What Color is This Dress? Is it Under or Over Exposed?


What colors do you see in this dress? Is it an underexposed photo of a white and gold dress, or is it an overexposed photo of a black and blue dress? It seems everyone has a different opinion on these questions, and this photo has seemingly become the most talked about thing on social media over the past day.

The photograph was first posted yesterday on Tumblr by a user named swiked, who asks: “guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f**k out”. Here’s the full image:


The story was picked up by BuzzFeed and soon the Internet went crazy over the debate. Even celebrities such as Taylor Swift are weighing in.

First, what colors are you seeing when you look at the dress in the photo?

If you’re in the “white and gold” camp and can’t see how some people are seeing black and blue, this Vine might help shed some light on the matter:

Here’s a new xkcd comic about this debate. The caption reads: “This white-balance illusion hit so hard because it felt like someone had been playing through the Monty Hall scenario and opened their chosen door, only to find there was unexpectedly disagreement over whether the thing they’d revealed was a goat or a car.”


Someone also drew an illustration showing why people are seeing this photo two ways:


People are pointing this this well-known optical illusion to explain what’s going on with our eyes when we look at the dress photo. In this image, the squares labeled A and B are exactly the same color:


So is it a poorly lit photo of a white and gold dress with a blue color cast, or is it a horribly over exposed photo of a black and blue dress with a yellow color cast?

If you want to see what the truth of the matter is, check out what the dress actually looks like. Crazy, huh?