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20-40-60 Etiquette: Tablecloths or place mats for a party?

At a seated dinner party, is it better to use place mats or tablecloths to set the table? Linda Miller has the guest answer.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman and Callie Athey Published: July 14, 2013

GUEST'S ANSWER: Linda Miller, author of Fashion Matters blog: I think either would work. It's about personal preference. A white linen tablecloth adds a formal touch to any table, but I love the look of place mats and all the different styles, including perforated leather, metallic fabric and grass cloth. Depending on the color, print and style, they can be formal or casual and can help create the mood and even play into the theme of the dinner.

Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Callie Athey
Freelance Writer
Callie Athey is 20-something and is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various positions, ranging from Event Coordinator to Environmental Health and Safety Assistant. Currently, Callie is an Executive Assistant to a...
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