This is another article in the how to dress for your body shape series. This time we will have a look at the rectangle body shape, also called the banana or ruler.
You have a rectangle body shape when:
- You have no defined waist
- The hips tend to have a similar width as the shoulders
- You do not have a lot of curves
- Your bust tends to be small or average
- Your bottom tends to be flat
This is one of the easier body types for dressing. Many models tend to have this body shape or the inverted triangle shape. A lot of clothes will usually suit you and fit you well, although some of the taller women may have trouble finding clothes that fit properly. Still, many rectangles will find dressing a bit more of a challenge as they are likely to get extra weight around their tummies as they age (usually after menopause).
As a rectangle you will want to create more curves and a pleasing silhouette. You can do this by defining the waist and creating curves on the bottom or top.
On the other hand, you can also get away with a straight look and surrender the waist line altogether, which is a look that I’m quite fond of.
What not to wear?
- Avoid shapeless clothes
- If you want to add curves then avoid straight dresses, but you can also opt for the waistless look!
Which garments are good for a rectangle body shape?
- Use strong blocks of color to help define your body
- As for most body types, be sure to wear a good bra to define what bust you have
- Wear tops and jackets that emphasize the waist
- Choose a coat with a good waist or that is belted at the waist
- Any jacket tailored around the waist will look great
- You can use some shoulder padding (don’t overdo it though)
- Medium to high necklines usually work well, especially if you have s small bust and long neck
- If you like to create the illusion of bigger breasts, choose tops with pockets, rushes, pleating and other front details
- Halter necks will also give the appearance of a bigger bust and shows off your back
- Accessorize with belts around the waist. Heavy belts can be really good if you’re also long waisted
- If you have no waist at all, then a belt is best avoided
- 3/4 sleeves usually work really well for a rectangle
- Blouses can look really good if they are tucked in
- Shift dresses and empire line dresses work well, but I also like to break the rule with dropped waist dresses!
- A-line skirts work really well for this shape
- You can also go the other way and wear a tight skirt or pants to highlight the curves that you DO have
- You can wear almost any shape trousers but slightly flared trousers will look great on you as it will add more shape to your body. Low to mid waited pants are usually best.
- A knee length pencil skirt that tapers in at the side will also add some curves and look good
- If you like the waistless look you can opt for straight skirts and shirt dresses
- For shoes, opt for curvier and rounded options like ballerinas and pumps.
Rectangle is my most dominant body shape (with pear shape being my secondary) so if you want more inspiration on what looks good on the rectangle body shape, then visit the What I wore section of this site.
Please note that the guidelines above are for general guidance only. Everyone is different and you certainly don’t have to stick to the above guidelines to dress well.
P.S.: If you want to find out about your own body type and find the right types of clothes for you, try out My Private Stylist and get your own personal recommendations.