A few years ago when we were in Mount Dora a coach pulled up and a whole group of ladies got off – all wearing purple and red. It really was a sight and to be honest they were making their presence known. We had no idea what it was all about but we took a photo and went back to the villa to google it. This is what we found out
While visiting a friend in Tucson a lady called Sue Ellen bought a red hat from a charity shop. It was an impulse buy – cheap and she thought quite nice. A couple of years after that she read “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, which depicts an older woman in purple clothing with a red hat. Sue Ellen felt an immediate kinship with Ms. Joseph. When her best friend’s birthday came up she decided to buy her a vintage red hat and a copy of the poem. It went down so well that she repeated it with other friends.
One day it occurred to these friends that they were becoming a sort of “Red Hat Society” and that perhaps they should go out to tea… in full regalia. They decided they would find purple dresses which didn’t go with their red hats to complete the poem’s image. The tea was a success and the rest is history.
It arrived in Florida because one of the red hatters passed the idea on to a friend of hers in Florida who started a sister group.
“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.”
Maybe when I turn 50 I will have a purple clothes and red hat party.