If you're looking for a set you'll be able to use for years to come, you can't go wrong with these classic white dishes. 

By Ayn-Monique Klahre
Updated December 21, 2017
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Crate & Barrel Aspen dinnerware dish set
Credit: Crate & Barrel

Whether you’re stocking up for your first apartment or putting together a wedding registry, you want to choose dishware that you’ll love not only for the next couple of years, but forever. Though casual dinnerware (i.e., what most of us use everyday) is not particularly expensive at the individual level, the overall costs can rack up as you put together full place settings for 12 or so people—enough to entertain a crowd, or to not have to run the dishwasher after every meal. So no matter your budget, whether it’s in the double or triple digits, you want to be sure your dishware will stay in style for decades so you don’t have to make that investment again!

To choose dishware that’s guaranteed to never go out of style, you want something that’s timeless, not trendy, with the same dress-it-up-or-down appeal as a crisp white button-down. Resist anything you want simply because you’ve seen it on every blog, or because it seems “different.” Though it’s hard to see a home trend when you’re inside it, there are some signs. Avoid anything with too many flourishes, like scallops, beads, fancy rims, or anything too angular. You want the silhouette to be clean, but not too trendy.

Then, you can't go wrong with bright white. While gray or pink-toned dinnerware may be alluring, anytime you commit to a color, you run the risk of it falling out of style. A true bright white is endlessly versatile. It serves as a crisp contrast against more rustic elements, like a natural-edged serving board or a slate cheese tray, but it can also get dressed up when you pair it with fine china, metallic-accented serving pieces, and luxe touches like marble or crystal. And if you just love colorful pieces, it plays nicely with those, too.

Two good options for clean and classic white dinnerware are Crate & Barrel’s Aspen dinnerware (individual pieces start at $4 each), and IKEA's nearly identical FLITIGHET line (a steal at $20 for an 18-piece set). The first white dinnerware I ever bought was the IKEA version, and I still use it today—and at that price point, I’m happy to let my 3-year-old use it instead of my wedding china for holiday meals. I’ve integrated a few of the Aspen pieces little by little, and only I know the difference between the two. And I have a drawer-full of napkins, placemats, and runners I use to make the dishware look special and different when we’re entertaining. It’s actually kind of a fun challenge to walk around the house to pick an inspiration point for the next big meal!

And while this is not a style requirement, but a utility one, I encourage you to choose dishwasher- and microwave-safe pieces. Anything that’s too precious won’t be used often enough, and no one wants to cut their Netflix time short to finish washing dishes on weeknights. Luckily, both the Crate & Barrel and the IKEA sets are machine-safe.