Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Why the whole internet is talking about one dress

the dress.jpg

Kim Kardashian might have tried to break the internet but turns out she just needed one thing: a dress that appears to change colour depending on who's seeing it. 

Ever since it appeared in a Tumblr post on Wednesday, the whole internet has been beside itself debating its "real" colour. 

The fierce debate began when user Swiked shared a picture of her purchased item, and was baffled after her friends saw different colour in the image.

Since then thousands of people have taken to Twitter and opinion is divided into two camps, with one side passionately arguing the dress is gold and white and the other vehemently stating it is blue and black.

Here's her original post: 

The tumblr dress

So, what's the truth? And why does it seem that there are two, or even three options of colours when looking at the dress? 

Basically, it's all down to science. For starters, it's important to consider the way in which our brains interpret different colours.

When you see a “white shirt bathed in yellow sun, for instance, it needs to subtract the yellowness of the sun so that it can see the whiteness of the shirt – and it normally does”, writes Andrew Griffin for the Independent.

But, due to the confusing nature of the background in the picture, how you view the light surrounding the dress will determine what colour you see it as. 

Some people look at the dress and get rid of the blue part because they see the surrounding light as nighttime, so they see it as gold and white.

Others get rid of the gold part because they see the surrounding light as a sunny day, so they see it as blue and black.

Which is why different people can see different colours. In fact, you might see the dress one way earlier on today, and come back to it later and see it as a totally different colour. 

Many people have even tried to create helpful images, with the gradients of colours pictured, to help people decide on the colour of the dress.

Wired magazine spoke to Jay Neitz, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington, who said: “Our visual system is supposed to throw away information about the illuminant [the light] and extract information about the actual reflectance [the dress]. But I’ve studied individual differences in color vision for 30 years, and this is one of the biggest individual differences I’ve ever seen.” (Neitz sees white-and-gold.)

However, despite all this useful scientific explanation, that doesn't get around the fact that everyone is losing their minds over what colour they see dress. 

The dress

Can this help you decide which colour the dress is?

Even celebrities were struggling to determine the colour of the dress:

So, how do YOU see it? Answer our poll below...

By the way, the original dress has been found and it is blue and black and you can buy it here. But don't let that change your minds. 

The dress

Comments

More

Shoes to make you happy: fancy new footwear to click your heels in

Instant cheer

by Amy Swales
22 Jan 2017

Shop the 40 most extravagant pieces of jewellery under £100

What January blues?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Jan 2017

Fashion designers write thank you letters to Michelle Obama

And not just because they don’t want to dress Melania.

by Moya Crockett
20 Jan 2017

Daily outfit inspiration with our look at the best dressed A-listers

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

20 Jan 2017

37 Valentine's gifts you'll want to buy for yourself

Ditch hearts and flowers for stylish and interesting

by Amy Swales
19 Jan 2017

Why Amanda Seyfried won’t be wearing a white dress at her wedding

The actor is engaged – but she’s not interested in a traditional gown.

by Moya Crockett
18 Jan 2017

Naomi Campbell shares sweet tribute to Kate Moss on her birthday

"I love you wagon"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
16 Jan 2017

This week's Style List

From plant life to shirt goals

by The Stylist web team
15 Jan 2017

New Look have their own budget version of Prada’s new ‘it’ handbag

It’s the ultimate designer dupe…

by Kayleigh Dray
12 Jan 2017

Octavia Spencer on the joy of wearing trousers on the red carpet

“I was able to be freer”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Jan 2017