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Sassy, Classy, & Still Sparkling ~ Celebrating Life after 50

Updated on September 10, 2021

Who are the Red Hat Society Ladies?

This past weekend on a business trip I had an opportunity to visit a Christian book store. Browsing through the sales items my eyes were drawn to a book photo of 3 smiling faces of what appeared to be the happiest ladies I’ve seen in a long time.

Then I read the title and saw why. "Sassy, Classy & Still Sparkling!" It wasn’t until later that I realized that these bubbling beauties were a part of the Red Hat Society chapters that celebrate women and life after age fifty.

You won't get past the first story before realizing why these "Golden Girls" are even more "Sassy, Classy & Sparkling" with no holding back when it comes to FUN.

Although this isn't necessarily a Christian book so to speak, it does include them. Basically, this book is about women in general and what they all face as they grow more "diamond like or sparkly" as I like to put it.

Come along on my adventure into the lives of some pretty exciting and special ladies as they share stories about life as a Red Hatter. Take a look at some of the photos, videos, websites and outfits that Red Hatters pride themselves in as a part of a very special sisterhood community.

Photos by Amazon

Copyrighted Material by Favored1. Do not copy. Photo credit byFavored1 or Amazon unless otherwise noted. This artwork is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. When used:

Poll: Red Hat Ladies

Have you ever heard of the Red Hat Society?

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Photo by
Photo by

Poll: Red Hatter

Photo by google images
Photo by google images

Are you a Red or Pink Hat Lady?

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An Inspirational Video for Women: "We Are Women"

A New Hat-Tea-Tude - Part of "becoming" a Red Hatter is to break out of the norm and experience the abnormal in you.

Sassy, Classy & Still Sparkling - Another Book by Sue Ellen Cooper

Colorful sparkling collector's edition of the 10th anniversary of the Red Hatters Society includes six sections with almost 50 stories and even a pink lady cake recipe. Each story relates how the Red Hat Society has made an impact on them by sharing serious to the hilarious situations in their lives.

Read how one of these mischievous ladies painted her husband's truck purple for a parade and rushed to the car wash praying it would all wash off. See how Claudreen opened a new chapter in life and plots how to rewrite her story. Learn what these ladies have discovered - that you're not getting older, but better.

Section Topics: Living with the "Sass", Classy Dames, Still Sparkling, Hearts of Gold, Laugh Lines, Friendship Gets Better after 50.

A Classic Red Hatters Book of Memories

Sassy, Classy, and Still Sparkling: Celebrating Life After 50
Sassy, Classy, and Still Sparkling: Celebrating Life After 50
Own the book that I just read and share the story of the Red Hat Society Ladies. 160 pages. Hardback edition.
The Red Hat Society Founder ~ Sue Ellen Cooper
The Red Hat Society Founder ~ Sue Ellen Cooper

What Is the Red Hat Society?

It was founded by Sue Ellen Cooper

I guess before I go on with the book review I need to explain a little of what the Red Hat Society is about and Sue Ellen the founder.

It all started with two friends. Sue Ellen Cooper wanted to give her friend Linda Murphy a special birthday gift; something other than the usual "over-the-hill", make you feel old type of gift. After all, she was feeling the pressure of getting older, why add to it?

Sue decided to give her friend a big red hat along with a poem that she had read years ago. The poem was entitled "Warning" and includes two lines that changed the way women now think about middle age.

"When I am old I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn't go; and doesn't suit me." (see full poem link below)

Soon after the two friends were joined by others to flaunt their new red hats, purple outfits and feather boas, over a cup of tea.

The Red Hat Society celebrates its 15th year in March, 2013. It has spread across the United States and abroad, has over one million members in nearly 40 countries.

You can read the entire story on their website listed at the bottom of this site.

A Different Kind of Pink Ladies.

Not like the Laverne & Shirley Era

What I've learned is that donning a red hat is the envy of pre-50 ladies who now have the opportunity to become members as well.

Instead of wearing a red hat, they strut about in pink hats and wear lavender until they come of age - the big 50!

Upon her 50th birthday there is a "right-of-passage" celebration that is sure to be a little zany, full of laughter and mouth- watering desserts accompanied by a spot of tea.

From what I have read and seen, both the Red Hat and Pink Hatters are increasing in number each year, with more and more celebrations being shared all over the Internet.

Photo by google images

Sassy & Classy Hatters Celebrate A Decade Together

"Sassy, Classy and Still Sparklinig ~ Celebrating Life after 50!

When the Red Hat Society was about to celebrate their 10th anniversary, they published this book to highlight what this little red birthday gift had become to women.

