The Purple Hat Society is a all-women group founded by a boutique owner named Emma in 2000. Known as the Purple Hat Society Ladies' Tea Group, its founding coincided with the opening of the founder's boutique in Upland, California.
According to the founder's website, the Purple Hat Society is for women who love tea and appreciate vintage clothing, jewelry, hats and anything Parisian. The group was also founded supposedly for women who are always in a rush, to indulge themselves in a relaxed environment in a company of other women and enjoy a cup of tea. The requirements to become a member of the Purple Hat Society Group is for the aspiring member to wear a purple hat at the founder's events. A minimal yearly fee is also paid by the members.
The Purple Hat Society is loosely based on the Red Hat Society (RHS), a social group for women who are 50 years old and above. Founded in 1998 by artist Sue Ellen Cooper, the RHS group has spawned about 40,000 chapters in the United States and 30 other countries as of 2014. The main objective of the RHS is to promote social interaction among women. RHS members wear red hats and purple dresses to group events. Women younger than age 50 may join events but are only allowed to wear pink hats and lavender dresses for events.