Do you find it annoying when you don't have enough cutlery for parties? When choosing cutlery, opt for purchasing more than you need. Sets come in 4's or 8's usually, but consider buying two sets if you do a lot of entertaining. Ask the vendor if they do open stock replacements in case you lose a piece in the trash. It is helpful to be able to replace a spoon or fork. These are the two most common bits to lose.The material for cutlery is a personal choice. Silver looks fabulous on a fancy table, but is hard to keep polished. The days of having a parlor maid to do it once a week are long gone! A good stainless steel set looks good and wears well. The days of gold plated are dying out, mainly because gold plate flakes and dulls in the dishwasher, and loses its appeal. For daily use, try a set with bright colored handles to set a fun table for children.Choosing an unusual pattern cutlery can liven up a table setting. Bamboo style handles are one of the most popular in the modern dining room, and lends itself well to a 'theme' for the elegant dinner table. On the classic side, the favorite throughout the ages has been the pattern from Prince Georges' regency days in England's 1800's, King's pattern, an elegant style sporting the shell and feathers of his regency era.When you purchase a new cutlery set, choose one that has comfortable handles. Too big a design may be hard to hold or not easy for small hands. During a long dinner, hands get tired and uncomfortable if the design is too bold.For everyday dining, go for a cutlery set that is simple both in design and comfort. A simple and plain stainless steel is a good decision. Try to won a few more pieces than you have family and remember to buy some serving spoons. If you buy your daily use cutlery in a boxed package, the chances are there will be none. Look for matching spoons or serving ware.Choosing a set for entertaining means you'll need all the extras. No dinner setting is complete without them. Choosing your personal favorite doesn't always mean you can buy all the necessary pieces. Only a setting purchased item by item will offer you all that is needed. If you buy a special occasion set from a silversmith or a good dealer, be sure to ask about serving pieces; if you're fussy about pieces matching, remember to buy them at the same time. Inexpensive packaged cutlery rarely has a serving spoon, or a dessert spoon. You'll find knives, forks and teaspoons. Consider two or three serving spoons or salad servers, a bread knife, jam or jelly spoons, butter knives, carvers and a gravy ladle. An elegant table makes a great occasion.