Who knew that a hat given as a gesture of kindness would end up being part of the Smithsonian Collection years later and would be followed up by another book in 2013 honoring the 15th year for the society. Be sure to watch the last video (it's short) of the "passing of the first hat!"

The book I read was divided into six sections that share stories of the other Red Hatters in the society. I'd like to share with you a few of my favorites.

Photo by google images

Her Royal Hatter

Every Red Hat Society chapter has a "Queen" in charge of the group. Sue Ellen is the Queen Mother as founder.

Want to be a 'Queen" and not just for a day? Start a chapter in your area today.

Two Halves Make More than a Whole

Story by Red Hatter "Judy"

I enjoyed this story, because it resembled something I've done in my own life. Instead of a half birthday I celebrate my birthday for six months. Perhaps you may think it is self-indulgent, but actually it isn't. My husband and I celebrate birthdays exactly six months apart. He gets to celebrate his 6 months also.

Although I've got a ways to go before reaching some of these ladies ages, I get the concept and why she wanted a half birthday.

Judy was born in December and all her life she felt a little cheated when it came to her birthday falling a few days before Christmas. All the fuss was made over everything else, except her special day. As an adult she too got "wrapped" up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and still never had a birthday that focused just on her. A short time before her 65th birthday Judy made an announcement to her Red Hat group that she would be celebrating her birthday in June, a sort of half birthday six months beforehand. One of the "hatters" insisted that the birthday girl let her make all the arrangements for the party.

When the time came for the event, Judy was in full party gala attitude and attire with all the "boas" and sizzle. She couldn't have been more pleased with her half birthday, although it was still in red!

Using their imagination these ladies came up with a most creative way to share in the festivities of what would be an unorganized, out-of-the ordinary birthday. The theme was "half" of course and the dress, food and directions had to meet the criteria. Part of the overall fun was referring to one another in one syllable words and to come dressed in half the style befitting a Red Hatter girl.

One lady chose to wear one shoe and one slipper. Another dressed half as a wild woman and the other half as a very sophisticated society girl, that she is.

As for the food, it too only measured "half" way. The sandwiches were in halves, the gallons of tea were only half full, cookies were in the shape of half-moons and the watermelon was cut in half. What I liked about the half food idea was what they did to the half of a sheet cake. Instead of writing Happy Birthday Judy, it read "Hap Bir Ju."

Now what about the dinnerware? How would you serve food for a half birthday? On half a plate, of course.

Judy celebrates her half birthday each year with her Red Hatter gals and her real birthday with family. Don't you think she deserves it after missing all those birthdays over the years? I do too.

Photo by google images

What Does A Red Hat Lady Do?

Available on Amazon.
Available on Amazon.

Why the Red Hat Society Exists.

The purpose of the Red Hat Society is to celebrate the life of women after the age of fifty, although they certainly welcome all ladies.

Hatters gather all over the world to celebrate, cherish and encourage fellow sisters as they journey through life. Although clothing and fun is a big part of this large group of ladies, being there for one another through the good times and bad definitely outweighs the pomp and circumstance.

Red Hat Society Books - Sue Ellen Cooper & Ruby Red Hat Books, Cookbooks & Stories

The Red Hatters are now into their 15th year, and all along the way they have found ways to include others through their books and cookbooks.

Besides Sue Ellen and Ruby Red Hat, many Red Hatters from around the world have written books, blogs and e-letters to share their experiences since joining this global club.

Red Hatters
Red Hatters

You must first select the color hat. Red, Purple or Pink. These ladies have lots of them.

Red Hat Society ~ Red Hats - You can wear the hats plain or dress them up with Red Hat Society Accessories.

If you are to be a "part" of the Red Hat Society, the rules state that you have to dress the "part". That means at each social you have to wear the right hat for your age group. The fifty and over ladies wear red hats, while the ladies in waiting to turn 50 wear pink.

All ladies are given their first hat upon joining the Red Hat Society, but those who aren't of age have to wait to wear their hat until they are given a "right-of-passage" ceremony at REDuation. Then they will retire their pink hat and wear a red one.

Although the main hat is to be red, purple and pink hats are accepted for certain things depending on the event.

Red Hat Society Pink Hats ~ for Women under age 50 - You don't have to be left out of the Red Hat Society just because of your age.

Ladies that wear pink hats are not permitted to wear a red or purple hat until they turn 50. It is something they look forward to in the group.

REDuation (graduation) day is a perk for these girls when they surrender their pink toppers and lavender accessories for a more sophisticated red "derby." Read more about graduating on page 73 of this book.

Your hat doesn't necessarily need decorating, but you absolutely have to be, and outrageously!

Rat Hatter will always be sisters ...

