What is the Color of This Dress?

What color do you see on this dress?

Blue & black, or white & gold??


A war has broken out on the internet. The image you see above is going viral on the web, almost breaking it in the process.

The photo is of a dress that is clearly blue-and-black for some but unmistakably white-and-gold for others.

The subject of this colour debate is a dress that had been posted on Tumblr by a 21-year-old singer named Caitlin McNeill. This is her blogpost which sparked the war. The issue: Some people see Black and Blue, others see White and Gold.

McNeill told Business Insider that the dress was worn by the mother of one of her friends who recently got married. She told BI, “What happened was two of my close friends were actually getting married and the mother of the bride took a photo of the dress to send to her daughter. When my friend showed the dress to her fiancee, they disagreed on the color.”

After that the picture was posted on Facebook but there was still disagreement over the colour. That’s when McNeill posted it on to Tumblr. From then, the Internet exploded. Even Taylor Swift tweeted about the dress debate.

But that whole White balance argument wasn’t good enough to convince many people. Wired even spoke to two neuroscientists said that there was a reason why people were seeing two different colors.

Jay Neitz, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington, told Wired, “I’ve studied individual differences in color vision for 30 years, and this is one of the biggest individual differences I’ve ever seen.” Incidentally he too sees white-and-gold.

The piece on Wired points out that as daylight changes, it “varies from the pinkish red of dawn, up through the blue-white of noontime, and then back down to reddish twilight.” “What’s happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you’re trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis,” Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College told Wired, “So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black.”

If that scientific mumbo-jumbo is going above your head, well there’s a simpler explanation. What is the colour of the dress? It is blue and black. And if you look at the blue and black for a long time, then the gold-versions of the dress might just morph into the blue one. Don’t worry the dress isn’t evil, it’s your brain playing a mind trick.

Also as Mashable points that several eagle-eyed folks found the dress for sale on Roman Originals. The colours available are Black and blue but there’s no white and gold. Sorry team White and gold.

McNeill who posted the picture also has a final word on the dress. She told Business Insider, “I got to the wedding and the mother was wearing the dress. Obviously it was blue and black.” Or was it? We’ll just have to take McNeill and Roman Originals’ word for it.

Here is a video which explains the phenomenon and solves the mystery of the color of the dress.

The Color Of The Dress According To Science

1 thought on “What is the Color of This Dress?”

Leave a Comment