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Tuesday, June 4, 2024

What to wear for the straight up and down body type

The banana aka. straight up and down body shape is one of the most common body shapes for women in the UK and US right now. At Insyze, we are big advocates of every body being beautiful.

We want you to feel super confident in your own skin and wear whatever makes you happy.

This guide on dressing for a straight body shape is to share some top tips for dressing your straight up and down body shape – from women with a shape exactly like you!

Photo Credit: Alex Michael May

Check out more inspo from Insyze including how to style a skater dress and see what's on our August wishlist.

What is the straight up and down body shape?

Surely everyone is straight up and down, right?

Well actually, this body type, which is otherwise known as banana or rectangular is characterized as having:

  • Shoulders and hip-line of similar width
  • An undefined waist
  • An average or small bust
  • Usually carry weight evenly around your body or tend to store it around your middle.

The celebrities that are often used as examples for the straight up and down shape are Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman or Gwyneth Paltrow. These gorgeous ladies have very athletic figures though, yet you don’t necessarily have to be ‘sporty’ to flaunt this body shape.

Bigger ladies with this body shape include Mariah Carey, Octavia Spencer and Kelly Clarkson.

Top tips for Banana-shaped babes

You have three main options when it comes to flaunting your body shape:

  • Highlight your beautifully straight figure
  • Create the illusion of a defined waist (hourglass silhouette)
  • Or distract attention away from your waist.

With a banana/rectangle shape, it can sometimes be a bit too easy to look boxy. Ever pulled on an outfit, looked in the mirror and thought ‘I look like a fridge’?

Girl, the struggle is real. Nobody wants to look like a fridge.

Adding peplum style tops, skater skirts and any type of clothes that create an illusion of shape can help you to avoid fridge-gate when dressing the rectangle body type.

Dresses for the straight body shape

Lucky you! Your body type makes dress shopping a dream as most styles fit your shape beautifully!

When shopping for dresses, think in a similar way to how you’d look for a perfect top. Halter dresses, high necklines and a patterned top section are all fab for the straight body shape.

Peplum shapes are fantastic at creating an hourglass illusion.  As well as being waistline attention grabbers, the peplum will also highlight your hips. They, therefore, give you a curvy silhouette and the impression of a defined waist.

Shift dresses will probably make you look quite boxy as their straight up and down shape does little to flatter your figure. Instead, go for dresses with ruching around the waist or asymmetrical hemlines.

Here’s our pick of some gorgeous dress styles for straight up and down bodies!

Dani Marie Cleo Dress

This flattering plus size dress is a dream for your body type! The ruched detailing at the top shows off all the bits you want and then provides loose coverage all the way down!

Cleo Dress Dani Marie
Mauve Purple Textured Scuba and Lace Peplum Dress - Torrid

Tops For The Straight Body Type

A pretty top is a rectangle gal’s friend!

If you have slim thighs and lovely long legs then wearing a long top may work for you, otherwise opt for tops that finish at the mid-section of the hips. These will create the illusion of a defined waist.

To draw attention to the shoulders and bust wear tops (or dresses) with embroidery or details around the décolletage. Try to avoid tops that feature patterning to waist area as the aim is to draw attention upwards and away from the waist.

Another effective way to draw the eye upwards (and towards your dazzling smile) is to wear tops that have a high neckline or halter neck. Halter neck tops can give the illusion of a bigger bust whilst also showing off your back. The halter draws the eye up from your boobs towards your neck and the shape of this style is very flattering for those with shoulder and hips that are the same width.

If you have small boobs and want to create the illusions that you’re packing some mini-melons, then you can totally do so with this sneaky trick. Create the illusion of bigger boobs by choosing tops that have detailing around the chest area.

Detailing could be something like ruching, pleating or pockets. Shoulder padding can also work well for you, don’t overdo it though as this can make you look top-heavy. Any sleeve length goes but 3/4 length sleeves can work best for you.

Here are some of our fave tops for straight body shapes:

Plus Black Jersey Halterneck Crop Top - Pretty Little Thing
Lace Me Up Top - Soncy

Define your body with strong block colors but don’t tuck in your tops (especially if you are short-waisted) as this can make you look shorter than you are.

Jackets for the straight body shape

The right jacket can make or break an outfit!

We love figure-hugging jacket styles that are single breasted. These work especially well for rectangle shapes if the jacket goes in at the waist.

Jackets with waist belts can work wonders for creating waist definition, especially if you tie the belt at your back!

If you want to avoid fridge-gate, aka. the boxy look then steer clear of double-breasted coats and jackets. They are a little too much on the structured side for the straight body shape. But don’t take our word for it, try that double-breasted coat if you love it! As long as you feel comfortable and happy, then go for it.

Here are some of our favorite jackets for the straight body shape:

Plus Camel Waterfall Coat - Pretty Little Thing
Striped Duster Coat - 17 Sundays

Accessories for the straight up and down body shape

Belts can make you or break you, just kidding…or are we?

As we talked about above, jackets with belts to the waist can work for you but where possible should be tied at the back to avoid making you look boxy.  Wrap styles both in dresses and tops are also best avoided by bananas/rectangles for the same reason.

If you want to wear a belt, go for a slim style and wear your belt low (i.e not at the waist) if you can, curve to the belt so that it sits at the waist but drops lower to the front.

From low to high, wear accessories such as brooches, scarves, necklaces and earrings and around your neckline to draw attention upwards. Everyone loves statement jewelry (or at least we do) and this is the perfect choice for the banana body shape.

Skirts, Jeans and Trousers For Your Rectangle Shape

Any style skirt, trousers or jeans will look great on you. We still have some suggestions though.

When choosing a pair of jeans try to pick low or mid-rise styles, especially if you are short waisted. Any fit will work well for you especially slightly flared trousers or jeans. These will add more shape and definition to your body.

When it comes to skirts, any style will also look great, particularly A-line skirts. To create a more curvy silhouette, however, choose a tight fitting style or even a pencil skirt that tapers in at the side.

Flare Leg Trouser Jean - Eloquii
Work Diary Skirt - Showpo

Remember babe, your straight, rectangle, banana body shape is lush! You’ve got the body to wear whatever you want. So when you’re shopping for clothing for your straight body shape, look for the kinds of textures and layers that add volume and movement. Accentuate your best features and most importantly choose clothes that let your personality and confidence shine through.

As always these suggestions are only guidelines. We know that all of you straight up and down body shapes will look fabulous whatever you wear. Want more guides?  Here’s our Guide Dressing The Pear Body Shape. Read our Guide to Dressing The Apple Body Shape Or our Guide To Dressing The Hourglass Body Shape.

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