Any regular PurseBlog reader knows how much I love Valentino, but since the brand’s leather bags start around $2000, it’s impossible for me to amass the collection of that I really want (which is all of them). We’ve all got budgets that we have to work within, and Valentino handbags are sadly not my first financial priority (unless I could eventually buy enough of them to somehow build a fort and live in it or something).

That means that I love a look-for-less scenario, as long as the design isn’t straight a Valentino ripoff and the materials and construction are still top-notch. That’s exactly what the Elie Tahari Melrose Bow-Trimmed Leather Tote has going for it – a soft, ruffled aesthetic with fantastically touchable leather. Valentino, Shmalentino.

It can be easy to go over the top with ribbons, bows, flowers and the like, but Tahari did a good job keeping this tote simple and attractive, with just a little bit of extra something. The ruffled leather ribbon around the bag’s opening is tactile and pretty without overwhelming the design or the wearer’s outfit, and the bag’s flat handles and large size make it functional for a variety of women. If you haven’t felt one of Tahari’s new bags in person, I urge you to find one to see for yourself. The leather is fantastic and the bags are generously sized for their reasonable prices. Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $495.

Perfectly Pink

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