Admittedly, it is a bit hard to consider portable storage devices as anything remotely cool, let alone as unique fashion items. Sure, there are stylish colors and sleek, contoured designs out there, but the hard truth is that most people see flash drives as simple tools at best and as the badges of a techno geek at worst. Even then, most people just keep their thumb drives in their pockets or on their key rings without ever considering the external content as being anywhere as important as the internal content.

I beg you, dear reader, to cast aside your preconceived notions of portable media storage. Embrace the idea that smart can be beautiful. To help you, I submit to you three unique approaches to making memory storage memorable.

Mimobot (mimoco.com/shop) has taken the most direct approach to putting out fashion-forward flash drives. These cute little plastic drives feature brightly colored artwork, including artist-designed themes, community-submitted concepts and caricatures of some of the most popular current pop culture icons. Whether you want intriguing designs, original characters or a Domo Kun or “Halo” figure with removable head, there should be a flash drive for your style.

Perhaps the biggest thing from Mimobot is the Star Wars line. These clever oblong recreations of the original trilogy and its prequels add a cute cartoony charm to your favorite characters.

One of the coolest features is that removing the caps of characters with helmets often gives you the character’s hidden face just under the USB connection. Granted, it is a bit nerdy, but it is that fun kind of nerd chic that even non-nerds can’t help but smile at.

If substance is more your style, why not do some real green good with your USB purchase? Active Media Products (activemp.com) has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to put out the WWF Panda and Penguin USB Flash Drives. These soft silicone rubber recreations of adorable pandas and penguins are sure to melt the heart, plus the drive itself doesn’t lack any power or storage space.

While you do essentially have to pull the animal apart to access the USB connection, the initial shock of the act is quickly soothed by the fact that you are genuinely doing the real animals a favor. The reason for this is that a portion of each sale will go to wildlife preservation, making these drives the perfect gift for the animal lover, environmentalist or lover of cute hardware in your life.

Finally, in the world of portable functionality, no name is more instantly recognizable than the Swiss Army Knife (swissarmy.com). Granted, nobody is going to accuse the proud owner of a Swiss Army Knife of being fashion-minded, but the sleek red curves and signature white cross evoke a certain respect and awe in the common person. This mix of dignified design and intense helpfulness is alive and well in Victorinox’s USB offering, the SwissFlash series.

These keychains look identical to the miniature versions of the classic Swiss Army Knife, but the interior folds out into a powerful flash drive with a cool, transparent casing. SwissFlash drives come in both knifeless Flight versions or with the traditional set of useful tools, plus they have a hidden pen and either an ultra bright flashlight or a laser pointer.

So, if you are going to get a new flash drive, why settle for just a plain, colorless plastic device? Check out one of these cool, functional fashion statements and you may just turn the eyes of everyone in the computer lab.