"Get to know the best that there is and was; in every period there have been progressive innovations that represent a better way to live. Get the feeling of different materials, colors, and lighting, of the flow of line in a piece of furniture, of different spatial proportions. Don't limit yourself to looking at lamps and chairs and your neighbors' houses. Look at paintings and sculpture and chateaux. Even if what you see is far beyond what you ever thought of or could afford for yourself, your experience can be reflected in your home. Even non-visual arts can contribute by affecting the kind of person you are and the emotions you project into the space around you."
-from "Lifespace: a New Approach to Home Design" by Spiros Zakas, 1977
I've mentioned before my affinity for seventies design books, and "Lifespace" by Spiros Zakas, a new acquisition, is a good one. In the quote above, replace the word "furniture" with "clothing" and "home" with "wardrobe" and you have a pretty good quip about why developing a great sense of style has little to do with following trends and rigid sets of rules.
A kilim rug with a glas and chrome coffee table and a collection of African art? Not unlike wearing a button down oxford and repp tie with pleated trousers and suede shoes if you ask me.