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Nov 10, 2013 01:14 PM

Ivory china or white?

My fiance and I have hit a wall with our wedding registry. He loves Lenox Eternal Gold:

while I am loving Apilco Hemstitch:

I'd welcome some advice from more experienced china buyers as to which is the better choice long term. I worry that the ivory color is less flexible. He says the Apilco may not be formal enough. For reference, we have also registered for a mix of Le Creuset and Staub in Cherry and Flame, and are basically starting from zero-we eat off a bunch of dollar tree plates and flatware.

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  1. How is ivory not flexible? It's a neutral.

    It depends on what your intended use is to be -- if you're going to use them every day, I'd go with the Apilco. (the gold rims can never be washed in the dishwasher....) If this is to be used as good china only, then the Lenox is absolutely a classic. There's a reason they've been making that pattern since forever.

    Maybe the two of you could compromise on something like Lenox's Opal Innocence or Peal Innocence? Still plain white, but with an elegant platinum band.

    Full disclosure -- I'm not a fan of pure white dinnerware, and my good china is a much cheaper version of the ivory-with-gold Lenox. (My mother's, incidentally, is the white-with-platinum version)

    6 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      The Lenox link does state that it is dishwasher safe.

      1. re: BangorDin

        Does it say how many times? Just about anything is dishwasher safe once, or in the case of metelic trim, they are all safe, they just don't hold up for very long if you do this on a regular basis.

        As to the origional question, I personally feel that food looks really fantastic on white. We happen to have the Apilco Hemstich and it's the best dinnerware we've ever had, no question. However, I must agree that it's not as formal as the Lenox. I also agree with sunshine842, which one is right for you depends on what the intended use is. If it is more than occasional, then I would go for the Apilco, if it's going to be brought out a couple of special occasions a year for very formal dinners, then you want the Lenox.

        Also keep in mind that it's easy to find white serving pieces to compliment the Apilco porcelin and they don't have to be Apilco pieces, just porcelin, so you can coordinate with Revco or Phillivuyt. You will not be able to do this with the Lenox. Plus, with white, you can mix in other colors much easier. Yes ivory is neutral, but it's more difficult to mix other colors with it.

        Still, I believe the intended use is probably the factor that should have the most weight on your decision. The Apilco can be dressed up a bit for a more formal place seteing, but I don't believe it will dress up as much as the Lenox for those very formal occasions.

        1. re: BangorDin

          My aunt put her's in the dishwasher and it definitely affected the gold :(

        2. re: sunshine842

          I thought flexibility might be easier in terms of serveware, but having looked again, that Lenox comes in every serving item we may need for a while.

          We weren't even going to register for china, but everyone I mentioned that to told me it was a terrible idea. Even if our entertaining is casual now, at some point in the future we would be throwing a more formal dinner and would be thankful.

          1. re: venushakti

            We didn't register for china when we got married, and made it 16 years without ever needing it. All of our entertaining was always around the pool.

            So..we transferred to Paris, where we were under the impression that entertaining was much more formal (guffaw). I found my service for 12 at Penney's for $79, so I bought it and packed it with the rest of our household goods.

            I did use it a few times -- a couple of times for work-related functions, and I do haul it out now for holidays. It looks far nicer than the price tag would suggest, and I managed to find matching stems, flatware, and chargers, so I puts on a nice display on the rare occasion I use them.

            But I'm pretty glad I only have $79 wrapped up in china that gets hauled out once or twice a year.

            If at some point in the future you have some need for good china, there is no end of older relatives, thrift shops, antique shops, eBay, estate sales, and sales at Penney's to land you a set of china.

            It's expensive, unwieldy, unlikely to be used, and takes up an unbelievable amount of storage space.

            Register for things you'll use and enjoy - and enjoy your lives together.

          2. re: sunshine842

            Lenox is dishwasher safe. do not use the high settings on your DW, wash, rinse or dry, and never touch it until it has returned to room temperature. I agree with sunshine. Aplico for daily use. Eternal has been around for countless years, you can probably find lots of it on e-bay to fill out what you need like soups, dessert bowls etc. I also suggest that you look at some patterned pieces like salads or dessert plates that can add interest to the setting.

