Subliminal Style
Effortless. Authentic. Professional.

Catching Rae

Tips for Dressing a Rectangle Body Type

This week is all about dressing the 5 Basic Body Types - yesterday's focus was the Inverted Triangle, and today we're talking all about the Rectangle! Click the image to go to the Polyvore with item details.

A Rectangle is characterized by a NARROW FRAME all through the shoulder, waist, and hips with LITTLE DIFFERENCE between the waist and hips. Many women today actively seek this shape as their ideal body type, so you might not be concerned about adjusting this body shape at all! But when you have this body type and feel like some curves are missing, dressing this body type is about creating the illusion of more dimension through the use of curved and diagonal lines. 

Create Some Curves


  • Straight, stiff boxy tops with no drape
  • Sleeveless styles that fall straight down from the shoulder line such as the muscle tee style
  • Straight necklines like boat neck and square styles
  • Harsh vertical or horizontal stripes


  • Structured tops with some shape built in, like princess seams or a soft peplum
  • Drop-waist tops in a soft fabric
  • Sleeveless styles that "cut in," such as racer backs, halters, spaghetti straps
  • Cap sleeves
  • Diagonal details like v-neck, surplice, button-front, or wrap tops
  • Curved necklines like scoop, crew, and ballet necks


Whittle Your Waist


  • Straight skirts & pants
  • Very low-rise styles that will feel like they're sliding off
  • Stiff sack dresses
  • Long, boxy boyfriend jackets


  • Belts, especially with a looser-fit dress or bloused top
  • Tucked-in tops
  • High waisted pants & jeans
  • Diagonal details like ruching or draping through the waist
  • Soft skirts with defined shape like a tulip, a-line, or flare style


Other Options

This body type is also a bit of a blank slate, which is part of why it is favored for runway models. You may choose to adjust your frame to suggest any body type you wish. You could, for example, only create curves on your bottom half for more of a Pear shape - or you might strengthen your straight shoulder line to create the look of an Inverted Triangle. The world does not begin and end with the hourglass shape! As always, it is up to you to decide on - and create - the image of a body you love and respect.