Why is my dress NOT the same color as I ordered?

Posted by Mandy Smith on

I see this so many times across different pages people saying their dress was NOT the same color as they ordered.

There are many factors for this, and I will try to explain as many as I can in clear terms so everyone can see 'why is my dress NOT the same color as I ordered'

Firstly we have to look at computer monitors, depending on the age and the make and model each monitor will look different in color unless you calibrate your monitor on a regular basis.

I work with 2 calibrated monitors side by side so all my images are the same colors as being a photographer this is very important to know what you see in front of you is exactly how it will print.

Now in saying that it is still a little bit different when it comes to clothing as some monitors are lighter than others giving off the impression that the colors are lighter than what they may really be or on the opposite scale some monitors people set darker so the images will appear to be darker. I used to run an older monitor next to my calibrated one and the colors from both screens were dramatically different. my older monitor was a lot brighter and the colors were a lot more saturated than my calibrated screen.

Phones and ipads will be exactly the same and it will depend on how you have your settings.

Now, this is just one factor of the equation, different photographers set their cameras up differently too so they will expose for the correct light if using it in manual or auto setting will choose the camera's settings which are not always accurate.

Now I know what you are thinking, blah blah blah but these have a lot to do with why what you see on screen and what you receive look totally different color wise.

Studio shots compared to outdoor photos will also look very different as in a studio environment you are controlling how you want the light to fall and whether it is hard or soft lighting you are trying to take. I use studio a lot but also like to try and take photos in natural outdoor light and the difference is quite a big difference once again.

If you shoot in shade you are shooting in soft light which in turn will give you the most accurate color but if you are shooting in full sun then the colors will tend to be brighter due to it being hard light.

There are a lot of other factors too that go into an image even after the photo is taken and it is then processed through an imaging app like Lightroom or Photoshop.

A lot of images are lightened off and the contrast or clarity brought up to highlight better patterns in images.

So as you can see there are quite a few reasons for 'why is my dress NOT the same color as I ordered' that need to be considered.

I want to try and get the most accurate images I can for my customers but even I have noticed when I hold a garment up inside next to monitor that sometimes depending on how I have shot the image the color is not quite the same.

I would really love to take all of my images outside in the shade which will give the most accurate color on a calibrated screen but I still cannot vouch for a screen that is not calibrated. And unfortunately taking every image outside is sometimes just not possible well until I find a Brand Rep that I can photograph in the clothing outside all the time.

If you have any concerns over the color you need to ask the seller if they can take a photo for you inside and also outside (preferably in the shade) so you can see the difference in color.

So if you remember these few things you will always know and at least be happier when you get that dress that is NOT the same color as ordered.

Here are a couple of examples below, One was taken on me in the studio and is a tiny bit dark whilst the other was taken with harder light and looks a bit lighter, also done in the studio but under different circumstances.

If you were to look on the computer with the dress in your hand the flat image is more on the accurate side color wise, I have nothing to hide when listing a product and although where I can I use stock images I am happy to take more images if people want them.

So as you can see even under controlled light images may appear to be different in color and this is just a few of the factors of "why is my dress NOT the same color'.

I hope this has helped explain a lot for you so next time you make a purchase and you are unsure of the color you can just send a message or pm the company and ask to see another image in a different light scenario even if it is just a close up of the dress so you can see the colors up close, but remeber there is always goign to be a little bit of deviation when it comes to the color of what you purchase so as long as you go into the ordering process understanding this it won't be as much an issue when your purchase arrives.


When it comes to color there is a lot involved and getting it right is the hardest challenge but PLEASE if you have any questions I am always happy to try and answer them for you.

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