Styling the Petite Rectangle Body Type

Shopping can be tough when you aren’t the conventional sample sized body.  Throw in body type and it can be down right frustrating!  I’m here to help you know what to take into the dressing room.  Clothes are nothing more than tools to help us look our best and when you have a clear plan, shopping can be fun again.

I’ve already covered some simple tricks for the petite gal to look taller and how to evaluate proportions in these posts:

Dressing the Short Torso

Styling Proportions

Proportions Make All the Difference

Proportions Can Make or Break an Outfit

Are you seeing a trend here?  Developing an eye for aesthetically pleasing proportions has helped me tremendously.  I hope that by sharing my process with you and all the things I find that don’t work (instead of just telling you how to dress), that you will be able to go out on your own and do the same for yourself.

It’s All About the Shoes!  

(My personal favorite trick to looking taller and leaner)

Let’s apply these to the rectangular body type

What is a rectangular body type?

Relatively the same measurements of Bust, Waist and Hips.

Styling the Petite Rectangular Body Shape

I look to Eva Longoria for Celeb inspiration.  She has a muscular body type with few curves, but she does a great job accentuating her assets.  She has a sultry persona on television because she does such an awesome job at this.  Remember how hot she was in Desperate Housewives?

In case you hadn’t noticed that she isn’t so curvy…

Styling the Petite Rectangular Body Type

Guidelines to Follow for the Rectangular Body Type:

  • Tops with details around the bust to add curves.
  • Fitted jackets (be sure they aren’t too long.  Jackets should end around the hipbone.)
  • Layering lightweight relatively fitted pieces to add dimension.
  • Belting your dress will create a waistline, but if you’re short, it’s best to stick to a thin belt rather than a wide belt.
  • Skirts and dresses that have an A-line flare to add curves.
  • Pencil skirts to highlight the hip area.
  • Pants are easy, tight pants look great on this silhouette.  Petite girls really benefit from wearing the right shoes, so be sure to check out the shoe guide.
  • Use prints and patterns to your advantage.  The right placement of a print or colorblocking will create an hourglass shape.  Petite girls need to remember that we have less area to fit in a print, so you don’t want to overwhelm the canvas.


Styling the Rectangular Body Type

The flowy top above creates drama and curves on the top half of the body and when paired with a tight skinny jean, she looks thin and curvy.  The nude shoe disappears into the look and makes her appear taller.

Styling the Rectangular Body Type

The scarf adds volume and curve to the bust area.  Picture the outfit without it.  It’s an alright outfit, but the scarf really elevates the look.

Styling the Petite Rectangular Body Shape

Above is an example of how a fitted jacket can add curves to a slim body.  The length is longer than I suggested, but it works because it is the same color throughout.  Capping it off with a black shoe elongates the body.

Styling the Petite Rectangular Body Shape

Just a little bit of flare to this casual dress accentuates her curves.

Styling the Petite Rectangular Body Shape

Above you see what a difference it makes to combine a few of these elements.  The cutout on her shoulder draws the eye up, while the draping at the hips adds curves and the train and black shoe draw the eye down.  She looks absolutely fabulous.  Where can I get this dress?!

Styling the Petite Rectangular Body Shape

The loose printed top creates volume and curves when paired with a tight pencil skirt.

Styling the Petite Rectangular Body Shape

Use of prints can definitely create an hourglass form.

Use of print to create an hourglass shape

Picture the above dress without the lace and belt.  It doesn’t do much for the model’s figure, but with these details, it’s a winner.

Happy Shopping!


Kate Thakkar

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Wonderful tips and ideas. I’m going to be thinking about your post as I look through my closet! Thanks so much for sharing. Koko:)


Thanks Koko! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Hope it’s helpful in the future! xoxo, Kate

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