Why Mindy Kaling Wouldn't Buy Any Baby Clothes Until Her Daughter Arrived

And the mom habit she's picked up that used to make her "eye roll until I died."

Mindy Kaling DSW
Photo: ANTHONY HARVEY/Getty Images

She’s a fan of daytime sequins. She loves the color marigold. She’ll offer you food from her plate. These are things I learn about Mindy Kaling within minutes of meeting her, as the star, dressed in a metallic teal dress, compliments my all-yellow outfit and says to “just take” from her mini crudité platter. She's as nice as she seems on screen and social media, and quickly lets me know that she loves DSW — good news, since we're at an event celebrating her recent partnership with the store.

“I’ve actually been shopping there since I was 12 years old,” the current campaign star reveals, adding that she used to bond with her mom over their shared love of shopping. Kaling and I both agree that one of the best things about the store is how you don’t have to ask for your size, you can just find your box. “Even when I go to Saks or Neiman Marcus or whatever, it feels like you’re making it such a big deal to ask for a shoe. And you have to wait around. I love that immediate nature of DSW.”

The conversation eventually drifts into talking about different shoe trends, and I’m confident that, much like Kaling's dislike of tiny sunglasses, she has some strong opinions on chunky sneakers. But, the star surprises me with her answer.

“I love a chunky sneaker,” she admits. “I love a chunky sneaker. I think it’s because the rise of athleisure and, like, the sneaker as an art form timed out perfectly with me having a baby. I’m a person who can wear a six-inch stiletto; I love a heel. I always tell myself I’m not going to become older and just [wear] more sensible shoes. But, when I had a kid — I do love wearing stilettos still, but I can’t run around in them. I’m not Carrie Bradshaw (I wish I were). So, I love a chunky sneaker because I think they’re so fun. It doesn’t necessarily track that the person who didn’t like tiny sunglasses would like a chunky sneaker, but I like them.”

Mindy Kaling DSW
Courtesy DSW/Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

The mention of baby Katherine makes me think of baby shoes, so I ask Kaling if she was the type of person to peruse that aisle before becoming a mom.

“No, I am so superstitious,” she says. “I love clothing, but when I knew I was going to have a girl and told some of my friends, I would actively get annoyed if they would send clothes.”

Her reasoning?

“I think there’s a Jewish tradition where it’s like, you don’t celebrate your birthday before your birthday, and it’s related to that. You’ll probably be fine if you do — there's some element where it’s like ‘hubris to the gods’ if you think you’re going to celebrate early, they’ll kill you — I don’t know. That’s very macabre. But, with the baby, I was like no, I can’t buy any clothes until she actually arrives.”

Now, however, Kaling can’t get enough of those teeny tiny designs, despite what she thought before becoming a mother.

“I was fully the person who was like, ‘I will never spend money on baby clothes. What a waste of money, they will do whatever.’ And then, when I had my daughter… I literally have a photo of her in Central Park wearing a Gucci poncho. She can’t wear it in LA, but when we came for this trip, I told the nanny, I was like, ‘You go to the park, put her in this Gucci poncho, take photos of her.’ So, that completely changed once I had a kid.”

And, as we’ve seen on Instagram, Kaling isn’t above matching little Katherine, either.

“We’ll do matching pajamas,” she corrects me when I ask about that. “That’s another thing — before I had a child, I’d eye roll until I died if I saw anybody in matching clothes [with their kid] and now, I love it. But I think I won’t do it when she gets older than two. Whenever you see an eight-year-old matching with her mom it’s a little bit more cringe-y.”

Mindy Kaling and Katherine Matching

It may seem like Kaling is down to embrace a variety of polarizing fashion trends, but she lets me know there is something she isn't a fan of: low-rise jeans.

“I am so dead if low-rise jeans come back,” she says. “Low-rise jeans coincided with me being 14, 15, 16 years old, and to be a chubby teenager and have an insanely low-rise jean, it was horrible. It is triggering, in fact. I love my like, 9-inch-rise jeans that come all the way up to my belly button. Ugh, I love them.”

Same, Mindy. Same.

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