By Hadassah Agbaps - February 20, 2013

Anyone that knows me is aware that I am very slim with little or no curves. I've been called many names alluding to my size such as "Lekpa", " Agbani", "Stick" etc. Every and anyone deemed it okay to ask me why I was (and still am) so skinny and accused me of not eating. I've received different suggestions on what I should do...many bordering on the gain weight and have more "body" to look like an African curvy woman.
An elderly woman once said  to me " forget that oyibo skinniness, a Nigerian woman needs to have meat on her bones! You look like a young girl. EAT EAT EAT" and then she turned away to discuss the latest Asian slimming!
So, for those of you that need "meat" like myself  and find it difficult to find clothes that fit and flatter our figure, may I present to you NASH AMBER! 
Nash is a Christian God fearing stylist with a difference.....and she is also natural! Her goal is to bring out the classy woman in you with modesty as her watchword. She graciously permitted me to share her post!
Here's her take on dressing the rectangular body shape!

Styling With Amber
Dressing Your Body Shape: Rectangle / Pencil

I wanted to do a post today on the importance of knowing your body shape and celebrating it through your OWN personal style.  This one is not short but it sure is sweet!

.:: History on Me real quick ::.

Being slim is NOT all its made out to be, I can assure you! As with any other body type, there are sometimes issues when trying to find clothes to wear. Sometimes clothes just do not sit right on you and always appear baggy, just because you do not have enough to fill it out. This can really sadden you if you focus on the negative side of things. Once upon a time I really did not like being so slim, because of all the comments I would get and as a result I developed an unhealthy desire to want to be bigger than I was.

I have been slim pretty much all my life :)...but it wasn't always smiles. Growing up it seemed that all my friends developed physically before I did, and it used to made me feel as though I was not growing because I didn't look like everyone else... I didn't experience the weight issues my friends would complain about, so I would often feel left out of those conversations and become even more self conscious of the way I looked.

 On top of already feeling left out, I would often get talks from people of 'you need to eat'...'get some meat on you'...'are you on a diet?'...I mean come on...if anyone knows me, they would know how much I love me some food...however, the ignorant and thoughtless person would be quick to speak without knowing the full picture.

Comments such as 'oh my gosh, you're so skinny' used to REALLY hurt me, as I desperately wanted to put weight on, but it just didn't ever happen. [That was not the portion God gave to me, and that is fine]. The best way I can describe how it hurt is like seeing someone who is REALLY big and saying to them 'oh my gosh, you're so fat'. It is discouraging and totally rude. I have been taught from a young age, if you have nothing good to say, don't say nothing at all, because you do not know what people go through on a daily basis for you to then add your 2 pence of negativity. #NotCool

.:: Loving YOURSELF as you are ::.

I am soooo glad that today I am not at that place no more. Jesus took me on a journey to learn to love myself and so now, I LOVE being my shape and I work with it to the best of my ability.  I thank God for not honoring my selfish requests of wanting to be bigger than I was. I wanted more curves in order to identify myself as being a 'woman' when I did not understand what being a woman was really about. Now that I understand and know that this tent (my body) of mine is how He designed me to be... so I celebrate it or else I will loose out on enjoying my life to the full. There are some styles that do not work with my frame but I choose not to focus on what I can't wear, but concentrate more on what DOES work for me, as you can see through my posts.

We all have things that we may like to change about our appearance..some it's our nose, some it's our lips, some it's our skin complexion and other things... However we can become so focused on the outside that we neglect to work on our character. Not many people think 'oh I want to learn to be more patient' or 'I want to learn to LOVE MYSELF MORE!!!!' ...yet working on our character carries greater weight than merely just working to look good. We have to Look beyond the Surface of ourselves.

.:: Importance of Identifying Your Body Shape: 

Identifying and knowing your shape can help you to become more confident when choosing what to purchase or what to wear. When you know what your body shape is, it empowers you to know what does or doesn't work for you. Once you know your shape, you can actually save yourself a lot of shopping time and money as you will know what items to stay clear of and what items to embrace.

Fashion trends are forever changing in each season and sometimes not every trend will suit every body type as you see it in stores, so you do have to think about how to make it work for YOUR shape. You also have to accept the fact that not everything will look good on your shape as is, so some tweaking may be needed (especially if you are slim), but that is alright and normal.

