Last night we said goodbye to a woman who felt like a friend. She was someone who routinely impressed us with her brilliance right before dropping a borderline superficial comment. She was funny and sassy and a total boss lady, she was Mindy Lahiri.
She was a freakin’ gem.
And let’s not forget that among all her other identities (doctor, hopeless romantic, and junk food enthusiast), Mindy was also a serious fashion plate.
This was the woman who turned it out every day for work and seemingly added a new designer bag to her collection on a weekly basis (#goals). Mindy Lahiri, like Mindy Kaling, the actress who played and created her, became the fashion icon we needed. Of course, Mindy had the help of fashion costume designer Salvador Perez at her fingertips.
Why was she such a game-changing fashion presence in pop culture? Oh, let us count the ways.
1She proved you don’t have to be a size 2 to be high-fashion:
There’s this lame, outdated idea that continues to persist where fashion and body type are concerned. The idea that high-end fashion was created for stick-thin women. But Mindy (along with many other stunning ladies out there) have proved this theory wrong. This character had a body type that was relatable for many of us, and the fact that she rocked couture like nobody’s business was so refreshing.
2She did what she wanted:
Mindy’s outfits were always original. She wore tons of bright colors, patterns, and funky details — it was pretty clear she wore the pieces she loved. Her style was this insanely interesting combination of quirky and posh, and it was just so Mindy.
3 Her bag collection literally made us drool:
Remember when we mentioned Mindy’s penchant for wearing lots of colors? Yeah, we weren’t just talking about her clothes. This woman’s bag collection spanned pretty much every shade imaginable and it was just epic. Like, you probably shouldn’t marathon the entire show and take a drink every time you see her with a new bag, if you catch our drift. She had a full-on collection of Chanel bags, a bunch of Birkins…it was just something else.
4She wore hella expensive things…that she bought for herself:
The narrative of a woman collecting expensive items from her wealthy boyfriend did not apply here. Mindy was mega-successful, and she had the wardrobe of a mega-successful woman, who earned every single thing she had. Can we get a “yasss queen” for that?
5She defied stereotypes about women in science:
Newsflash: you can be totally brilliant and still have a thing for hot pink. Mindy — a super-smart doctor — showed us that science-focused women can still love getting all dolled up. Because guess what? Smarts and style aren’t mutually exclusive.
6Ditto to stereotypes about women of color:
Pop culture often presents Indian characters as nerdy, frumpy, or worse, dressed in head-to-toe Indian garb even when they’re just headed out for groceries. The reality is that Indian-American women can be just as fabulous as every other woman out there. As a member of this group, who is similarly obsessed with fashion, Mindy’s stereotype-defying wardrobe meant everything to me.
7She showed us boss ladies can still wear clothes with personality:
Say it with us: Successful women do NOT have to wear drab gray suits. They can wear cocktail dresses and bow-adorned blouses and hell, even lipstick skirts if they so choose. Exhibit A: Mindy Lahiri, successful woman/style maven/polka dot lover.
8 Her outfits always put smiles on our faces:
Mindy Lahiri’s sense of style was just so darn joyful. It was bright and kitschy, and it could easily be replicated at home. It was amazing, and we’re going to miss it like crazy.
Goodbye, Mindy Lahiri! Thanks for blessing us with inspiration, relatability, and more Chanel that we’ve EVER seen.