There comes a time in every new marriage when the inevitable happens: you are somehow cornered into throwing a dinner party that you are totally unprepared for (and if we’re being honest you probably don’t really want to throw). Where to begin? First of all, make sure you have lots of alcohol, AKA the great equalizer, the substance that is sure to bond people from your different social circles who wouldn’t normally have to all sit at a table (or in a backyard, or on a porch) together.
Secondly, make sure you have your good china hidden. Unless this is a “trying to impress the in-laws” dinner there’s just no need to risk it. Plus, let’s be honest, we all have that one friend who tends to imbibe a bit too much (sometimes pretty early on in the party) and has probably broken at least two to three plates in their friendship tenure, minimum.
“So what the heck am I supposed to do?!” you’re screaming at your screen. Yes, we know, you’re at the edge of your proverbial seat and you need answers! Here’s what you do: Register for some melamine plates (AKA super durable, not flimsy plastic) so that aforementioned friend(s) don’t have the chance to break any of your nice china (or heck, even your everyday plates!), and also so that your cleanup is a little less stressful (no hand washing required!).
But that being said, not all melamine was created equal. We’ve seen some that may as well be disposable even if they’re not meant to be, but plastic doesn’t have to look cheap! We’ve rounded up some of our all time favorite “I can’t believe this isn’t bone china” plates—pieces that we can attest to being as realistically "almost-china" in person as they are on your screen. Now all you have to find is the best-looking acrylic drinkware, and you'll be set!
Tropical Foliage Melamine Plate
Get all tropical sophisticate with these palm-y beauties. With a ripply texture that looks like handcrafted clay, these graphic plates are perfect for your next summertime soiree. Tropical Foliage Melamine Plate, $12 each, available at Terrain
Multicolor Hilton Melamine Dinner Plate
This plate is the epitome of loud—in a very good way. Make a statement with these bold stripes (and if you get bored after you've finished your meal, try to count how many colors there are—40?? 50??). Multicolor Hilton Melamine Dinner Plate, $13.99, B by Brandie
Heritage Blue Melamine 12pc Dinnerware Set
Now these are truly impressive. Q Squared is one company that knows how to do melamine the right way! We love all the different patterns at play here—and blue and white is not only on-trend, but stays classic at the same time. Heritage Blue Melamine 12pc Dinnerware Set, $164, available at Q Squared
Isla Melamine Collection
These plates deserve to be accompanied by margaritas, stat. Isla Melamine Collection, $26.99-$44.99, Odeme, available at Zola
Splatter and Spin Melamine Dinner Plate
Now tell us this doesn't look like a real plate. Go on, just try and tell us. This looks like a piece of pottery you'd get a chic craft fair in upstate New York and we dig it. Splatter and Spin Melamine Dinner Plate, $18, Juliska, available at Bloomingdale's
Lulie Wallace Melamine Dinner Plate
A collaboration with artist Lulie Wallace (we've been an admirer of her work for some time!), these plates yell springtime and immediately cheer us up. Lulie Wallace Melamine Dinner Plate, $6.95, available at Anthropologie
Lemonade Stand Pink Melamine Plate
This pattern and these colors are so good we want it printed on fabric so we can wear it as a dress (and consequently this company does also make fabric!). Lemonade Stand Pink Melamine Plate, $18, available at Laura Park