maxi dress

The straight body shape (also known as the celery or rectangle body shape) is one that has minimal curves. The straight body shape is generally more athletic and lean, but it is also one that lacks definition or feminine curves like the hourglass figure.  The benefit of having a straight body figure is the fact that you can wear almost any clothing style and it will look good. Some styles will fit to the natural shape of the body while others will add shape and the illusion of curves.

maxi dress shirred bust


No matter what the top style may be, whether it’s casual or dressy, the beauty of a rectangular body shape is the fact that any length will work well. If you have a shorter torso, try to wear tops that extend to the hip or lower. This style will extend your midsection and make your body seem longer and leaner. If you have a disproportionate midsection that’s quite long, try to wear tops that sit at or just above the hips.

If you would like to add curves to your body, the simplest way to do so is by wearing a top that adds bulk and movement to the bust area and to the hips. A peplum top is ideal for giving the illusion of shapely hips. If you find a peplum top with ruffles around the bust, it will give you the illusion of an hourglass shape, with lots of emphasis on a tiny waist. Another great reason why straight body shapes are great when it comes to fashion is the fact that trim and tailored clothes look just as good as oversized slouchy styles.

Check Pattern Top

Short Sleeved Cowl Neck

Floral Top

rectangle body shape



The biggest problem that most women with a straight body shape have is finding pants and skirts that can fit properly, which is generally because hips are not broad enough. Look for a low-rise waistline or a cinched medium rise waistline to help avoid drooping or gaping waistbands.

Skinny styles are a rectangular body’s best friend. They show off those lovely legs and go great with pretty much any top. To add a little bulk and shape to the hips and legs, look for flared or wide leg pants that will instantly add some (good) bulk. Cargo styles also suit a straight body since they will add shape to the lower half of the body. To add shape to your rear, choose pants that have flapped or embellished back pockets and try to add belts that have a bit of flare to draw the eye to the hip area.

Since there are many skirt styles that have a straight or wide waistband, wider hips are needed to hold up the clothing so that it falls nicely on the body.  Look for skirts that are more fitted at the waist or at least have an adjustable waistline or belt. Maxi skirts and long peasant styles look great on straight body shapes with long legs, but if you would like to find a skirt that will create the illusion of curves, choose styles that add volume to the hips. Look for shorter styles that flare out, like A-line skirts, flared skirts, pleated skirts and mermaid skirts. If you would like to emphasize lovely slender legs while adding some shape to the hips, try fuller styles like circle skirts, full skirts, layered skirts and bubble skirts.

Cargo Pants

cargo pants



Just like the tops, peplum dresses and fishtail dresses are perfect for creating the illusion of an hourglass shape from the flared out fabric that extends from the waist.  Other dress styles that work beautifully with a straight body shape, especially to highlight lovely slender legs are short tiered dresses, carwash dresses, a textured ruffle dresses and roman style dresses. For tall women who have a long slender body and would like to show it off, try maxi dresses, fitted drape neck dresses and any long styles that have a high slit. Each style will draw attention to different features like the neckline or the legs.

3/4 Sleeve Dress

Roman Chiffon Dress


black peplum

When shopping for clothing that will highlight the natural beauty of a straight body shape, look for textures and layers that add volume and great movement. Show off your best features by choosing a style that will draw the eye towards those features.

4 thoughts on “Rectangle Body Shape – Plus Size Fashion Tips

  1. tracy nelson says:

    Can you be a curvy rectangle my shape is straight up and down but I have a big butt any my waist is short and the smallest part of my body here are my measurements 39 bust 34 waist and 43 hips my shoulders are aligned with hips

    • Amy says:

      I always thought I was an hourglass, but then it was suggested I was a pear because of my shoulders being quite a bit narrower than my hips, even though I have a big bust. However, when I input my measurements into a calculator, it stated that because my waist measurement was less than nine inches different than my other measurements, it meant I was a straight or “banana” shape. Yours are nine inches difference between waist and hips. When I input your calculations, it came up as straight, “banana” shape.

  2. Ashley says:

    Rectangle shaped women have close measurements such as mine 46 41 47 so you’have a pear shaped body meaning you’re bottom heavy and hips are larger than your bust. You’re waist is also defined with slim arms and shoulders.

  3. Shelly says:

    I’m confused. My measurements are (inches) 38-36-38. My height is 157cm, I’m athletic, narrow across the shoulders, flat bum and a fat tummy/waist! So what shape am I?

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