Rectangle Rulers

As published in Grapevine (Ongerup-Gnowangerup), The Williams (Williams) & Wagin Argus (Wagin)

“Please Fairy Godmother, find my waist! Create some curves!”

If you despair at the lack of curve through the waistline due to a straight ribcage, with hips and armpit similar width, you are probably a Rectangle.

This common female body shape has a lean version, often referred to as the Boyish figure, Column or Ruler.

Tricking the eye into seeing curves and softness is easy with a few simple tricks.

Firstly, start with a good fitting bra. If you are small to medium busted, try a lightly padded bra that will create lift and curves.

To help create curves, try necklines that climb the neck such as a mock/turtleneck, standard shirt collar and mandarin. Classic V, crew, high to medium scoops and halter necks also work well.  

To draw attention to your upper body, try shirts with neckties/ bows or scarves loosely arranged, gathers at shoulder line, frills, breast pockets and centre details, such as buttons on a shirt front.  

If you have a fuller bust, avoid mock/turtlenecks and other high necklines.  Add sweetheart necks and wrap tops. Keep tops simple in design without a lot of extra details, such as ruffles, breast pockets and heavy embellishments.

Medium to long necklaces, with interesting pendants or colourful beads, should hang in a ‘v’.  This helps create an optical illusion of a waist.  Long scarves loosely knotted through the chest area have the same effect.

Tops, including jackets and vests, work well when they end between high and low hip. Keep them semi-fitted or softly flowing through the torso. To prevent a boxy look with stiffer fabrics, check for some shaping at the waist.

Irregular horizontal stripes are a winner. For some, vertical lines, checks and geometrics sit really well, mimicking their shape while others suit curved lines, squiggles and spots. Both are worth a try and will depend upon your shoulder line, frame, face shape and weight.

Layering of different length tops with non-bulky cardigans, jackets and over-shirts works really well. Belts can be worn over the base top, where your waist is or would like it to be, to trick the eye into believing your waist is narrower than the outside layer.  

Try experimenting with belts over shaped jackets, vests and dresses at high hip, waist or under the bust for fuller figured women. You can use a belt to create a bloused effect with straight or a-line dresses and tops, creating shape.

Dresses can either flow through the body, eg a shift, include a bodice, gentle blousing at the waist, wrapped or semi-fitted, eg princess or empire line. Ruching or draping through the torso will encourage the illusion of a waist.

Skirts look lovely in any A-line design, which maybe gored, pleated, wrapped or subtle. Trousers can be straight, wide or bootlegged, with a flat front. Try cropped pants that finish below the fullest part of your calf.

Avoid clingy fabrics and fitted silhouettes, gathering at the waistline, big loose or narrow overly tapered tops and bottoms, cropped tops and mini skirts.

Until next time, wave that magic wand, find that waist and create some curves!