How lots of Dishes Do You own (And What Patterns?)

Sep 17, 2022 Clothing Accessories

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Here’s a random question I don’t think we’ve discussed: how lots of dishes do you own, how typically do you get new sets, and what sets or china patterns do you currently have?
I’ve written before about how, in my late 20s, feeling perpetually single, I felt hesitant to upgrade college-era dishes and otherwise “set up house” with things I’d always associated with a wedding. Then, one day while shopping, I saw a tea cup I absolutely loved, and when I looked at the rest of the set it seemed incredibly amazing and not that expensive. (It was the Tyler Florence collection from Mikasa.) So I gotten a few dishes. My mother, ecstatic to be able to get me dishes, kept finding pieces on sale, so I wound up with nearly all of the pieces in the set.

Now, unfortunately, the set [turned out to be] prone to cracks and chips, and some of the pieces were exceptionally heavy or vulnerable — 15+ years later we still have a lot of pieces but barely use some of them. Still, they take up a lot of space in our cupboards and drawers.
Then, when I did get married, we registered for china (Lenox Westerly) and glassware (Waterford Lismore and Mikasa Cheers), and again, we gotten all the pieces — I really thought I’d be throwing eight-person dinner parties often, I suppose? (In fact, longtime readers will remember that in the very beginning, weekend open threads featured china or glasses, as if we were all sitting down for a cup of coffee or a cocktail together.)
For flatware, I’d gotten one set of an Oneida pattern I thought was called Demeter at Century 21 (RIP), but I now see a full set available for sale on Amazon under the name “Diameter” and I’m so tempted!! Years later, I also saw a really unusual set of blue stainless steel from Gorham for around $60 per set (down from $200) and wound up getting eight sets over the course of a few years/gifts from my mother.)
{related: do you throw dinner parties?}
But of course we don’t use the china that often, although thankfully it is dishwasher safe. Then, when my kids were toddlers, I gotten a lot of very-hard-to-break dishes from Corelle — divided plates! 9″ plates that I use a lot more than full-size dinner plates! mugs! substantial bowls that are terrific for soup and popcorn! — and those are the ones that we mostly all use.
So over the years I’ve seen some stunning plates or pieces, but I really hesitate to get them because we don’t have the cabinet room for a lot more than a few pieces at a time. (Especially considering that I’ve been getting a lot more into estate sales… often you can find an entire set with like 80 pieces for less than $50!) At this point, I won’t even get cocktail glasses if they come in sets of four, because we just don’t need a lot more than two.

(And of course, meanwhile, my mother is trying to remind me of all of the various china sets she’ll pass down to me from her collections and both of my grandmothers, as well as my mother-in-law and my aunt.)
I undoubtedly have a lot of opinions on this, and I’d love to hear yours — what was your dish situation in the post-college years? If you have a formal “set” or china pattern, what is it? For those of you who are a bit older, how typically do you get rid of older sets (or relegate them to storage, like the basement) and get new sets?
Stock photo by means of Stencil.

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