We talk style with 2020 Rocky Mountain Musician of the Year award recipient and fiddle player for Chancey Williams, Brooke Latka.
Read on to get the inside scoop on her Wyoming-inspired style and stick around for a premiere of "Cowboy's Girl" from Chancey Williams' upcoming album, available for pre-order here.
Brooke, your style is a fresh take on Western fashion. How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my style as mostly Western with some rocker vibes thrown in. When I’m on stage performing I really like my look to have lots of bling, sparkle, fringe, and lots of turquoise! I have also been enjoying finding unique vintage pieces and making them apart of my stage outfits. For example, my
mom had a beautiful gold beaded/sequined fringe vintage shawl that we sewed onto a black blazer and I wore that when we performed at the opening ceremony of the WNFR 2019. You can’t go wrong with lots of sparkle on stage!
Are there any female Western musicians who stand out as style icons for you?
Yes, absolutely! I have been a fan of Carrie Underwood since her first day on American Idol. Her style is so classy, sparkly and fun! I definitely get some of my inspiration from her plus I love her outfits that show off her great legs. I also really like Kasey Musgraves’ vintage look. She brings a classic time of the past onto the stage and always looks stunning! Another gal that really catches my eye is Reba McEntire. I got the pleasure of attending the CMA awards last fall where she was one of the hosts and her outfits were beautiful - I couldn’t get enough of her sparkle and fringe!
What does Western style look like in Wyoming? Are there any standout influences that you love?
Wyoming has some great fashion and we definitely have some big events held here, such as Cheyenne Frontier Days during the summer months where women can really show off their fun fashion! Accessories such as hats, belts, purses, and turquoise jewelry are big in Wyoming. I always love seeing how girls style up their outfits from the stage with all their fun accessories. Another style seen a lot around Wyoming is good ole fashion denim jeans and a top. We have a lot of hard working ranch gals and nothing beats a good pair of denim!
If you had to choose, which three items in your closet could you not live without?
My fringe vintage jackets, my squash blossoms, and my bling boots made by Jacqi Bling out of Texas.
Do you have a favorite designer or brand?
Yes I do and a couple of my favorites are right here in Wyoming. I really love Pure Dixie out of Saratoga, Wyoming. She makes the cutest hand tooled beaded belts, purses, necklaces, hats and is probably one of the kindest gals I have ever met! Another favorite is my good friend, and our light guy on the road, Rob Wiley out of Laramie, WY. Like Pure Dixie, he also does some awesome hand tooled beaded leather work. Some examples of his work have been guitar straps, belts, chaps and he has even made me a pair of hand tooled heels with the Wyoming bucking horse on them.
A jewelry designer that I love is Jack Allen. He and his wife Dominique make the most beautiful engraved turquoise rings, necklaces and bracelets. They have been working on new projects that I can’t wait to see. As far as brands, I really love the Charlie 1 Horse Hats for the variety of colors and they are so comfortable to wear. I love Miss Macie Boots and the different styles they have to offer. If you own a pair of Miss Macie boots, you will find scripture at the bottom of each boot.
Lastly I have really been into old vintage brands such as Pioneer Wear. Their fringe jackets are to die for and finding one in perfect condition is like striking gold for me! Another vintage brand that I’m always on the look out for are Zodiac boots. In my first show with the band 12 years ago I wore my first pair of vintage Zodiac boots. I have worn them so much I keep having to get the heels replaced!
How does your stage style compare to your "off-duty" style? What do you like to wear for casual days and travel?
There is really no comparison to my stage outfits and off duty outfits. When I’m home off the road, I wear yoga pants and a t-shirt. If I do go out with friends or have family events my look is a little more relaxed than it would be on stage. I still add turquoise to my outfits, but go for a little more comfy look and will always add a fringe or leather jacket. On our days when we are traveling on our bus, I also like to be comfy in a pair of sweats or yoga pants. Jeans are never comfortable to travel in, in my opinion.
Your Instagram features beautiful Western jewelry. Do you have a favorite piece?
That is a tough one because all my pieces are so special to me. I have invested in several vintage squash blossoms from KC on The Ranch that are my absolute favorite but I also have three vintage Western pieces that are so special and dear to my heart including my grandpa’s turquoise belt buckle. He passed away 6 years ago from Alzheimers. I wear it pretty much all the time and love wearing it for shows. I also have a thunderbird bolo tie that was his and a Heishi and turquoise necklace from my grandma that both pair nicely together. She also passed from Alzheimer’s 7 months after my grandfather. They were so much in love and they both were my world. Getting to wear the two pieces together around my neck when I perform is such an honor and brings peace and comfort to my heart. Hoping and praying for a cure for Alzheimer’s!
Is there an outfit you wore on stage or to an awards show that stands out as your favorite?
It’s really hard for me to pick just one outfit as I have had so many favorites, but one that stands out to me has always been this red studded leather jacket from Allure Boutique out of Douglas, Wyoming. I wear it over a simple black tank and black shorts paired with some red Jeffrey Campbell studded booties with buckle straps that match the jacket. I spice it up with a KC on the Range vintage squash blossom and a silver concho belt also from Allure Boutique. This outfit always makes me feel confident and gives me all those Western-rocker vibes! You will also see this outfit in the music video for one of our singles called “Fastest Gun in Town.” Another favorite that I have to mention are getting to wear my custom made Jacqi Bling boots. The Swarovski crystals sure light up the stage and are definitely a must wear for many shows of ours.
Give us your best piece of style advice!
The best style advice I can give is to always be confident in who you are and what you are wearing and do not care what people think. If you like it, wear it! Also, it’s ok to be inspired by others’ style or the outfits they are wearing. We all have to get inspiration somewhere for our outfit choices and if someone is inspired by your style and really wanting to wear something similar, never look at it as copying but take it as a compliment and an honor that your style gave them inspiration. Just remember to be true to who you are and take your own spin on the outfit: Add some of your favorite pieces, or find unique accessories from thrift stores, or your favorite places to shop. It’s so much fun to be creative and come up with your own ideas to personalize the outfit you are inspired by and make it your own. Lastly, you will never know if you are gonna like an outfit unless you try it on, so don’t be scared to get out of that comfort zone and rock it!