As we all know, Alice’s most identifying accessory is her Cullen crest choker. In fact, it’s how people usually identify you as an Alice cosplayer if you’re dressing as her; without it, people would probably mistake you as a girl in her regular clothing. Because Summit Entertainment has an official Alice choker available for purchase, you’d think it wouldn’t be a topic of discussion — but if you’ve bought one, the way I have, you might know why I’d want to talk about it. The thing is huge! It’s approximately 16 inches long, and it closes using two size-adjustable buttons that don’t do a lot to make it smaller. Because chokers are supposed to fit snugly and I don’t know very many people with necks that are 16 inches around, I figured that a lot of people may have had the same problem that I did — so I went looking for an alternative: handmade chokers.
When I first went on my search for handmade chokers on Etsy, the options were endless! There were dozens of sellers offering them in all different colours and sizes. The problem with offering an alternative to an officially licensed product, however, is that, well… Summit Entertainment doesn’t like it when small businesses take money that could be theirs. At all. So they, the big bad film studio with a team of corporate lawyers, do everything they can to have these small businesses either shut down or remove their products. And that seems to be what happened on Etsy: the Alice chokers that used to be available in abundance have mostly disappeared. Every so often, however, they still pop up — so if you can find one, here’s why I think you should consider them as an alternative.
1) Most of the time, you can get a nicer choker for cheaper. And if you stumble on a choker that IS more expensive than the movie replica, you don’t even mind paying for it because you can see the difference in quality. Oftentimes, the handmade chokers are made with better materials, while the movie replica is made of a gray velvet that doesn’t photograph very well.
2) You can have it sized exactly to fit you! All chokers sold on Etsy are made by hand by very talented artists, and they don’t charge you extra to make a custom one. You no longer have to worry about buying a choker that’s either too big or too small; just measure the circumference of your neck to determine, in inches, how long the ribbon should be.
3) There are more choker designs available on Etsy, and they come in more colours. You could find one to match just about any outfit, if you wanted to.
4) They’re easier to get your hands on. The Alice choker is officially only sold in US stores like Hot Topic or Borders, or on American websites that don’t always ship internationally, like Amazon.
5) You’re supporting independent artists, rather than a corporation. Personally, I would rather line the pockets of someone who makes my products with love and cares about how I feel about the outcome. Hot Topic isn’t hurting for money; these artists, on the other hand, are trying to make a living doing exactly what they love.
Here’s one of the custom chokers I was lucky enough to find on Etsy, made by IlluminatingDesigns, who has since closed her shop:
At $30, it was more expensive than the movie replica was at $22. But even in photos, you can see the huge difference in quality: the ribbon has more lustre than the movie replica does, the crest is larger and more identifiable, and it photographs extremely well. And it came really prettily packaged with a free gift — woohoo! Here’s some other cute chokers I’ve seen in the past, and I actually own the black one — it was my very first choker:
It’s the same basic concept done over and over again, but with every person who makes it, it manages to look different and original. And hey — if you’re a crafty person, why not trying your hand at making your own? Whichever choker you go with in the end, though, just remember: have fun with it! It’s Alice’s signature piece, so find one you really love… or, at the very least, get that official one resized to fit, if you need it!