Well, here we are in week 5 of my Body Shapes Series! Today we are going to look at the characteristics of the rectangle shape. We have already looked at the Hourglass Shape and the Round or Apple Shape. If you haven’t gotten a chance to take a look at the introductory posts on body shapes that will help you learn about the 5 most common body shapes and find out which one best fits your body shape here they are below!
The rectangle shape is supposedly the most common shape for women. A rectangle shape is the same or close to the same size bust, waist and hip measurement. This is also considered a straight shape or athletic shape.
The main characteristic of the rectangle shape is that the top and bottom half are close to the same size, so you are well proportioned if you compare the top half to the bottom half and the waist is undefined. You can still have “curves” just not as much as the hourglass shape or you can be really straight with a flat bottom and hardly any shape. You can be tall or short as well. I am actually a rectangle shape that has some curves because my waist is a little smaller but not really defined and I have a round backside instead of being flat.
If this shape sounds like it’s a great match for you but you have broader shoulders than you are probably still a rectangle shape but will also use the recommendations for an inverted triangle shape. If you have a slightly larger hip area than you can also use some of the recommendations for the triangle shape. I explained in the introductory posts that you may end up being more than one shape because not all of us are going to fit perfectly into one and our shape may change due to weight loss or gain; which can also move us to another shape classification. Not to worry, some of the same recommendations will overlap in the 5 most common shapes.
All of these recommendations for each shape are meant to help you and not be hard and fast rules that you HAVE to follow! Use what recommendations work for YOU! Even though you might fit into this shape description you will still be shaped just a little bit different than someone else in this shape. Get what I’m saying? So, please take what works for you and just have fun with it. Fashion and style should be fun and not complicated so do what works for you and what you prefer.
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- Focus on creating a waist by visually pulling it in.
- Add curves to the top and bottom half if you want to add more curves to your body.
Key Things To Remember When Styling The Rectangle Shape:
- Balance the top half and bottom half of your body.
- As you balance try to keep the waist defined.
- If you like a less curvy look, go with it, you can wear just about anything this way.
- Prints and colors are your friend.
- Statement sleeves are also your friend.
- One Pieces are perfect if they come in at the waist.
- Layering pieces like blazers, jackets, and cardigans help to add fullness to the top half of the body.
- Necklines are your choice! You can wear open or closed necklines.
Most necklines will work well for the rectangle shape. It really depends on what you want to achieve with your shape. Open necklines will visually lengthen the upper torso and are great if you have shoulders and a decent size bust. Closed necklines will help add curves to the top part of the body and make it look fuller; which is great if you have narrow shoulders and a small bust.
- Off The Shoulder
- Mock and Turtleneck
- Detailed Collars
Just about any style sleeve works for the rectangle shape. Any kind of statement sleeve can add volume to the top half of the body if that is your goal. If you have broader shoulders than you may want to minimize how much bulk you add to the sleeve and follow some of the recommendations for the inverted triangle shape.
Have fun with your tops if you are rectangle shape. A lot of the trends out there for tops were made for you! Don’t be afraid to add some ruffles, embellishments, statement sleeves or textures and prints to your top half. Styles that come in at the waist are best but if you choose to wear something a little more flowy you can front tuck it to help visually create a waist.
- Hip Length Or Longer
- Front Tuck To Help Create Shape
- Button Downs
Layering pieces are great for the rectangle shape because they add fullness or dimension to your body. Most styles will work well, but I recommend staying away from boxy cropped styles.
Blazers & Jackets
- Single Breasted
- Double Breasted
- Hip or Below Hip Length
- Large Collars
- Peplum Hems
- Shoulder Pads
A rectangle shape can pretty much wear any style cardigan. I would just recommend staying away from cropped and boxy styles that will have a tendency to make your shape appear more boxy. Wear styles that reach the hips or go past the hip. These will keep you from looking too boxy.
If you wear open cardigans just layer prints that attract the eye or more slender items underneath to create a nice curvy silhouette that also bring in the waist.
Just about any style bottoms work for the rectangles shape. When choosing what pants or jeans style, make sure you balance the top half with the bottom half. For rectangles, balancing is just keeping the top and bottom half the same proportions while bringing in the waist. If you are wearing a wide leg pant, balance it out with a loose fitting wrap top or even a moto jacket and graphic tee. If you choose to wear a more fitted top like a peplum than you can wear skinny bottoms just balance it out with a chunkier shoe like the images above.
- Wide Leg
- Wide Leg
- Short, Midi or Maxi
- Short, Mid-Length or Bermuda
- Low, Mid or High Rise – This will depend on your shape and what rise looks best for your proportions and height.
- Prints and Patterns
- Loose Legs
- Paper Bag or Tie Waist
I feel like I am repeating this statement, BUT almost all dress styles work for you as well! Just stay away from styles that are really straight and oversized and have no shape if you want to try and define the waist.
- Shirt Dress
- Fit & Flare
- Puff Sleeves & Cinched Waist
- Slip Dress
- Any Length
- Bias Cut
Jumpsuits & Rompers
One of my favorite items for a rectangle shape are one-pieces like jumpsuits, rompers and overalls! The shapes of these items are made for the rectangle. The reason why is most of them have some sort of cinch at the waist whether it’s a tie, belt or banded. I would stay away from any styles that are boxy, oversized and straight down.
Supposedly most women in the world are rectangle shape and most of the clothing is made for with this shape in mind. I could see where this could be true since most things that I try on fit me pretty well and I am rectangle shape. Not only is this shape the easiest to style but it is also the easiest to shop for as well!
Thanks for reading and watch out for the next post on the Triangle or Pear shape!