Style

A Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Shaheen Kabir is a postdoctoral scholar in molecular and cell biology, and she lives in San Francisco with her husband and eight-month-old daughter. “I want to tell any girls, like her, who might want to go into science: Science is fun! Don’t be intimidated by it,” she says. Here, Shaheen shares five beautiful outfits she wore in a week…

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Top: Uniqlo. Pants: Gap. Blue ring: from Tanzania. Watch: Withings. Shoes: Bobbies.

“I work in a lab at Berkeley. Most people wear their oldest jeans and a T-shirt — they literally roll out of bed — but I have trouble doing that. Dressing up helps me get into the mindset of now-I’m-at-work. I always go for high-waisted jeans because, after having a baby, it helps! I’m like, oh, now I get what old-school mom jeans were supposed to be doing! I also wear a Withings watch, since I’m obsessed with tracking my sleep and steps. I like seeing when I was in deep and light sleep and then comparing it to how I feel after I wake up and thinking, does it correlate? Basically, I love all the data! My friends are like, how do you get to 10,000 steps? But, when working in the lab, I’m on my feet all day.”

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Top: Gap, similar. Skirt: Anthropologie, similar. Sandals: Loeffler Randall.

“My mom wore traditional Pakistani outfits when I was growing up; I’m really comfortable in them. I love this flowy brightly colored skirt, which resembles a lot of Pakistani clothes. The countries in my life all influence my style, whether it’s dressing in blue jeans or a long skirt. My extended family lives in Pakistan, and I grew up in Tanzania. I got my Ph.D. in New York City, where I met my husband, who is from Paris. Then we both moved to San Francisco for work. I love all the places that are part of our lives.”

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Jumpsuit: Urban Outfitters. Fringe bag: from Tunisia, similar. Sandals: Loeffler Randall.

“My style has evolved in San Francisco, where everyone dresses more casually. The jumpsuit is the perfect mix of casual and still bringing it a little bit. I wear it with a cardigan at work (the rule in the lab is to cover your extremities in case there’s a spill) and afterward I can slip off the cardigan and be ready for happy hour! My big silver ring is from Pakistan. Buying jewelry online makes me nervous because you can’t always tell how it’s sourced. So, when I travel, instead of getting souvenirs, I’ll find a piece of local jewelry. And you don’t have to worry about fitting it into your suitcase! Oh, and confession: I’m actually just wearing these silicone petals. They’re sticky and reusable. And I like the strapless bras from ThirdLove — they have customized sizes that don’t slip down.”

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Top: Ann Taylor, similar. Vest: Aldo, similar. Jeans: Madewell. Lipstick: Red Velvet Luxe Lip by Bobbi Brown. Shoes: Bobbies.

“My husband’s biggest pet peeve is that, whenever I go shopping, I bring everything back to try on at home. That way, I don’t have to deal with lines for the dressing room, and I make sure the new pieces will work with the rest of my wardrobe. My husband’s like, ‘But then you have to return things and that’s a hassle!’ Somehow I don’t mind it. This vest is my daughter’s favorite thing to cuddle up against. She likes anything that she can grab onto, including my hair.”

Week of Outfits: Shaheen Kabir

Dress: Everlane. Shoes: Bobbies.

“This is my easiest outfit because San Francisco is always this weird temperature — cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. This dress is easy to throw on and feels like I’ve compiled an outfit. My brother-in-law has a shoe company in Paris, and he lets me try pairs from every collection. I’ve essentially stopped buying shoes! They don’t need breaking in; I can wear them without Band-Aids from day one. I used to wear heels, but as I got into my thirties, I was like, I’m much happier walking everywhere in flats. I’m really comfortable with my style now.”

Thank you so much, Shaheen!

P.S. More women share their week of outfits, including a screenwriter, non-profit lawyer and plus-size model.

(Photos by Sarah Hebenstreit/Modern Kids.)

  1. Elizabeth says...

    I live in Sydney, Australia, so the climate is similar to San Fransisco. Shaheen’s style is so pared back and elegant. I love it. And now I also love my new Bobbies, the same as hers but in Anthracite grey. They got from Paris to Sydney in 3 days, and they are gorgeous. I would highly recommend.

