In effect I *have* recommended this to a friend, as I have bought it as a gift for her. Judging by her possessions (classic leather bag) and her habits (constant thrift-shopper, as am I), this tote will be a good fit. The rich color of the leather and the "handmade" quality will be sure to appeal. And I always say, "if you don't like it, give it back and I'll use it." We are on mutually respectful terms.