Precious Moments Red Hat Society "We'll Always be Sisters".  Available on Amazon.
Precious Moments Red Hat Society "We'll Always be Sisters". Available on Amazon.

Red Hat Society Apparel ~ Scarves, Gloves, Shirts & Socks

If you notice any of these ladies, their hats aren't the only things they are wild about. Dressing with as many classy yet clashy, overstated, blingy-bling accessories is a must they all love.

When you attend a Red Hat Society convention, tea party or social it may be very formal down to red feather flip-flops on the beach. Your part is to be prepared with every fashionable and unfashionable item just in case you happen to meet the Queen.

Dream Big

We have all dreamed a dream, haven't we?

I can still remember the day when people from the airlines in Philadelphia came to our home for my interview to become a "stewardess" (as they were once called). It was an exciting day and my mother knew how nervous I was.

Everything looked good and they were pleased with me. Finally, the time came to measure me to see if I would qualify for the job. If I did, then we would discuss the job. If not, the interview was over! Oh my, I was only 5 feet tall; under the required height of 5'3" for this company.

All my dreams to travel were gone. I had always wanted to be a teacher (and did become one), but before settling down I was going to "fly and see the world!" So goes the story below, of a Red Hatter from Wisconsin.

Photo by google images

Elaine Still Had A Dream

Elaine had a dream somewhat like mine, but instead she longed to be a pilot. A school guidance counselor struck a blow to her dreams, and she too was rejected because of her height. Like me she entered the teaching field.

What I find so sad about this story is the poor advice she received as a young girl. Yes, there were restrictions for being flight attendants, but not on pilots. Her counselor talked her out of pursuing a career as a pilot and said she must have been mistaken. Her quiet personality caused her to cave in, and her big dream became a part of a fantasy.

Time would "fly" by and Elaine retired from teaching. Her chance to dream big took on new force and was revived at the age of 55 in the way of becoming a published writer.

This time no one could stop her from dreaming and her books would be about the desires in her heart, that of flying. Not only would her main character get to be a 6 foot tall pilot, but she was also the captain. She wrote what she dreamed.

What this Ruby Red Hatter of the North realized was that she still was able to have her dream, but with some alterations along the way. What we learn from our sister dressed in purple is that we should never give up on our dreams, because they are still in us waiting to be realized.

Photo Amanda Brown courtsey google images

Sassy & Classy ~ Must Have List

According to every Red Hatter, there is a "must have" list for all of them to qualify as a true society lady.

A classy lady never leaves home without:

lipstick, compact mirror,

the phone number of a hair salon,

glamorous friends (you never go alone),

receipts that are outdated,

and the always present and most sylish unconventional purse.

Red "Hat" Facts

The Red Hat Society is one of the largest women's organization in the world with over one million members.

Currently membershp is $20 a year. To be a "Queen" it is $39 a year.

Poll: Will you read the book?

Will you read this book?

See results

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Overall ~ We Were Born to Stand Out & Sparkle!

Overall I liked the book with the exception of a few radical ladies, and I had thought it could have ended on a different story. I would give it a 4 star rating with maybe a little nudge higher due to it's colorful appearance. It was easy to read with the stories being only a few pages long, with each one drawing you into the life of a Red Hat Lady.

What do I like about the Red Hatters and their onward bound society? Their way of sharing, laughing and supporting one another is something that cannot be denied. Honestly, the age of fifty has less to do with it I think than the idea of having someone alongside you as you step out of your comfort zone.

It's intriguing to think of myself in one of those purple feathery boas and an enormous, elegant or not so elegant, floppy hat just waiting to make my debut into the society. It gives me something to work towards that will scare the he-be-jee-bees out of my family! After all, I already wear mismatched socks on purpose; the rest should come easy.

Neva Morris age 110 Red Hat Society October 2005
Neva Morris age 110 Red Hat Society October 2005

Meet Some of The Red Hat Society Ladies - Sue Ellen Cooper, the founder is on the first and last video.

Meet the Founder Sue Ellen Cooper

A Personal Invitation to Join the Red Hat Society from Founder Sue Ellen Cooper & CEO Debra Granich

Red Hat Society Website Tutorial

RED HAT SOCIETY 10th Birthday - RHS Store

Red Hat Society (part 1)

Red Hat Society (part 2)

Official "Send Off" Video For the First Red Hat and Purple Boa

Red Hatters Information on the Web - Who are the Red Hat Ladies?

The Red Hat Society is one of the largest women's organization in the world with over one million members. Currently membership is less than $50 a year. To be a "Queen" is not as expensive as you think!

I'm too young to be old ..... what about you?

© 2013 Fay Favored


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