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How to Dress a Rectangle Body Shape

 

If your body isn't on the curvy side and your shoulders and hips are approximately the same measurements, you're likely a rectangle body shape.

Rectangles are sometimes referred to as a “banana” body shape or a straight body shape. You may have an athletic build, or you may be a plus-size rectangle body shape, but the common trait of rectangles are shoulders and hips that are about the same width apart.

Picking out the best women's clothes for your unique body shape can help you feel more confident both inside and out. So, if our body shape quiz gave you this result, now it's time to dive into the clothes and accessories that can help you look and feel your best!

Keep reading to explore the characteristics of a rectangle body shape, tips for dressing to feel your best, plus what to wear – including styles of tops, jeans, pants, dresses, and more.

Characteristics of a Rectangle Body Shape

The primary characteristics of the rectangle body shape include:

  • Your body is well-balanced on the top and bottom, meaning you have similar shoulder and hip measurements
  • Your body isn’t particularly curvy and you would define your figure as “straight” up and down
  • You don’t have a well-defined waist
  • You potentially have an athletic build, and your weight is evenly distributed

Several famous women rock a straight body shape. Some notable celebrities with a rectangle body shape include Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Garner, and Anne Hathaway. You can get an idea of what can look great on you by checking out their fashion choices both on-screen and off.

3 Style Tips for the Rectangle Body Shape

If you have a straight body shape, your body is likely well-proportioned on the top and bottom. To pick outfits for rectangle body shapes, we recommend selecting pieces that define your waist and give the illusion of curves. Here are three general tips rectangle body shapes can keep in mind.

1. Define Your Waist

Enhancing this beautiful body shape boils down to defining your waist. Our favorite quick tips to define your waist include adding a fun belt, avoiding clothing with drop waists and embellishments in the midsection, and playing with different cuts to create curves.

2. Create Your Own Curves

Speaking of creating curves, you can use clothing strategically to create curves where you might not have them. Avoiding shapeless garments in favor of well-structured clothes can help give the illusion of a curvier figure. Go for clothing that gives volume on top or the bottom (but not both!) and focus on incorporating structured items to maintain balance.

3. Use Colors, Prints, and Textures to Your Advantage

Dark colors like black or navy are classic but don’t be afraid to play with colors, prints, and textures. The eye is drawn to bright colors and patterns, so focus on incorporating brighter tones and interesting textures that add intrigue when choosing rectangle body shape clothes.

Dressing the Rectangle Body Shape: What to Wear

Now that you know the characteristics of the rectangle body shape, it’s time to figure out what to wear. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind next time you're shopping.

Tops

Tops for rectangle body shapes should focus on the neckline, as an open neck will draw attention upward toward your face. Some great options for tops and blouses include:

  • V-neck: A V-neck, whether shallow or deep, will accentuate your collarbones.
  • Scoop-neck: Scoop-neck tops are an easy, flattering way to draw attention upward to your face and elongate your neck.
  • Sweetheart: A sweetheart neckline, which resembles the top of a heart, will help give the illusion of curves and a bust.
  • Off-the-shoulder: Off-the-shoulder tops are an easy way to add elegance or a playful touch to an outfit and help give the illusion of curves.
  • Boat neck: Boat neck, or bateau, tops run horizontally across the collarbone and can draw the eye out to your shoulders, giving the illusion of volume.
  • Collars: Collars – especially those with details – provide visual interest that draws the eye toward your face.

Jeans

When shopping for women's jeans for a rectangle body shape, the most important thing to consider is defining your shape. The best jeans for a rectangle body shape will depend on the top you've chosen, but a good rule of thumb is to look for jeans that add curves to your silhouette. You can do this with jeans that have embellishments at the hips and jeans that have back pockets, which can make you look curvier in the right places.  

  • High-waisted: High-waisted jeans can elongate your legs and help create a defined waist. Tip: If you have a short torso, choose mid-rise jeans.
  • Skinny: Skinny jeans are a popular choice for rectangles because they can accentuate your slender legs.
  • Slim-fit: Slim-fit jeans can accentuate your slender legs but provide the illusion of curves better than skinny jeans can.
  • Straight-leg: Like slim-fit jeans, straight-leg jeans accentuate your best features while adding more volume.
  • Bootcut: Flare jeans are great for adding interest and making the legs appear longer. Just avoid overly exaggerated flares.
  • Wide-leg: To give the illusion of fuller hips and butt, consider wide-leg jeans.

Pants

For those times when jeans won’t cut it, you need a few pairs of trusty pants in your wardrobe. Whether you're looking for casual pants to wear out or professional pants to wear to work, here are some options to consider:

 

  • Pleated: And no – we don't mean the pleated waistlines of the ‘80s! Instead, consider flowy, pleated pants that give the illusion of a skirt and create volume on the bottom half of your body.
  • Printed: Prints are a rectangle shape's best friend and an easy way to add detail and texture.
  • Flared: Just as with flared jeans, flared pants are a great way to balance out a rectangle body shape – just be sure to avoid overly exaggerated styles.
  • Straight: A good, tailored pair of straight pants are a must-have in your closet.

Dresses and Jumpsuits

Whether you need to pick out a casual jumpsuit or a formal dress for your rectangle body shape, here are the styles that will flatter your body.