  2. Joie Gahum says...

    I love the last picture. So plain, simple just the way I like it. Maybe with my case I’ll my Cicihot plain light blue dress with blue shoes as well. Just to experiment. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Elizabeth says...

    I was so excited to see a feature from someone who works across campus from me! The culture at Berkeley (in science, at least) is definitely very casual, with hardly anyone caring if they’re in pajamas or not. I often feel like the odd one out because I put some effort into getting ready for my day, and I loved hearing from Shaheen and seeing her outfit inspirations! Thanks CoJ!

  4. Christina says...

    Love her style! She’s gorgeous!

  5. Can I just say that this is probably one of my favourite features on your blog? Please never stop!

  6. Calliope says...

    Best week of outfits so far! Impeccable style!

  7. Your jumpsuit looks amazing ! I really like it. I would love to live in LA because It honestly looks stunning !

  8. Aimee says...

    I just bought a pair of navy blue loafer bobbies- so excited to try them out!
    PS Shaheen is correct about the weird temperature in San Francisco. It took me several years to build up a wardrobe including enough sweater/jacket/scarf layering options after moving here from LA!

  9. Angela says...

    Thanks to Shaheen, I now have several pairs of Bobbies on my wishlist! Loved this week of outfits.

  10. Can we talk about how beautiful and well dressed and driven and intelligent she seems to be?! Love that you are featuring a woman who works in a male dominated field and still lets herself shine! You can be smart and dress cute, and one does not negate the other.

    It reminds me of my 20 something friend Amber who works in tech (generally with all middle aged men), but still takes care of herself and cultivates her creativity outside of work. She spotlights other women doing the same too – http://www.hereforafew.com

    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  11. Alison Briggs says...

    love this! one of my favs so far!!

  12. Rae says...

    Has anyone tried to order from the Bobbies site? Every time I try to add something to the “address alias” field when registering nothing happens…

    • Angie says...

      It worked fine for me when I ordered. I just put “home” in that field. Also, I ordered shoes on Tuesday and they were delivered today, from France. So the $20 shipping is totally worth it!

  13. Jen says...

    I can tell that y’all listened to readers who were asking for more affordable, approachable clothes. *and* she’s a woman of color in STEM. Thank you for listening and doing such great, thoughtful, beautiful work!

  14. Tracy says...

    She is so naturally beautiful! Loved it.

  15. I love Shaheen’s style! It’s fun to see a San Franciscan featured. I totally agree on the mom jean magic :)

  16. Pvroom says...

    LOVE THIS. She is inspirational :)

  17. I love Shaheen’s style, particularly the shoes, they are sooo cute. Pen x

  18. Lauren says...

    She looks so great! And I didn’t know bobbies before…several pairs on a wish list now!

  19. Rue says...

    High fives to my fellow women in STEM!

  20. Wow she is beautiful and I would wear any of these!

  21. Bec says...

    Yep I would love every single one of those outfits! She wears them all beautifully!

  22. Nadia says...

    Just stunning!!!!! Her clothes, her face, her hair, her intelligence…..gorgeous!

  23. Krisanne says...

    My favorite style post yet! What a smart, gorgeous woman!

  24. Kathryn says...

    Beauty uniform please! Love her.

  25. Siddhi says...

    omg can she do a beauty uniform too? she’s stunning!! Plus it’s hard to find beauty inspiration from other south asian scientists (I’m one too!). Thanks =)

  26. Hana says...

    What a great sense of style!!

  27. S. Kiswani says...

    Love love loved this post!! Shaheen is absolutely stunning!

  28. Kirsten says...

    I wholeheartedly endorse the Withings watch! It’s cute and doesn’t look one bit like a fitness tracker. I love mine–the beige color– and cannot live without it.

  29. Kate says...

    Thank you for sharing more about WOC- especially a woman in science! Fantastic, practical outfits, I love it!
    Kate

  30. jen says...

