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Tips for Working with Your Body Shape: Beyond Apples & Pears


Cameron Diaz fakes curves by balancing her upper and lower body and by wearing an allover print broken up by a black belt.
Cameron Diaz fakes curves by balancing her upper and lower body and by wearing an allover print broken up by a black belt.
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The Goal: Create balanced curves.

Lots of curvier women envy a boyish, rectangular body, which is narrow and tends to be pretty lean; but rectangles have their own issues to work with. Namely, they've got relatively thick waists and no curves. Luckily, the illusion of curviness isn't too hard to create.



Quickest way to add roundness? Look for contours in clothing, liked shaped waist bands and seaming. Contoured waists are popular on jeans, and lots of skirts have shapely seaming around the hips that can mimic a shapely lower body and a nipped-in waist.

Dropped-waist tops and dresses (which are loose at the natural waist and fitted at the hips) can be a great way to draw attention away from a thick waist, too. If that top or dress has a billowy top torso, all the better -- a loose, flowing top can make your bust look rounder. Rectangles can also look great in low-rise jeans, which skip the waist entirely and can make the butt and thighs look a bit curvier with well-placed pockets and fading.

Also, go for a pair of attention-catching earrings to pull the eye upward.

Styles to Avoid

Fitted looks that are belted at the natural waist typically don't work great for rectangles, since they draw attention to a thick middle. A belted shift dress, for instance, might be something to reconsider. Fitted tops and one-piece looks can have the same problem.

Look to Try: A printed, silk, drop-waist dress, statement earrings, and strappy sandals.

All of these guidelines are just that: guidelines. Ultimately, you're the best judge of what works for your body. Be honest about your shape, creative with your style and, always, classy with your overall look, and chances are you'll do just fine at matching your uniquely beautiful shape with the more standardized type of beauty most of us are (exhaustively) working toward.

For more information on working with your body type, look over the links below.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Dressing for Your Shape: Square, Inverted Triangle. Parents Connect.
  • Kuchinsky, Charlotte. "Finding the right pair of jeans for you." The Beauty Biz.
  • What's Your Body Shape? Style Makeover HQ.