I love it when a brand that I normally don’t think about very often makes a bag that surprises me. It makes my little grinch heart grow two sizes, so it’s sort of like a normal person’s heart. If only more brands made nice bags, I would be a substantially better person than I am right now.

The Elie Tahari Beverly Braided Tote is one of those bags that has made me an ever-so-slightly better person than I was before I saw it, and that’s to its credit. Also to its credit: it braiding, handles, and overall look.

One of the last interesting things that a designer can do with a handbag is play with the texture of leather in some way, and the plush braiding that makes up the body of this bag makes me want to touch it and put it on my shoulder, just to see how it would feel. I bet it would be comfortable. I’d bet at least $10 on it.

This bag manages to be neutral without being boring and tactile without being fussy, and it’s not easy to strike either of those balances. Some people don’t like chain straps, but I’ve never found them a problem and I’d love to hang this one from my shoulder. Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $598.

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