By Jennifer Davis
Jan 07, 2015 @ 6:40 pm
John P. Fleenor/FOX

New year, new chapter for Dr. Mindy Lahiri! After accepting a fellowship at Stanford, Mindy has officially left New York City and landed in Palo Alto to begin her 8-month training, and right off the bat Mindy is embracing over-the-top collegiate attire.

RELATED: Mindy Kaling Gets Festive On This Week’s Holiday Episode of The Mindy Project

“This is the back to college episode,” costume designer Salvador Perez tells InStyle. “We were inspired by Elle Woods [from Legally Blonde], so lots of pink and girly clothes.” Case in point: The pink and red ensemble she wears in the opening scenes (below). “The red velvet mini skirt with sequin lipsticks from House of Holland was a great find,” Perez reveals. He kept the rest of the outfit pink, dressing her in a C. Wonder blouse, an I Heart Ronson jacket, and a Chanel Bag. However, to make sure it was a Pepto-Bismol explosion, he toned down the tights. “I wanted to keep it hip, so we added charcoal tights.”

John P. Fleenor/FOX

Her love affair with the color pink doesn’t end there. For what she assumes is a kick-off party, she wears a bright pink Herve Leger dress adorned with Swarovski crystals—an addition made just for the show (below). “We wanted the most inappropriate dress for a school function we could find,” Perez explains. “I went subtle with the earrings by Rachel Roy, as the dress was loud enough.”

As you can expect, this outfit made her stick out like a sore thumb. Needing to make a better impression, Perez outfitted Mindy in a schoolgirl look a la Clueless. “I couldn't resist this homage to [the film],” says Perez, who chose to dress her in a J. Crew blouse, a Theory vest, and an Alice + Olivia skirt (lead). “It's very Mindy-centric, but playful.” However the outfit’s real standout was the Phillip Lim backpack. “The backpack is a little extravagant, but that’s sort of why I loved it,” admits Perez. We agree!

RELATED: Mindy Kaling Looks Comfy and Chic on This Week’s The Mindy Project

Jordin Althaus/FOX

Still trying to undo her first-day faux pas, she agrees to go on a double date with her new professor and Danny. For the scene, Perez dresses her up in a BCBG dress (above). “It was appropriate that she was overdressed for a casual dinner because New Yorkers dress up for dinner,” he says. To make it a little less “fussy,” he paired it with a Bebe leather jacket.

We’ll be chatting with Perez every week about our favorite looks from The Mindy Project, so be sure to check back in next week!

PHOTOS: See All of Mindy’s Outfits from Season 3 of The Mindy Project