The articles are saying this morning that the photo was taken in dim lighting. And the color pixels are confusing to your brain as it fills in the missing pixels. Depending on your retinas - two people could look at this same photo even on the same device and see different colors. That's the best explanation I've seen so far.
The dress is a chameleon. I saw it last night on the news and on my phone and it was white and gold every time. I opened this thread this morning and now its black and blue. I went to a meeting and came back to my laptop and this thread was still open. Well, the first pic (Toolies) was now white and gold but perseco's was still black and blue. I scrolled back up to Toolie's and I watched it turn back to black and blue.
We don't see things, we see light reflecting off of things so I think its just a matter of the amount of exposure in the pic itself and screen settings that is causing the different perceptions in the brain at any given time or display.
I saw one explanation that said it depends on a person's mood as to which color they will see. Good mood - white and gold Bad mood/upset - blue and black.
The dress is in the shade. The dress is white and gold. Shaded light is blue (in fact SKY BLUE) with very little yellow (gold) to reflect back. If you look at a red piece of paper with red light it looks white. If you look at it with a light that contains no red, it looks black.
The color content of the light is masking the true colors. Your brain actually corrects for this effect. If you saw a girl walking in daylight with a white and gold dress then shwe walked into shade, your brain knows the dress did not change color and you see it as White and Gold.
Color is light reflected back into your eye. Walk into a black light room and poof!! Your white shirt is purple. If you wear a sky blue shirt in the shade, it looks identical to a white shirt in the shade.