Flattering clothes for the rectangle

Is you body more rectangle shaped than hourglass, and would you like add more shape with your clothes?

In this article we show you how to dress the rectangle body shape and give you lots of ideas on how to create more shape with your clothes.

You have a rectangle body shape when:

  • You have no defined waist
  • The hips tend to have a similar width as the shoulders
  • You do not have a lot of curves
  • Your bust tends to be small or average
  • Your bottom tends to be flat
  • This is one of the easier body types for dressing.

Rectangle is my most dominant body shape (with pear shape being my secondary).

Still not sure about your own shape? Find out how to determine your body shape

Why you’re in good company

Many models tend to have this body shape or the inverted triangle shape.

A lot of clothes will usually suit you and fit you well, although some of the taller women may have trouble finding clothes that fit properly.

Dressing the rectangle body can still be a challenge

Still, many rectangles will find dressing a bit more of a challenge as they are likely to get extra weight around their tummies as they age (usually after menopause).

Discover how to hide your tummy with fabulous clothes.

As a rectangle, you will want to create more curves and a pleasing silhouette. You can do this by defining the waist and creating curves on the bottom or top.

On the other hand, you can also get away with a straight look and surrender the waist line altogether, which is a look that I’m quite fond of.

Above is one of my favorite outfits. You can see that the wide leg pants add shape to my body and create a flattering silhouette.

Asymmetric styles are great for the rectangle body type. Check some of the best asymmetric clothes here.

What looks best on rectangle body shape?

Mel wears an all-blue outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Mel @bagandaberet above (read her style interview here) shows how you could add curves with a cap sleeve t-shirt and wide leg pants.

Recreate her outfit with this similar top (another option top), pants and pumps.

Is the rectangle body shape attractive?

Definitely! We love all body types at 40+ Style. One of the great advantages of a rectangle body shape is that clothes are often designed with your shape in mind so it can be easier to find outfits that fit properly. Plus, you can be a style cameleon with a rectangle body shape. It really is up to you whether you embrace your angular shape, or you create curves with the clothes you choose.

Can you be curvy with a rectangle body shape?

Because your hips, bust and waistline tend to be a similar width, your body shape doesn’t go ‘in-and-out’ in the same way that the hourglass does, for example. But, you can create a curvy silhouette if you want to by choosing clothes that give you a defined waistline.

How do you slim a rectangle body shape?

The rectangle body shape tends to be athletic and lean. If you want to create a slimmer appearance on certain days, then our article on how to look taller and slimmer has good tips.

What jeans suit a rectangle body shape?

You’re lucky if you are a rectangle, as any jeans suit you. Bootcuts and wide jeans are particularly flattering.

Sylvia in white jeans and a floral top | 40plusstyle.com

Similar tops here and here, and wide jeans

What should I avoid if I have a rectangle body shape?

  • Avoid totally shapeless clothes
  • If you want to add curves then avoid straight dresses, but you can also opt for the waistless look!

Two main strategies

There are two main strategies for dressing your body if you have a rectangle shape.

1. The first is to forget about adding curves and to play up your long, lean lines

You could do this by wearing a shift dress with a long cardigan over the top, for example.

Dayle in a duster jacket | 40plusstyle.com

Dayle @artfulcitystyle above (read her style interview here) shows how you can create a flattering column effect by wearing one color, and then adding a long cardigan or duster coat in a different color.

Get her look with this similar jumpsuit, kimono, shoes and earrings.

2. Another option for the rectangle body type: Create some curves

The second option is to actually create some curves.

You can do this through the clothes you wear and the details they have on them.

For example, you could wear a boat neck top with a pair of wide legged pants and a belt. That way, you will look like you go out, in and out again like an hourglass.

Which garments are good for a rectangle body shape?

Now, onto which specific clothes, shoes and accessories will be good for you if you have a rectangle body shape.

