Inspiration Report

Inspiration Report

Meet the Red Hat Society of Forrest Hills

We walked into our favorite restaurant in Queens the other night, The Flagship Diner, and there at a long table were a group of women in red hats, and also wearing various shades of purple clothing. They were The Red Hat Society of Forrest Hills.

Red Hat Gals waving.jpgI positioned myself for a ring side seat, quietly listening to some of their conversation–yes, they did talk about where they bought their hats!–and mostly staring happily at their colorful appearance. I loved all that red!  And purple. So bright, and cheery. And I loved seeing those women together. When women gather great things can happen. 


Red is the color of courage and good luck in some traditions. And I have heard people say that a woman who wears red is ready for anything!  These gals, who seemed to represent a wide range of middle ages and beyond, and who came from different backgrounds, just seemed to enjoy the connection of being together.

Red Hat Queen.jpgThey were nice enough to pose for some photos and, the “Queen Mother” of the Forrest Hills group, Mary Clifford, gave me some insights into to the gathering: They meet once a month, they are celebrating six years in existence, and they are a part of the huge, now famous, Red Heat Society. I thought I heard her say it was composed of “billions” of women from around the world. if not, it is a pretty large group and the website says it is “the world’s largest sisterhood of women approaching 50 and beyond.”


The Queen Mom of this Forrest Hills group told me she founded the group because she didn’t have a big family and it is a way to connect and enjoy a family-like bond. She proudly runs it and the monthly meetings, including raffles at the end of dinner!  The best part of it all was they seemed to really be having fun together. 

The Red Hat Society has ongoing conferences, monthly meetings in local chapters, and lots of red-hatted stuff to do.

The Red Hat Message: “Embrace and life life to the fullest. We’re all about embracing changing attitudes on life. This is the best time of our lives!”

And red peps things up and being colorful is also about being a tad silly and having fun. Here is how the society’s main website greets visitors:


“Welcome to the place where there is fun after fifty (and before) for women of all walks of life. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life and, since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.”

Each local group has a Queen Mother, but they are headed by the Red Hat Society Founder, who is also known as the Exhalted Queen Mother. Read more about the Queen!

Here’s some information on joining.


  • Jessica

    Great to see active chapters posting great content on the web, I loved looking through the pictures, thanks for posting!

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