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Here’s how to see this dress as both white and gold and black and blue

Kirsten Acuna

This viral dress has divided the internet over its coloring.

White Gold Blue Black Dress

Tumblr What color is this dress?

People are seeing the dress in varying colors because of the different ways in which they perceive colors.

As a result, some are seeing it as white and gold, while others are seeing it as blue and black.

Some see it as both. 

Others are struggling to see it as blue and black. A few people have told me they can't see it as white and gold at all.

The actual dress is black and blue.  

Like many, initially, I could see the ubiquitous dress only in gold and white. 

After a minor tweak in how I was focusing on the image, I finally saw the dress as black and blue. Now I see it as all four colors interchangeably. 


Think of the dress as an optical illusion.  What your eyes see is dependent on where you are focusing.

In the below photo, do you see the word "liar" or a picture of a face?

optical illusion, face, liar


Tilt your head sideways while focusing on the most left area in white and you should immediately see the word liar, which is underlined below.

liar optical illusion


Now, focus on the same visual cues vertically. You should quickly see the letters change into visible eyes, a nose, and lips.

optical illusion face liar


You can apply the same technique to the viral dress.

See the dress as white and gold

Focus on the brightest parts of the dress near the top of the image for several seconds before looking at the rest of the dress.

Photoshop tells us these are the areas of the dress closest to white and gold in the photo.

white gold the dress


Here is how Photoshop breaks down the colors highlighted above:

colors light photoshop dress

Photoshop The two colors highlighted above are close to white and gold respectively in the color scale. See the dress as black and blue

Now focus on the darkest parts of the dress in the image below for a few seconds before pulling your face back and looking at the photo as a whole.

This one may take a while longer to master if you're used to seeing the dress in white and gold.

The darkest parts of the dress are found near the very bottom of the photo.

the dress black blue


Here's how the colors look on Photoshop:

blue black dress

Still not seeing it? 

Try this. 

Most people are being introduced to the dress photo online by scrolling down from top to bottom.

This is forcing people to be introduced to the brightest parts of the image first, which may help explain why so many are viewing the dress incorrectly.

Instead, try scrolling from the bottom of the photo to the top. That way, your rods and cones are being introduced to the darkest parts of the image first, which may alter your overall perception of the photo. 

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