21 Fantastic Finds: Catastrophe-Proof (Yet Still Chic!) Tableware For Your Outdoor Dinner Party

updated Jul 18, 2020
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(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Ahh summer. Can you smell it coming? Maybe just a little whiff? At the very least, spring is fragrant in the air, which means you should be finding any excuse to do everything imaginable outside. Step away from the treadmill and hit the pavement? Yes! Take your laptop on the patio (stoop?) and answer emails en plein air? Sure! Set up an air mattress on the parking lot lawn and nap for hours? Ehh… But at the very least, get outside to enjoy a meal or two al fresco and don’t worry about breaking a thing with a summer entertainer’s best friend: melamine.

Traditionally, melamine is synonymous with dishes for kids, retro backyard barbecues and cartoonish hues and prints. However, new designs are cropping up that are far more reminiscent of your trusty—and far chicer—indoor dining staples (though we never shy away from a little lobster fun.) Unbreakable and elegant? Win, win (as long as you steer clear of the microwave)! Now fire up that barbecue, slice up some watermelon and get ready for a stress-free outdoor dinner party.

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

1. Aperta Melamine Platter / $20 from Anthropologie. 2. Melamine Cake Forks / $12 for 6 from Rice. 3. Shibori Melamine Salad Plates / $26 for 4 from Pottery Barn. 4. Chinoiserie Melamine Dinnerware / $7 from Pier 1 Imports. 5. Melamine Bowls / $63.40 for 4 from Rice. 6. Aqua Wood Grain Melamine Chips and Dip Serving Tray / $19.99 from World Market. 7. Bobo Choses Melamine Plate – Pear / $18 from Fawn Shoppe.

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

8. Caprice Stone Dinner / $6.95 for 8.5” plate, $7.95 for 10.5” plate and $6.95 for 8” bowl from Crate & Barrel. 9. Acrylic Drinkware – Recycled Green / $20 for 4 double old fashioned glasses, $24 for 4 highball glasses, $12 for 4 juice glasses and $24 for 4 stemmed glasses from West Elm. 10. Carmelo Melamine Dinnerware / $5.56 for bowl and salad plate and $6.36 for dinner plate from Pier 1 Imports. 11. 14 x 7 Aqua Wood Grain Melamine Serving Tray / $9.99 from World Market. 12. Ring Salad Servers / $11.99 from French Bull. 13. Melamine Cake Stand / $46 from Rice. 14. Fishnet Handled Tray / $58 from John Derian Company.

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

15. Fresca Acrylic Dinnerware / $33.50 for 4 plates and $24 for 4 bowls from Pottery Barn. 16. Mario Luca Giusti Palla Acrylic Glazed Pitcher Smoke / $68 from Distinctive Decor. 17. Lobster Tray / $28 from Thomas Paul. 18. Aperta Melamine Serving Set / $12 from Anthropologie. 19. Elephant Tray / $28 from Thomas Paul. 20. Dottie Orange Acrylic 17 oz. Drink Glass / $4.95 from Crate & Barrel. 21. Rectangular Melamine Plate with Sailor Stripe Print / $12.99 from Rice.