The Puka Shell Necklace Hath Returned To Wreak Havoc On Thy Neck

Photo: Everett Collection.
In a most unprecedented (and unexpected) comeback, we doth proclaim that the royal and ever-archetypal puka shell necklace hath returned. Yes, the one that used to pinch the living shit out of our necks; the one whose clasp kind of, like, always broke; and yes, the one whose association is not with its fellow choker ghosts from the graveyard of chokers past (cool ‘90s grunge ones), but the one that, with one swift Google search, brings up this picture of Kenny Chesney circa his tank-top phase, this one of a smoldering David Cassidy (who, actually, kind of wore them all the time), and...this, which we'd like to un-see by way of yanking our eyeballs out and jarring them for life. That's right — it's time to gird your necks. Thanks to British retailer ASOS, you, too, can now get your hands on the torturing device for an easy $16.50. Of course, where some of us will be digging up our time capsules from middle school to dust off our old ones, Generation Z will be buying these copies via their iPhones after their fearless leader Shawn Mendes whips one out at his next meet-and-greet or something. And before you get to trend chasing, let us remind you of its origin. Urban Dictionary describes the style as a "mid- to late-1970s necklace made of small, round white shells. Worn by surfers, it caught on and was a big fad. Worn usually snug around the neck; they were a status symbol until about 1980; they came back in style for a short time many years later." Though they didn't hit the mainstream until the '70s, a decade earlier, puka shells, became popular in their native Hawaii in the '60s, when they were used as a less expensive alternative to floral leis (typically reserved for celebratory events, like weddings and graduations). And, as most trends do, they have come back once again.
They come in different colors, too: Raymundo Rocket wore his in brown, Kirsten Dunst in classic white, and Hansel in a blue-green. But choose wisely (or — ding-ding — not at all). Look — handle this news how you will. Whether that's giving in to the fad or white-knuckling it until it passes, we support you in either endeavor because fashion is, after all, supposed to be fun, even when it's sting ray-ing the baby hairs off the back of your neck every 10 seconds. But maybe, just maybe, there's an upside to this. The return of the puka shell necklace could mean that Z-Boys are the new fuccbois, and fuccbois are on their way out. And if you ever saw Lords of Dogtown (or lived your best life in the '70s), you know what we mean. But before we go, we'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject: Has the choker trend officially gone too far? Sound off, dudes.

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