Funny, but I thought those fabulous dames donning the fancy red hats had been around a lot longer. If you would have told me that today is their 100th anniversary, I would have believed you. Alas, it’s only 14 years ago, on April 25, 1998 to be exact, that the Red Hat Society was first celebrated.
Originally, the society was meant for women 50 years of age and over as a means of social interaction and bonding. Their mission is to support and encourage women in their pursuit of fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment and fitness.
It all began when founder Sue Ellen Cooper gave a friend a red bowler hat as a birthday gift, and attached a line from poem by Jenny Joseph that read: “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.” The gifts became a tradition for Cooper and her friends, and on April 25, 1998, several of the women held a tea party wearing purple outfits along with the red hats, and the society was born.
Today, the Red Hat Society is open to all women of any age, although women under 50 are referred to as “Pink Hatters” and typically wear hats of pinkish hues until their 50th birthday. That means “inside every red hatter is a pink hatter wondering what the hell happened.”
Learn more about these extraordinary ladies at www.redhatsociety.com.
P.S. Happy birthday to my wonderful niece! Just think Leigh, only 22 more years to go before you can be a Red Hat Lady!!