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How Much Should You Really Spend on a Choker?

Whatever you’re thinking, it’s less than that.

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Photo: Are You Am I

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You probably thought we’d closed the book on chokers. That the ‘90s throwback was so omnipresent, so utterly ubiquitous throughout the whole of 2016 that we’d clearly hit peak choker by year’s end. That if nothing else, the choker had heaved its final death rattle when Matt Lauer modeled one on national television last week.

But you would be wrong. Because like pumpkin spice lattes, “festival style,” and Kidz Bop, the choker is a phenomenon that refuses to die. In fact, it seems that our collective scorn only makes it stronger — because at this point, the choker is full-on trolling us.

How else would you explain this $1,700 (no, that’s not a typo) version I found on Neiman Marcus’s site, which is literally just a string of velvet with a gold clasp attached?

Tina Craig x Nouvel Heritage Sparkles Velvet Choker, $1,700
Tina Craig x Nouvel Heritage Sparkles Velvet Choker, $1,700

Or Bartoli’s satin iteration, priced at $115?

Bartoli Thin Satin Choker, $115
Bartoli Thin Satin Choker, $115

Serenity’s $65 Mystic Ribbon Choker feels like a comparative bargain, until you realize it doesn’t even have a closure:

Serenity Mystic Ribbon Choker, $65
Serenity Mystic Ribbon Choker, $65

This “choker” from Sparkling Sage is currently marked down from $54 to $24.99 (I wonder why...?):

Sparkling Sage Velvet Wrap-Around Velvet Choker, $24.99
Sparkling Sage Velvet Wrap-Around Velvet Choker, $24.99

And here’s a $65 Elizabeth and James option, essentially just a leather shoelace:

Elizabeth and James Fiona Leather Wrap Choker, $65
Elizabeth and James Fiona Leather Wrap Choker, $65

Then there’s the Rumi Neely-designed brand Are You Am I, perhaps the worst offender of the bunch. Check out this choker piece of shiny silk that’s inexplicably priced at $59:

Are You Am I Nida Tie Choker, $59
Are You Am I Nida Tie Choker, $59

Satin not your style? Fret not — the brand also sells 29 inches of “genuine leather cord” for $49:

Are You Am I Lilou Leather Choker, $49
Are You Am I Lilou Leather Choker, $49

So what is the right amount to spend on this accessory that’s clearly more than a one-season wonder, but hasn’t yet hit classic status?

Less than three dollars, of course — or the amount it costs to buy a whole roll of velvet, satin, or suede from most craft stores.