3 Tips For Dressing When You Have A Rectangular Body Shape

While getting dressed might seem as simple as throwing on a t-shirt and jeans, truly dressing properly requires a little more effort. That's why it is vital to know which body type you have. 

It is essential to establish that body type has nothing to do with height or weight. Your body type is entirely based on your bone structure and can fall into one of five categories. According to Brent Moelleken M.D., the different body types include hourglass, apple, inverted triangle, pear, and rectangle shapes. While they may go by other names, they are five of the most common body shapes.


According to The Concept Wardrobe, a rectangular body shape is composed of various factors. A rectangular body shape has straight hips, little to no definition in the waist, the same width between the bust and hips, and a straight line between the shoulder and the ribcage. Also known as the "straight" body shape, the rectangular body shape is known for being evenly proportioned in a straight line.

While every body shape has its advantages and disadvantages in styling, the rectangular shape is known for being extremely versatile and able to wear almost anything. However, there are a few ways you can use your body shape to improve your styling.

Choose the right pieces

When dressing a rectangular body shape, you have the freedom to wear almost anything. However, depending on which body part you want to highlight, there are several clothing pieces you want to ensure you have in your wardrobe. According to StyleCraze, some must-have items are a-line skirts, layered tops, dresses that accentuate your top and legs, open necklines, and outerwear such as blazers and long jackets. These pieces will help create focus on your top and bottom halves.


Lookiero, a personal shopper collective, states that those with rectangular body shapes should also focus on finding pieces that can create a more defined waist. Create the illusion of a waist with a belt or a belted coat cinched in the midsection. You can create the illusion of a curvier shape by wearing shirts with more volume on top and cinching the middle with a belt or jeans that are tighter around the waist. 

Pick the best accessories

Besides wearing the correct clothing pieces, you should also pay attention to the accessories you use to complement your look.

According to Sociomix, chunky accessories can be your best friend if you want to draw attention away from certain sectors of your body. If you want to avoid attention from your shoulders, going for a statement necklace can help draw the eyes towards your chest. Vice versa, you can opt for statement earrings if you want to avoid attention to the chest area and focus more on the shoulders. 


No matter your shape, Your Everyday Style recommends having a quality bra on hand to help create a base for a curvier look. Having a good push-up bra helps you create a larger chest area, which helps to make your waist seem smaller. Your Everyday Style also recommends using colors to create your desired shape. While there are different color combinations you can use to your advantage, one popular combination is wearing one color on your top and bottom. Then create a different shape by adding a different colored outerwear piece along with a belt. You can also pair a lightly colored outfit with a dark-colored belt or midsection that draws in the waist.

Avoid shapeless items

Although there isn't much that a rectangular body shape can't pull off, there are a few things to note when styling your pieces.

Style editor Bobby Thomas explains to TODAY that those with a rectangular body shape should stay away from square-neck tops, mid-waist jeans, fitted tops, and wide or flared legs. You want to avoid these items because they all result in rectangular shapes instead of creating a new shape or accentuating your body. In the end, these items just give a boxy look on a rectangular body.


Fustany adds that you want to avoid completely shapeless items. This would include shift dresses that typically fall on the body in a straight line. Although they can accentuate the legs, they create no shape on the torso and make the body look boxy. You also want to always keep in mind balance. This means that if you opt for something wide on the top, pair it with something that widens on the bottom too. This creates the visual illusion of your waist being smaller than your shoulders, giving you a more hourglass body shape.