Tops for the rectangle body shape

  • Use strong blocks of color to help define your body. For more tips take a look at how to color block.
  • As for most body types, be sure to wear a good bra to define what bust you have. Also take a look at how to dress if you have a small bust.
  • Wear tops and jackets that emphasize the waist.
  • You can use some shoulder padding (don’t overdo it though)
  • Medium to high necklines usually work well, especially if you have a small bust and long neck
  • If you like to create the illusion of bigger breasts, choose tops with pockets, rushes, pleating and other front details
  • Halter necks will also give the appearance of a bigger bust and show off your back and shoulders.
  • Accessorize with belts around the waist. Heavy belts can be really good if you’re also long-waisted
  • If you have no waist at all, then a belt is best avoided
  • 3/4 sleeves usually work really well for a rectangle
  • Blouses can look really good if they are tucked in
Tops for the rectangle shape body | 40plusstyle.com

Loveappella Faux Wrap TopAlexander Wang Oversized Belted Cotton ShirtBoden Long Sleeve Wrap TopKarmamia Satin Wrap Top

Suzie wears a striped shirt and leather pants | 40plusstyle.com

Suzie @suzie.richetti above chooses stripes, which are a good option for the rectangle, because they mirror your natural straight lines.

Steal her look with this similar shirt, leather pants, pumps, belt and necklace.

Sweaters and cardigans for the rectangle figure

No matter what your body shape, you will still need a cozy sweater for cool evenings.

You’re lucky in that you can choose any shape of sweaters – you can either choose fitted to add more shape or a looser style. Stripes or a sporty style will play up your athletic figure, while a wrap style will add curves.

Sweaters and cardigans for the rectangular body | 40plusstyle.com

COS Striped Wool SweaterA.W.A.K.E. Mode Asymmetric Wool-Blend BlouseNaadam Pointelle-Knit Alpaca-Blend Wrap SweaterHOUSE OF CB Alaia Wrap Cardigan

Jamie wears a black and white outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Jamie @moreturquoise above (read her style interview here) shows how you can add shape if you’re a rectangle by choosing an off-the-shoulder sweater and a wide belt.

Check out this similar sweater (another option here), skirt, boots, belt and sunglasses.

Beige and white outfit with red shoes | 40plusstyle.com

Max Mara Leisure Milano-Stitch Belted JacketHOUSE OF CB Alaia Wrap CardiganJ.Crew Cropped Kickout Sweater PantsBoden Iris Snaffle Ballet FlatsTory Burch McGraw Small Leather Bucket BagKendra Scott Lee Drop Earrings

JACKETS for a rectangle body shape

Choose a coat with a good waist or that is belted at the waist. Any jacket tailored around the waist will look great.

You are lucky as you can wear pretty much any coat. You can choose to create a waist with tailoring or a belt. Or you can opt for a jacket like a moto or denim jacket to layer over your outfits, or choose to forgo your waist with an open coat.

Coats and jackets for the rectangular body | 40plusstyle.com

Max Mara Leisure Milano-Stitch Belted JacketBoden Bloomsbury Interest BlazerBoden Holly Knitted JacketBoden Colour Block Trench Coat

Judith in a blazer and jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Judith @stylecrone above (read her style interview here) shows off slim ankles with her leopard print shoes. You can see that the pockets on her blazer create curves at her hips.

Get her look with this similar blazer, jeans, pumps. necklace and head wrap.

There’s more inspiration in this article on how to choose a coat.

Pants and jeans for the rectangle shape

You can wear a tight skirt or pants to highlight the curves that you DO have or you can choose a looser style.

You can wear almost any shape trousers but slightly flared trousers will look great on you as it will add more shape to your body. Low to mid waisted pants are usually best. Stripes will look good on you as they mirror your figure.

Pants and jeans for the rectangle shape body | 40plusstyle.com

Boden High Rise Wide Leg JeansBoden Westbourne Ponte PantsBoden Westbourne Stripe PantsJ.Crew Cropped Kickout Sweater Pants

Striped top and wide jeans outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Boden Long Sleeve Wrap TopBoden High Rise Wide Leg JeansJ.Crew Metallic Colorblock TrainersTory Burch McGraw Small Leather Bucket BagPanacea Crystal Pavé Geometric Hoop Earrings

Dresses, skirts and jumpsuits for the rectangle body shape

Again, you’re very lucky to have a wide choice of dresses and skirts which will look fabulous on your rectangle shape.

