How to Make LOTRO Outfits Guide – With and Without Wardrobe

How to make LOTRO Cosmetic Outfits - With and Without Wardrobe

When I first started playing LOTRO, I was really confused to find a “Cosmetics” vendor. Playing a male Hobbit, I didn’t check what that vendor sold. To me “cosmetics” meant “makeup”. It was only after I joined a kin that I was gently informed that cosmetics underpinned the entire outfitting system in LOTRO! So, to help any newer players, here’s my guide on how to make LOTRO outfits. I’ll also cover what you can and can’t do without the Wardrobe feature and then point you in the direction of where you can acquire outfit components. I hope it helps!

What Is An Outfit in LOTRO?

An outfit is simply a change of clothes that covers over your combat gear. It is called cosmetics, because it simply cosmetically changes your appearance. Outfits have no combat advantages (or disadvantages), the same as a suit doesn’t make you better at IT or counselling in the offline world!

Which Gear Slots Can I Apply Outfits To?

  • Head: bear in mind that hooded cloaks will hide whatever you have equipped to your head.
  • Upper Body: tunics, tops, dresses, shirts – lots of options for you.
  • Back: common options are cloaks and backpacks. Weapons that are stored on your back will appear mostly over the “back” item. Some may clip (especially bows).
  • Hands: although some upper body cosmetics hide the hand appearance by default.
  • Legs: again, some tunics/dresses may either hide the legs or have leggings already. These can’t be overridden if so.
  • Feet: but you may find some upper body outfit items have boots/shoes in-built already, which cannot be customised (except for any dye you apply). Or have bare feet, in the case of Hobbits.
  • Weapons and Shield Slots

How to Switch Active Outfit

When you start playing LOTRO, you’ll only have one or two outfit slots available as well as your combat gear appearance.

To switch outfits:

  1. Load the Character Panel (default key: C)
  2. Look on the top for the Cosmetic Outfits tab.
  3. Click an outfit button on the right to preview it [1]Outfit slots you have yet to unlock have a coin over them. Clicking one of those will open the LOTRO store at the relevent sections to purchase the unlock
  4. Click the button next to “Wear the Following Outfit” at the bottom of the Character panel.

Unlocking More Outfit Slots

You can unlock more cosmetic outfit slots, up to the maximum of 8, via the LOTRO Store. It pays to keep an eye on LOTRO’s Twitter feed (such as this tweet in October 2020) and the weekly LOTRO Beacon as these are sometimes on sale.

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Dyes are single-use pots of colour you can apply to a piece of gear or a purely cosmetic item. Most non-weapon, non-shield items can be dyed to let you customise your outfit. Usually, only a portion of the item of clothing can be dyed, but sometimes it’s the whole thing, depending on the design.

Where to Obtain Dyes

There are a lot of dye colours in LOTRO. And there are a good number of ways you can acquire them.

  • Quest Rewards: Occasionally dyes can drop as quest rewards. I believe all class intro’s include a couple of dyes to start you off.
  • Festivals & Events Most LOTRO Festivals have at least two dyes you can acquire for festival tokens. Sometimes you will find two more that can only be purchased with Mithril Coins. The next year that event runs, however, the Mithril Dyes switch to tokens and vice versa. So it alternates.
  • Scholar Crafting: If you have Scholar / Historian as your crafting profession, you will be able to craft an increasing number of dyes. Although finding the components can be tricky. Some ingredients can drop from the Farmer profession (which Historians have) too.
  • Auction House: Players regularly make coin by selling dyes on the Auction House. Although the prices may seem high to a new player, I was surprised how reasonable they were compared another game I play.

Some Example Dye Colours

Finding Dyes at the Auction House

Dye Preview in Dressing Room

Don’t guess or hope the colour is right, check it! If you hold Ctrl and Left Click a cosmetic or armour piece, it loads Dressing Room. Here you can preview multiple outfit items and mock up their colours.

Pro Tip: Large Dressing Room

Dressing Room, by default is quite small. However, there is a UI skin for LOTRO that gives you a larger Dressing Room. It doesn’t change anything except that feature and you can choose the window size too. Just select one slightly smaller than your monitor resolution so you can still interact with the world.

Get Larger Dressing Room UI

How to Apply a Dye to an Item

If you do not have Wardrobe unlocked yet (see below) then you will need the item in your bags/inventory or equipped as combat gear.

  • Right-Click the dye in your bags
  • Left-Click the item you want to change the colour of
  • Confirm you wish to proceed.

How to Remove a Dye

If you want to restore a piece of armour or outfit to its original colour then that’s easily done. Some NPC vendors in Middle-Earth have a “dye” category. All that’s in it is Dye Wash. Apply it to the item the same way as with a dye.

