Though the forecast is calling for gray skies on Saturday, there will be a burst of bright colors at the Spring Steeplechase.

Both men and women seem to be picking up the brightest and craziest mix of hues hoping to stand out among the thousands of people planning to attend one of Aiken’s biggest events of the year.

Local downtown businesses have seen an influx in customers in the past couple of days because they’re doing a little last-minute shopping to complete their Steeplechase look.

According to Amanda Thornton, owner of Threads, the ladies are looking for sundresses with bold patterns and vivid colors. She said she’s noticed that the solid-colored dresses are not big sellers this year.

Thornton said customers are looking for anything that’s a little different.

“A lot of gals like to stand out,” Thornton said. “That’s kind of the nature of the event.”

Boots accompanying a sundress are in fashion this year.

As for the men, they’re also looking for outfits splashed with color. Kraig Holdman, sales associate for Lionel Smith Ltd., said the guys are striving to outdo each other this year with intensely chromatic outfits.

Madras plaid, seersucker, pincord and four-paneled pants worn with a linen shirt are all popular this year. A bow tie can be added to give the outfit a little bit more flair.

The men will wear loafers without socks or saddle bucks with colored soles and shoelaces to match.

“It’s more vibrant than in the past,” Holdman said.

And of course, don’t forget the hat. A variety of headwear, from leather cowboy hats to fancy embellished hats, is a Steeplechase fashion staple.

The weather may be a little chilly Saturday, with highs only reaching the mid- to high 50s, so plan on bringing along a jacket.