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Last year, most Derby goers spent the day trying to pick equine winners. Not me. I was too busy handicapping the crowd's clotheshorses - and the competition in this race was every bit as stiff as the Derby itself.

In selecting my field of fashion finalists from Derby 2003, I gravitated toward trendsetters. And now, as I look over the photographs a year later, it seems that what was budding last spring is in full bloom now. Let's start with colors - everything from pretty pastals (pretty, but not Easter egg shakes) to vibrant, saturated brights with a definite nod toward the pink family.

Also strong is the return to feminitiy, obvious in indulgent, decorative ruffles, sheer fabrics and body-conscious silhouettes. We're not talking about uncomforatble tight fits, but these outfits are cut closely along a woman's curves and accented with flowing fabrics that complement a multitude of body types. They work with, rather than against, the contours of the female form.

Planning for this year's day at the races? Consider cool weather choices in case of clouds and cold move in. And wear layers even if there's a warm forecast. The weather in Kentucky can be as hard to predict as a trifecta.

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