What Is the Red Hat Society?


Quick Answer

The Red Hat Society is a worldwide social organization for women. Originally created as a social group for women over 50, it has grown to admit women of any age. Activities include tea parties, social outings, theater trips, book discussion groups and crafting.

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Full Answer

The Red Hat Society was founded by Sue Ellen Cooper in 1997, who gave a friend a red bowler hat for her 55th birthday. She accompanied it with Jenny Joseph's poem "Warning," which opens with lines about women wearing clashing red and purple. After repeating the gift several times, she began holding tea parties with her friends, who all dressed in red and purple for the occasion. As more and more women joined the impromptu society, Cooper and her friends realized that it could be a valuable resource for older women.

The society's goals are to promote bonding and friendship among women, and to create social opportunities for women who may have a hard time maintaining an active social life on their own. The leader of each chapter is the Queen, and women are divided into the over-50 Red Hatters and the younger Pink Hatters. Regular events are supported by yearly dues, and prospective members can find a local chapter or apply online.

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