10/06/2013 07:03 EDT | Updated 12/06/2013 05:12 EST

Finding A Vegan Purse That's Ethically Made And Stylish

Finding the right clothes, accessories and cosmetics has always been a bit of a challenge for me. When I venture into a clothing store, more often than not, the dress that I saw that looks amazing on a mannequin or on the pages of a flashy magazine, now looks completely different. Under the harsh fluorescent lighting in the change room, the dress starts to lose its allure.

Thankfully handbags are much easier to shop for. Purses are more a matter of looking pretty and practical, rather than where they bunch or pinch. When I am shopping for a handbag there are some "deal breakers" that I have to watch out for. First, it must have enough room to pack all of the necessities (wallet, ski passes, pen, notepad, toothbrush case and, if I am lucky, a compact umbrella).

The handbag would ideally have room to spare in case I need to put other little items that I need to haul around on any particular day.

Over the past few years, there has been another deal breaker added to the list. Now I look for vegan handbags. I have purchased wallets and purses that were vegan (not leather) in the past. One was from a vegan handbag company and the wallet fell apart after six months. They were very good about replacing it quickly. I was surprised to find out that their products were made in China.

The other vegan purse which was my most recent purchase (which lasted the longest and I got the most compliments from) was bought from a store in a shopping mall. It was a random purchase that worked out very well. I ended up using the purse (which stored an enormous amount of stuff) for almost three years.

Then one day the purse started to fall apart and I knew it was time to look for another handbag that would suit my style. I do not want to look like a 'Real Housewife' with over-the-top-bling and I do not want to be toting around a cloth hemp handbag. I just want classic, pretty and vegan.

Late one night, I was surfing the internet and came across some really nice-looking purses with the right amount of sparkle and are vegan made. GUNAS handbags seem quite fashionable and stylish. I always need help when it comes to fashion (it honestly makes me feel a bit helpless and somewhat anxious).

Sugandh G. Agrawal, owner of GUNAS shared with me the latest styles for fall handbags:

  • Bold animal prints, contrasting black and white classics
  • Geometric and checked patterns
  • Top handle purses, small cross body handbags
  • Woven, handmade and quilted looks
  • Emerald green, cobalt blue and monochromatic tones

I have been toting around a Gunas handbag and am very pleased with it. It is a bit smaller than what I am used to but that is probably a good thing. When I emptied out my last handbag, I had so many useless items at the bottom it was kind of shocking.

I am always in pursuit of stylish clothing, accessories and handbags that are both pretty and a little kind to the environment. Oh and did I forget to mention, also have to fit my style now that I am in my mid 40's.

Stay tuned to my blog and share your comments below. Your tips and suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to find pretty, stylish and comfortable fashion.