The rectangle body shape is characterised by equal bust, waist and hip measurements.
Rectangles tend to be tall and lean. They are not particularly curvy, the waist is not well-defined, and the bottom is rather flat.
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It is difficult to categorise your body into just one of the basic body shapes. Be open to a possible secondary body shape:
The upper and lower part of the rectangle body are well-proportioned and create a balanced silhouette. The focus of this body shape should be on defining the waist by breaking up the rectangle.
When enhancing your waist you have two options: if you are very slender and want to create more curves you can proportionally add volume to your upper and lower body and leave the waist as is.
Alternatively, you can make your waist appear slimmer by visually pulling it in but leaving the upper and lower body as is.
This means breaking up the straight silhouette to create curves from the waist up and down.
Defining the waist is the easiest and quickest way to break up the rectangle.
Choosing a neckline style for a rectangle body depends on which of the two dressing strategies you are going for:
In order to create some curves, round necklines - such as scoop or jewel necklines, are excellent choices.
Lower, wider necklines - such as wide V-, slash, scoop or sweetheart necklines, visually lengthen the shoulder and bust area. Embellishments around the décolletage such as big collars, lace trims and ruffles can also help direct the attention upwards and create additional volume.
If you want to accentuate your slender look, opt for narrow necklines - such as turtlenecks, mandarin, crew, funnel and halter necklines (but don't forget to define the waist).
Avoid square and straight necklines (such as Sabrina) that will add squareness to your body frame.
A selection of flattering necklines:
The right type of sleeve for the rectangle body is one that adds interest and volume to the upper or lower body - depending on the sleeve length.
Opt for sleeve styles that are embellished - such as rolled-up or cuffed sleeves, as these will draw attention. To create volume, sleeves should be loose and wide - like flared, princess, puff or flutter sleeves.
You have a wide range of lengths for sleeves: sleeveless, cap, short shirt sleeves, short elbow, classic shirt long sleeves and ¾ sleeves.
Avoid shapeless sleeve styles - such as fitted sleeves, that add to the column look.
A selection of flattering sleeve styles:
Shirts for the rectangle body should be creating shape by adding volume to the shoulder, bust and hip line while at the same pulling in the waist.
Shirts with nipped or belted waists or that drape under the bust, and that flare out at the bottom achieve this. In fact, belts are a great way to create a waist. Darker colours will add a further a slimming effect.
Shirts should finish at the hip level; avoid tops that end at the waist line as they will make you look more rectangular.
With details like embellishments, bibs, frills, bows, bottoms, rosettes, pockets, front panels, pleating, lace and ruffles you can add volume and interest to your bust. Make sure these details are at your bust and above and not around your waist.
Avoid boxy shirt styles that will make you look shapeless.
A selection of flattering shirt and top styles:
Relaxed fits, with curved detailing are the best option for the rectangle body to soften the squarish silhouette.
Have fun with bold fabrics and patterns to add interest to your upper body. To achieve a more shapely figure, opt for jumpers that are longer and chunkier and have varying stripes. The thicker fabrics and longer silhouettes will give an extra curve to your shape. Variegated horizontal stripes will also create the illusion of varying proportions.
Like other tops, jumpers should end below the hip line so as not to draw attention to the waist.Long cardigans with belts are excellent for the rectangle body shape.
Avoid tight-fitting or boxy jumpers that would make you appear even more squarish.
When it comes to outerwear, defining the waist is still a priority. Jackets should be nipped or belted in at the waist to create shape.
Embellishments on the bust are great to broaden the shoulder-line - such as double breasting, pockets, plackets, belt carriers, button-downs, cuffs, flaps and hoods.Jackets should end below the waist, so as not to emphasise it. Even better if they are slightly flaring towards the hips to create volume around the hips.
Because of the square shoulder line of the rectangle body, straight-cut jackets hang nicely from it and follow the natural silhouette of this body shape. Adding a belt will also create a bit of waist.
Avoid jackets that end above the waist and boxy jackets that they will make you look square. Also steer clear of embellishments around the waist that add bulk to that area.
A selection of flattering jacket styles:
Similar to jackets, coats should either be slighted fitted or follow the natural straight silhouette of the rectangle body.
Longer coats, which go past the knees will elongate and slim the body, especially if worn open.
Belts are useful to define the waist.
Embellishments around the shoulder, bust, and hip lines are desirable - such as big collars, belt carriers, pockets, cuffs, flaps or shoulder shawls that add dimension to your straight body.
A selection of flattering jump- and playsuits:
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