What is so great about how we are all designed and made by God is that we all do come in different shapes, sizes, colours and hair types. It is so easy to compare yourself to the person next to you and admire aspects of what they have that you can fail to see the beauty that is right in front of you and the value you already have just be being who God created you to be.

.:: Styling A Rectangle Shape ::.

Being of a smaller frame, you really have to embrace what you have going for you. Find the looks that work with your shape and maximize on them through your style. I cannot sit here and beat myself up for the fact I do not have a figure like others. There are so many looks that suit the rectangle shape that a pear would not be able to pull off, and vice versa. So celebrate the fact you are this shape. There is much you can do through your style, let me show you a small collection of how...

In order for others to believe that you do love yourself and the body you are in, YOU have to believe it first, because it shows through your body language and the way you present yourself if you actually care about yourself or not. Showing cleavage, legs, bums and all the rest does not in any way shape or form mean that you are confident in the body you are in. It just highlights the lack of self worth you have for yourself....again I have been there so I speak from experience. When you are confident in the body you are in, you celebrate it by presenting yourself in a decent manner.

In this post I will give tips on how to dress for your body shape if you are like me, a rectangle/pencil shape. From the chart below, this is the closest to my shape. You may not find the exact shape on the chart, but find the closest to what you currently are.

Image sourced from

Remember: There are some looks that only look good on certain body types, and so it is important to get to know your body type, celebrate your difference and own it.

.:: Styling for a casual look ::.

As you do not have a lot of shape naturally, you have to create it with your clothes.
High waisted [carrot top] trousers [or jeans] help to give you a more defined waistline.
The loose fit of such jeans create a nice shape, rather than wearing plain skinny jeans.

.:: Styling for a Smart Casual look ::.

When wearing skinny jeans, be sure to have shapes going on else where in your outfit. Wearing a long top that covers your bottom is always a good idea, to keep the modesty levels up and to also create more shape over all. Also use your accessories to draw attention away from your shape but unto your outfit as a whole.

Colour blocking is always another easy way to use your clothes to create shape and give you a nice memorable look.

Belt was a gift from my Dad. He thought I may like it, and I did. :D

.:: Styling for a Biker meets Vintage look ::.

A line skirts are a FRIEND to you if you are of a pencil shape. They give you immediate shape without you even having to think much about the other elements to your outfit. Midi length skirts are always my thing, but you can wear a skirt that is knee length and still have a similar look to this one.

.::Styling for office/formal look::.

Peplum styled items look so great on pencil type body shapes. The peplum detail creates shape around your waist and gives you a nice and elegant feminine finish.

Highlight of being rectangle:

One of the joys of being slim, is that sometimes you can fit into the children's section from some stores. Not everyone would because some would think it will look childish, but you would be surprised.

This Peplum blazer is actually from a children's section from a highstreet store, and fits me well, as you can see! :D

This skirt is a UK size 8 from Next and for some reason decided not fit me. It was so loose and did not sit right on me, but I didn't get upset about it like I used to...I just took it in with my sewing machine. From time to time I dabble in some alterations... It is so needed when you are slim like this, because things may not fit you as is from the stores, so you have to think outside the box. Investing in a sewing machine can help you looking forward.

The split on this skirt was SO ridiculous! It was from the top of the part where it folds at the hem to the bottom, and all you would see is thigh when I walk so I had to sew it up.

Did some DYI work and here you have it. Please note: Retaining modesty doesn't just happen, you have to sometimes go that extra mile to make sure you are covered.

You have to LOVE you. When you look beyond the surface of things and people, you will find that there is more to the story than what you properly imagined or knew.

Styling is fun and so enjoyable, once you learn to accept the differences you have and do not label them as ugly. You have to see your differences as what adds to your uniqueness and OWN it!

LOVE YOU FOR YOU and others will LOVE YOU FOR YOU too. Set the bar. (",)

From the chart above, if you have identified what body shape you are and would like for me to do a post on your particular shape, please don't be shy, just leave a comment below and I will get on to it. I want you to be confident in your body and to present yourself well, so I want to help you as much as possible.

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With Love and style,
Nash Amber

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