For the Dowager Countesses in Training: Royal Crown Derby “Darley Abbey”
Regency-era refinement meets royal opulence in this English-made dinnerware, recently featured on the Masterpiece Classic period drama Mr. Selfridge. $545 for a five-piece setting (sold separately), Royal Crown Derby.
For the Drama Kings and Queens: Marchesa for Lenox “Baroque Night”
Subtlety not your strong suit? These ornate black- and-gold pieces will turn every meal into dinner theater. $225 for a five-piece setting, Lenox.
For the Whimsical World Travelers: Rosenthal Meets Versace “Marco Polo”
Lively imperial flourishes mixed with birds of paradise and peacocks will make guests feel like they’re on a fantastic journey without ever leaving the table. $520 for a five-piece setting, Rosenthal.
For the Chic Utilitarians: Juliska Pewter Stoneware
Who says basic has to be boring? Juliska’s mottling technique gives this dinnerware a one-of-a-kind hammered patina and a rich luster. Bonus: The pieces are safe for the microwave, oven, dishwasher, and freezer. $148 for a five-piece setting, Juliska.
For the Not-So-Secret Gardeners: Gien France “Songe”
The ivy-inspired pattern on this heavy earthenware set will infuse the dining room with springlike charm, no matter the season. Starting at $31 per piece, Bloomingdale’s.
For the Art Aficionados: Bernardaud “Paradise”
The blue-and-gray design that rims these pieces calls to mind an M. C. Escher lithograph, or neoclassical trompe l’oeil. Starting at $38 per piece, Bloomingdale’s.
For the Ocean Worshipers: L’Objet “Aegean”
This L’Objet collection may be an ode to ancient Greece and the waves of the Aegean Sea, but the touchable, textured white porcelain is also reminiscent of the shells gracing the beaches of Cape Cod. Starting at $24 per piece, L’Objet.
For the Alices in Wonderland: Monique Lhuillier Waterford “Sunday Rose”
No need to paint these roses red— the metallic gray blooms on this Monique Lhuillier bone china are absolutely elegant. $140 for a five-piece setting, Waterford.
For the Quirky Aristocrats: L by Lenox “Gilded Tapestry”
The floral motifs on this fine bone china show off your sophisticated side, but the fanciful colors keep your playful nature front and center. $195 for a five-piece setting, Bloomingdale’s.
For the Eternal Optimists: Haviland “Laque de Chine”
Punchy colors—from aubergine to pistachio—add a touch of excitement to this over 150-year-old china company’s simple, classic design. For a dinner party with some spunk, mix and match hues. $395 for a five- piece setting, Michael C. Fina.
For the Star-Crossed Lovers: Bernardaud “Etoiles”
This French-made bone china blends fun, art deco design with a sophisticated color palette, making it well suited for a Great Gatsby–esque affair $445 for a five-piece setting, Michael C. Fina.
For the Far East Scholars: Mottahedeh “Imperial Blue”
The bold cobalt motif is straight out of the history books—Mottahedeh based this bone-china setting on a circa-1730 Chinese porcelain pattern. $350 for a five-piece setting, Mottahedeh.
For the True Romantics: Vera Wang Wedgwood “With Love”
Modeled after Vera Wang’s jewelry collection, this dinnerware is traditional with a twist. The interlocking rings symbolize everlasting love, and the touches of gold and platinum add sparkle to otherwise- classic white china. $139 for a five-piece setting, Wedgwood.
For the Fashionable Minimalists: Alabama Chanin “Camellia Cocoa”
Named for Alabama’s state flower, this everyday setting blends beauty (see the etched floral dinner plate) with functionality (durable, American-made ceramic). $220.50 for a five-piece setting, Heath Ceramics.
For the Prep School Set: Lenox for Brooks Brothers “Signature Tartan”
Perfect for couples nostalgic for their Exeter days, this tableware features a tartan print (think Trey MacDougal from Sex and the City.) $228 for a five-piece setting, Brooks Brothers.