Wardrobe Tip

If you have wardrobe, make sure you apply dyes after adding them to the Wardrobe. This means you’ll automatically have a “default colours” option. If you don’t, then use a dye wash to put the option back in.

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Where Can I Get Cosmetics From?

Trust me, when I say, there is no shortage of places you can acquire, or create cosmetics!

Sources of Outfit Items

Quest Rewards

Assuming it meets the restrictions outlined below, you can use quest reward items cosmetically as well as combat gear.


Any clothing or weapon that meets the restrictions can be used in an outfit. Without Wardrobe, you must equip it first to make it bound to you, before you can use it in an outfit.

Cosmetics Vendors/Outfitters

In the earlier regions of LOTRO, you can find Outfitters dotted among the other NPC vendors. These sell cosmetic-only clothing and items for only a few silver coins. They are a great way to get your initial outfit items. Some can be found in Bree, Michel Delving, Trestlebridge, Thorin’s Hall and Celondim. “Armoursmith” NPC sell very basic items too.


Metalsmiths create heavy armour.
Tailors make Light and Medium Armour.
Weaponsmiths make metal weapons.
Woodworkers make (shock, horror!) wooden weapons.

So long as your class can use that weapon, it can be used as a cosmetic. Assuming you meet other restrictions, anyway.

Festivals and Events

One of the main draws of LOTRO Festival and Events is the new cosmetics they release each year. Simply take part in the festival, earn the tokens and swap them for clothing!

Skirmish Camps

When you complete deeds in LOTRO, or take part in Skirmishes you earn Marks (and Medals, later). These Marks can be used Skirmish Camp to purchase combat gear and cosmetics as well as improve your Skirmish Soldier’s abilities.

Reputation Vendors

Throughout Middle-Earth, you can earn reputation with many different factions. As you become more and more known to a certain people group, they are willing to sell you more things. Sometimes this will be for Gold/Silver, and often it’s for that region’s currency. They will often sell armour and sometimes pure cosmetics – both can be used in outfits. Occasionally (for example in Forochel) you can acquire special crafting recipes for gear or cosmetics from that region.


There is a range of cosmetics in the LOTRO Store. Some of these can actually be acquired at the Skirmish Camp, but a good number (such as the cloaks) are usually unique to the Store. Again, keep your eyes peeled for sales on “Select Cosmetics”.

You can find cosmetics: LOTRO Store → Cosmetics → Avatar Cosmetics

Lalia’s Market

In Lalia’s Market in Bree-Town you’ll find a changing selection of cosmetics. These can be purchased via Mithril Coins, which is a currency you can exchange LOTRO Points for. To be transparent, however, many of these pieces can be acquired through adventuring, reputation vendors or as quest rewards. A small number can also be acquired from mannequins around Middle-Earth.

Bree Boar Fountain

At the Boar Fountain in Bree are some other vendors. There is the Traveller’s Quartermaster and the Rotating Figments of Splendour vendor. (Hehe, Splendour Vendor). The Quartermaster sells boxes of gear, which can be used cosmetically as well as stat gear. The Figments vendor sells outfits, mounts and War-Steed Cosmetics, but her selection changes periodically. Keep your eyes peeled for a special “Curator” who is unlocked only on rare occasions, too.

Auction House

Unlike my compliment on pricing of dyes, I usually find cosmetics are priced way too high at the Auction House, at least on my server. But it is, technically, an option.

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Gear “Outfit” Appearance

By default, your character will display their current hodge-podge combat gear. There are limited ways to customise these. The first is to dye your armour, if it can be dyed (you will get an error if you try to recolour an undyable item, but you will not lose the dye pot).

The other way is by hiding some parts of it.

Hiding Parts of LOTRO Outfits

At the top of your outfits tabs is Gear Appearance. This “outfit” is pre-filled with whatever your current combat gear is. You cannot replace individual items on that tab. However you can hide some slots.

Which Slots Can Be Hidden?

  • Head
  • Hands: my Guardian usually has bare hands, even in battle. So hiding the gloves or gauntlets is something I regularly do.
  • Feet: I can’t think of an upperbody item that has shoes or boots built into its appearance. If you do have an item like that hiding the feet won’t do anything.
  • Weapons/Shields: these will reappear during any time you are in-combat.

How to Hide a Slot’s Appearance

Remember cosmetic apperances do not alter your combat ability. So hiding an armour piece or weapon will not be detrimental to you.

  1. Go to the Gear Outfit tab
  2. Next to a slot you want to hide click the small, square “eye” icon to hide it.
  3. Press that same icon again to re-show it.

