How to dress a rectangle shape

In need of a wardrobe update? Dressing for your body shape is a straightforward way to find styles that complement your figure perfectly. Here are our key tips and top picks for when it comes to dressing a rectangle shape.

Tip one: define your waistline

Rectangles are characterised by their long, lean lines and the “straight-up-and-down” look. If creating the illusion of an hourglass figure is your goal, one of the best ways to achieve this is to pull in your waistline.

Create the impression of a narrower waist with ease by adding a belt at your slimmest point. Not only will this help to pull you in, but it’ll draw the eye to exactly where you want it. Three-quarter length sleeves are also a surprisingly great way to emphasise your new curves, as they’ll hit at a flattering length that matches your created waistline.

Tip two: it’s all about balance

Curves can also be created by adding volume to the top and lower halves of your body. If you’re adding bold sleeves to your look, make sure to contrast against a pair of bootleg trousers or a full skirt to prevent looking too top heavy, and vice versa.

Rectangles have a great array of necklines at their disposal that can be used to create the impression of a fuller bust, without adding bulk. High necklines, halter necks and boat necklines will highlight delicate shoulders while emphasising this area.

Like a dress? Fit and flare dresses are fab for achieving the look of an hourglass figure, strategically adding extra volume where it’s needed without swamping your frame.

Tip three: be playful with prints

You lucky rectangles, you really have your choice of assets to play up! Whether you want to highlight your shoulders or your legs, clever use of print can help to draw the eye to your favourite part. By wearing a printed top, all the focus will be on your top half, and you can always add shoulder pads or ruffles to really amp up your look.

If it’s your slender legs you want to shine the spotlight on, go for a floral skirt or printed trouser. Not only will this create an elongating effect, everyone will have their eyes on your fabulous pins!

Tip four: go for tailoring

Structured clothing and tailoring are a rectangle’s best friend. A well-fitting blazer will not only complement your athletic frame, but can pull you in at the waistline, without needing a belt. Think shoulder pads, a nipped in waistline and tapered trousers, and you’ve instantly got the volume where you need it, while maintaining a slim look through the waistline.

Add your favourite heels and you’ve got a fabulous workwear look that’ll have you feeling confident as you strut into the boardroom.

Tip five: shine in shift dresses

While a lot of the focus is often on creating curves, there’s nothing wrong with flaunting what you’ve naturally got!

Rectangles can really rock a shift dress for that uber-feminine retro feel. Its long, clean lines will mirror your own for a sleek look that’ll complement a smaller bust and hips. Plus, their versatile style will take you from daytime to evening with ease. Be careful with sizing though, too big and a shift dress can look shapeless.

Not sure of your body shape? Check out our handy guide here.