    Wow, love her and every single one of her outfits. Who knew my fashion twin was some brainiac in San Francisco when Im a lazy AZ writer?

  31. AJH says...

    She is so inspiring! A smart, beautiful, stylish wife and mother. She is the modern woman

  32. My favorite Week of Outfits EVER. This girl is just awesome! And FINALLY someone who shops at the same places I do!! I have a hard time identifying with a lot of the high-end items featured here, not really in my budget, so it is so incredibly refreshing to see amazing outfits compiled from Gap, Madewell, Ann Taylor, etc.

    Shabeen you rock!

  33. Smart, beautiful, and stylish!

  34. Johanna says...

    She is just lovely. Her style is amazing. She is beautiful. And most importantly she’s a brainiac!!!!

  35. Barbara Jane says...

    ok, i’d like to see Shaheen’s outfits every day, forever. she looks so cool, elegant, but relaxed!

  36. Jessica says...

    Shaheen is absolutely stunning. I love how authentically happy she looks in each photograph, and how she owns her true style.

    I’ve been making a slow transition to flats from heels and I have realized that it’s not as easy as I thought it would be!

  37. Stunning. I think this one is the closest to what I think I could pull off…minus the low cut jumper b/c boobs ;)

  38. Cristina says...

    I love this post and I love those Bobbies! The shipping is SO expensive though… any chance her brother in law can offer free shipping to cup of jo readers?!

  39. Bel says...

    She is gorgeous, and I love women in Science! Same here :)
    Could you get someone who goes by bike to work? It’s such a challeng in looking well with riding the bike, not getting all sweaty etc.

    • Fiona says...

      Yes please!

  40. Lauren E. says...

    I probably say this once a week, but this is my absolutely favorite post in this series EVER. This is what I’ve been trying to look like for years. The outfits are, in theory, relatively simple but so freaking pulled together. Bye, off to buy everything listed here.

    • Paula says...

      I second that wholeheartedly!

  41. Loribeth says...

    Oh man, Shaheen you just glow from the inside out!

  42. She is absolutely gorgeous!

  43. cilla says...

    Shaheen is gorgeous!
    I am from Europe and I am so happy to get a recommendation for European company, where I can order stuff without massive tax&shipping ! You always give links to beautiful things, but I can`t afford paying those additional costs. Now, I will order some shoes for sure!

  44. Claire says...

    She is lovely, and I like her style a lot. Also, I love Oxford shoes and I love sparkle- and here they are together in sparkly oxfords!

  45. Caddy says...

    I really adored this one! Love her style! So happy to see different professions and ethnicities represented.

  46. Seana says...

    Thankfully the shoes are all sold out in my sizes!
    I’m a fellow girl scientists so loving seeing my colleagues on here.

  47. Meg says...

    my favorite feature yet! love this series :)

  48. Kirsten says...

    COJ, you do a great job with representation here! I know that we are constantly asking for a beauty uniform or week of outfits for a specific profession or beauty philosophy, but I can always count on you featuring a fresh face. :) It’s because you feature so much diversity that our minds are allowed to wander to “I wonder what fashionable {..} where every day!”

    Also, YAY FOR FASHIONABLE STEM WOMEN! You are my inspiration to not give into jeans and tees everyday!

  49. Such cool style! I also buy things and then try it all on at home. I do find it much easier. Especially with kids.

  50. Susan says...

    I knew Shaheen when she lived in NYC and always admired how pretty she was. That hasn’t changed at all!

  51. h6XmULZ0c/jMiu9WZagzSB5vVKtrDtEImEvqCzFL/WM= says...

    Love these posts!! Would love to see one from an elementary school teacher.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, we have a preschool teacher coming up! :)

    • Lula says...

      Oh I am so excited that you have an upcoming post based on a teacher! (Obviously I’m a teacher ?).

      Just a thought – I wondered if you’d ever consider doing this series with an ‘around the world’ spin at all? Or even perhaps an add on to the motherhood around the world post? I’m based in the U.K., and I’d be so interested in reading about women in similar fields in different cultural or geographical contexts and how this impacts on their fashion and beauty choices. I am always fascinated by the motherhood around the World Series for the little insights we also infer in these areas.

