How Best to Dress a String Bean Body

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We continue our body types series focusing on the String Bean shape. Check out previous tips we covered for styling for a Pear body type here.

GENERAL STYLING TIPS FOR A STRING BEAN: A string bean (also known as a rectangle, ruler, or banana) has an undefined waist and little to no curves; your hips and shoulders tend to be the same width. Given your more “boyish/athletic frame”, your bust tends to be small and your bottom flat. As a rectangle you, will want to create more curves and a more balanced silhouette by strategically defining the waist and creating curves on the bottom or top by adding volume with added fabric or other details. Or opt for the straight look and surrender the waistline altogether.

Perhaps the string bean frame is not your game? Explore each of the five body types here: Pear, Apple, Hourglass, String Bean, and Carrot.

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  1. SHORTS/PANTS: Opt for styles that fit 
snugly at your middle but flare out at the 
bottom (whether it’s a skirt or pants) to create curves. Low or mid-rise pants are usually best. Consider styles with details and pockets on the hips and the body to add bulk. For shorts, consider a 4-6 inseam for length and cuffed styles. Cargo and boyfriend styles are fabulous. AVOID: Too wide of a flared pant that could create disproportion.
  1. SKIRTS: Most skirts will look great on this body shape, from A-line to tulip, pencil or ruffle. You can also wear a tight skirt {hugging the thighs or hips} to highlight the curves that you 
do have. If you like a waistless look, you can opt for straight or pencil skirts. AVOID: Extra fluffy or full skirts with intense pleating as they may create disproportion compared to the upper part of your body on your narrow frame.
  1. DRESSES: Consider a wrap style that pulls the fabric into the skinniest part of your waist. You can also wear straight styles such as tunic dresses as long as you add some interest to the top with a statement necklace and then on with bottom with a fun pair of shoes. Dresses made of two parts {bodice and skirt} or high waisted skirts with a top tucked in will be absolutely perfect for this figure.
  1. TOPS: Use strong blocks of color to help define your body. Medium to high necklines usually work well especially if you have a small bust and a long neck. If you want to create the illusion of bigger breasts, choose tops with pockets, ruches, other pleasing front details. Halters will also give the appearance of a bigger bust and show off your back. Blouses look great if they are tucked in.
  1. JACKETS/OUTERWEAR: Play up your shoulders to make them appear broader by adding embellishments or light shoulder padding to your jackets{and no I am not talking about the shoulder pads from the 80’s!}. Choose a coat that is tailored at the waist. Vests are also great for this shape to add movement and slim your mid section. AVOID: Boxy jackets or coats that are double breasted or with boxy pleats.
  1. FOOTWEAR: Opt for curvier and rounded options like ballerina flats and pumps. You choices are varied for your shape. You can wear ankle straps and also over the knee boots as well as ankle booties especially if they are larger that your ankle adding movement to your figure. AVOID: If you are really thin, stay away from really high heels, as you will look like a “bean” pole. Stay clear of square toed options that can emphasize your more rectangular shape.
  1. BAUBLES: Statement necklaces and earrings will draw the eye to your upper body.
  1. ACCESSORIES: Wear dark/wide belts around the narrowest part of your waist. This will act as a focal point of your entire outfit. Printed and bright colored scarves are a great way to add pizazz around your face. AVOID: Waist length bags that draw the attention to your straight framed body as well as overly large square shaped clutches and bags.
  1. SWIMWEAR: Look for swimsuits that have a form fitting waist and a soft cup bra. Two pieces make rectangle body shapes appear a little curvier. For a bikini, choose top and bottom styles that add volume with ruffles, padding, ruching, draped styles, pleating, blouson styles and embellishments. For your bottoms, make sure waistbands are cut straight across from hip to hip. Choose solid, bold colors and plunging necklines to make the bust and bottom stand out. Diagonal lines can do the same. Other great looks are tank-style suits or tankinis. These will accent the mid line, drawing attention to the smallest part of the body.

Do you have any tips you have found helpful to dress your string bean shape? We would love to hear about your success stories in the comments section below.

Cheers to a stylish you,

Jen Young