bathing suit guide for rectangular body shapes

Rectangle Body Shape: The Ultimate Swimwear Guide

What is a rectangle body shape?

what is a rectangle body shape?

We can determine a person’s body shape by looking at their bone structure and allocation of muscles and fat.

A person with a rectangle body shape will have proportionate shoulders, bust, waist, and hip measurements. Overall, a rectangle body shape will appear straight or elongated.

This body shape may seem masculine or athletic due to the lack of curves on the body. This tends to be the easier body shape to style.

Do I have a rectangle body?

signs of a rectangular body shape

Below are some common characteristics of a person with a rectangle body shape.

  • You have average, little, to no bust or bottom
  • When looking at your body you don’t see many curves
  • You get an overall “even” appearance 
  • No defined to slightly defined waist (approximately less than 25% difference from the shoulders/waist)
  • If you are not particularly tall and/or thin, then you may see a more “straight” or true rectangle shape
  • If you are tall and/or on the thinner side, then you may see a more “banana” shape. 

How rectangle body shape relates to other body shapes

We are evolving creatures and our body shape may change over time. While we cannot change our biological bone structure – hormones, weight, and age will impact the appearance of the body shape throughout our lives.

For example, women post-menopause may now appear more “apple” shaped due to having larger breasts.

Some women experience going up 2 bra sizes or more after menopause.

Another example is if you gain weight and/or muscle in your waist and thighs, this may cause a rectangle to look more pear-shaped. And if that weight add-up is distributed to both your top and bottom, you’ll morph into an hourglass shape.

Overall, if you gain more definition to your body in the bust, waist, or hips, this may alter your body shape.

What swimwear options are best for rectangular bodies?

Choosing the right swimwear will depend on what look you want to achieve and if there are certain areas of the body you want to accentuate. 

If you want to flatter certain areas of the body:


halter neck bikiin tops-
  • Halter neck bikini tops with thin straps will pull attention to the chest and neck.
  • If the straps are too thick this could detract from the neck and draw the eyes towards the squareness of the shoulders.
  • A padded swimwear top will give lift and fullness to the chest.
  • A sweetheart cup will give roundness to the chest, creating fullness.
  • A top that ties in the center of the chest will draw attention to the chest and can accentuate curves.


one piece bathing suit with a side cut out -
  • Go for a one piece swimsuit with side cutouts to emphasize the waist.
  • Try a patterned top with a plain bottom. This will give some dynamic between the chest and waist and can flatter the torso.
  • Overall, enhancing your hips/bottom will make the waist appear slimmer.


a tie side bikini bottom laid on a blazer
  • Opt for a higher leg cut on the bottom which will flatter legs and make them look longer.
  • Swimwear bottoms with ties or cinch ties on the side will give an illusion of a curve on the hip.
  • High-waisted bikini bottoms are a great choice if you aren’t comfortable showing your stomach, but don’t necessarily want to wear a one-piece. High-waisted bottoms can do a lot of great things for you like lengthening the leg and accentuating the waist.
  • Opt for a “cheeky” bottom. This could range from a slight cheek to a straight up thong. The more cheek you show the more you will appear to have a bottom.
  • Scrunched bottoms are a great option if you don’t want to show too much cheek, but still want to give an illusion of a bottom.

If you are going for an overall “look” and have a rectangle body shape:

Sexy – The Monokini

model wearing a one shoulder monokini

Look for monokinis that have cut outs of material along various parts of the body (sides, bust, high leg, back).

This creates shapes in the material and can give an illusion of curves. The eye will be scanning the body since the suit is interesting to look at.

Depending on how many cuts there are in the suit and how high the leg goes, this can create a sexier look.

Modest – Off the shoulder

An off-the-shoulder piece will add volume to your chest and will create a contrast between your chest and your waist. This will also make your waist look slimmer.

Things to avoid 

  • Avoid straight-cut tops, like bandeau tops. This will emphasize the straightness of your body shape and lack of curves.
  • Avoid square-cut necklines and thick straps as this will emphasize your rectangle and give you a boxy look.
  • Avoid a print with horizontal lines as this will reduce the appearance of your height and emphasize squareness.
  • Avoid swim dresses that do not give you a chest and cinched waist. This will make you look boxy.

Tips for wearing bikinis/swimsuits with a rectangular body shape

Generally speaking, a person with a rectangle body shape will want to feel more interesting to look at. There are a few other tips and tricks that could help with this. 

  • Frills and ruffles: Any time a swimsuit has frills or ruffles, try it on! This could be a great option for you as it will add volume to your body.
  • Prints and designs: Diagonal lines, vertical lines, multi-toned suits (preferably light on top and dark on bottom), swimsuits with a trim or bold prints – these are all great options as it will give an illusion to the shape of your body.
  • Details! The more details the better. If your swimsuit is interesting, it will draw the eye to the swimsuit and different areas of your body, which is what you may be going for.

If you are petite

Try a one-piece with a deep v-neck and high-cut leg. This will create long lines on your body, overall giving an elongated look. This will also accentuate your chest and bottom.

If you are plus size

Try a sweetheart cut top with a peplum bottom or belt. The peplum is a great option as it will emphasize the bust and hips, which will slim your waist. The extra material on the peplum will camouflage your midsection.

If you are tall and/or athletic

You may love your lack of curves and overall athleticism. Perhaps you don’t want to necessarily accentuate any part of your body, you simply just want to elevate your overall look. Opt for a suit with interesting cuts and designs, but is not too skimpy (covers some of your body). 

Based in sunny Arizona. Proud mom of two. Loves working on wardrobes, organization, and home design/décor. Passionate about sourcing and curating content/merchandise for different types of projects.

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