The first lines of the poem “Warning” (by Jenny Joseph) led to the formation of the ‘Red Hat Society’, a women’s group whose members wear purple, accessorised with a red hat.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me…
The Red Hat Society (RHS) is an international social organization founded in 1998 in the United States for women aged 50 and beyond, whose main purpose is “to connect like-minded women, make new friends and enrich lives through the power of fun and friendship”.
It provides women with opportunities for rediscovering the joy of getting together with other women for the express purpose of having fun, for reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.
Members aged 50 and over are called “Red Hatters” and wear red hats and purple attire to the society’s events, while younger women, who may also become members, wear a pink hat and lavender attire until reaching their 50th birthday. They are referred to as a “Pink Hatters.”