Wabi-Sabi: Perfectly Imperfect
Is it just us, or has the veil of picture-perfect living been lifted recently? Prioritizing self-expression as a means to please ourselves first and foremost is a trend we are more than happy to report on. Whether it is the calming nature of an unpretentious garment or the endearing experience of sipping from a handmade mug, finding relatable beauty in perceived flaws is a direct nod to the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi (“wabi” coming to mean something like “rustic simplicity,” and “sabi” translated as “taking pleasure in the imperfect”). Popularized by Sen no Rikyū, a 16th-century tea master who stood in opposition to the ostentatious tea ceremonies held by royalty of the time, wabi-sabi focuses on simplicity, nature, asymmetry, roughness, and respect for the impermanence of life. Leaning into these elements in all areas—not just in the home or your wardrobe—is a serious goal we could all benefit from, and one that’s easier than most to embody. Here is a selection of perfectly imperfect items to get you started on the zen path to practicing wabi-sabi.