From the Experts: How To Dress a Rectangle Body Shape
Fashion choices can feel tough if you have a rectangular body shape. In a modern world that seems to be all about curves, you may feel like you don’t fit in — but that’s far from the truth. That’s why our experts at Leonisa have put together our favorite tips and tricks to help you dress your rectangle body shape with confidence.
As a leading provider of everyday shapewear, we know what it takes to make all body shapes look their best. With a few key wardrobe pieces and styling tips, you can flaunt your rectangle shape and look incredible in any outfit. We’ll show you why rectangle body shapes are anything but boring — and how to make the most of your beautiful shape.
What Is a Rectangle Body Shape?
A rectangle body shape is characterized by hips and shoulders or busts that are approximately the same width. Rectangles tend to have little waist definition, and the waist might be slightly narrower than the hips, but not by much.
Rectangles are often tall with a lean build, but this body type can come in any height and size. Fat is usually distributed evenly throughout the body, creating a relatively straight top-down appearance even at higher weights.
Fundamentals of Rectangle Body Type Fashion
What’s great about being a rectangle is that you can wear almost any style of clothing, thanks to your proportional body type. It’s almost like having a blank canvas to work with, and a simple tweak here and there can instantly transform your look.
At Leonisa, we want you to feel confident and beautiful in your skin. We aren’t fans of strict fashion rules that expect you to dramatically change your look or feel like you must fit into a certain box. That said, a few general principles can help you make the most of your rectangle shape and feel great in any outfit.
Break Up the Torso
As a rectangle, you’re already blessed with quite a bit of balance. Your body’s upper and lower parts are similar in width, so you don’t have to worry about balancing out your silhouette. Instead, your goal should be to break up the length of your torso. This adds interest to your overall look and helps you avoid appearing boxy.
While you may not have a naturally defined waistline, you can use clothing to create the illusion of one. The most effective way to do this is to accentuate your waist. There are two ways to do this: by pulling it in visually or adding proportional volume to your upper and lower halves.
Pull in the Waist
Pulling in the waist visually can be done with belts, sashes and ruching. Opt for clothing pieces with drawstrings or adjustable fits around the middle, and try wearing a belt slightly narrower than your hips.
Add Proportional Volume
You can also create the illusion of a waistline by adding volume to your body’s upper and lower halves. When doing so, the goal should be to maintain proportion — not create a totally different silhouette.
Often, this means wearing structured clothes and avoiding shapeless or overly bulky silhouettes. You can play with various cuts to add equal volume to the top and bottom. Details like textures and prints can help break up a long torso and create more visual interest. The key here is to draw attention to both the top and bottom of your figure, which creates the illusion of a more defined waistline.
What To Wear With a Rectangle Body Shape
By taking into account the fundamentals of rectangle body shape fashion, you can mindfully select clothing pieces that flatter your shape. To help you get started, we’ve assembled a few specific wardrobe tips for various types of clothing. Keep in mind that these are only guidelines. Feel free to experiment with different options until you find what works best for you.
Rectangle-shaped bodies look great in tops that have some structure or definition. Try choosing pieces with collars, pockets and other details to draw the eye outward.
It’s best to avoid tucking in your tops, as this can overemphasize the length of your torso. Similarly, fitted, body-hugging tops are not ideal for this shape. Instead, aim for tops that add volume to the bust, shoulder and hip line. Options include wrap tops, peplum tops and belted tops.
Opt for necklines that draw the eye outward, and avoid styles with straight or square necklines. Anything with a round or asymmetrical neckline can be a great option, as these add a curvy touch to the look. V-necks, off-shoulder tops, sweetheart cuts and scoop necks are particularly flattering.
Playing with sleeves is an excellent way to add volume to the upper body. Embellished, cuffed or ruffled sleeves can be especially eye-catching. Loose, wide-sleeved tops, can be a great choice for rectangle body shapes. Think princess, puff, flutter or bell sleeves, all of which draw the eye outward.
When dressing a rectangle body shape, tops should end at hip level. Tops that finish at the waist can amplify a boxy look.
The right choice of bottoms can be a powerful tool in creating the illusion of a waist and adding curves to your look. When in doubt, opt for bottoms that add volume and visual interest to the hips and thighs.
Rise, cut and detail all matter when it comes to flattering pants for rectangle body shapes. Choose low-to-mid-rise pants with details at the hip or thigh, such as pleats, folds, pockets or cuffs. Cargo pants, harem pants and flare pants are all solid options.
When it comes to fabrics, soft, flowy materials are excellent choices. Choose light, airy fabrics like silk, chiffon and crepe to soften your frame.
Skirts make it easy to add volume to a rectangle body shape. Unlike pants, skirts can sit high at the natural waistline as the skirt’s volume creates a flattering balance. Flare-style skirts, pleated skirts and wrap-style skirts are all great choices. You can even choose a skirt with an asymmetrical hem to add texture and movement.
Like skirts, shorts can be a great option for adding the illusion of curves to your figure. Stick to high-waisted styles and avoid anything too tight. Fits with added volume, such as vintage-style bubble shorts or pleated shorts, are ideal, especially when paired with an equally voluminous top. You can also wear flared shorts with a tie-waist belt for a subtle yet powerful cinch.
When choosing dresses, aim for options that are balanced on the top and bottom. High-waist definition is essential for dresses that flatter a rectangular body shape. A simple belt can break up any dress’s length and pull in the waist.
Examples of flattering dress styles for rectangle body shapes include wrap dresses, princess seam dresses, x-line dresses and empire line dresses. Shift dresses are also terrific choices as the loose fit creates an easy balance between the bust and hip.
Ladies with rectangular body types may feel a bit intimidated when it comes to swimwear, but many styles offer a flattering fit for your figure. The key is to add volume to both halves of the body, just like with other clothing pieces.
Look for swimsuits with bold details on the top and bottom, such as ruffles and textured fabric. You can look for a one-piece with an embellished or draped neckline, as it will create visually interesting details at the bust area.
Outerwear can be an excellent way to create curves for rectangle body shapes. Look for coats and jackets that are belted or nipped in at the waist for a flattering, waist-defining effect. Embellishments can further help to add volume. Structured details, such as wide lapels, pockets and cuffs, can draw the eye outward and create a more balanced silhouette.
Further, outerwear should be on the longer side, ending below the waistline and ideally at mid-thigh. A slight flare toward the hem will help to create subtle curves.
Shoes & Accessories
Shoes and accessories can add a softer touch to your look. Choose pointed-toe shoes with a low vamp and a heel that flares out slightly. This will create a beautiful balance between your body’s top and bottom halves.
Look for accessories that draw attention to the bust and waist area. Bright colors, bold prints or statement jewelry can all be used to create visual appeal in those areas. Structured handbags, such as a boxy purse or a bucket bag, can also add volume to your upper half. If you opt for a belt, go for darker colors and thicker styles that will break up the length of your outfit.
From shapewear to bras, the right undergarments can help give your figure more definition. For shapewear, consider a waist cincher or a high-waisted control brief to create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
For bras, look for styles that can add lift and support to your bust. Go for a push-up bra or a padded bra that can give you the desired shape and volume.
Enhance Your Style
Rectangle-shaped bodies provide a beautiful canvas. With the right clothing choices and a bit of help from Leonisa, you can create delicate curves and bring greater harmony to your figure. These tips are only the beginning, so feel free to experiment with different shapes and silhouettes to find the ones that make you feel the most comfortable in your skin.