          3. We had a terrible time choosing. Just got married in October. My fiancé wanted the Lenox pearl innocence.

            Firstly, make sure you get something dishwasher safe.

            Bone china is the most durable.

            I went with Wedgwood Nantucket which is a basket weave. If you are going to use it for both everyday and fancy I would go with the white. You can always dress it up or down with your table. If it is for everyday as well te white will transition nicely. What are you doing with flatware?

            4 Replies
            1. re: melpy

              We still need to go to the store to check on the flatware physically, but this is the tentative choice:

              My grandmother had a full set of formal silver that my mom plans to give to me, so I'm covered on that end. We also chose some Schott Zweisel wine glasses and champagne flutes.

              I'd like to get one set and actually use them on a daily basis-I hate having extra stuff that doesn't get used on a regular basis. My understanding is that Apilco is durable and will hold up to daily use.

              No dishwasher in our new home, and no space to put one in, so thats not a consideration for a long while.

              1. re: venushakti

                If you want just one set, I highly recommend the Apilco, which can travel both distances on everyday <<>> formal.

                I have both Apilco/Pillivuyt white porcelain and Wedgewood bone china (white with a simple border), and if I could just have one set, I'd opt for the Apilco/Pillivuyt white porcelain, hands down. I use the Apilco/Pillivuyt as my everyday and also to entertain.

                1. re: venushakti

                  We've been using our Apilco for everyday and those "sepcial" occasions for several years now. Not a chip, not a scratch, not a fork or knife mark. It's extremely durable and someday when you have a dishwasher, there is no issue putting them in for a good washing.

                  If day to day use is what you have in mind with the flexability to dress for dinner, then the Apilco is going to be difficult to beat. If you don't plan to entertain the Prince, then I think it dresses up just fine.

                2. Congratulations on your pending wedding. Funny thing about china, mine tells almost a 50 year story. I am starting to sell it off because we are about to embark on another exciting move and we need to lighten our load.

                  Today almost none of my friends have china cabinets. That means kitchen storage. We actually passed on buying a tudor house about 20 years ago because the kitchen had too few cabinets for my 3 sets of dishes and no room to add more shelving. Looking back, that probably wasn't the right house for us, but that is just a little example of the practical aspect of long-term married life.

                  Both of your choices are lovely, but that beautiful gold band jumps out at me. I was a "gold" person. I have changed my style since 1964 when I was first married, and now I see gold as a bit limiting to my tablescape.

                  I like the freedom of being able to change things up. Add a color for splash, or incoporate the latest piece I just brought home from some wonderful art fair, or add some new glassware. I can do that with a neutral pattern.

                  Maybe you should put off this decision until you see just what kind, and how much, entertaining you and your intended really enjoy doing. I know it is temptiing to make a decision so that your registry can be complete, but maybe you could slow things down a wee bit and just enjoy your time together. All things will come in time.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Cheesed

                    Opted to let him choose on this one. I found some really simple white porcelain plates at Pier 1 that would make me happy for every day, and he would be happy on the rare occasions that we pull out the fancy gold rimmed china. I'll try to do a formal couple's dinner once a month, just so we can make some memories with our lovely new dishes.

                    Wedding is March 1st and save the dates are going in a couple of weeks, so we needed to have everything all set to share with our families.

                    Thanks for the advice everyone!

                  2. I like both of them. Being a bit of a traditionalist, I tend to favor the Eternal for formal, special dinners, but I could see using the Apilco for less formal but still special dinners.

                    Years ago, when my mom was looking to buy a set of fine china, I was drooling over the Lenox ivory with a gold band. I think there were two other patterns at the time; Westchester and Tuxedo, in addition to Eternal. She went to the store before I got out of school and picked out some truly awful pattern! It was white with an olive green band with gold filigree trim. Very unappetizing!

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