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

More

This is how to get a refund for those faded Topshop Joni jeans

You'll be trawling your room for Topshop receipts by the end of reading this

by Megan Murray
18 Aug 2017

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

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

18 Aug 2017

This simple Zara dress has been absolutely everywhere this summer

There’s even a blog dedicated to sightings of ‘the dress’

by Moya Crockett
17 Aug 2017

This week's Style List: from luxe glasses to teen queens

Be a travel writer, go Seventies, and perk up your cereal

by The Stylist web team
16 Aug 2017

The internet is incredibly divided over ASOS’ newest fashion item

“How can I start an online petition to stop this?”

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Primark reckons you’ve been saying its name wrong all these years

Do you say Pry-mark or Pree-mark?

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

ASOS has just made it easier to find your dream outfits

Gone are the days of wondering where that blogger's outfit is from

by Megan Murray
11 Aug 2017

Heidi Klum’s collection with Lidl has arrived, and it's all under £50

*Grabs purse*

by Susan Devaney
10 Aug 2017

The dark secret hidden in Sansa Stark’s costume on Game of Thrones

There’s more to Sansa’s outfit than meets the eye...

by Kayleigh Dray
10 Aug 2017

This is the most popular summer dress on Zara right now

The internet has fallen hard for this unusual high street dress

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Aug 2017