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Clothes aren't just for keeping you warm, and plates aren't just a base for your food. Presentation goes a long way in enjoying a meal, and plates are a surprisingly important part of the dining experience. You'll find plates in all shapes, sizes, materials and colors to suit your style at

Stoneware plates are chip-resistant, and porcelain plates are similarly hefty, which can make them a good option for everyday use. But if you need something that can stand up to the unique rigors that kids put flatware through, consider buying plates made of plastic or melamine, which is a durable material that's often available in a wide range of colors and at an affordable price point. For a traditional look on your dinner table, ceramic plates add class and textured patterning, which is harder to find in plastic sets. Also, not all plastic dinnerware sets are microwave-safe, so if you do a lot of microwaving, you should consider a sturdier set.

Round plates are a timeless choice, but many more shapes are also available to serve the occasion. Square plates create a modern look, while floral plates add a rustic accent to your presentation. Divided dishes may evoke memories of the school cafeteria, but they're great for keeping saucy side dishes separated so your meal doesn't devolve into messy combination of everything that's on the plate. The color of the plate can also enhance the food that's on top of it, and even change the perception of portion sizes.