Whether they're bright and bulky or full and fierce, the chunky choker is poised to be one of the biggest fall trends¬--hooray! We adore this easy piece for several simple reasons: it adds some posh pizazz to the wardrobe essentials you already own, looks great with everything from a casual blazer to a killer cocktail dress, and there are cool versions available at every price point. In short, this all-purpose accessory is at the top of our list!
These necklaces are so necessary this season that we suggest that you throw on at least one chunky choker¬--or several¬--every day. (When you're wearing a m√©lange of chains, the more the merrier!) If you feel overwhelmed by the look or don't know where to start wearing it, just take inspiration from the fall runways on how to combine the right statement strands with the correct clothing. For example, at Lanvin, Alber Elbaz started with the oversized Pearl Plaque Ribbon Choker Necklace ($2200) and then layered gold hardware-and-pearl chokers over it for a well-armored look. However, if something subtler is more your speed, reference the 3.1 Phillip Lim show, where the models wore pleated necklaces, like the Accorian Pleated Grosgrain Necklace ($225), as architectural accents to blouse-and-blazer duos. Additionally, you can look to the jewelry styling decisions at Dries Van Noten, where pieces like the Plaited Collar Necklace ($1448), which is made of gold or gray beads, were used to add interest to his uptown-looks.
If you're still not comfortable with these oversized accessories, you can also take notes from some of our favorite tastemakers who have been spotted in inspiring iterations of this emerging trend. Rihanna recently added some youthful edge to her Preen Hawk Wool Blazer and A.L.C. Twisty T Dress ($275) by accessorizing with the Mixed Deadly Pearls Necklace ($198) by Fallon. On a more casual styling note, we also noticed that Mischa Barton recently made her outfit pop with the addition of a short, bold necklace. The actress turned up at a Charlotte Ronson party last week wearing a bright pink woven choker with a simple black tank top and a festive floral skirt. You can also take a cue from Kirsten Bell at the premiere of The Hangover, when she paired House of Lavande's 1960s Unsigned Pearl Necklace ($1498) with Brain Reyes' Lace Overlay Dress ($1895) for incredibly chic results. Whatever you decide, just remember with our Top Five picks you can never go wrong¬--you can only hold your head high as you sail into the next season in style.
1. Aldo Heaberlin Necklace ($25)
To ease you into this installment of Top Five, we'll start with the least chunky choice¬--a charming selection, nevertheless. As you might have noticed by now, this trend encompasses everything from hugely extravagant necklaces to relatively understated styles. Clearly, this rhinestone and chain triple-strand beaded necklace from Aldo falls into the latter category, which makes it the perfect choice for a daytime look. We love the choker's perky pop of color; it's a nice nod to the season's neon trend. Whether you wear the Heaberlin Necklace with contrasting fluorescent hues or use it to spruce up a muted palette, this chunky choker lets you ride the wave of two great trends without going overboard.
As we mentioned earlier, when it comes to chunky chokers, our attitude is: the more the merrier. Bearing that in mind, for our next top pick, we decided to double up. That's right, in the image above, our model is wearing two necklaces, both by the jewelry genius Meredith Kahn of Made Her Think. Although you can wear one just as easily, we like the stylish merging of two different metals, which boldly breaks any gold/silver rules. Marc Jacobs showed similar rhinestone strands on his fall runway, which added a youthful charm to his prim pencil skirt outfits. We recommend pairing these MHT necklaces with a peplum frock for a red-carpet-ready look or, contrarily, rocking the inverted rhinestones with a boyfriend-style button-down for the perfect creative-meets-corporate mix.
3. Forever 21 Beaded Chain Necklace ($13)
Dolce and Gabbana's fall runway was filled with kitschy chunky chokers made from tangled chains and colorful charms. The designers displayed their festive pieces, such as the Multi Chain Lipstick Necklace ($1665), with puffed-out shoulders and distinctively eighties silhouettes, adding to the delicious opulence of the Reagan-era look. However, while a theatrical ensemble is apropos for the runway, we understand it's not always suitable to habille en costume. Luckily, we found this Forever 21 Beaded Chain version that offers the perfect mix of thick chains and tasty pops of candy color¬--plus its got a much more wallet-friendly price! Both edgy and fun, we find it an enchantingly subversive addition to a tank-and-bell-skirt combination or a great way to pass a dash of panache onto your torn-jeans-and-top outfit.
4. Nicole Romano Jet Heart and Black Drop Necklace ($187)
As one of our Top Five picks, clearly this chunky choker is dear to our hearts. All puns and kidding aside, we really do have a proclivity for this statement chain with its Gothic-chic flair. Echoing the black and gold creations seen at Lanvin, this necklace is both refined and brazen. While Lanvin's Alber Elbaz used chunky metallic chokers, like the Small Wood and Pearl Choker Necklace ($2754), to accent forties-influenced skirt-suits and dresses, we are also keen on this piece as a means to offer depth to your glitzy cocktail wear. Additionally, while up close, one can clearly denote the pendants as heart-shaped, from across the room, the black drops splay out, fang-like, giving any outfit a hint of vampiric glamour.
5. Fallon Slater Mixed Necklace ($200)
Our love affair with heavy chains is well documented, so it's unsurprising that we thrilled to the look of this mixed media necklace by Fallon. Comprised of intertwining brass, silver, and rose gold chains, and accented with studs and rhinestones, this choker is a deliciously interesting and delightfully intense statement piece. We love the drama of the dripping chains, ideal for a plunging neckline or over a lace shirt to further pile on the texture.¬--Liza Kaplan