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  • Writer's pictureJulie Diana

How to Look Like a Dutch Masters Painting, Part 1

Updated: May 12

"You look lovely, like a Dutch Masters painting."

A facebook fan gave a fellow scarf-wearer this praise some time ago. Is it not the highest headscarf compliment?

How to Look Like a Dutch Masters Painting

Keep reading for headscarf and modest outfit inspiration from Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring.

You'll find shopping links to recreate the look yourself, whether for historic interpretation or to accent a contemporary outfit.

The video tutorial

Ready to recreate the look? Let's start with an easy, 1-minute scarf-tying tutorial.

The scarves

Both the yellow and blue scarves are made of an airy cotton-silk blend. Their ombre effect is artistic in itself.

The scarves measure a generous yet manageable 77"x35". They're ideal dimensions for tying as a headscarf, especially for the long drapery in the back of this technique.

The scarf underlayers

To support the high position of the yellow scarf, wear your hair in a high bun.

If this isn't an option for you, create the effect of a high bun with a lightly padded layering cap. As shown in the video above, secure the top center of the cap into a bun shape. Use a non-slip hair elastic.

To keep everything in place, I'm wearing a velvet grip headband underneath it all.

The pearl earrings

The pearl earrings I've chosen feature 12mm shell pearl drops. They are certainly the largest I've ever worn, yet not quite as large as in the painting!

They're attached to leverback earwires, which wont snag the delicate headscarves.

The modest outfit

I've paired the headscarves with a white cotton maxi dress. It's by H&M, and has lovely eyelet details on the sleeves and hem. You can find a similar one from Land's End here (sizes 2-26).

Around my shoulders, I'm wearing a triangular taffeta wrap that I made years ago. This brown evening wrap is similar, and has a lovely metallic luster.


If you'd to take this iconic look all the way, consider adding historically-inspired shoes. Look for wood heels, leather upper, round toes and ribbon ties. These Renaissance shoes are perfect.

Thank you for reading

I hope you enjoyed this article and video as much as I enjoyed creating them. It is truly a pleasure to serve classy women like you.

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