Fake tan, fascinators and overdressed fillies: Welcome to race day at Aintree
By Tamara Abraham
Last updated at 4:51 PM on 02nd April 2009
Fake tan and fascinators were the order of the day as the Grand National Festival kicked off at Aintree today.
Knocking back beer and Pimms, the racing revellers looked to be enjoying themselves as their feather headresses fought for attention with frilly frocks.
Thigh-high hemlines revealed orange skin to rival David Dickenson, while those in maxi dresses had opted for fabrics more akin to the Von Trapp family's curtains in The Sound of Music.
Fashion faux pas: Fake tan, cleavage and thigh-high hemlines were the order of the day as racegoers enjoyed refreshments at the Grand National Festival at Aintree today
The dubious outfits even outshone eccentric pundit John McCririck, whose signature deerstalker hat was teamed with an all-red ensemble.
In anticipation of such fashion faux pas, retailer Matalan had laid on a fashion first aid tent to tend to racegoers broken heels and windswept hair. But even they couldn't make up for the spectacular colour clashing that was the result of visitors' attempts at style.
A head-to-toe leopard ensemble was completed by a wide-brim animal-print hat. The effect was worsened by the wearer's proximity to her friend who opted for a floral dress accented with lipstick pink and red.
Garish prints: From Pucci-esque frills to flouncy florals, racegoers' eye-catching efforts included a head-to-toe leopard ensemble
Another leggy lady chose a coral-pink babydoll frock, teamed with gold clutch bag and sandals. Unfortunately the girl in question was wearing so much fake tan, it was near impossible to notice anything else - not least her more soberly dressed friend in frilly chocolate brown.
A fellow racegoer had gone one better and flaunted her cleavage as well as her legs in a clingy fuchsia-print wrap dress.
It's not fancy dress: One racegoer ruffles a few feathers with her peacock headdress; another takes her style lead from 'Allo Allo'. Those in more muted tones compensated with brightly coloured hair
Flower power: Some punters lose their fashion bearings with dubious taste in floral maxi dresses
Even those who had opted for more muted outfits didn't disappoint, with brightly-dyed hair in red and purple.
The outlandish outfits and fine weather lent the day a festive atmosphere, with racegoers enjoying beer and Pimms in the early summer sunshine.
Colour clash: Eye-catching shades of purple, pink and red were made worse by the too-tight cheap fabrics
Around 30,000 people attended Aintree today but the big draw will be on Saturday when the Grand National takes place.
In its 162nd year the famous steeplechase is expected to pull in millions of viewers from around the world.
Expect more fashion finery tomorrow when the women get dolled up for Ladies' Day and compete for the coveted 'Best Dressed Award'.
Coleen Rooney will be on hand to present the award to the most fashionable race-goer.
But if these pictures are anything to go by she'll be hard pressed to pick a winner.