What Mindy Wore for an Anti-Romcom

YKYLFers, I have a confession to make: I have actually never liked Danny, and this episode is a showcase for all the reasons why. I know Chris Messina is charming and a good dancer and it was so romantic when Danny and Mindy kissed on that plane, but ugh, I just hate him. He has no respect for Mindy or her choices (and he never has, tbh), and he blames her for his own baggage. Good for Mindy for sticking up for herself and for what she wants, but she should not have to be in that situation in the first place. Anyway, this is kind of a downer of an episode, but luckily Mindy wears some sweet outfits.

Here she is scattering whimsy in her wake with a colorful bird print.

We talk a lot about how Mindy gets away with a lot of colors by making them all variations of the same shade, and this is a masterclass for that strategy in blue. Look how the powder blue of the shirt complements the deeper turquoise of the jumper.

And here she is glowing with professional pride in blue and green as she helps her fertility clinics first successful client, accomplishing an important professional milestone that she’s worked towards for years and shouldn’t have to abandon just because her fiancé’s throwing a tantrum, Danny.

Love the black trim against that busy print.

Since Mindy doesn’t want to try for another baby, Danny decides to seduce her into having drunken unprotected sex in a horse-drawn carriage (“Like in a fairy tale!”) while she’s ovulating. Kids, here’s a friendly PSA: do not try to trick your partner into getting pregnant without their full knowledge and consent, okay?

Mindy’s date night look is gorge, though. Sparkly tweed is right in her wheelhouse, and Mindy wears a headband better than anyone since Blair Waldorf.

And the dress underneath is classic Mindy.

The sheer red lace would be over-the-top sexy, but the prim Peter Pan collar balances it out.

The next day at the office, Mindy gets wise to Danny’s tricks and decides to go on birth control. (Which she has to have Jody prescribe for some reason. Mindy’s a gynecologist with a prescription pad; can’t she prescribe her own birth control?)

Elle Woods pink is always a good look for Mindy, and she’s repeating that trick we talked about before of matching two complimentary but not identical pieces by making them variations on the same idea. Here, she’s matching the two chain-link patterns instead of two shades of the same color. And hey, since it’s apparently the ‘50s again and we have to fight for a woman’s right to work outside the home all over again, here is a discussion of chains from The Feminine Mystique, presented without comment: “The chains that bind her in her trap are chains in her own mind and spirit. They are chains made up of mistaken ideas and misinterpreted facts, of incomplete truths and unreal choices. They are not easily seen and not easily shaken off.”

Danny tries to do a repeat of his date night plan at When Harry Met Sally, and Mindy dresses for the occasion.

Look how the buckle embellishments add sparkle and a little preppy personality to that coat without cluttering the sleek lines. The beanie is adorbs—it’s a little unusual for Mindy to throw in an accessory in such a saturated color without picking it up somewhere else in the outfit, but it adds a little punkish flair here. Which is only appropriate since Mindy is sticking it to The Man, and by The Man I mean the patriarchy, and by the patriarchy I mean Danny.

Danny, of course, is furious when he finds out that Mindy has decided to make a medical decision about her own body without getting his written permission first, so he tells her that she is selfish and flighty and that he should make all the decisions because he makes better decisions than she does.

First of all, Mindy decided to pair that sparkly houndstooth shift with a gear-printed buttondown, wisely foreseeing that the monochromatic prints would allow the two different complex patterns to play off each other without clashing, so she is already making much better fashion decisions than Danny ever has. Secondly, everything Mindy says in this conversation is correct, from, “It is fine for you to want kids if that’s what I want too,” to, “You get to choose all the definitions!” to “I just wish that you didn’t have a list of my flaws ready right there on the tip of your tongue,” plus everything else I didn’t have a chance to write down because I was too busy nodding emphatically. She refuses to let him set the terms of their argument, and good for her. She is 100% right. Third and finally, shut the fuck up, Danny.

Don’t get me wrong: I love that the show is going here. I think it’s incredibly brave for a show that started out as a frothy little romcom homage to delve into such painful and realistic relationship problems, and even to suggest that for Mindy Lahiri, the woman who has dreamed of her own When Harry Met Sally moment from the moment we met her, a wedding might not be a happy ending. For Mindy Lahiri—the woman who spent episode one of this show flailing wildly until she had to deliver a baby, at which point she became calm, professional, and incredibly competent—a happy ending might look like this.

It might be Mindy, radiant in a simple T shirt and killer earrings, bringing lives into the world and not just achieving her professional dreams but excelling at them. This is brave and ambitious TV, and honestly I would not have thought I’d get to apply either of those words to The Mindy Project at this time last year.

Plus, the clothes are still great.