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red hats, purple dresses?

rjf | Posted in General Discussion on

I know this will be off topic but just having written (another) comment about Brook Delorme, maybe this will fit that kind of discussion.  I was talking with a friend who mentioned the red hat, purple dress society.  She told me that members go to meetings wearing red hats and purple dresses…unless they under 50, in which case they wear lavendar and pink.  I jumped in with “That sounds just the opposite of what the author intended.  I think she meant we should be ourselves and being required to wear red and purple (or any particular color) is exactly what she would be opposed to.”  She really couldn’t see my point but she’s still a friend, I think.     rjf



  1. carolfresia | | #1

    I'd love to hear from some Red Hat Society members. From what I understand, there's a huge amount of creativity in what members wear, even if all the hats are red and the clothes purple. I had never heard of this before, until the day I saw a group of about 30 Red Hat women in a restaurant having lunch together. It was as if a flock of happy, tropical birds had landed.


    1. lbbray | | #4

      I am a newish member of one of the local Red Hat Societys and it is great fun. And our hats do range from the sublime to the ridiculous (?) I have a hat pattern I have been dying to have an excuse to make, and guess what it will be first. Red! I bought a soft crocheted looking red hat at Wal-Mart. Just a simple summer hat. I bought some deep purple ribbon and laced it through, in three rows with staggered bows. It turned out really cute and did not look like a last minute purchase before my first outing. Since we do get rather creative in our attire, (boas are really big too)I find that being able to make my own "garbs" makes it much easier and certainly more cost effective. And, I can have a "Red Hat" outfit that will work for other occaisions too. I am working up a jacket and a vest that will have detachable red felt hats with purple feathers. My group will doing a mall crawl soon and I am going to make a purple skirt to go with my purple tights. I found some wonderful purple and red floral print for a blouse. With my red hat, I should be easy to spot. I have also made a couple of stretch bead bracelets. As much fun as playing dress up is, I just can't bring myself to spend a lot of money on clothes that are too limited in wear (except for formal frocks of course). I am looking forward to makeing one of the darling bags in a piece of brocade I have that just has been lingering around way too long. Maybe Threads could do an inspirational article for us.

      1. rjf | | #7

        "As much fun as playing dress up "....now that puts a different light on wearing purple and red!  That makes it a very good game requiring all kinds of creativity and everybody wins.  Okay by me!       rjf

  2. sueb | | #2

    here's a link to the red hat society's home page:


    1. rjf | | #3

      That's quite a website.  Thanks for the link.       rjf

      1. Jean | | #6

        I can't believe my little Michigan town of around 11,000 has five chapters!!! What a kick!

        1. rjf | | #8

          My friend who belongs tells me that going out for dinner is the entire meeting so I was imaging that a chapter couldn't be much bigger than 30 members or they wouldn't find a restaurant big enough to hold them.  So that would be 150 members in your town, does that sound right? 

          Are you close enough to the Detroit area to go to the American Sewing Expo at the beginning of October?  It would be nice to meet you there.  Maybe Threads would provide a place or time for Gatherings contibutors to meet.       rjf

          1. Jean | | #9

            According to the web site only one of those groups was not accepting new members, so I doubt that there are that many women particitating. Although there are at least that many crazy enough to love the idea!

            I won't be going to Detroit, but we'll eagerly await your full report. :)

  3. Idabel | | #5

    In answer to the Red Hat Society. I think it is the result of the poem by Jenny Joseph entitled Warnings. The poem begins..........

    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

    With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

    It's a cute poem about getting older & doing what pleases you.

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