      Love love love this one by the way – the grey dress and that jumpsuit are just amazing. I am also in love with those brogues – imagine how my heart leapt when I googled and they were on sale…and then how it dipped when I realised my size was out of stock! Waaaah! Great post as always, Jo.

  52. J says...

    This post featured the perfect blend of items that are $$$, $$, and $. Thank you for this!!

  53. Loving the idea of a week of outfits! So cute! That yellow skirt looks so amazing on you too!

    xx, mel

  54. jenni says...

    Love ! I am loving the jumpsuit! I always look forward to these.

  55. Amy says...

    Beauty, brains and sparkle shoes- what a great package! Love her effortless style.

  56. Emma says...

    Yes, this is similar to my style and I am in SF! My mom bought be a beautiful ring in Tuscany when we were traveling and I love the memories associated with it — with buying things in cool places. Rad!

  57. I love everything about her! Science! Those bobbies shoes are heavenly!

  58. G says...

    Love this girl’s style!! She looks fantastic! :)

  59. Kristin says...

    I would love to know of any (reasonably priced) style services where someone could take my general tastes and size/ shape and recommend styles (not specific branded items) that would flatter me. I am so clueless style wise and most of the women featured don’t match my proportions (5’2, on the curvier side with a booty) and it’s so hard to know where to start! (Not like stitch fix- an actual one on one Skype session or something).

    • SLG says...

      I don’t know if she does Skype sessions, but Angie Cox at You Look Fab has a lovely blog: https://youlookfab.com/blog/

      She’s a former fashion buyer, current personal stylist/shopper who truly celebrates all different styles and body types. I’ve learned a lot just from reading her tips and seeing the ladies she’s featured over the years.

    • Julia says...

      A lot of department stores offer free personal shoppers. I haven’t had an appointment with one myself, but I know people who have. They liked it and didn’t feel pressured to buy things.

  60. Sophie says...

    I love this article! I feel like I need to know so much more about this woman, she sounds incredible! This blog is THE BEST.

  61. Nora says...

    She’s a stunner! I’m so inspired to make more of an effort with my appearance. I’ve never been a fashion or make up girl and with two kids, I’m even less inclined to try but I love the way she looks. Might have to reconsider things
    ..

  62. Mefi Pishori Alapat says...

    Woo hoo! I too am from Tanzania, with Indian origins, living in Texas. Jambo Shaheen, habari gani?

  63. Abesha1 says...

    Question about that Everlane dress, as I’ve considered it before…. anybody tried nursing in it? Think the neckline will bounce back? Or best not to try.

    • Robin says...

      Ooh I was wondering the same thing!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Since it’s sweater material, my guess would be that the neckline wouldn’t bounce back if you pull it down regularly for nursing. Although I’m definitely not an expert! You might try one of their dresses made of other fabrics?
      some ideas:
      linen: http://bit.ly/2u2koIJ
      button down: http://bit.ly/2u2hW50
      go weave: http://bit.ly/2u2qF74

    • Madeline D says...

      This doesn’t help with this sweater dress, but I own quite a few Everlane shirt dresses because they are great for nursing/pumping at work!

  64. I am obsessed with those Bobbies shoes! The glitter feels like a flirty little wink ;)

    • jen says...

      I wonder if glitter-ing a pair of shoes at home would work.

  65. Kathleen says...

    Reading this as I’m working in my lab in chicago! Love all these outfits…especially that last dress!!

  66. Love how you are determined to dress nicely to go to work everyday! I always have the same mindset as you and dressing my best, always makes me feel accomplished! Along with that, I love those shoes in your post! Too cute!

  67. love those shoes.

  68. Lisa says...

    The SHOES! How have I not heard of this company? Cup of Jo post on this company coming soon? I’d love to know how it started/ profile of the owner.

    • Lynne Z. says...

      Yes the shoes!!!!!!! I perused the ENTIRE website and I want everything!! I can’t believe the owner is her brother in law. SO LUCKY!!!!!

