Is it just me or does it feel like everyone you know is dying to be out and about? After more than two years of whatever you want to call it, people are ready to be out, out and about, and out loud. In person weddings are back, lunches are planned, travel is unmasked, and if you haven’t noticed, fashion is also on board. Look around and you’ll see head to toe clothing of bright colors and patterns. It’s as though designers felt the wave coming and we’re all jumping on board the ship of perky normalcy. I’m in!
Just today one of my favorite bloggers, Cathy Williamson of The Middle Page, posted the above vibrant and fun lemon bedecked Alice & Olivia blouse. I love anything lemon and love this blouse. It screams joy and optimism and it screams spring and summer. No mellow yellow here!
I’m here to say lemon is the color and topic du jour of late. I’ve seen everything from lemon bread recipes to lemon plates to lemon scented everything on blogs and sites everywhere. It’s also a color that reminds us of sunshine and cheer, both of which we’ve all be craving and needing.
I’m currently working on a blog about color and how it affects our mood and our world in general and have learned that yellow carries a positive connotation that conveys a joyous, happy mood and that wearing it creates an open atmosphere with people around you. Unfortunately not everyone can pull off a bright or mustard yellow top or look as regal as the always stunning Duchess of Cambridge in the above Rocksanda dress. If you’re like me and have skin with yellow undertones, be careful. Instead of choosing a full on yellow blouse, maybe go with something more along the lines of the above lemon one. Bees and daisies are good options too as are yellow accessories. A little yellow can go a long way. Be careful but have fun with it!
Fun. We’ve been missing it in groups and gatherings and who can blame us? Our country is imploding and the world is on fire, but we all desperately need a day, a night, maybe even a week of fun and fellowship. In person. In sight. Smiling. Happy. Relieved. It might seem like a luxury and sadly a bit unnatural, but it’s what we crave and what we need. It kinda reminds me of a famous club that began in a similar fashion: people wanting people.
We’ve all seen them: big groups of older women wearing big red hats and lots of purple. You may have heard about The Red Hat Society, but its history might surprise you. No, they’re not a cult and they’re not crazy, they’re simply women enjoying life and enjoying friendship. Founded in 1998, the RHS was formed because we all need a recess from the cares and duties of everyday life and it took one woman to see this and do something about it. Women tend to give their all to everyone and everything except themselves, and those Red Hatters discovered that having fun with like-minded women does the body, mind, and society good.
In the fall of 1997, Sue Ellen Cooper bought an old red fedora for $7.50 from a thrift shop and was inspired by it and the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph that says in part:
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
Cooper loved it too and used it and the hat as a way of encouraging a friend who was turning 50 to stay youthful and spirited. Maybe even learn to spit! She duplicated that gift upon request several times and soon her squad was donning red hats and wearing purple outfits to their get togethers. The group grew in popularity by word of mouth and gained national attention when an article on it was published in The Orange County Register and picked up by newspapers across the country. The rest is red-hatted history and since its founding, RHS has grown to more than 25,000 members worldwide and Cooper has written two best-selling books.
Call them what you want, but they get it. They get that socializing is essential. l can only help but wonder what all those Red Hatters did the past 2+ years. I’m guessing they Zoomed in their red hats and masked up at their coffees, but are now thrilled to travel and attend theatre events once again together and in person. We need people (and this coming from a very comfortable nesting introvert) and we need bright colors in our world. It’s time to buy the hat, call the friends, wear the purple, plan the party, go to that book club or spin class, pop that golden yellow bottle of Veuve, use all the colors in that yellow box of crayons, and color your world and your life again. And maybe make some Limoncello after the past two years of lemons.