LOTRO’s cosmetic outfit system can be a really satisfying side-game or hobby in its own right. Besides making your character look great, a lot of the fun of outfitting is coming up with unexpected combinations of pieces that work beautifully together to give your character a completely unique appearance.
A successful outfit is a matter of your own taste and creativity, but to achieve a successful outfit it’s helpful to have consistent access to the widest possible range of armour and outfit pieces so that you can experiment freely to find that perfect look. This requires a little organisation and a lot of storage space — or a little storage space and a lot of organisation! This guide contains some tips to help you maximise your outfitting potential. Some of the strategies require Premium or VIP status, or expenditure of Turbine Points, but even if your account status is free-to-play, you should still be able to implement some of the suggestions in this guide. Feel free to mix and match the strategies to come up with a system that works for you!
Prevent a lot of storage space headaches by creating an alt dedicated to outfitting. You don’t necessarily need to worry about leveling this alt; he or she will primarily act as a storage mule and will be the “paper doll” that you use to plan and design your outfits.
Cosmetics and armour pieces can look very different on characters of the various races and genders because different equipment slots are emphasised or de-emphasised due to differences in body shape. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make your outfit alt the same race, gender, and body size as your main so that you’ll be able to see exactly how the outfits you design on the alt will look on your main.
Mail or use your Shared Storage to transfer all unbound or bound-to-account armour and cosmetic pieces to your outfit alt for storage. Unbound pieces might be loot drops, crafted items, cosmetic items, items purchased from the Auction House, items purchased from reputation or skirmish vendors, and so on. Store the pieces in your outfit alt’s vault (and bags if necessary).
Your outfitting alt should train the Armourer vocation, which includes the Metalsmith and Tailor professions. This will allow your outfit alt to craft light, medium, and heavy armour (including shields) as well as some cosmetic clothing.
Even if you don’t want to level your outfit alt, you can still use your main and other alts to provide the materials to advance crafting proficiency, and to provide new recipes. You can also purchase recipes from the Auction House or from the LOTRO Store. Crafting tier proficiency can be purchased from the LOTRO Store as well. Note that if you don’t level your outfit alt, you won’t gain access to reputation-gated recipes, but the output of many of these recipes can often be found at the Auction House anyway. Advancing your outfit alt’s crafting abilities and collecting recipes will give you easy access to a huge range of equipment pieces without the need to store them and waste precious vault space.
Now that your outfit alt is established, it’s time to start amassing your stash of potential outfit pieces! As you adventure on your main and on your leveling alts, make sure to use the Dressing Room UI to try on all the equipment that you loot. Even “white” or common gear can have interesting and unique cosmetic appearances. Also make sure to try on quest reward options before making your selection if you don’t plan to equip your reward for its statistics. Similarly, a trip to the Auction House will allow you to try on many different pieces and you may come across something that you’d like to add to your collection. Other great places to try on pieces are the cosmetics and classic vendors at skirmish camps, as well as Lalia’s Market which has a large selection of pieces on display. Last but not least, don’t forget about your crafting panel! With the Armourer vocation, your Tailor and Metalsmith professions will offer a treasure trove of pieces to try on.
Every character by default has access to a Vault that can store up to 30 items. When you’re first beginning to experiment with outfitting this may be enough, but as time passes and your stash of pieces grows, you’re likely to want more space. You can upgrade to 120 Vault slots using in-game gold or using Turbine Points, and at the time of this writing you can upgrade to a total of 195 slots using Turbine Points. Storage space is precious, so if your outfit alt can easily craft it, buy it (say, from a vendor), or otherwise obtain it at negligible cost, don’t store a piece in your Vault unless it is a piece you know you will use often!
If you run out of vault space on your outfit alt (and eventually you will), you can turn to Shared Storage space. You probably use Shared Storage space for your actual leveling alts, so you may only have a few slots available, but every little bit can count. It’s best to store unbound pieces or bound-to-account pieces in Shared Storage; that way they can be removed and put into the Wardrobe by another character if necessary.
The Wardrobe is key to outfitting. Its main function is to allow you to cosmetically equip any piece of armour or cosmetic gear that you have in your bags, regardless of restrictions that would normally be in place due to class, armour type, level, reputation levels, etc. There is a complete guide to using the Wardrobe here, but a quick rundown is as follows: Putting a piece of armour or a cosmetic item into your Wardrobe creates a cosmetic copy of that item (a copy with no statistics). The original item remains in your bags, and removing an item from your Wardrobe does not harm the original item if you still have it. You can add multiple dye colours to each piece in your wardrobe, and add the pieces to an outfit by dragging the item from your Wardrobe to the appropriate slot on your character’s Outfits tab.
If you place an unbound Bind-on-Equip item in your Wardrobe, the original item will remain unbound. Therefore, you should always use the Wardrobe to add Bind-on-Equip items to an outfit even if you don’t ever intend to equip them for their statistics. This allows the items to remain unbound so that you can move them around easily between your alts if necessary, or to actually equip it for use on an appropriate character.
It is also helpful to use the Wardrobe to store cosmetic copies equipment already bound to characters other than your outfit alt. For example, if your main has the Erebor raid armour (which is bind-on-acquire) and you want your outfitting alt to have free access to it for outfit planning, have your main store the pieces in the wardrobe. Likewise, if you want to use a bind-on-acquire, class-specific piece in an outfit, purchase the piece on a character that can equip that piece (or will eventually be able to), then make a copy of it in the Wardrobe so that your outfit alt can access it.
Wardrobe slots can be purchased in multiples of ten from the LOTRO Store, up to a total of 150 at the time of this writing, but you don’t necessarily need to max out your Wardrobe slots if you make smart use of the spaces you do have. As mentioned above, you may want to keep some frequently-used, versatile items on-hand in the Wardrobe, as well as equipment bound to your other characters, but if you leave seven to nine slots free, your outfit alt can put a complete outfit (helm, shoulders, back, chest, gloves, leggings, and boots, plus up to two hand-held cosmetic items) in the Wardrobe for another character. Once the character who is going to wear the outfit has cosmetically equipped it, you can remove the outfit’s components from the wardrobe knowing that the original pieces are safe in the stash of your outfit alt, and at the same time free up space for your next outfit.
At some point you’ll exhaust all the storage options for your outfit alt. When I finally ran into this situation I transferred specific subsets of pieces to other alts; for example, one alt stores all of my hats, helmets, and other headgear, a second stores cloaks, backpacks, and quivers, and a third stores all dresses and hand-held items. All other pieces remained with my outfit alt. I “outsourced” these specific categories because it allows me to plan more-or-less complete outfits on my outfit alt using chest pieces, shoulder pieces, leggings, gloves, and boots. I can then place the components of the outfit into the Wardrobe and log on to my head-slot alt and my back-slot alt to finish planning the outfit.
If you chose to use this strategy, you may wish to “store” a selection of frequently used or especially versatile head and back pieces in the Wardrobe so that your outfit alt can have access to a few of them during the initial outfit planning stage.
Now that you have maximised your outfitting potential and streamlined your outfit design process, you will be making lots of beautiful outfits! Therefore you may want to unlock one or more additional outfit slots on your characters so that you can save your outfits and swap between them. Each character by default has access to the equipment outfit plus two cosmetic outfit slots. You can unlock up to five additional outfit slots at the LOTRO Store.
I hope these tips have given you some ideas to come up with a system that works for you to let you minimise the time you spend organising your wardrobe and storage space, and maximise the time you spend on the fun stuff: making great outfits. Happy outfitting!