  69. Mara says...

    She is so beautiful and an inspiration! I loved seeing her in affordable pieces, and agree that it’s fun to buy a piece of local jewelry when traveling. I am currently contemplating a move from DC to the San Francisco Bay Area, so I also really enjoyed the bits about the weather and how others in the area dress. Great post!

  70. M says...

    Beauty Routine PLEASE.
    Especially shampoo, hair care, and Perfume/scent.
    You are Gorgeous! Love the grey Everlane dress + oxfords.
    Best,
    M

    • M says...

      P.S. Best of luck in your research Shaheen.

  71. Alyssa says...

    So appreciate her style – definitely the one I can most identify as possible to wear. Plus loving the shoes!

  72. Sasha says...

    yay, for featuring scientists! though jeans/Tshirt except for trying to look older/more sophisticated than the students when teaching definitely seems to be the dress code.

    I actually end up choosing a lot of my clothes in the morning based on whether or not they are ok for biking to work (i.e, skinny jeans are ok, voluminous skirts are not). Wonder if anybody else does this?

    • Maria says...

      Me too. I’m Danish, and dressing for biking to work is our lifestyle. Especially outerwear has to be practical and zip or button up the front. So different from cultures where people drive to work.

  73. Neeli says...

    Shaheen, you’re beautiful and I love your style! I’m so happy to see Cup of Jo feature another woman in science (s/o to Melissa Lee from the first feature)! I totally agree with Shaheen’s choice of wearing jumpsuits to lab – I also do the same as a graduate student in neuroscience. Maxi dresses (plus a cardigan) also do a great job at looking put together while still obliging lab safety rules.

  74. Sarah says...

    New fav shoe company!

  75. Meaghan says...

    My husband’s last name is Shaheen and his cousin’s first name is Shaheen (her last name is different, but they wanted to pay homage). King (or Queen, in this case) of the Falcons!

  76. Heather says...

    I love Shaheen’s casual-chic style. As a graduate student who is trying to find the balance between being comfortable and looking professional I really appreciate this post, it’s one of my favourite in this series so far. Thanks Cup of Jo team and Shaheen for sharing!

  77. katie says...

    bobbies just became my new obsession after this post…holy gorgeous shoes that look very well-made and aren’t out-of-this-world expensive! be still my heart.

  78. Carrie says...

    Well, she could wear a paper sack and look amazing.

    • Jessica says...

      That’s what I was thinking.

  79. The sentiment about flats–I totally agree! I used to have so many heeled shoes, I felt it was necessary to be taken seriously in my twenties because I’m so short. A few years ago I noticed how I was gradually buying more and more flats, and letting go of more and more heels. I still have a few in my closet, but they don’t get nearly the same rotation as my comfy shoes.

  80. d says...

    She’s really stunning, and as a working in an office environment woman I can relate to her style more. Love the personal pieces of jewelry she weaves into her style.
    Also what is the secret to her stunning glossy hair?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      here’s shaheen’s answer:

      I actually have curly hair, which when I have the time to style, I LOVE. But straightened hair is way easier to manage during the week. Whenever I remember, pre-shower i give myself a little scalp/head massage with argan oil, or coconut oil, anything that I have on hand. Post shower, I use a tiny dot of BioSilk silk therapy to protect hair from heat styling and gives it a little bit of shine (and added bonus also smells good): http://amzn.to/2w36qDX

  81. aga says...

    Love every outfit! Total girl crush!

  82. Sara says...

    My only comment is hats off to your family for living in SF on a post doc salary. My little family of four did it for three very tight years! Yay for science!

  83. Lucy says...

    Wow, so inspiring! I can’t always identify with these outfit posts because I like to wear more basic staples and many of the women have very bold wardrobes, so I really enjoyed Shaheen’s perspective. And add Bobbies to my French shoe obsession!

  84. Rebecca says...

    Love her style and love those Bobbie’s shoes!!!! Never heard of that brand but they look so good! I’m also a complete convert to flats in my 30s and really only wear heels if I’m going to a wedding. I’m going to try these!!

