Cats in Red Hats, Paying Homage to the Red Hat Society.

Red Hats & Cool Cats (Paying Homage to the Red Hat Society)

Paying Homage to Red Hat Society Cats (You Know Who You Are)

The main pic in this article features outlandishly dressed up cats sporting red hats. It's Pioneer Kitty Market's way of paying homage to the Red Hat Society and its membership roster of some truly awesome ladies. The image came from Stellar Art, a fantastic website loaded with great pics.

The Red Hat Society was originally founded in 1998 for women over the age of fifty years old. The inspiration behind the red hats and purple outfits came from Jenny Joseph's 1961 poem, "Warning." It was first published in The Listener in 1962 and then as part of her collection Rose In the Afternoon (in The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse) in 1974. It was published again in 1992 in Selected Poems. However, Warning didn't become popular until Liz Carpenter published an article in Reader's Digest.


The First Red Hat Ladies

The Red Hat Society got its start in 1997 when an artist from Fullerton, California, bought a red hat on her trip to Tucson, Arizona. Sue Ellen Cooper bought one for herself and a red hat for her friend as a birthday gift.

An inspired Cooper gave the red hat to her friend as a gesture that growing older doesn't have to be a somber occasion. What started out as a playful gift idea for one friend became a requested gift item by several more friends. This led to many of these women purchasing and wearing purple outfits to go with their hats as they met for a tea party on April 24, 1998. This marked the official start of the Red Hat Society.


Rising Red Hats

The Red Hat Society first earned nationwide attention after journalist Lori Basheda wrote about the group in an article for the Orange County Register. It was then reprinted in newspapers across the United States. In the meantime, Cooper led the Red Hat Society's growth to become a beloved international organization.

In 2004, Cooper wrote The Red Hat Society: Friendship and Fun After Fifty. In 2005, she wrote The Red Hat Society's Laugh Lines: Stories of Inspiration and Hattitude. Cooper is now recognized as the Exalted Queen Mother. 

What started as a handful of women realizing even after fifty there's no such thing as being too old be playful now has a membership roster over 35,000. The women are referred to as "Red Hatters" as they sport red hats and purple attire attire to all their social events.


Red Hat Society Membership Requirements

Usually, women over fifty years old sport the red hats. Ladies under fifty wishing to join the Red Hat Society typically wore pink hats and lavender attire until she reached her fiftieth birthday. Until then, they're referred to as "Pink Hatters."

As an international organization, the Red Hat Society has a collection of local chapters all over the world. Each of these local chapters is led by their own "Queen." Whenever these ladies get together, they adorn themselves with elaborate red hats, purple outfits, and matching accessories (including the feathered boas). It's all about having fun and sharing a special bond with a group of women who refuse to take the world more seriously than it deserves.

The Red Hat Society offers two membership types. For $35 USD annually, ladies can sign up for a Red Hat Membership. This comes with a plastic membership card and full access to Red Hat's official website. She becomes part of a fellowship program with ladies from all over the world.

For $54 USD annually, ladies gain Queen Membership. Aside from sharing the same membership perks, the key difference here is she can create and lead her own chapter group. She can also host events. For more information regarding Red Hat Society's membership program, visit their official website.


Red Hat Society Activities

It was a tea party that started the Red Hat Society. Tea parties are among the most common activities shared by each chapter. Playing games and enjoying theatrical-style entertainment are also popular among the ladies.

It's up to each Red Hat chapter to decide what works for them. Although the Red Hat Society is an international organization, the "Hatquarters" remain in Fullerton, California. Currently, Debra Granich is the lady in charge as its Chief Executive Officer.

Granich has played an instrumental role behind The Red Hat Society's continued growth as a global organization. She is committed to empowering women all over the world with the reality the best years of a woman's life doesn't end as soon as she turns fifty. If anything, the best is yet to come.


Red Hat Cool Cats

What makes The Red Hat Society cool cats is the zest for life these ladies have. For them, turning fifty isn't going over the hill. It's about reaching the top of her game so she can get the best view. As for the ladies who haven't hit fifty yet, the Red Hat Society makes aging a process worth looking forward to instead of fearing.

The Red Hat Society is the PURRfect definition to "you're only as old as you feel." They're perhaps the most vibrant members of the human race. Like frisky felines, each woman struts her stuff like the queen she is.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.