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Nothing says summery and fresh better than loose fabrics, whether it be oversized shirts or fluttery skirts. But we shouldn’t forget to honor our trusty, loose bags–tote bags, in particular, deserve a loving shout-out.

Totes have long been used as the go-to, grab-out-the-door companion. Some people fill them with groceries and necessities and otherwise keep their totes out of sight. Others use them in lieu of more complicated bags simply because they’re, well, simple. For this very reason, the tote has also become a fun alternative for busy students.

Simplicity, especially in the oppressive heat, can be a much needed reprieve. Don’t be afraid to go for the white Converse All-Stars or for your comfortable, monochrome clothing. A brilliant fashion combination has the power to create all sorts of magic. Throw in an interesting tote or bag and you can bring any breezy outfit to another level. Take this Fashionista, for example: her core outfit is chic and minimalistic, but her printed fabric tote immediately draws attention. In an otherwise pattern-free presentation, the bold text on her tote bag provides a welcome interruption and piques the interest. (Her outfit overall features great color-blocking, too. Note the mustard yellow in her backpack and sunglasses; the faded beige of her printed tote. The yellow really shines against the sky blue of her shirtdress.)

So when you’re feeling bold, remember the tote! Trustworthy can go a long way.

How to: If you’re used to tossing your bags to the side, it’s time to give them their time to shine. Go dig out an old tote/bag with bright colors or a stimulating print on the side—it’s that easy to spice up your casual, summer outfit.