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I'd like to say 'some clothes' which makes the person wearing them look very rich.

Then which one is the most suitable? rich clothes / expensive clothes / luxury clothes

I'd like to know the different connotations between them.

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  • @rogermue - I can't agree that "any dictionary can answer this question". Any dictionary would confirm that all three adjectives are valid choices - that's what I found when I looked up expensive, rich, and luxury. The O.P. knows that, and isn't asking, "Can these words be used to describe clothing?" but, "Which would be more suitable, and what are the different connotations between them?" Dictionaries won't answer that; dictionaries only indicate the three can be used synonymously.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 16:31
  • Okay, if this is the general view, I withdraw my objection.
    – rogermue
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 16:38

2 Answers 2

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Your words aren't incorrect, but they probably wouldn't be my first choices.

I would not use rich, because, when dealing with finances, rich seems like it would apply to people, not clothes. Rich clothes could be clothes with rich colors, or clothes with rich fabrics.

I think expensive could work, but you need to be careful. Not all expensive clothes will make a person look rich! Abused denim springs to mind:

The prevailing trend in the most universally adored uniform of casual America is abused denim.

In January, a pair of jeans that had been ripped, bleached and possibly subjected to a lawn mower. The retail price was more than $2,000, but despite the price tag, or perhaps because of it, the jeans sold very quickly.

Luxury might work, but I think luxurious might be better. When I see luxury used as an adjective, it often applies to a single item, such as a luxury watch, or a luxury car. I might say a luxury suit, but I don't think I'd be as quick to say luxury clothes.

Another word you might consider but don't have listed is opulent:

opulent (adj.) rich and superior in quality

A recent museum exhibit, Magnificence of the Tsars, was described in one review as the opulent clothes worn by men at the Russian imperial court from 1721-1917.

One last word that might work: designer. In the realm of fashion, designer as an adjective is often used when referring to top-of-the-line outfits with premium labels.

She wore designer dresses and expensive shoes.

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Rich - applies to a person and means independently wealthy. Rich applied to objects usually means intricate, tasty, or otherwise "full" of something.

Expensive means costs a lot or highly priced.

Luxury means something that is not needed for survival or daily life, but done purely for enjoyment or other "vain" reasons such as status, etc.

Rich clothes would probably be understood as "clothes belonging to a rich person" in some colloquial conversational contexts but not in quality writing or public speaking.

Expensive clothes means the clothes cost a lot of money. If you are focusing on the price, say this. But this could also mean the clothes a rich person would wear because they can afford it.

Luxury clothes might mean clothes that are not needed for survival or daily life - i.e. a suit is essentially needed for some times of business work, but an expensive suit is not. There may be a possibility someone might not immediately know what you mean by "luxury clothes" without thinking about it for a moment. I would probably prefer expensive.

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