Last Updated: Tue Jul 26, 2011 04:08 am (KSA) 01:08 am (GMT)

Basra Haider: ‘I have nothing to wear!’

Men seem to think that women dress for their pleasure. Perhaps this is why they are so quick to judge a woman based on her heavy make-up, cleavage baring dress or miniskirt. Women seem to think that a certain “type” of woman also dresses for a man. But, in truth, I have rarely seen a woman dress for a man.

Personally, the only time I did dress for a man, was during a very unhealthy relationship, where he dictated everything from the length and shape of my nails to the shoes that adorned my feet; needless to say that relationship did not last.

All emotionally healthy women, ultimately, dress for themselves. It goes back to my earlier blog on our wanting to “feel” good, and this feeling is often accomplished through the reaction of others toward us, especially at social gatherings or our workplace.

If a woman dresses provocatively, it is about wanting to get into a type of mood which may require attention from men. A woman knows this type of attention is shallow, but it serves its purpose and makes her feel sexy and wanted, be it short lived and lasting a few hours into the evening, it makes her night. Make no mistake, she is in control.

However, it is important to not miss the point that a woman only counts or cares for this type of attention from men if other women are around; the game is not nearly as exciting if she is alone; in fact, it can get annoying. Who wants to deal with all that attention if women are not around to be envious? After all, the time and effort to get ready was made to gain the envy of other women not the men!

Ironically, regardless of how much a woman may like a man, on a first date, she often dresses conservatively. It is important to a woman to feel like a man is interested in more than just her looks. If I am going to be with a man or a group of men only, I rarely give much attention to how I look, or what I am wearing, I just know they are not fussy and rarely pay attention to details. The only thing I do ensure is that I am covered up, so as not to cause too much of a distraction within the group or get unwanted attention.

However, in mixed company, being upstaged by another woman is the biggest blow to the ego a woman can endure, and an experience not easily forgotten; so all the prepping and preening and shopping is all about avoiding a repeat of this painful experience.

Tell a woman that she has to attend a highly fashionable gathering of mixed company, especially involving women that she does not know and the stress level skyrockets and her mind starts racing. What if she gets her look all wrong? What if she ends up at a table sitting next to a gorgeous bombshell? Her mind goes into overdrive now. What if her boyfriend or husband starts to compare her with the other women in the room? What if she is upstaged or blends into the furniture? Suddenly, she shakes her head and gains her composure and repeats to herself, “It is better to be envied than to envy,” and she decides to go all out and with this thought in her head, she stands in front of her closet, still a bit frazzled, and declares famously, “I have nothing to wear.”

(Basra Haider covers the beauty business. She can be reached at:

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