Yes, this is about that dress. I really think it’s over-discussed, but since some people still don’t understand how it works, I’ll try to explain as simple as I can. As can be expected, XKCD’s illustration is very simple and easy to use for demonstration:


Colorpicking on one of the dress’ colors and then brushing a bridge between them shows that they’re exactly of the same color:



It works almost exactly the same way as this popular optical illusion (explanation here for the curious):

Checkershadow illusion: Squares A and B are of the exact same color. We assume that B is lighter because it is surrounded by even darker squares.

The difference is that in the dress picture there’s not enough background color for reference, so our brains make assumptions of the dress’ surroundings. Those whose brains assume dark background/ambiance will see white/gold, while those whose brains assume bright background/yellow radiance will see blue/black. These assumptions are made subconsciously. It explains the hardcore extremists: you believe that what your brain assumes is true; and it explains how one can see it differently from time to time: your assumptions can be influenced by things such as the real environment that you’re currently in, or even your mood.

As an (self-proclaimed) artist who’s used to working with colors, I’m (self-)trained not to make this kind of assumptions. When I was asked what color the dress is, I answered with what my eyes objectively see: the face value of greyish blue and brown, as the HSB values below prove. The colors in the picture (not of the actual, real-life dress) are neither blue/black nor white/gold. They are greyish blue/brown.

Low saturation, high brightness blue.

Low saturation, high brightness blue.



Well I hope that makes it clear and no friendships or relationships are hurt because of it.

Still confused?

Still confused?

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