Body Shape Bible: Understanding How to Dress I Shape Bodies


How to dress the I shape bodyAs I discussed here when I explained how lines work, body shape tells us:

  • Where to put the verticals
  • Where to put the horizontals to balance, broaden or highlight
  • Where to place detail
  • Where to keep boring/dull/plain/no detail

That’s it!  So let’s look at the I Shape (it’s owners would describe their shape as “boyish” or straight and the I shape is commonly called the Rectangle and  but is a narrow version and should not be confused with the H shape).  You can add horizontals wherever you choose and if you want to look taller, add some vertical details too.

how to dress your I or Rectangle body shape


Now let’s look at a dress for an I shape


I Shape Dress


You can wear fit and flared shapes, tunic shapes or straighter shapes – it’s really up to you.  If you want to create a more curvy shape look for horizontal details and a fitted waist that flares out below to create that hourglass.
Now for a Skirt and Top outfit – you will notice that this is a very different shape from the dress as you have many options of shapes that flatter your figure.


I shape skirt and top


If you prefer straight shapes rather than flared, you can play with patterns and colours to add detail and interest.  Don’t be afraid of adding some volume with tiers or horizontal stripes to create a more curvy shape if that is what you desire.
Now for Jeans and a Jacket


I shape jeans and a jacket


More posts on I shape dressing

Body Shapes Explained – I Shape

Don’t waste your money I Shape

I Body Shape

Download this Body Shape Guide I Shape Bible and print

Not sure what body shape you are?  Do the body shape calculator quiz now.


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  • I’m having trouble figuring out my body type. I’ve ruled out A, X, O, and 8. In terms of bone structure, my waist is a little on the long side, my shoulders a little broader than my hips (not so much if I put on weight though, I seem to gain weight like an 8, in my chest, upper hips, and inner thighs). Most people either say I look boyish or angular/athletic, but if I were to gain about ten pounds I’d look a little more curvy.

  • I know what I am (pear shape) but can never find the clothes! T-shirts with a round collar are absolutely TERRIBLE on us! And most “tops” are that cut. Tops with cutout shoulders are even WORSE for us pears. WHERE can we find clothes that extend our shoulders and show off our small waists? Is there a designer who understands that there are MILLIONS of us?????

    • Sadly, fashion designers design fashion to be new, not necessarily to suit women’s bodies. This fashion will move on and another will come that may suit your shape!

  • Hello, Imogen! I am a pear/ X shape with an average length torso but a very narrow and short waist. I’m in love with high waisted stuff, but i just don’t know if it’s my thing because i think it will make my waist look wide and all of the tips i find online for short waisted women are mostly for apples or V/O. What should I do?

    • Without seeing you it’s very hard to me to give you specific advice – but my thoughts are always to go and try it on – see how you like it and if it flatters you or not. Take some change room photos so you can reflect on your experience and make your decision with a little objectivity.

      • Is there any way you could see me? I’ve tried a lot of stuff on and I’m so desperate, I don’t know what i like best anymore

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