Let me preface with this: I am not a big fan of dresses. When given the opportunity, I will almost always reach for a pair of jeans instead—and if not something of the denim variety, another style of pants will be on my body. But, every now and then, I find something that compels me to go for a one-and-done type of ensemble. Such is the case with the Brochu Walker Vegan Leather Havana Dress, which has now become one of the only things I wear (even in lieu of pants or skirts).
For the uninitiated, Brochu Walker is known for making a variety of effortlessly chic wardrobe staples for those who like to keep things polished without compromising on comfort (hi, it’s me). The Los Angeles-based fashion label makes pretty much everything one could ever need for a complete wardrobe, including button-down shirts, responsible wool and cashmere knitwear, shoes and accessories, fine jewelry, and, most recently, perfume. That’s a lot of SKUs to consider, which might make you wonder how I landed on the label’s Havana dress—but if you were to put this tiered button-down dress on, you would immediately know that the answer to that question is quite simple: it’s truly amazing.
Not only is this style one of Brochu Walker’s bestselling silhouettes, but it also comes in a wide range of colors. Sure, you might opt for a neutral hue or a color like olive or navy, but just in case you want to make a statement with a pop of color, the cotton Havana Dress also comes in vibrant shades of blue, orange, hot pink, and green. If I may say, this is a dress for everyone and anyone. As mentioned above, it was the vegan leather option for me. It’s a style that works for early spring as well as fall and winter—and it goes with everything from sneakers and summer sandals to cowboy boots. Plus, there’s something about this deep mocha shade that gives the otherwise feminine dress a tough edge.
What I love the most about this easy and effortless dress is how it can be dressed up or down—belted or not—and no matter what, I manage to look put-together in a matter of seconds. The material is buttery soft, rendering the already-roomy dress perfect for whatever casual activity you may have on your schedule. The one minor setback I found was the elasticated puff sleeves—which I’m not particularly used to, and felt a bit cumbersome during moments when I thought my bra strap had fallen down my shoulder, only to reach over and realize it was just the elastic. It’s a minor detail, and one I’m willing to overlook because everything else about the dress is fantastic.
Yes, the price is on the higher side, but when you consider how you can wear it for nearly any occasion and year-round, I’d argue that the cost-per-wear is worth it. (And, based on my own experience, I already know you’ll get tons of compliments on it.) Invest in yourself and your wardrobe with this dress. Trust me, you’ll find yourself wearing it so much more than you might think.
Dale Arden Chong is the Senior Fashion Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Previously, she was an editor at MensHealth.com and has written for Who What Wear, GLAMOUR, The Coveteur, and more. She loves fashion, food, and art, among other things—but her greatest love is K-pop idol V of BTS.