Color Carries the Day

Color Carries the Day

A simple dress can be distinctive if the color stands out.

My husband thinks this dress is blue, but it’s actually green. Could The Directrice go viral on this question, like that MoB dress that ignited an Internet firestorm a few months ago?

To be fair, the two interpretations of my dress are a closer call. Michael thinks it’s Peacock Blue and I think it’s Jade Green. Both shades have green and blue in them and the difference is in the balance.

Leaning tower of Directrice
Leaning tower of Directrice

Plumb Directrice
Maybe the dress is teal?

While this dress is simple, it’s not void of detail. The ornamentation is just subtle: pretty top-stitching that matches the fabric and shows the contours of the dress . . . and probably makes me look more shapely than I am.
Shapely stitching!

In case you are interested in the necklace, here is a closer view. While I’ve had this for years, some variation of it (Figaro chain, Albion pendant) is still available from David Yurman. The stone in the pendant is smoky quartz, which I think is a sophisticated color. It looks beautiful with bright colors and warm with neutrals.

Is that better?
Silver and pearl figaro chain with a smokey quartz enhancer

Here I am, heading off to work on a cool morning, wearing a little sweater for warmth. Because the sweater is cropped and cut (well, pieced) on the bias, it flares out at the bottom and shows off the waist of the dress nicely.
Off to work
Why does The Directrice’s hair look flat in this picture? Because it’s morning and she’s heading off to work with wet hair. Ever The Professional!

Dress: Diane von Furstenberg; Necklace: David Yurman; Sweater: Anthropologie (a brand called “Moth” if you can imagine!); Bag: Coach Gramercy Satchel; Shoes: Taryn Rose

22 thoughts on “Color Carries the Day”

  1. I have curly hair that’s a little longer than yours…I drive to work with a long clip on each side holding it out of my eyes until it dries…when I get to work, it’s all set! But I don’t have to take public transportation. Love the dress, it looks blue to me.

  2. I like the blue with black shrug. Perfect together. May I say, your hair is also a big like for me wet or not. It has a shape evident even wet and very feminine. It always has a great look and therefore fortuitous for a professional who is always time constrained. Kate

  3. As Husband, I have to reiterate that the dress is blue. Blue!! BLUE!! (My mom agrees, so maybe it’s a genetic thing.) But The Directrice is referring to this famous dress, which won the Internet a few months ago:

    I saw it as self-evidently white and gold. I showed it to The Directrice, who immediately said it was black and blue. I thought she was pulling my leg. I really could not believe she was honestly seeing it as black and blue. But, when photographed in more normal light, it really is black and blue. There are a couple of Scientific Explanations of this on the interwebs, none of which I understood. I’m no stranger to sensory mysteries, as my hearing is entirely synthetic. But I have to concede that perhaps my wife sees reality better than I do — at least when it comes to clothes.

  4. Just a matter of curiosity about Husband – synthetic hearing? Occupational hazard – I have to ask; Does he wear digital hearing aides or have a Cochlear Implant? I’m the director of a state school for the Deaf! It caught my eye.

    I’m thinking the dress is teal. And the cut is just lovely. And the hair I totally understand as well – I’m a curly girl who let’s hair naturally dry as well.

  5. Lovely dress and very cute outfit Directrice! Teal is my vote. We could ask the amazing mantis shrimp. It can see an array of colours we can’t even imagine, as well as several different wave lengths of light. What a lucky little creature!

    • Now I am picturing a mantis shrimp, wearing glasses, at a press conference being announced as the new CEO of Pantone. I wanted to buy a set of Pantone binders containing color swatches so that I could HAVE ALL THE COLORS and then stopped in my tracks when I realized they cost, like, at least $1,000 (free shipping, though).

  6. Blue. Absolutely blue.

    I do see The Dress as white and gold rather than blue and black, except in the alternative photographs of the picture that bring out the blue and black.

    But still. The Directrice is wearing a lovely blue dress.

  7. Seems blue in these pics, a turquoise or peacock blue, as everyone else is suggesting. Both of which involve a fair amount of green. Wonderful colour on you, with your high-contrast complexion.

  8. To all who weighed in: I realize I set myself up for failure by allowing my husband to select the camera settings for our photo-shoot. He also handles the processing on the back-end. The dress does look more blue in these photos! Whether it’s blue-green or green-blue scarcely matters, though, because both are beautiful.

  9. (1/5) Well…there’s no “allowing.” I am the MASTER of the camera. But I should say something about how I handle color on The Directrice. I like bright, saturated color, so I photograph using the camera’s “Vivid” setting. (It’s a Sony Alpha a6000, which is a DSLR.) When processing the pictures in Lightroom, I usually bump up the “vibrance” and “saturation” settings a bit to make colors even crisper and brighter. To me, that seems to make the images match more closely what I actually see.

  10. (2/5) Now, to the issue of blue versus green: I believe that in theory, the software in both the camera and Lightroom treat all colors equally. (Lightroom could be used to selectively enhance specific colors, but I don’t do that.) In practice it might be different, because color is very complex and the software in both the camera and Lightroom makes all kinds of decisions in producing an image. I’m pretty sure, for example, that they both try to optimize the reproduction of skin tones.

  11. (3/5) (Recently there’s been attention to how film emulsions historically favored Caucasian skin over African-American skin.) So I couldn’t dismiss the possibility that my choices favor blue in some complicated hidden way. But when I look at the dress, I do see a bright peacock blue with just a hint of green. I was very surprised when The Directrice told me firmly that the dress is green, because to me that is not even remotely its primary color.

  12. (4/5) We often disagree on color: to me the colors in our home look muted, but she thinks they’re bright. Perhaps we can try a posting where we both fiddle with an image in Lightroom so it matches what we see, and post the pictures side-by-side.

  13. (5/5) There is another interesting possibility: I heard almost nothing for the first three years of my life, and it’s well-known that when one sense is shut down, the brain allocates its cortical space to other uses. So my brain *might* have more cortical space allocated to color than hers, thus dooming us to disagreement about color for the rest of our married lives. I have no evidence for this, but it’s a fun idea. Neuroscientists, now’s your chance to chime in!

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