Photo courtesy of The Pink Pagoda

Babs Horner and Susan Palma on Why Sophistication is Overrated

Theme parties are the best parties.

The Slageter sisters can throw a mean party. They’re the kind of parties an invitee would look forward to all year long. The themes are creative, the food is to die for, and the hostesses know how to have a good time. Think stunning tablescapes and delicious Southern recipes with the occasional presence of a costumed blow up doll. So just how does one pull of such a successful soiree? Thankfully for us, and for coffee tables across America, the sisters (Babs and Susan) have decided to dish on their festive ways.

Screen-Shot-2015-06-03-at-4.08.55-PM-e1433428816696Their new book, Sophistication is Overrated, is split into two parts, showing a version of a theme that is “So Chic” followed a unique spin on that theme that is “So Slageter”. As the sisters put it, “it’s business in the front and party in the back.” Those looking to throw a party that lean more towards the sophisticated can stick to the “So Chic” contents for themes like “Best Friend’s Luncheon” or a “Dad’s Happy Fiftieth.” While those interested in a “Best Friend’s Luncheon, Post-Plastic Surgery” or “Dad’s Swinging Half-Century, No-Women-Allowed Club” theme can delve into the “So Slageter” contents.

The photos are as wonderfully hilarious as you might imagine, but the stories behind the inspiration for each party, as well as the book itself, are what really gives Sophistication is Overrated its heart. If you, like me, want to grow up to be like Babs and Susan, read on for a little insight into their fabulous and delightfully twisted minds.


How did you land on the title for Sophistication is Overrated?

Sophistication Is Overrated was not the original title. It came to be when I was talking to my friend in advertising (Candace Krause). It went like this:

Candace: What is your book about?

Susan: It’s really about how sophistication is overrated.

C: So, that’s the title, right?

S: It is NOW!


I love a good theme party. It’s absolutely one of the main things I miss most from college. What do you think it is it about themes, props and costumes that make a party that much more fun?

We love a theme and unfortunately, can take it to the Nth degree….get the hook! We feel that silly props (blow up dolls included), costumes, or just a little fiber optic item in a formal setting always puts people at ease. Plus, they make for great conversation starters!


Tell me more about those blow up dolls! 🙂 

We dress blow up dolls (“Dolly”) for many occasions (absent friends, Uncle Sam, lifeguards ect.). This way, if you feel even the slightest bit embarassed wearing a costume yourself, you can just look at “Dolly.” It brings in some fun.


What have been your favorite reactions to the “So Slagerty” parties in Sophistication is Overrated. (I’m pretty sure my favorite is the Ash Wednesday Payback party.)

We love that your favorite party is “Ash Wednesday is Payback.” (This actually says a LOT about you…Ha!) We are really getting a kick out of hearing everyone elses favorite. Surprisingly, many men have come to us on the sly and THANKED us for dissing plastic surgery. Our lips are sealed, NOT inflated.🙂) We also are loving that people have been reading and then telling us some of their fond memories and hilarious stories,. We are even getting people’s pics with cardboard cut outs and cooking Bab’s recipes in costumes. AWESOME!