  • Empire: Anything that creates the illusion of a waist is the right look for a rectangle body shape.
  • Fit-and-flare: Similarly, fit-and-flare dresses help draw attention to the waist and give a fuller look to the skirt to balance your figure.
  • Ruched: Ruching is a specific method of construction that creates pleats and gathers. For a rectangle body shape, ruched designs create interest.
  • Wrap: The wrap dress is a classic style that looks flattering on nearly every body shape.
  • Shift: Although rectangles should go for styles that add shape, rules were meant to be broken. Shift dresses have clean lines and a polished look, which makes this style a great option for rectangles with smaller busts and hips. 

And dresses for rectangle body shapes aren't the only option for you. Straight body shapes can look stunning in a great jumpsuit – just keep the points above in mind.

Skirts

Balance is key when choosing skirts for rectangle body shapes. If you want to wear a simpler top, consider adding contrast with a bolder skirt.  

  • Flared: With a kick at the bottom of the skirt, flared styles give the illusion of curves.
  • Pleated: Another stylish skirt option that accentuates the upper part of the hips, giving the illusion of curves.
  • Multi-layered: Multi-layer skirts are visually interesting and can add volume to your lower half while cinching your waist.
  • Detailed: Pair a plain colored top with a fun print to had intrigue.
  • Straight: This accentuates your body's natural silhouette – just be sure to define your waist!

Jackets

Outerwear is just as essential for creating the right look for your rectangle body shape as tops and bottoms are. Next time the temperature drops outside, reach for one of these options:

  • Trench: For a classic look, trench coats are an excellent fit for rectangle body shapes.
  • Dusters: Pops of color work well for rectangle body shapes thanks to clean lines. Try adding an open duster over a top with a bold print to further accentuate your look.
  • Peplum: Peplum jackets hit at the smallest part of your waist, instantly adding curves, and creating an attractive silhouette.
  • Double-breasted: Double-breasted jackets add a polished look to any outfit and hang nicely from your natural silhouette.
  • Belted: Belted jackets help define your waist and create the illusion of a curvier figure.
  • Vests: Vests are an excellent choice for casual outerwear as they draw attention to your shoulders and arms.

Swimwear

Looking for the perfect swimwear for rectangle body shapes? These swimwear styles will help you look and feel your best next time you’re poolside:

  • Form-fitting with cups: Look for swimwear that is form-fitting with built-in cups, which will help to play up your natural curves.
  • Cut-out one-pieces: One-piece swimsuits with cutouts in the midsection give the illusion of an hourglass figure by nipping your waist at its smallest point.
  • Triangular bikini tops: Avoid straight bandeau style bikini tops, which can further accentuate the straight lines of your body shape. Instead, opt for triangular bikini tops, which can show off your curves and elongate your neck.
  • Tankinis: Tankinis provide extra coverage and can help accentuate your waist. Choose a tankini in a fun print with solid-colored bottoms, which can help to create a curvier torso line.
  • High-cut bottoms: Since defining your waist and creating curves is the goal, go for high-cut bottoms, which can give the illusion of fuller hips and help to create a more well-defined waistline.
  • Prints: Bold, fun prints, textures, and other details can add interest. We recommend avoiding horizontal stripes and instead going for diagonal lines, which can visually cinch your waist.

Shoes and Accessories

Accessories can complete any outfit, but choosing the right accessories is an art and a science. Here are some accessories to consider when piecing together your rectangle body shape outfits:

  • Round-toe shoes: When selecting the shape of dress shoes – like heels – consider round-toe shoes to avoid having a too-rectangular look.
  • Boots: Go for pointed-toe boots, which will accentuate your legs even more.
  • Belts: Belts are the best way to create the illusion of a waist for rectangle body shapes. Create the illusion of an even smaller midsection with a dark belt in black or navy.
  • Statement earrings: Remember that drawing the eye up accentuates your body type. You can do this with a bold pair of statement earrings rather than a statement necklace, which can truncate your neck and shoulder area.
  • Statement purse: Sometimes throwing on jeans and a t-shirt is good enough! Elevate a simple look with a statement purse in a fun color.
  • Shapewear: Love it or hate it, shapewear can help enhance your overall look by defining your waist.

3 Easy Outfit Ideas for a Rectangle Body Shape

Now, let's put all this into practice. Here are a few ideas for rectangle body shape outfits to get you started.

For Everyday 

Looking for a great everyday look? A romantic top and slim-fit jeans are a great foundation. Try choosing a top with a sweetheart neckline, puffed sleeves, and a small print to draw the eye up while showing off your neck and shoulders. Pair the top with a pair of slim-fit jeans to create balance by showing off your slender legs while still adding volume. Tie the look together with a thin black belt to cinch your waist and a pair of pointed-toe boots.

For an Event

Rectangles can choose from a variety of dresses, skirts, and jumpsuits for events, but we especially love a fit-and-flare dress. A fit-and-flare dress with a deep or shallow V-neck draws the eyes up while cinching in your waist. To create even more curves, add a thin belt and look for dresses with extra tulle on the bottom. Tie this look together with statement earrings and block heels and you’re ready for a night out, a wedding, or garden party.

For the Office

Combine form and function and look great while doing it! Rectangles can choose a simple scoop-neck top in a bold color like red or blue and pair that with a pair of plaid print, high-waisted, slim leg pants. Add a belt and booties to finish off the look.

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