In the fall of 1997, Sue Ellen Cooper, and artist from Fullerton, California, purchased an old red fedora for $7.50 from a thrift shop, during a trip to Tucson, Arizona.
When a good friend was nearing a 55th birthday, Cooper cast about for an idea for an original gift. Inspired by a well-know Jenny Joseph poem, “Warning”, which begins, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat which dosen’t go and dosen’t suit me” Cooper wanted to encourage her friend to grow older in a playful manner.
She gave her friend a red hat of her own suggesting that she keep it as a reminder to grow old playfully and on her own terms. The symbolism behind the red hat affected women Cooper encountered. Those women responded by wearing their own red hats and entering a new women’s movement that embraced a renewed outlook on life filled with fun and friendship, fulfilling lifelong dreams.
This movement today has grown to 50,000 in the USA and 30,000 in other countries. Women under 50 may join and they wear pink hats and lavender attire and on your birthday you wear the reverse and the over 50 red hats and purple attire and reverse on your special day.
Our Lower Clarence group meet for lunch the first Saturday of the month at 12 midday at selected venues if you would like to join us phone Margaret on 0444 532 461.
Red Hat ladies enjoying a luncheon at the Yamba Golf Club recently (l-r) Meredith McClellang, Denise Collier, June Rigall and Margaret Maher.