I am often asked about the use of the word HAUTE in the title of my blog. How do you say it? What does it mean? How did you come up with that? Well, in short, it is a play on words, or a parody of sorts, of the song title, “Ode to Joy“. If you are among the vast number of individuals out there who are unsure of the correct pronunciation of haute (no judgment), then this blog title likely made no sense at first glance and I may have already lost you; BUT if you’re still hanging in there with me (THANK YOU), I am about to share with you how haute is pronounced. Ready? Here it is:
haute: / “ōt” /
Yep. Much like “oat“, as in the mostly-healthy breakfast food AND the newest up and coming dairy-alternative. That reminds me, a huge thank you goes out to Oscura Cafe for the WiFi and my first-ever taste of oat milk in my Caramel Cold Brew as I wrote this — it. was. YUM-azing!
So now that we’re all on the same page about the pronunciation, just pair that with the nod to fashion in its definition. Now, given my current stage of life, having spent the last decade+ in fashion and accessories, combined with my ongoing pursuit of Joy, the name of the blog just seemed to flow so nicely with an all kinds of perfect double meaning.
Well, sort of… read on if you want the Beginning and the Middle too.
I come from a long line of accessorizing women, so my love of accessories was sparked at an early age, but later fueled by the iconic leading ladies of retail therapy / makeover rom-com classics like Troop Beverly Hills, Clueless, Legally Blonde and even Bayside High’s fierce fashionista, “Lisa Turtle” of Saved By The Bell (am I a 10 or what?). All of those fabulous, trendsetting heroines of fashion had the innate ability to turn the potentially mundane act of shopping into an art form; or at least that’s how it always appeared to my impressionable, young mind. But I digress…
Yep, that’s me ^^ Halloween 2007
“Bless my heart, I had no clue what ‘ode’ couture was and I had previously thought that ‘haute’ spelled out was pronounced ‘hot‘.”
Emulating the trends set by silver screen icons and prestige brands during my formative years played a significant role in developing my own sense of style, which was a blast, mostly. I mean, there are some things I just can’t unsee myself having worn (looking at you, stretchy glittered flare jeans). The thing is, it wasn’t until I attended some of my first core classes as a Retail Merchandising & Product Development Major at Florida State University that I realized I had only thought I knew what high fashion was. The first time I heard the term haute couture used in a sentence was during a class lecture and I had actually written it down in my notes as “Ode Couture” [cue dramatic facepalm]. Bless my heart, I had no clue what “ode” couture was and I had previously thought that “haute” spelled out was pronounced “hot”. Basically, up until I saw it defined in a textbook, all I kept hearing was the song Ode to Joy playing in my head — specifically, the Sister Act 2 version (obvi). Have I just completely confused all of my Gen-Z friends out there with these references? [#sorrynotsorry]
“Then it hit me: THIS was to be the title of my blog: HAUTE to Joy”
Anyway, as it would happen (and I believe these things never just happen), my husband and I were recently packing up our lives in Florida to relocate to North Carolina and I unearthed the college notebook where I had made the original gaffe in spelling! The memories of “Ode to Joy” playing on repeat in my head came flooding back to me. Then it hit me: THIS was to be the title of my blog: HAUTE to Joy! From all things haute in life to seeking out the joy in life, that is my journey in a nutshell. So this is my blog: a genuine pursuit of Joy, perfectly imperfect, wholly accessorized.
(but for real this time)