Great Outdoors

Clockwise from top right: Crate & Barrel, Kmart, Bloomingdale's, and Macy's.Photo: Joe Scafuro

China, schmina – summer-house entertaining calls for dishes that are light, plastic, and preferably indestructible. So go on: Move your everyday plates to the back of the cupboard and toss some burgers on the grill. Here, where to pick up our favorite paper-plate alternatives.

Cool stripes and bright hues never go out of style for poolside dining. Durable and timeless, Macy’s colorful creations are destined for a repeat next season. Shown here: striped pitcher ($25), pink and blue glasses ($5 each), and striped tray ($10).

For a sharper alternative, head to Bloomingdale’s, whose WOVO wares look swank enough for the sleekest modern table. Shown here: Chip ‘n Dip bowl ($20), salad servers ($7), and small bowl ($8 for two).

Kmart’s summer selection is as bright and cheery as you’d expect – and with Martha Stewart designing it, it’s no surprise the sweet floral and gingham patterns are a breeze to mix and match. Shown here: seventeen-ounce tumbler ($1.49), bowl ($1.99), flatware (five four-piece settings and a rack for $19.99), and dinner plate ($2.99).

Looking for real retro flare? Add pizzazz to your table with Marimekko-style plastic tableware from Crate & Barrel. Shown here: tray ($8.95), large plate ($3.95), small plate ($2.50), bowl ($1.50), tumbler ($1.95), and swizzle sticks (set of six, $6.95).

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Great Outdoors