Necklines play an important role in anything you wear. The right necklines can make you look slimmer and create a balance for your body shape, and the wrong ones do exactly the opposite. In this detailed guide, we’ll first help you understand the unique body features of the rectangle shape, and then walk you through everything you need to know about choosing necklines.
Your figure draws very straight and angular lines. This may be something that can be deemed as a weakness in your figure because this means you have very little presence of curves.
You struggle with an undefined waistline. The width measurements of your shoulders, waist, and hips are nearly similar, which constitutes your rectangular frame. This also means you lack a waist curve.
But, you’ve got yourself a strong, athletic build! One of your rectangle body shape’s most distinctive features is your sporty and very well-toned body build.
Your athletic figure also means toned limbs. You barely deal with flabby arms and legs because they are naturally slender and toned, especially when you work out.
You also gain your weight proportionately all over your body. This is also one of the reasons why your figure leans towards the “slimmer” side, as you don’t gain excess weight in specific areas of your body.
The size of your bust can differ, ranging from small to large. Being rectangle-shaped and athletic won’t always mean that you lack bust volume! Depending on the individual, it’s also common to have fuller breast size too.
Let’s start with the most common and classic neckline choice that flatters most shapes, including rectangle body shapes – the V-shaped neckline. The V-neckline lets you achieve balance by drawing the eye up and down in a continuous line to elongate the neck and upper torso.
This added sense of elongation effect helps create the illusion of a longer, leaner body, as well as a narrower-looking waistline. This also makes your upper body look narrower and your waist more defined.
In addition to this, the angular lines of the V-neck create a natural contrast with the straight lines of your rectangle body shape, resulting in a visually appealing dynamic – away from your monotonous straight lines. Also, the openness of the V-neck exposes the décolletage and collarbone, which draws attention to this asset of yours and away from your straighter midsection.
Plunging or Wide V-neck
If you’re up for something a bit sexier and probably a bit more risque, V-necks that come in deeper and wider cuts can also give your frame some visually appealing magic! Just like the classic V-neck, the openness helps direct the gaze to where your best features are, such as your athletic collarbones and shoulder line, decolletage, and elongated neck.
If you go for a wider V-neck cut, such as the one that hits the wide edges of your shoulder bones, you’re allowing these diagonal lines to break up the monotonously straight lines that make you look very rectangular in the first place. Meanwhile, going for a deep, plunging V-cut will attract attention to your cleavage and so this becomes the focal point of your look, not your angular shape.
In terms of styling, plunging or wide V-necks also offer versatility in accessorizing and styling your fashion ensembles. You can easily and creatively pair them up with longer necklaces, and scarves, or even layer them with other clothing pieces that complement the neckline’s shape, further enhancing your overall look.
Open necklines in general are very helpful for rectangle body shapes and the scoop neckline is one of the best choices if you want to make your figure look curvier and more shapely. A scoop neckline is particularly flattering for ladies with rectangle body shapes due to its ability to add softness and gentle curves to your upper body to create better balance.
The scoop neckline achieves this effect by exposing the right portion of your decolletage while gently curving around the neck and collarbone. This visual effect draws attention to your shoulders and upper chest, which effectively frames and softens this area.
Additionally, the scoop neckline more often tends to sit lower on the chest area so this gives the neck a more elongated look, while also emphasizing the collarbone. This particular neckline style can also be varied in depth, which can allow you to go for a range of options that can be tailored to suit your style preferences and comfort levels.
A cowl neckline has a distinctive style which is characterized by its draped, loose fabric that creates a soft, folded appearance around the neck. This particular neckline style forms a subtle, cascading drape around the neck and chest area that often resembles a small, elegant waterfall of fabric.
Because of this draping design, cowl necklines can add visual interest and texture to your angular upper body, breaking up the straight lines present in your shape. The soft draping of the cowl neckline promotes the appearance of curves and adds a sense of femininity to your overall look.
Moreover, the draped fabric of the cowl neckline introduces subtle volume to the upper body and this significantly helps bring more shape to your angular frame. This additional volume can also be beneficial for women with rectangle body shapes who may have a less prominent bustline.
The sweetheart neckline is one of the most feminine and romantic styles out there that I will never get tired of recommending to rectangle body shapes. Rectangle body shapes lean towards being more athletic and therefore a bit more masculine in a sense, so adding the girly flair of a sweetheart neckline should help address this.