  85. Wow, this is my favorite outfit post in a long time. I love Shaheen’s philosophy of getting a little dressed up for yourself so you’re in the zone – I’ve been known to wear a sheath dress and heels sitting at my desk at midnight writing a final paper, haha! Shaheen comes across like a warm, beautiful person inside and out, the kind of person you’d easily be friends with and want to hang out with over coffee. I’d love to read more about her. I know everyone always begs for these, but I think a beauty uniform with Shaheen would be great, her skin is gorgeous!

    • d says...

      agree would love a beauty post with her

  86. I just love these posts! Have you thought about a spot where readers can sign up to be one of the people featured? :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a great idea, amy!!!! i’ll chat with our team about how we could create this.

  87. Andrea says...

    I’m part Indian (from the West Indies), live in the Bay Area, and also worked at a lab in Berkeley! Funny – as I identify strongly with her style!

  88. Dawn says...

    I really like Shaheen’s casual style and I also like the idea that the pieces she is wearing are affordable! Would she be willing to share the shade of Bobbi Brown lipstick she is wearing? It’s stunning!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree! it’s Red Velvet: http://bit.ly/2ugd0or

      thank you! xoxo

  89. Amanda G says...

    Yay, thanks for featuring someone with killer style in an obtainable price point! Her style is such a great blend of casual and dressy – and I LOVE those Bobbies shoes.

  90. Alyssa says...

    Her style is soooo good! I’m loving those loafers with the glitter. I’ll wear pops of glitter until the day I die. ;)

  91. Erica says...

    I love all of these outfits, she has amazing style! ❤️

  92. Jan says...

    Thank you for writing about women that work in different fields not just in media and/or children clothes/beauty industries. Showing women from different backgrounds and in different fields of work is so much needed right now.

    • d says...

      agree!

  93. brianna says...

    This is exactly how I aspire to dress. This post makes me want to go home and curate my closet. Also, officially obsessed with Bobbies (pricy, but I wear shoes until they fall apart) so perhaps a pair is in my future.

  94. LaurenB says...

    OMG, I went to college with her!! (it was a tiny college, so I never get to say that about people on the internet)

  95. Shaheen is awesome and she seems really comfortable in her own skin , which I love! How do you find the women to profile for these posts? :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thanks for your question! We find them in so many different ways — sometimes we’ll profile our friends, and other times we’ll find people through Instagram, meet people through work events/meetings/connections, scout cool people by researching people doing cool things in different career fields, etc.

      in this case, my friend courtney recommended shaheen because they’re very close friends!

      here’s courtney’s beauty uniform, if you’d like to see:
      https://cupofjo.com/2015/07/courtney-klein-beauty-tips-storq-maternity/

  96. Marni says...

    I love your laid back style, Shaheen! This is how I want to dress & I am taking notes. And damn that jumpsuit is everything! Off to check it out…

    • Nora says...

      I totally agree! I feel like this is all a manageable step up from jeans and a t-shirt and she looks so comfortable and pulled together. I also work in a casual workplace so this is great inspiration. Thanks for profiling her!

  97. Lily says...

    Beautiful woman and style! Shaheen, you are an inspiration!

  98. Annie Green says...

    This is my favourite of all your style posts! She looks wonderful without looking fussy or overdone. And her hands….sigh. Great stuff.

    • Christine Hart says...

      Same!

  99. Joanna says...

    I’m floored that she wears these clothes in a research lab. I’m an academic physician and need closed toe shoes, no cleavage, etc…. Is this what she actually wears on an average week? She’s gorgeous but I feel like not all scientists can dress like this! I’m convinced she must wear other shoes at work and not those strappy ones. Spills, indeed!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes! she wears a cardigan over low-cut tops and wears closed-toed shoes to work. hope that helps!

    • brianna says...

      I’d love to see some of her closed-toe shoe options, besides the oxfords she’s wearing in the photos.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she says she only wears bobbies now, since her brother-in-law owns the company and sends her shoes. she loves them! http://www.bobbies.com/

    • brianna says...

      Lucky her! Those Bobbies really are well done. Maybe when I’m re-employed…