Check the neck

Here's a spring fashion rule to follow: Adorn those throats.

The trendlet

As in, chokers are everything. Ribbons are cute. Leather is bold. Lace is sweet. Jewels sparkle. Like a lot of drama at the neckline? Layer up to three chokers at a time.

Where do they come from?

Chokers have a storied style history. During the Sumer Empire - 4500 to 2004 BCE - men and women believed chokers kept evil spirits away. (They also wore adorned bands around ankles, foreheads, and wrists.) This jewelry-as-talisman practice became a part of Asian, African, and, eventually, Native American cultures.

During the 14th century, people wore chokers because they believed the jewelry protected them from the bubonic plague.

Women wore red chokers during the French Revolution to protest death by guillotine.

And in the early 1800s, black chokers became synonymous with prostitutes, thanks to Olympia, a painting by Manet. Ironically, chokers also were worn by more innocent ballerinas.

By the mid-1800s, chokers were a sign of royalty. Alexandra of Denmark, it was believed, wore a choker to hide a tiny scar on her neck. Queen Mary of Teck (Queen Elizabeth's grandmother) was known for her emerald choker, too.

Chokers were popular in the 1920s because of the art deco influence. In the 1940s, the accessory was more collarlike chic than bejeweled demure. Fashioned from macramé, the 1970s choker was hippie chic. And in the 1990s - tattoo, leather, or chain - they were most fashionably linked to the goth/grunge set. In 1999, Gwyneth Paltrow paired a diamond choker with a sweet pink Ralph Lauren gown.

Street fashion was behind the choker's millennial comeback in spring 2015. They hit the spring 2017 runway - going back to their protest roots - when Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri paired a thin, black choker with her "We Should All Be Feminists" T-shirt.

Who is wearing them?

Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and her 3-year-old daughter, North West, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and former first daughter Malia Obama.

Would Elizabeth wear one?

Nope. Don't like them. The thought makes my neck itch.

Should you wear one?

Sure. Chokers can make the most dressed-down look appear dressed up.



Model: Brittany McGinley. All chokers available at Estate Boutique, 53 W. State St., Doylestown, 215-348-8250;

Tan leather, Ilsa Loves Rick, $79. Black leather and Swarovski crystal, Dana Kellin, $287.50; hand-hammered 14-karat gold fringe with oxidized silver chain, $450; large hand-hammered 14-karat fringe with oxidized silver chain, $680. Gold-plated with Swarovski crystals and faux jewels, Anton Heunis, $235.