#TheDress, this dress, fried the Internet

White and gold or blue and black? (Image: Caitlin McNeill)

Okay, okay, I know you’ve seen this a thousand times already. But seriously, if even the New York TimesWashington Post, and Time Magazine have seen fit to run the story, who am I to pass it up?

I’ll keep this real simple. A woman posted the photo on the right and asked friends what color the dress was. Oddly enough, some said white and gold, some said blue and black. When I first saw it last night, I thought it was quite obviously white and gold and voted that way in a Buzzfeed poll (hey, I was really bored, okay?). I would still vote that way today.

There’s a scientific explanation floating around that says the different perceptions have to do with the lighting on your screen and the rods and cones in your eyes. My rods and cones clearly say the dress is white and gold, with a bluish/purplish tinge because it appears to be hanging in a shaded area. (But my eyes are almost 72 years old, so who knows …)

So what about you? Is the dress in the photo white and gold or blue and black?

Turns out the dress is, in reality, blue and black, as seen here (not gonna influence you by showing it on this page). Bummer. My rods and cones lied! But, according to the poll, I’ve got lots of company. 70% of those voting see white and gold.



18 thoughts on “#TheDress, this dress, fried the Internet

  1. I don’t get what all the fuss is about either PT. To me, the dress appears to have many shades, dominated by blue and gold. But I knew from the moment I saw it that I was probably wrong because of the really bad photography…

    1. That’s basically what I thought. It’s a poor photo and bad lighting, but it appears (to me) to be a white and gold dress. Yet a lot of people look at the same photo and see a deep blue dress with black trim. Go figure.

  2. I’m with you– white and gold. I haven’t read any of the science on this, but now that you mention it, I recall learning how, in the early days of black and white TV ads, they used to film blue laundry so that it would show up as whiter than white on the television screen. Hm. I wonder…?

    1. The explanations I read seemed to be saying that human eyes and their vision vary, kind of like color blindness or something. To me there’s no way the dress in the photo above is the same color as the one I linked.

    1. That’s as good an explanation as any, considering the two photos were shot in different lighting. I read someplace that the dress is selling like crazy.

      I love the llama story. It makes me smile, especially with the music some people have added to their YouTube videos.

  3. I read about this last night. I see white and gold – although it appears to be in the shade thus the slightly blue tint. But in all honesty, I don’t believe anyone sees the gold as black. Nor the dress as a dark blue. If people did see such difference in colors, then most people would have noticed this a long time ago. “Hey, mom. Look at the white car.” “No, junior. It’s blue.” // Photographer, “Now, Christie, grab that gold scarf and wrap it around your shoulder.” Model, Christie, “What gold scarf? I only see a black one.”

    It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya.

    Beside, I used Photoshop to determine the colors. It’s white in the shade, so blueish-gray. And the trim is gold.

    1. I saw some post last night where a guy identified all the colors using Photoshop, just like you did. But that, of course, only identifies the color on the screen. The issue supposedly is what each individual’s eyes perceive. But I don’t really understand all the mumbo jumbo and wouldn’t be surprised to learn it’s all a giant hoax. I post a picture of a white dress and tell you it may look white but it’s actually dark blue. Then I post a picture of a dark blue dress and tell you yeah, this is the same dress. I mean, come on …

      1. Actually, in Photoshop, every color has a numeric value. Varies depending upon RBG, Pantone, etc. The numbers show the colors as you saw in the article that had that image. I did it, too.

          1. If you often need to identify colors on-screen, get a little free Chrome extension called Sip. You can pick out any pixel on your screen (it magnifies) and it will identify the color, in whichever format you specify, and copy the code so you can then paste it into whatever you’re doing.

          2. Oh, drat, I’m on a Mac. Maybe there is no PC version. Before Sip I used ColorZilla, although I didn’t like it quite as well. Maybe it’s available on PC. And chances are they aren’t the only ones available. It’s a pretty common need for designers and developers.

          3. I’m going to keep looking for something similar. Even though I have Photoshop, it can’t grab a color anywhere outside of the PS workspace. I want to grab colors all the time from somewhere else in the screen. Thanks! I’m sure there is something for Windows.

... and that's my two cents