN SEE based on the above evidence that would hold up in any court of law, I am very experienced when it comes to chokers. And so when they suddenly seemed to roar back into the public fashion consciousness, I was both delighted and confused.

I wanted to run back into the arms of a choker, like a long lost friend who had finally decided she was truly over "the weirdness with Joe and the shaving cream at the DMB show, and then Kelsey got involved, and things got said."

But I also knew buying a throwback tattoo choker in my 30s was kind of like being that kid who returns to the high school parking lot in his Nissan Sentra for years after he has actually graduated. No one wants to be that guy. People talk about that guy.

What to do? 

I decided I would partake in the choker trend, but in a way that moved things forward. I kept things age-inappropriate by picking up a gold ("gold") choker from another fine jeweler called "Forever 21." Lately I have been layering it with a variety of necklaces of differing lengths. I think it adds dimension to what, let's be honest, is a pretty harsh style. I'm not really sure who decided drawing a horizontal line across your neck was the height of elegance, and why I have blindly accepted it for all these years. But, why ask questions now?

Here's my thing today:

Kind of tattoo-y, but also kind of delicate, IMHO. The necklace below was a gift from my friend, Mary, and it says "Happy." I like the contrast it makes with my typical face.

Here are a few other options I find compelling. This blue lace number from F21 has a Victorian vibe that I'm not mad at, though I am kind of annoyed at the weird open-mouthed thing on the model. This one is a cool $3.90.

I dig this floral showstopper from Free People, $38. (Again with the open mouth.)

Bow? I'd wear a bow. $18 from NastyGal. (Three for three on the mouths, what is going on?)

Please, share with us your humiliating choker photos from the 90s and early 2000s. Tweet us at @dealdivas, and we will bestow you with lots of high fives and praise. If you've found a way to update the look past Cher Horowitz territory, even better.

[Last modified: Friday, August 26, 2016 3:38pm]


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