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Fashionistas cheer cloudy Aintree
Freezing temperatures and cloudy skies have failed to steal the thunder of the fashionistas as Ladies' Day got under way at the Grand National meeting.
An estimated 50,000 people were expected at Liverpool's Aintree Racecourse for the second day of racing, which has become almost secondary to the breathtaking range of outfits on display.
Ladies' Day is a firm favourite with the fairer sex in the North West who have become known for pulling out all the stops in the fashion stakes.
Coleen Rooney, 27, who is eight months pregnant, tweeted her disappointment at not being able to attend the festivities. The wife of soccer star Wayne Rooney said on the social network: "First time in 10 years am not getting ready for Ladies Day!!! Gonna miss it!! Have fun everybody!! !!"
Atomic Kitten star Liz McClarnon, 31, arrived at the racecourse with friends and wearing a cream Philip Armstrong floral design dress with a Dawn Wiggins hat made from a copy of the Daily Mirror.
She said: "I love Ladies' Day, for me it's the highlight of the Grand National. I love getting dressed up, I love the glamour, I absolutely love it. There is a bit of competition between the girls, especially in terms of the hats, but it's a good-natured competition. We're all here to dress up and have a laugh and a lovely time with our friends."
A highlight of Ladies' Day is the annual Matalan style competition, hosted by This Morning's Jeff Brazier, which offers a £5,000 prize to the best-dressed race-goers. Brazier, 33, said: "Because everyone has made such effort, there is a real variety of looks and that's what it's all about, you're not going to get two outfits the same."
Victoria Meekings of Harvey Nichols, which has a beauty bazaar at the racecourse helping women fix their hair and make-up, said: "I think prints are still huge, a lot of brands that we stock in store are print-centric this season and I'm definitely seeing that translated into a lot of the outfits the ladies are wearing today.
"There are a lot of bright colours and the heels are skyscraping - the ladies are doing an awfully good job of staying on their feet around the racecourse in what are very high heels. I'm also seeing a lot of fitted maxi-dresses, that seems to be quite a trend with the hair piled on top of the head, either that or very, very bright colourful dresses."
Liverpool One shopping centre said its stores had sold 2,000 litres of fake tan, 10,000 bags and 38,700 pairs of stilettos this week ahead of Friday's event.