5 Style Lessons I've Learned From Mindy Kaling (Both On The Red Carpet And On My TV Screen)

I think Mindy, as a character, and Mindy as a flesh-and-blood human being are insanely chic.

Apr 23, 2014 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

Oh Mindys Kaling and Lahiri. My sun and stars. You give me such life. Such inspiration. Kaling -- I regularly stalk your Instagram on Saturday nights to inform and inspire my wardrobe. Lahiri -- I plop down on my tattered Ikea couch every Tuesday, like clockwork, to marvel at your effortless mix and matching of patterns and textures and colors. It’s glorious, and I have so much to learn.
 
No, like you don’t understand -- I have so much to learn. Since moving to Brooklyn a trillion years ago (read: like, five? I don’t know, I don’t do math), I’ve slowly transformed into a part-time goth, hunchbacked miscreant. And mostly not in the cute way. Last year I decided I would only wear black -- or in dire cases black and white -- mostly because it makes getting dressed really easy. I wear so much black and so much faux fur that I would definitely be on the Wall with Jon Snow (my god, Jon Snow) if they let ladies come to the wall, and also if the Wall was not a work of fiction. I am also super into "Game of Thrones," if you can’t tell. 
 
Onwards, though: I think both Mindy, as a character, and Mindy as a flesh-and-blood human being are insanely chic. They give me the hope that one day I will be able to muster up the confidence to quit draping myself in blacks like a chic dementor and venture back into experimenting with color and pattern -- you know, the works. What exactly have I learned from the Mindys? Thank you for asking, loveys! I’ll tell you all about it. 
 
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1. “A Dummy’s Guide to Mixing and Matching” should be a book.
 
And Mindy Lahiri should write it, because she is excelling. Mixing and matching patterns can go so wrong, so fast, but Mindy makes it look super-effortless. It all works perfectly because she wears patterns within the same color range. Also, she really likes green, which makes me really like green. 
 
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2. Matchy-matchy works, too. 
 
As a person who stares longingly at every coordinating crop top and bottom set she’s ever laid eyes on, kind of like the way the Little Mermaid stares longingly at her fork slash dinglehopper (i.e.: really longingly), I commend Mindy for pulling this one off like it ain’t no thing. I’ve also kind of been put-off from wearing any sort of cropped shirt because my midsection is characterized mostly by what I fondly call a perma-bloat; but Mindy here proves that this kind of thing doesn’t only look good on the tall and modelesque. 
 
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3. Plaid coats are like, a thing.
 
And a really good thing. Easy to wear, and super effortless. Now that it's April, I refuse to wear any coat or jacket that I wore during the traditional winter months, but I’ve abso-freakin-loutely considered toting out my one plaid-ish coat, just for Mindy-related solidarity.
 
Also, Danny Castellano, you guys! Danny Freakin’ Castellano. Chris Messina, the actor who plays him, was in my office building the other day and held the elevator door open for me, and I accidentally swooned. 
 
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4. A busy pattern is your friend, not your frenemy.
 
Neither Mindy fears pattern, or her pattern-y wrath. Sometimes, it’s subtle, like a whisper of wind blowing through Jon Snow’s hair (I know. I’m sorry). Sometimes, it’s more in your face, like everything Mindy Lahiri ever does on "The Mindy Project" -- remember that time she bragged to everyone in the lunchroom that her boyfriend was UTI level getting up in her guts? Because I will never forget. It’s literally my favorite line ever. 
 
Also, for bonus points, Mindy sometimes mixes pattern with texture which is, frankly, something that should require some sort of license. 
 
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5. And finally, wine goes with everything. 
 
JK, guys. I didn’t need Mindy to tell me that! First of all, that’s Olivia Pope’s job; second of all, me and Pinot Noir have been doing the dirty for a loooooong, long time. He’s my one and only. 
 
Also, I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned from Mindys Kaling and Lahiri is that you can basically wear whatever you want, as long as you have the confidence. So, I’mma work on that…. right after I finish this Pinot Noir. I’m just so thirsty.
 
 
Photos 2 and 4 via Shutterstock; Photos 1, 3 and 5 via Facebook.