A designer named Jessi Arrington once commented: “It is almost physiologically impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re wearing bright red pants.
” My initial, knee-jerk reaction was to disagree with her. Over the years I have often found myself suddenly feeling self-conscious about this or that item of clothing I had chosen to wear, fearing that I should have worn something less attention-getting. And doing so wound up putting me in a bad mood, thus proving that donning bright red pants does NOT make it impossible to be in a bad mood. But it was the “old me” who would have worried about those things. Dear Sisters, please excuse my near lapse into stodginess! We Red Hatters refuse to worry about such things!
The fact is, I have often worn bright red pants in public - when I was out Hatting! I have also worn piles of fake jewels, towering, plume-topped hats, enormous cat’s eye sunglasses and even high-heeled red tennis shoes (although I caution all of you against wearing them, as I did, while marching in a parade). But of course my outlook on a whole lot of things has been permanently altered by the Red Hat Society.
It’s hard to believe it now, but in our early years many women were hesitant to join us because they thought that merely pairing purple clothing and red hats was pretty outrageous. Inevitably that attitude changed and it was fun to see women who had formerly been quite shy and retiring venture out in ever-larger hats, ever-brighter colors and even pounds of fake jewels – in broad daylight!
Since then we have come to glory in our self-bestowed freedom to express our light-hearted, fun sides in all kinds of ways. But nowhere is it more obvious than in our clothes. So bring on the bra hats and the purses that look like corsets! Bring on scads of purple petticoats worn with red tights and outrageous outfits, each one crazier than the last!
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when we decide, on a whim, to gussy ourselves up in sophisticated finery, perhaps topped by the ultimate in sophistication, a Luke Song hat. I sometimes enjoy doing that; perhaps you do too – if only to demonstrate our unpredictability. What is more fun than surprising people – including ourselves? The point is that we don’t consider ourselves obligated to conform to any particular stereotype. As we have always done, we encourage every Member to choose her own sartorial path and we know that it may vary from day to day. No matter what our outfit consists of, our colors will always serve to identify who we are and what we are about.
But, having said this, I have a confession to make: just yesterday I was shopping for a few new items of regalia that I need for San Antonio this summer, and I lucked into a fabulous buy – on a pair of bright red pants! I came home happy. I guess that proves that Jessi Arrington was right!