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Mindy Kaling's Style Evolution, From Budding Writer To Showrunner

Mindy Kaling’s style tends to evoke words such as “colorful” and “joyful.” The writer and producer often posts photos of her bright outfits on Instagram, and her red carpet looks usually feature fabulous pops of color.

But she wasn’t always sporting such vibrant ensembles. In fact, Kaling’s earlier outfits circa 2005 featured a lot of neutrals, especially black.

In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up 78 photos that show Kaling’s style evolution, from early 2000s newcomer to New York Times bestseller and producer extraordinaire.

2005

Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Kaling at the Los Angeles premiere of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" at ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood on Aug. 11, 2005.

2005

Michael Buckner via Getty Images

Kaling at the "One Night Only: A Concert for Autism Speaks" event at the Kodak Theatre on Sept. 24, 2005, in Los Angeles.

2006

David Livingston via Getty Images

Kaling arrives at the Writers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Feb. 4, 2006, in Hollywood.

2006

John Sciulli via Getty Images

Kaling during the 58th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Aug. 19, 2006.

2007

Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

Kaling at the 13th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 28, 2007.

2007

Jason Kempin via Getty Images

Kaling at a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Charlotte Ronson event at The Box in New York City on Feb. 3, 2007.

2007

Ethan Miller/Emmys via Getty Images

Kaling at the 59th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Sept. 16, 2007.

2007

Mark Davis via Getty Images

Kaling at a premiere party for "The Office" at Boulevard3 in Hollywood on Sept. 27, 2007.

2008

Vince Bucci via Getty Images

Kaling at a celebration of Hollywood's environmental advocates on Feb. 19, 2008, in Venice, California.

2008

Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Kaling at Entertainment Weekly's sixth annual pre-Emmy celebration at the historic Beverly Hills Post Office on Sept. 20, 2008.

2008

Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

Kaling at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theater on Sept. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles.

2009

Dan MacMedan via Getty Images

Kaling at the 15th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 25, 2009.

2009

Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

Kaling at the eighth annual Comedy for a Cure at Boulevard3 on April 5, 2009.

2009

John Shearer via Getty Images

Kaling arrives at the "Inglourious Basterds" premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Aug. 10, 2009.

2009

Dan MacMedan via Getty Images

Kaling at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sept. 20, 2009.

2010

Jason Merritt via Getty Images

Kaling at a Golden Globes afterparty at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Jan. 17, 2010.

2010

Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Kaling at the Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Plaza in Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2010.

2010

Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Kaling at GQ's "Men of the Year" party at the Chateau Marmont on Nov. 17, 2010, in Los Angeles.

2011

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Kaling at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 30, 2011.

2011

Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Kaling at the Los Angeles premiere of "Super" at the Egyptian Theatre on March 21, 2011, in Hollywood.

2011

Valerie Macon via Getty Images

Kaling at the Kendra Scott Jewelry of Beverly Hills grand opening on Aug. 10, 2011, in West Hollywood.

2011

Jeff Vespa via Getty Images

Kaling at a Glamour event for her book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" on Nov. 14, 2011, in Hollywood.

2012

Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Kaling at the Fox Fall Eco-Casino Party at The Bookbindery in Culver City, California, on Sept. 10, 2012.

2012

Donna Ward via Getty Images

Kaling at "The Late Show with David Letterman" at Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City on Sept. 17, 2012.

2012

Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images

Kaling at The Hollywood Reporter's "Power 100: Women In Entertainment" Breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Dec. 5, 2012.

2013

Jeffrey Mayer via Getty Images

Kaling at the Los Angeles premiere of "This Is The End" at Regency Village Theatre in Westwood on June 3, 2013.

2013

Jonathan Leibson via Getty Images

Kaling at a July Fourth event at Nobu Malibu on July 4, 2013.

2013

Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Kaling at the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Sept. 22, 2013.

2014

Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Kaling at the TCA winter press tour and FOX all-star party at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on Jan. 13, 2014, in Pasadena, California.

2014

Jeffrey Mayer via Getty Images

Kaling at the 16th Costume Designers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 22, 2014.

2014

Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Kaling at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 2, 2014, in West Hollywood, California.

2014

JB Lacroix via Getty Images

Kaling at the Fox "Girls Night Out" Q&A and Champagne Bar Reception on June 9, 2014, at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, California.

2014

Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Kaling at the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles.

2014

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Kaling at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Nov. 10, 2014.

2014

Jason Merritt/TERM via Getty Images

Kaling at the People Magazine Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Dec. 18, 2014.

2015

Cindy Ord via Getty Images

Kaling at a press junket for "The Mindy Project'" during SCAD aTVfest on Feb. 7, 2015, in Atlanta.

