The Beginning Of The Red Hat Society

The history of the of the Red Hat Society began in the sunny city of Tucson, Arizona. A woman by the name of Sue Ellen meandered along a thrift shop looking for things she might like to buy. She decided on buying a bright red fedora hat that struck her fancy.

That bright red fedora has now become the symbol of the Red Hat Society. A few years after buying the hat she happened upon a poem “Warning”, written by the author Jenny Joseph. In the poem, a woman explains how she would like to act when she is older.

Poodle Skirt red hat society

Poodle Skirt red hat society

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves, and satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.” At the end of the poem she explains that she knows she presently needs to continue to be a good example to those around her. However, she also believes she ought to practice living the way she would like to now a little, so people won’t be too shocked when she suddenly is an older woman and she wears purple.

The poem became Sue Ellen’s inspiration for a birthday gift for her friend. She presented the poem, along with a vintage red hat, to her friend Linda Murphy. She had hopes Linda would like it and perhaps use it as a fun decoration by hanging the hat next to the framed poem.

What Sue Ellen didn’t realize was that the gift would be such a hit that it would soon be passed on to many others. Linda gave the same gift to her friend, and that friend gave the hat and poem to another, and so on. Ms. Joseph’s poem was an instant success.

Those presented with red hats decided to start a “Red Hat Society”. They decided to get together for tea and enjoy each others company. In honor of the poems they were presented, they got together dressed in purple dresses and red hats that didn’t go.

That was when the first official Red Hat Society tea began. Each member of the Red Hat Society continued to invite new members, and the number of members and red hats began to grow. Now there are many sibling groups celebrating across the Nation.

The Red Hat Society was founded on a simple, yet important idea. Don’t save everything that you can enjoy in life until you are old. Life is meant to be celebrated, here and now.

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4 Responses to “The Beginning Of The Red Hat Society”

  1. [...] Red Hat Society is one the world’s largest networks for women. It began in 1998 with less than 18 members, and now features more than 30,000 local chapters. These [...]

  2. [...] Each chapter will have information you can view for the area that you want. The local chapter should provide its name, the Queen’s name, and the area the chapter is located at. It will also usually provide a few sentences about the chapter to give a little information about it. [...]

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