Optical illusion? …. or Dressgate

The internet will often become a buzz with something, people rally around a cause or take indignation to a comment or image. Tweets will twitter and faces book no nonsense as posts bounce, emails fly and people talk around the web water cooler.

From staring at a peaceful scene quietly trying to see a hidden object… unbeknownst waiting for a scary face to pounce out at you, to trying to sort out lines that seem longer or shorter, llamas running…. the 15 minutes of fame continues with many things.

Last night I got caught up in what seems the latest one, the blue black white gold dress. Have you heard about it?

This dress, or the photo of it, started on tumblr. It was worn by the mother of the bride and a photo was taken and sent to the daughter, she showed the photo to her fiance, who disagreed on the colour…. oh oh, it is starting early….

So they showed the photo to friends, and everyone is seeing this dress differently, mostly split between blue and black or white and gold, though pale blue and goldy brown or orange and blue are also seen.

What colours do you see?  ….and why?

hmmm should I do a psychological explanation?


Ok, so first the dress, the image. There are many floating around the internet now, and some seem to be different colours, somehow they changed. So I went to the original tumblr page to grab the “true” image.


Here it is. Unedited and full size.




Last night I viewed this image, the next one following, and showed it to my roommates and a friend I was chatting with.


They are very different it seems.

So this is part of the controversy, somehow the  images have been changed.

BUT, and this is a big but


The second image, the one I viewed last night, was for me white and gold, so I asked Aimee, she also saw white and gold (she is very smart).

I asked Megan, she saw white and gold also, Jill however saw blue and black.

I sent the image link to my friend that I was chatting with on IM, she said blue and black, she has a cold though…

Then I thought, being a researcher along with a practitioner. I can’t let this go, perhaps it is the computer that it is being viewed on, so I pulled out my smart phone and called up the image, it looked exactly the same, so I brightened the screen to maximum. There was no change, we all still saw it the same way. Oh and Jill is very smart also, so is my friend with the cold, and I hope she is feeling better today.

This morning a morning show that we often have on, to catch the weather for the day as it is broadcast a gazillion times.. along with commercial after commercial… had a segment on this dress. They did the promo thing, the teaser image, where they said this segment was coming up, they flashed a picture of the dress. I saw black and blue.

We watched the segment, and the three hosts saw white and gold, though one saw blue and black on one monitor. They had an “expert” who saw the dress as orange and blue…. explain why we see it differently. hmmmm, sounded like guessing to me, I rewound the dvr to look at the teaser image again, as the image they showed on the segment was now white and gold, for all four of us. So after rewinding to the teaser image, the one I saw as blue and black, it was now white and gold.


When I scroll up now, the two images above, the first is dark blue and black the second is white (to pale blue) and gold.

I have viewed some images that were blue and black, then returned to them a moment later to see them as gold and white.

 I don’t feel the differences in how the dress is perceived is based psychologically in all of us, though in some it will be. How we view colours is often examined psychologically, debated often.  But the dress would not be changing colours for us if this was the only explanation.  Last night we viewed the dress before bed, so our eyes were tired, but we saw the dress in the two main colours that the rest of the world sees, this morning our views had not changed too much though the dress was “changing” colours as we viewed the image at different times. (this could be a handy dress, you could wear it twice and people would think you had two…) So if things start to bounce in the its is a psychological thing…. it is time to go outside and get some fresh air. (ours is very fresh right now as we are 20 degrees below normal for this time of year.. what happened to global warming?)

There have been many polls taken and all the polls agree, 3/4 of the viewers see white and gold.

In actual fact the dress is dark blue and black. Your brain is adjusting the colour, expectation has a lot to the way you interpret the data, what we look at before looking at this image will have a lot to do with how we see the colours. What you look at before, the light in the room and the light of your device are going to have a big impact on how you see the dress colours, it is still interesting at how people standing beside each other view it differently, but that then stems, perhaps to what was viewed beforehand, seeing a blue wall or a white wall may cause your brain to perceive the dress to be reflecting different colours.

These must be the troublemakers lol. 



I wonder why she is wearing a lime green wedding gown with purple stripes and yellow dots….


Before hitting publish to release my posts to the world, I preview them. As I read my post and the first image of the dress, the one I saw as blue and black, is now pale blue and gold.





About sensuousamberville

I am a Practitioner, teacher and student. I think we should always be students, we should keep our minds open, to continue to learn. :-) Now a mother of two little ones.

26 responses »

  1. I am very thankful that you have come around to my way of thinking! Oh, and that of Jill of course too. *s*

    I did read an article where they said that at the actual wedding (for which they were in attendance), the dress was blue and black. So I am guessing (?) that somehow when the picture was taken and then subsequently posted online, the bits and bytes all got a bit scrambled so that two rational people staring at the same picture truly believe it is different colors.

    O.k., it is either that or the superior intellect of those that see blue and black is finally, once and for all, firmly established! *Twirls*

    • I am waffling back and forth. The picture was taken before the wedding I think as the bride showed the groom the picture to see what he thought of the dress. He should have just said that is very nice and nodded, see all the troubles he has caused?

  2. I see white and gold… BUT when I scroll the dress changes colour to black and blue… so depending on the angle etc depends on the colour for me. It’s very strange indeed. And there are so many copies of it floating around now that I have hard time trusting if they’ve been altered at all for the sake of the ‘game’.

    • I see it as white or pale blue and gold most of the time, but I do see black and blue occasionally. tis odd. I grabbed the image from her tumblr account as I have seen many that were edited. As a blue and black dress it is quite nice, as white and gold… blech. lol.

  3. I am seeing white and gold for the second and pale blue and gold for the first. I bet the company that made that dress will be selling a lot of them now.

  4. We have been debating this stupid dress for hours! I see pale blue and a gold/brown colour. Who would of thunk that a simple dress should cause so much mayhem and controversy. Oh dear so much more in the world to worry about in the world. Really black and blue? 😞 perhaps I’m colour blind lol x

  5. Oh my gosh, so the time I have wasted on this dress is time I do not have, yet, I have wasted it. I see pale blue and white then gold and white most of the time. I think I’m smart because others see it the same way and yet people tell me it is blue and black – gah!
    I would like a dress that changed colors, so I can recycle or up cycle it. Perhaps not that style, but I wonder if something like it could be available so I can where it to different places and people won’t notice. Yay, knew I was smart.

  6. This dress! I saw gold/taupe and a pale blue/lilac which already had me in one group, and then later, yes, blue and black. It is amazing how much thia one evolutionary issue has sparked ao much debate. I swear I am thinking there is some sociologist or anthropologist researching the Twitter, FB, Google plus, Tumblr, hell even Reddit fallout on this topic and they are writing dissertation papers. They have to. Someone has too.
    Thank you for putting this topic in, forgive the pun, a more clear light for me. 🙂 I was wondering why I sae it as I had.

  7. I want to see blue and gold, when can I see blue and gold?

    I like the dress as blue and black, I wonder how much it costs now.

    • The company that sells the dress, and I am not going to post the link, they have had enough publicity I think, sells it for 50 pounds, they have it in white and black, pink and black, red and black and of course the ever changing blue and black. They are going to bring a gold and white one out, I think it would be hideous though. for some strange reason, sales are up 347 percent on the blue black dress now.

  8. Pingback: Now About That… | gatewaysandmusings

Oh don't be shy, speak your mind.. leave a comment. :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: