The Debate Dress

The dress debate about the colour of this dress has been going on for about a month now, but why does everyone see the dress differently? How did this all start? What colour is the dress? Everyone is wishing to find out the answers to all these questions about the dress and now they all might just be answered.

First of all we decided to interview a few people about this topic. Here are our results…

The questions that were asked were:

  1. What colours do you see the dress?
  2. Do you always see these colours?
  3. Why do you think people see different colours?
  4. What do you think started the whole thing?

We interviewed a girl in Year 7, called Harmeet, and said that she thinks the dress is very light blue and white, she always see these colours when she looks at the dress. Also, she thinks that people see the dress in different colours because different people have different blood, and that the whole thing started because people use an app and change the colours. Another girl, Andreea, said that she can see the dress as white and gold, and that she can see those same colours every time, and that she doesn’t care why other people see different colours, and she doesn’t  know  what started the whole thing. Finally, a girl named Aisha told us that she also can see white and gold all the time, thinks that people see different colours because of the way they think, and thinks that the whole discussion started coincidently; people thinking their own ways. From these interviews, the questions arise; why do you think people see different colours? What do you think started the whole thing?

We have received lots of different responses. But why can’t we all see it as the same colour?  What is the science behind it all?

The problem being that the brain has to avoid seeing the colour of the light reflecting off an object, and just see the colour if the object itself.  For example, if we see a white shirt in yellow sun light, the brain needs to get rid of the yellowness of the sun, so it can see the whiteness of the shirt – and that it normally does. This same type of system is found in cameras as well, ad is called ‘white balance’. This system allows the camera to do the same thing the brain does, which is deciding what should be white in an image, and adjusting the colours accordingly.

Well, it is quiet complicated you see, and the truth is that whatever colour you see the dress is the consequence of the ways your eyes have evolved. This tells you important things about how your eyes and brain work out the colour of things in a world lit by the sun/sunlight. It is a trick of the brain and eye. The black and blue/ the white and gold dress as some people say it, may sometime confuse our brain. It is both colours, depending who or where you are. Some brains may attempt to look at the blue part of the dress, in relation of the light of night time. Others try to get rid of the effect of the gold part as the brain sees it as the colour of a sunny day, which means it is eliminated from your mind, hence making it think it is blue, black or even white.

This allows people to see both different colours at different times. This also depends on the brightness of the room or the background of the page that the dress is printed on. These things can encourage the brain to either see the light as day light coloured or night coloured.

We now know the science behind it all, but how did it all start?

This whole debate started when a Scottish singer named Caitlin McNeill posted a picture of this dress on her Tumblr blog. Two of her very close friends were getting married and the bride’s mother sent her a picture of the dress she was going to wear. The bride thought it was white and gold and the groom thought it was black and blue. When they saw the real dress at the wedding they said it was clearly black and blue. Since then, people have been debating about what colour they see the dress as.

In the end we found out that this dress is actually black and blue. We have found this out because this dress is sold in a shop called ‘Romans’. It is sold in the colours ivory, scarlet, pink and royal blue. After all this fuss about the colour of the dress the company is thinking of making a white and gold version of this dress.

by Mayuri, Shiza and Sama


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