Chokers are having a moment. We know this because we’re seeing chokers everywhere and every website on the planet has declared this the season of their return.
But now what? What are we supposed to do with this information? Wear chokers? Wear them with pieces we previously wore without them? Live as though chokers are a natural addition to the evolution of fashion and that like Jennifer Lawrence herself, we can carry them off with whatever we want?
Well I object. First, because I’m naturally argumentative and often contrarian, and also because it’s not that simple.
Trends are hard. Trying to make them work is the worst 99 per cent of the time, and trying to tell yourself you’re making them work is even harder than that. So instead of just telling you what to pair with what, I’m giving you an actual guide to trying to adapt yourself to this trend-centric world. Together, we can conquer this fickle world, or at least look damn good doing it.
1. So what do you wear with chokers?
Ugh, honestly two years ago I had this figured out. "Anything!" I declared proudly, pairing a choker with a vintage sweater and fur coat. But tragically, I was wrong. Upon further examination (of photos that have long since been deleted), I looked the way I did at age five: clad in too many things, usually at the hands of my Nana’s costume trunk. And the only person I hurt was myself.
So now what? Let’s keep it simple: let’s go back to the nineties. Remember the '90s? (Of course you do — even if you aren’t old enough to remember them properly, you’ve seen a few episodes of "Beverly Hills: 90210.") We saw chokers with T-shirts, tank tops, and the slip dresses that have also come back into 2016’s kingdom. So that’s the rule: what did DJ Tanner wear with a choker in 1994? Wear that. T-shirts. Tank tops. Slip dresses. Not very large knits, it looks weird.
2. How about mini backpacks?
Behold: the most important trend of our time. Mini backpacks are practical. They make sense. They allow you to carry a bottle of water around with you in this, already a summer of unquestionable warmth. And the best part? You wear them with anything. Anything at all.
A summer sweater? You got it. A crop top? Dare to dream. An exact replica of every outfit seen in "Spring Breakers"? You bet your bottom dollar. Mini backpacks are the least discriminatory of any trend. They are the "regular purse" of the backpack world. They work with anything, they function on every level, and you don’t develop a neck cramp after wandering around Niagara Falls all day carrying an overly-stuffed tote. Bless.
3. And slip dresses?
You can do it. I promise you can. Why? Because slip dresses are the laziest form of clothing, and any/all lazy trends mean you can’t mess them up. (See: why I will never wear lace-up boots because I already know how much effort it would take to put them on, pair them with something, and then take them off.)
Here’s how you wear a slip dress: you throw it on. Do you wear a bra? Up to you. Do you wear sandals? Up to you. Should it be knee or midi length? That is your call, you beautiful empress. Slip dresses are like afghans in that you should feel nothing but freedom and comfort. No one can mess these up nor take them away from you. Slip dress, my friends. Slip dress to high heavens.
4. You can’t be serious about the chunky sandal trend, though.
Oh I am serious, and you can sleep well tonight knowing I never joke about footwear. (Minus lace-up boots because I have to laugh to keep from crying.)
From afar, chunky sandals seem easy: you wear them with whatever, channeling the majesty of circa Y2K. But up close it gets complicated. Enter: socks. Chanel paired their pieces with white socks as if that’s a thing that everybody does, and now we’re all expected to follow suit. So here’s how: if your shorts or skirt or dress hits above the knee, sock like there’s no tomorrow. But if not, use your discretion. Your legs, your rules. (I just feel too school uniform if I don’t abide by the above-the-knee mantra.)
5. And what about the denim mini?
Just in time for the 10th anniversary of "The Hills" is this: the denim mini made famous in the mid-2000s by Lauren, Kristin, and anybody else whose lives we followed in the name of faux reality.
But this time, it’s less "Laguna Beach" and more Vetements (courtesy of Vetements). And this means that while you’re free to pair it with flip-flops or graphic T-shirts (because honestly we had it going on in 2006, and no one can take it away from us), this time denim minis fall under the "edgy" umbrella, meaning you can wear them with crop tops, tall boots, capes — or however you define "badass" in The Year Of Our Lord, 2016.
6. Last one, I promise: Tiaras? Seriously?
Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t understand what and why fashion does certain things, and the tiara trend is up there, I promise you.
Here’s how it’s shaking out so far: Saint Laurent busted out tiaras for Slimane’s last S/S collection as an accessory meant to go with anything.
So it’s as simple as that — if you want to wear a tiara this summer, wear one and shun anybody who gives you an issue with it. I mean, no, it probably won’t look amazing with a logo top and cut-off shorts (my current ensemble, thank you), but also who am I to say so? Maybe you’ll kill it with any corresponding choices. Maybe this is the aesthetic we’ve all been waiting for. Maybe to be a queen, you must dress like a queen. Which means if you want to wear a tiara, wear one — those who oppose be damned.