Seven Modern Ways To Wear a Choker

Chokers have changed since the Spice Girls era. Click through for seven updated ways to wear the neck-hugging style now.

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1. Layer it over a turtleneck.

When your high-collared sweaters feel too demure, a slightly subversive metal necklace gives the look just enough tension. (For extra credit, add coordinating statement cuffs on each sleeve like Margherita Missoni did here.)

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2. Pair a thin gold band with tousled beach waves.

Because big hair and big jewelry are hard to pull off at the same time, simpler styles work better with extra-bouncy blowouts.

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3. Pick fitted pearls with three or more strands.

Two looks a little awkward, and single-string styles feel way too wear-it-with-a-polo preppy.

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4. Do a big chunky chain.

If all metal feels overly aggressive, look for styles with leather or silk cord mixed in—fabric softens the effect.

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5. Mix it with longer necklaces.

This tip works best with any jeans and T-shirt pairing: you need some extra texture to make the outfit more interesting.

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6. Completely commit to sparkle.

Anything less than full-on crystals, rhinestones or diamonds won't look half as glamorous. Outfit-wise, you need to balance out all that glitter with a more quiet, minimalist look.

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7. Find a dress that does the work for you.

When you've got built-in jewelry on your side, there's no worrying about which necklaces go with which top!

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Associate Digital Editor

For a certain set of '80s-born, '90s-bred ladies, a choker is made of a thin loop of thread or ribbon and sometimes looks like a henna tattoo. It's a stretchy band of velvet that Sarah Michelle Geller, highlighted bangs held back with rainbow butterfly clips, wraps around her throat before fighting vampires. Some styles include a single dangling charm (perhaps a smiley face or peace sign?) or FIMO beads woven in. The last one they bought was from Claire's Accessories, and that was 15 years ago.

That said, super-short necklaces these days—and the rules for wearing one—are nothing like those of a Gen Y-er's youth. In the slideshow above, I've included seven simple ways to wear chokers post-millennium, none of which will remind people of a grunged-out Rayanne Graff or Ever After-era Drew Barrymore (not that either or those are necessarily bad things!). Click through to see and shop each look now.

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