The beauty of the sweetheart neckline relies on its curved shape, which gently dips at the center resembling the top shape of the heart. It forms a natural and flattering frame for the bust area which is an effective way to accentuate the decolletage and create a more feminine and romantic look. Because of its strategic shape and visual look, it makes an excellent neckline that creates the illusion of curves to break up the monotony that your straight-looking figure possesses.
Whether you have a small or full bust size, the sweetheart neckline can help you achieve the bust enhancement you need to ensure that this creates a flattering focal point. It also creates a pleasing contrast with your straight lines and therefore makes you look more voluptuously shapely.
Boat Neck (Sabrina Neckline)
The boat neckline, which is also sometimes addressed to as the “Sabrina neckline”, is known for its horizontal shape that runs parallel to the collarbone and exposes the shoulders and collarbone area. This effect helps widen the appearance of your shoulders and therefore gives more prominence to your upper half and breaks the sameness between the measurements of your shoulders, waist, and hips.
Just remember to look for a Sabrina neckline that slopes down a little so that it won’t look too horizontally straight and edged. The horizontal line of the Sabrina or boat neckline can help counteract the straighter lines that are naturally present in women with rectangle body shapes.
One of its key features is that you can give your shoulder line and collarbones proper exposure while still maintaining decent coverage. It’s great for women who are looking for a more covered neckline that’s not too restricting or uncomfortable.
A crew neckline is pretty much like the scoop neckline, but the key difference is that a crew neck sits relatively higher on the neck. It forms a circular shape around the base of the neck which barely shows the decolletage.
You may think that this doesn’t sound like a very flattering style option because it’s not as open or revealing as V-necks or scoop necklines, but because of its gentle circular shape, it can visually create a more shapely and curvy appearance for your upper half.
It is also such a classic neckline design that can be easily found in many clothing pieces and because of the coverage it offers, it can be very beneficial for colder seasons. The crew neck also maintains a balanced, well-rounded look that can give you a clean and streamlined appearance.
Since your rectangle body shape entails a fairly straight, less curvy silhouette, an asymmetrical neckline can be an efficient way to visually divert attention away from the straight lines and add a touch of asymmetry to your look. This effect can be visually appealing and help break up the linear appearance of your rectangular frame.
Also, wearing clothes that feature an asymmetrical neckline such as a one-shoulder neckline can place emphasis on one side of your upper body to create the perception of a fuller bust and a more prominent upper half. This will nicely balance out the proportions between your upper and lower body and make the entirety of your figure look more balanced and shapely.
The cut and design of asymmetrical necklines can greatly vary, so when choosing one for your body type, always consider the kind of effect you’d like to achieve. If you want more coverage, you can go for those that offer a full sleeve on one side and bare on the other, or a single sleeveless strap on one side to fully highlight your shoulders and decolletage.
Off-the-shoulder necklines can also be very flattering for rectangle shapes because of how this design exposes the shoulders and collarbone, attracting attention to this particular feature of your body. Since your shoulders, waist, and hips are closely similar in width, adding a bit more prominence to your upper half can help break this visual monotony and therefore balance out your proportions and make your waist appear narrower.
A flowy off-the-shoulder neckline with its soft, curved lines can counterbalance the angularity you have in your rectangle body shape so it can effectively add a touch of femininity and softness to your overall look. This is also why going for an off-the-shoulder neckline that comes with a fabric flounce can be especially beneficial because it can add volume and visual interest to the chest area.
The fabric flounce, such as ruffles, can give more movement and dimension to your figure and divert attention from the straighter lines you have in your frame.
Avoid Square Necklines
The square neckline is surely trendy these days so you can basically find clothes with a square neckline pretty much everywhere. There’s also no doubt that they look quite good, however, if you have a rectangle-shaped body, you won’t really find square necklines exactly figure-friendly.
The fact alone that it’s square-shaped already means that you are further emphasizing the straight and angular edges that your rectangle body already has. This can make you look boxy and even more shapeless in terms of appearance.
Square necklines don’t draw attention to the neck and collarbone area of rectangle shapes in the same way that other necklines, like V-necks or off-the-shoulder styles, do. This is because the squarish appearance of the square neckline is more overpowering in your rectangular body in comparison to its ability to enhance your decolletage.
Avoid Linear Necklines
There are many different kinds of linear necklines that you may want to avoid if you’ve got a rectangle body shape. Basically, these are necklines that go too straight across your chest area, without any slope or curve.
This can be boat necks (if you choose those that are too linear or horizontal) or strapless necklines. The goal for rectangle body shapes is often to create the illusion of curves and add some depth to your frame and linear necklines do not contribute to this goal, as they don’t really add any shaping or curvature to your upper body.