I suspect some of Mary’s lines land off-key because she is writing rather than speaking to you. Think of how many times an IM conversation or email exchange was at risk of going off the rails over misunderstandings of intonation. Give the benefit of the doubt, particularly when you choose to pursue her blog and when the content being critiqued isn’t malicious.
That aside, my parents passed down some common wisdom on the matter of style – own at least one nice one of everything. Since I was 13 at the time, that presumably meant Nike Airs and Olafs (see below), but now I take it to mean proper shoes, suit, watch, cuff links, etc. While nice might scale up and down the fashion ladder relative to your means, I think the general idea holds for most people.
If Mary can help some of us discern among the options out there, she does us a service.
I have posted these comments because I want you all to know that I am a reasonable girl who doesn’t dwell on labels and puts personality, loyalty, and compassion above style. But my blog is about style so that’s what you get. I’m not ready to put my whole life online, I’m not sure I’ll ever be. (Not that you would be at all interested). So take from this what you will, by all means don’t assume I know everything…this is just my perspective. We don’t have to agree all the time :) But you might want to consider what I’m saying.