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Unbelievable Tips for the ‘Straight Up and Down Body Shape’

By Connie Matthews, The Stylish Director, Personal Stylist, Brisbane Australia

So…you’re a ‘rectangle’ – a straight up and down body shape.

You have amazing celebs as Doppelganger’s by the way.  Let me reel them off:  Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman, Hilary Duff, Sheryl Crow, Rachel Hunter, Zoe Saldana, Katie Holmes and Queen Latifah.  Just to name a few.

The strategy we need to adopt is to add dimension into your figure, creating a bottom and top shape, which in turn will highlight your waist. 

The great thing with Rectangles is we can experiment.  We get to break up your silhouette by playing with colours and different textures, along with detailing.

You can get away with just about anything, the trendiest blazers, coats, jumpers and stylish jeans.  However, your goal is to define your waist.

Defining the waistline with clever lines in the jacket, shoulder pads and a scooped neckline with the dress. All ads to the illusion of shape which Connie Matthews The Stylish Director Persona Stylist can create for you.

Defining the waistline with clever lines in the jacket, shoulder pads and a scooped neckline with the dress. All adds to the illusion of shape.

Your lack of curves can be easily balanced out with colour and accessories which bring attention to your bust, waist and hips.  Steer clear from outfits that are straight up and down and too baggy.

Here are 10 tips to use when shopping for your shape

  1.   Features

Not many curves

Straight shoulders, hips and bottom

Little shape around the waist, or worst of all…none!

Small to average Bust

2.  Tips

Create the illusion of curves for your top and bottom

Flaunt your arms and legs

Anything that is nipped in at the waist or right below your bust, IE:  Empire cut

Panelling in dresses

Pockets on skirts, pants or shirts

3.  Create Balance

You can wear lots of accessories

Layering, ruffles, prints, tiers, beads or studs

Lots of colour broken up

Really good push up bra

Make sure your waist stays trim

The use of belts with simple trimmings

Our Rectangle Body Shape should look for simple belts, of a darker colour h,elp to define your waist and Connie Matthews The Stylish Director Personal Stylist will teach you what to look for

Rectangle Body Shapes should look for simple belts, a darker colour which help to define your waist

   4.  Tops

Scooped, Sweetheart necklines or Bustier will enhance your bust and slim your waist

Off the shoulder is perfect for you

Nipped in at the waist

Collars, ruffles, embellishments, even bows around the top

If well-endowed show a bit more skin with your neckline

Creating this line around the shoulders gives the illusion of width, which in turn highlights the waist. Clever trickery which Connie Matthews The Stylish Director Personal Stylish knows only too well how to create

Creating this shape around the shoulders gives the illusion of width, which in turn highlights the waist. Clever trickery!

   5.   Skirts

Pencil or A-line cinched at the waist

Tulip skirt

Embellishments or pockets around the hipline

6.  Trousers

Wide leg and Boot Cut jeans, which is different to wide flares

Skinny Jeans

You can wear cropped pants

Look for details around the hips or bottom

Leggings aren’t pants – NOOOOOOO!!!!!!  (You may have seen me say this once or twice.)

  7.  Coats and Jackets

Fitted Coats and Jackets with shoulder pads

Embellishments, detailing, pockets across the shoulders and bust

Jackets and Blazers at hip length

Belts to define the waist

  8.  Dresses

Straight dresses with interest at the top, as describe for tops

Empire Waist Dresses

Bias cut dresses

Anything with flow or fullness around the hips will look softer and create curves

 9.  Beach Wear

Padded bikinis with embellishments such as ruffles and bows

Bright colours and prints

Tankinis or bathers that come in at the waist such as belts

10.  Avoid

Square neck or fitted tops

Crop tops

Drop waist dresses and jackets

Bandeau bather tops and Bandeau dresses

Vertical lines on your tops as this will emphasize your rectangle body shape

Stiff and shapeless garments

Bulk around the waist

Straight skirts

Baggy styles

Flared pants

Overly thin heels


For many people opening their wardrobe first thing each morning is a challenge.  Often, they feel a sense of desperation as they are faced with the age-old question ‘what should I wear’.  It doesn’t need to be like this.  You may find one of my older blogs an interesting read where I ask the question ‘how much have you spent over the last 6 months on clothes and how much of that do you actually wear?’  You can read that blog HERE.

To help you further, why not find out what one of my Guest Bloggers had to say about the benefits of engaging a Personal Stylist HERE.

Reading about your shape is one thing, shopping for your shape sometimes is altogether a different matter.

If you still have questions on your body shape drop me an email: or call me on 0439 088 669.

Shopping for clothes is a breeze when you know what you are looking for.

Advice from Connie Matthews The Stylish Director Personal Stylist

Providing clear Personal Styling advice from The Stylish Director Connie Matthews

Connie Matthews

Style…as Individual as YOU

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