  • Shift dresses and empire line dresses work well, but I also like to break the rule with dropped waist dresses!
  • You can create a waist with a belt.
  • Or you can skim over your waist completely, disguising the fact your waist isn’t much slimmer than your bust and hips.
  • As well as dresses, jumpsuits will look great on you. Try a halterneck style to show off your shoulders.
  • You can wear shorter shirt dresses over jeans or skinny pants.
  • A-line skirts also work really well for this shape.
  • A knee-length pencil skirt that tapers in at the side will also add some curves and look good.
  • If you like the waistless look, you can opt for straight skirts and shirt dresses.
Dresses, skirt and jumpsuit for rectangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Tie Wait Denim DressJ.Crew Striped Cotton Poplin ShirtdressDonna Karan New York Cowl Neck Belted JumpsuitAll in Favor Satin Midi Skirt

Sylvia in a red dress | 40plusstyle.com

Similar dresses here, here and here

Take a look at how to wear tunics or short dresses over pants for further inspiration.

Shoes to go with your rectangle body shape outfits

Of course, you have a huge amount of freedom when it comes to your shoe choices.

It really depends on where you want to draw attention. If you want to add a pop of color, you could choose bright shoes.

You are also likely to be able to wear shoes with an ankle strap if you have slimmer ankles and calves as you don’t need to worry about visually cutting a line across your legs.

Shoes to wear for the rectangular body | 40plusstyle.com

SOREL Joanie Heel Ankle Strap SandalsBoden Iris Snaffle Ballet FlatsBoden Ankle Strap Point FlatsJ.Crew Metallic Colorblock Trainers

Below is a dress I like because of the asymmetrical elements and the unusual print.

Printed wrap dress and Fly London wedge sandals | 40plusstyle.com

Similar dresses here and here, sandals from Fly London.

Stripe shirt dress and chunky sandals outfit | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Striped Cotton Poplin ShirtdressSOREL Joanie Heel Ankle Strap SandalsMadewell Mini The Essential Convertible Top Handle Crossbody BagMadewell Coin Layered Necklace


Again, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the accessories you team with your outfits

You can opt for classic styles or add some femininity with your bag choices and colors.

You can also choose feminine jewelry to contrast with what may be an athletic figure, or you can go for modern, geometric pieces, like the ones I am wearing in the photo below.

Accessories to wear for the rectangular body | 40plusstyle.com

Tory Burch McGraw Small Leather Bucket BagMadewell Mini The Essential Convertible Top Handle Crossbody BagMadewell Coin Layered NecklacePanacea Crystal Pavé Geometric Hoop EarringsKendra Scott Lee Drop Earrings

Sylvia in a white top and print pants | 40plusstyle.com

Similar top (another option here), pants, booties, necklace, earrings and sunglasses

Please note that the guidelines above are for general guidance only. Everyone is different and you certainly don’t have to stick to the above guidelines to dress well.

Outfits For The Rectangle Body Type Using The Pieces Above

Below is a complete capsule wardrobe for the rectangle body shape from many of the items we featured above.

You can see you could switch the clothes around to get many different looks. For example, you could wear the cream sweater with the red pants, the blue sweater with the jeans or striped pants, or the blazer with the jumpsuit.

A capsule wardrobe for the rectangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com


Read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.

More Inspiration For The Rectangle Shape

While the capsule below is past season, all the looks are timeless so they should still provide you with ideas for your next outfits.

A capsule wardrobe for the rectangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com
A capsule wardrobe for the rectangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com
A capsule wardrobe for the rectangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com

While the capsule above is suited to transitional weather, if you are looking for warmer options for the rectangle, you may find inspiration in the choices below. These items are no available online, but you can use them as inspiration and shop in your own closet.

A capsule wardrobe for the rectangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Want More Ideas, Check Out The Video And Other Inspiration Collages Below

Ruth gives tips on how to dress the rectangle body shape.https://www.youtube.com/embed/j-b6wRN8axA?feature=oembed

P.S.: To find out more about your unique style and what would suit your body type and personality I highly recommend our style course.

How do you dress your rectangle shape? Let us know!

Continue reading:

  1. How To Determine Your Body Shape
  2. How To Dress When You Are Tall And Where To Buy The Best Clothes For Tall Women
  3. How To Dress The Apple Body Shape

Like this article On How To Dress The Rectangle Body Shape? Save It On Pinterest!

A style guide and capsule wardrobe for the rectangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

Want to get more articles from 40+style in your inbox, subscribe here.

You can also connect with 40+style on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Support 40+style by using the links in our articles to shop. As an associate for Amazon and many other brands, we receive a small commission (at no cost to you) on qualifying purchases which enables us to keep creating amazing free content for you. Thanks!

Related Posts