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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

My Outfit Monday: Want Mindy Kaling's style? Shop your closet.



Mindy Kaling is not nominated for an Emmy tonight for her work as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, the love-hungry gynecologist of The Mindy Project. And that makes us sad.

She deserves a nod for her killer lead actress wardrobe at least. On her show, a dress isn't just a dress -- it's a multi-dimensional royal blue number over a star-specked button-down that lives on the border of ridiculously confident librarian and fashion magazine czar (pictured in slideshow).

Her outfits are bold, imaginative, spunky and -- did we say bold? -- somehow still very put-together. 

Eyes trained on our style star, Stephanie and I decided to honor Mindy by incorporating her Emmy-worthy lessons into our work wardrobe.

The rules: Don't be boring, and don't buy anything new.

My first attempt happened last week. Stifled by what seemed like a lack of base color options among my dresses, I settled on a structured, sleeveless black Banana Republic dress over a floral Express Portofino button-down with a ribbon necklace. It was a fun outfit to wear, without question, and the shirt made it feel new. But I just didn't think basic black was in Mindy spirit. 

So today I tried again. I had no idea of what to wear, but two dresses hanging side by side kept staring at me. One, plain and red from Banana Republic, and the other, light and crazy floral print from Macy's. Wait a minute, are those similar red tones in each item? ...

Then it hit me: MINDY MASHUP! I calmed down the bold red explosion with a brown BR belt, gold Anthro earrings and hand-me-down neutral flats for maximum leg-lengthening. 

Stephanie, on the other hand, went with a cool black and purple dress with a pleated skirt from Ann Taylor Loft over a heart-patterned Express Portofino shirt (yes, again, it's like we're obsessed or something). 

How do you think we did? 

We challenge you to try it out. Here are some tips!

Look at your closet with fresh eyes. Always pair the same top with the same skirt? Vow to wear it any way but that.

Mix prints. Look for common colors that tie wacky styles together (see an example we love posted by Misred Outfitters in the slideshow). If you're timid about print mixing, try mixing a print with a solid, or mixing two unexpected, complementary colors. (Consult color wheel on Pinterest.)

Don't show skin. This look is all about being sexy in an unexpected way. That means high collars and buttons with flattering silhouettes.

Mix textures. Sequins with tweed. Silk with jersey. Flannel with crepe. Ribbed with lace. See how we can't stop? Endless possibilities.

Don't forget accessories. A statement necklace can bring unity to an otherwise disjointed look, tying it all in and showing the world that yes, you know what you did and what you are doing (see Stephanie's bib necklace, which she got from a Dress for Success sale). Same goes for bold earrings. And a waist-cinching belt can make everything look a little more purposeful, too.

[Last modified: Monday, August 25, 2014 2:53pm]


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