How to Dress a Rectangular Body Shape: 5 Easy Style Tips

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A rectangular body shape is a figure that’s straight up and down with little to no waist definition, creating a slightly masculine silhouette. If your bust, hips, and shoulders are of almost the same width, then you have a rectangular body shape. While this may not be the favored figure for women, it is actually one of the most common figures.

This body shape is commonly seen on the runways, and most celebrities, including Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Keira Knightley, and Nicole Kidman, sport the same figure.

Here are five simple tips to flatter this body type:

1. Go for full, flirty skirts.

To create the illusion of having wider hips, go for more bottom-heavy silhouettes like skirts and dresses that flare out. This flirty shape will add softness and movement to your figure and give you a more feminine shape.

Rectangular Shape Cameron Diaz5Cameron Diaz at The Other Woman premiere in Westwood, Los Angeles, on April 22, 2014

Rectangular Shape Cameron Diaz4

2. Define your waist.

The best way to create the illusion of an hourglass figure, which is what most women aim for, is by defining the waist. Wear wrap dresses to flatter your waist, or use belts to give you a curvier shape.

Rectangular Shape Wrap Dressesfrom L to R: Diane von Furstenberg “New Julian” Two-Wrap Dress in Cosmic Cobalt, $199.50 (before: $285); Rachel Pally Spaghetti Wrap Dress in Mesa Quill, $251; Diane von Furstenberg “New Julian” Two Mini Dress in Midnight, $268

3. Avoid stiff and shapeless dresses.

Stiff fabric and shapeless silhouettes are never flattering on anyone, especially on rectangular body shapes. Because you need to add more curves to your straight lines, stay away from shapeless frocks. If you really want to wear a dress like this, make some adjustments by wearing a belt to cinch the waist.

4. Elongate your neck.

Not everyone is born with a long neck, but you can fake this by wearing dresses that expose and open up your chest. Scoop necks and V-necks are flattering on all body types. These necklines create longer lines and make you appear taller, too.

Rectangular Shape Gwyneth Paltrow3Gwyneth Paltrow at the P. Die Goldene Kamera 2014 Awards at Flughafen Tempelhof in Berlin, Germany, on February 1, 2014

5. Don’t be afraid to wear girly styles.

A lot of women who have the rectangular body figure tend to go for sporty looks or cover up their bodies with unflattering layers of clothes. Don’t be afraid to show off your body and hints of skin to amp up the sexiness. To offset strong features, go for feminine silhouettes and details like ruffles and lace. Also, don’t be shy to showcase your best assets — shoulders, legs, or a little bit of cleavage.

Rectangular Shape Off Shoulder Dressesfrom L to R: Tbags Los Angeles Ruffle Strapless Dress in Neon Pink, $180; re:named Off Shoulder Ruffle Sleeve Dress in Off White, $62; Three Floor Little Red Dress in Coral, $255

Credit: WENN/Stephan Schraps/Future Image/Patrick Hoffmann/FayesVision/Nikki Nelson

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