2015

Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Kaling at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 22, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California.

2015

Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images

Kaling at the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 17, 2015.

2015

Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images

Kaling at the premiere of "Inside Out" during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2015.

2015

Jim Spellman via Getty Images

Kaling at the eighth annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Liberty State Park on May 30, 2015, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

2015

Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images

Kaling at the Hulu 2015 Summer TCA Presentation at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Aug. 9, 2015.

2015

Grant Lamos IV via Getty Images

Kaling at a "Mindy Project" event during PaleyFest at the Paley Center for Media on Oct. 17, 2015, in New York City.

2015

Jason Merritt/TERM via Getty Images

Kaling at the March of Dimes Celebration of Babies Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on Dec. 4, 2015, in Beverly Hills.

2016

Stefanie Keenan via Getty Images

Kaling at the 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 23, 2016.

2016

Ethan Miller via Getty Images

Kaling at the 88th annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland on Feb. 28, 2016.

2016

Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Kaling at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 28, 2016.

2016

Marla Aufmuth via Getty Images

Kaling at the Watermark Conference for Women 2016 Silicon Valley at the San Jose Convention Center on April 21, 2016.

2016

Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images

Kaling attends the "Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016.

2016

Astrid Stawiarz via Getty Images

Kaling at the Hulu Upfront on May 4, 2016, in New York City.

2016

Michael Tullberg via Getty Images

Kaling attends a For Your Consideration panel for "The Mindy Project" at UCB Sunset Theater in Los Angeles on June 8, 2016.

2016

Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

Kaling at the Hulu TCA Summer 2016 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Aug. 5, 2016.

2016

Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

Kaling at a Hulu event at the PaleyFest 2016 fall TV preview at the Paley Center for Media on Sept. 15, 2016.

2017

Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Kaling at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills.

2017

Allen Berezovsky via Getty Images

Kaling at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles' annual Accessories for Success spring scholarship luncheon on April 23, 2017, in Beverly Hills.

2017

George Pimentel via Getty Images

Kaling at the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017, in New York City.

2017

Nicholas Hunt via Getty Images

Kaling at the Hulu Upfront Brunch at La Sirena Ristorante on May 3, 2017, in New York City.

2017

Taylor Hill via Getty Images

Kaling at the NBCUniversal Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 15, 2017, in New York City.

2017

Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Kaling at the Walt Disney Studios live action presentation at Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on July 17, 2017.

2017

David Livingston via Getty Images

Kaling at the Paley Center for Media's 11th annual PaleyFest fall TV previews on Sept. 8, 2017.

2018

John Shearer via Getty Images

Kaling at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018, in Beverly Hills.

2018

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Kaling at a special New York screening of "A Wrinkle in Time" at Walter Reade Theater on March 7, 2018.

2018

Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Kaling at the European premiere of "A Wrinkle in Time" at BFI IMAX on March 13, 2018, in London.

2018

John Shearer via Getty Images

Kaling at the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018.

2018

Taylor Hill via Getty Images

Kaling at the world premiere of "Ocean's 8" at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City on June 5, 2018.

2018

Cindy Ord via Getty Images

Kaling at day one of POPSUGAR Play/Ground on June 9, 2018, in New York City.

2018

Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Kaling at the European premiere of "Ocean's 8" at Cineworld Leicester Square on June 13, 2018, in London.

2018

Joe Scarnici via Getty Images

Kaling at Caruso's Palisades Village Opening Gala at Palisades Village on Sept. 20, 2018, in Pacific Palisades.

2019

George Pimentel via Getty Images

Kaling at the "Late Night" premiere during the Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theater in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 25, 2019.

2019

Cindy Ord via Getty Images

Kaling at the Tory Burch Fall/Winter 2019 Fashion Show at Pier 17 in New York City on Feb. 10, 2019.

2019

Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Kaling at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 24, 2019.

2019

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Kaling at the Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019, in New York City.

2019

Leon Bennett via Getty Images

Kaling attends Uplift Family Services at Hollygrove's annual Norma Jean Benefit Gala in Hollywood on Oct. 19, 2019.

2019

Rodin Eckenroth via Getty Images

Kaling at the Baby2Baby Gala at 3LABS on Nov. 9, 2019, in Culver City.

2019

Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Kaling at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast Gala at Milk Studios in Hollywood on Dec. 11, 2019.

2020

Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Kaling at the 22nd Costume Designers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 28, 2020.

2020

Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Kaling at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Feb. 8, 2020, in Santa Monica, California.

2020

Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Kaling at the 92nd annual Academy Awards on Feb. 9, 2020, in Hollywood.

2020

George Pimentel via Getty Images

Kaling at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills.

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