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Making a LOTRO Outfit without Wardrobe

If you’re fairly new to LOTRO then this will be how you make LOTRO outfits for a while. Before I go into the step-by-step, there are some restrictions you will need to be aware of:

  1. You cannot use an item higher than your level for an outfit.
  2. Armour designed for specific races or classes may not be used.
  3. You can only use gear items at, or below, your armour type.
    • Light: only Light Armour
    • Medium: Medium or Light Armour
    • Heavy: Heavy, Medium or Light Armour
  4. Gear items must be bound to your character before they can go into an outfit (if you don’t have Wardrobe). To do this, simply equip the items, then put back what you had there originally. Quest rewards are usually already bound. Crafted clothing and loot are usually not automatically bound. Items marked “Cosmetic” are usually not bound to character, except if purchased from certain reputation vendors.

It’s really obvious if you cannot equip an item. Simply hover your cursor over the item and look at the tooltip. If you have bright red text, then there’s a requirement that character does not meet.

Some item restrictions on equipping a gear item when making a LOTRO Outfit

Note: Clothing items marked as “cosmetic” in the tooltip are not restricted to race or armour type.

Cosmetic Weapons?

Yes, you can use acquired or crafted weapons to override the appearance of your gear weapon. Some festivals and reputation vendors also have “held” items to customise weapons too. Whether you use Wardrobe or not, bear in mind that there are (logically) restrictions. The main one is that you can’t swap a weapon for any other weapon. So, you can’t make your sword look like a bow, or replace your one-handed axe for a two-handed axe, for example.

As with clothing items, if a cosmetic weapon or held item is marked as “cosmetic” then you should not have any issues using it. To cover all bases, shields can only take on the appearance of other shields.

Where to Get Cosmetic Weapons

Cosmetic weapons (sometimes referred to as “cosmetic items”) can be obtained from:

  • Reputation Vendors
  • Festivals & Events
  • Skirmish Camps
  • Crafting: any item you can make and equip can be used cosmetically
  • Loot and Quest Rewards
  • Lootboxes

Note: you cannot dye weapons or shields.

Material Middle Earth

@Nathrien of Material Middle Earth has a huge selection of cosmetics, but a huge project was a cosmetic weapons project. So if you need inspiration, check it out!

Nathrien's LOTRO Cosmetic Weapons Reference Library

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Put Your LOTRO Outfit Together (Without Wardrobe)

Now you know what you can and can’t do, let’s see how you put a cosmetic outfit together in LOTRO.

1. Have All Items in Bags

Make sure all the cosmetics or gear pieces are in your bags.

2. Bind any Combat Gear

Right click any “stat gear” and confirm that it will bind to you. Once it’s “equipped” then you can un-equip it so it goes back into your bags. Remember to put the right item back into your combat gear!

3. Dye the Pieces You Want To

Any items you want to change the colour of, make sure you dye them.

4. Drag the Items to the Relevant Slots

Choose an outfit tab, then drag the items from your bags to the correct slot on that tab.

Note: the item will stay in your bags, allowing you to put it in storage for later, or (where applicable) to sell for coin to an NPC vendor.

5. Hide Any Slots You Want

As with the “Gear Outfit”, you can hide gear slots in outfits too. Go ahead and customise!

6. Activate the Outfit

Once you’re happy with the outfit, press the button next to “Wear the Following Outfit” at the bottom.

Note: if you’re changing the outfit you are currently wearing, then it will automatically update your appearance as you you make changes.
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Making a LOTRO Outfit with Wardrobe

The Wardrobe feature of LOTRO may seem expensive to unlock, but if you want maximum flexibility in creating your outfits, Wardrobe is a must. Do deeds for the LOTRO points and unlock it – no need for real money – you will not regret the effort.

Advantages of the Wardrobe

Until you unlock Wardrobe you don’t realise what you’re missing. Wardrobe really is one of those “must-have” features and it’s rare for me to say that about, well, anything.

(Almost) No Restrictions

Wardrobe lets you apply gear from different classes, armour types and races as cosmetic outfits. As an example, here’s one of my Hobbit Wardens with the upperbody, wrist guards and shoulders from the Beorning class intro:

Multiple Dyes

You can apply multiple colours to an item in Wardrobe – one at a time mind you! But it means you don’t need to re-acquire dyes for that item. To do this:

  1. Have the dye in your bags
  2. Load Wardrobe (at a vault-Keeper or VIP reusable item)
  3. Find the item in Wardrobe
  4. Right Click the dye in your bags
  5. Left Click the item in wardrobe
  6. Click “Yes” when asked “Are you sure you want to add dye name to item name?”

No Binding Required

You do not need items to be bound to you, to use them. In fact, you can use cosmetics bound to other characters too, if you want to! It also means if you acquire an unbound item, you can put it in the Wardrobe and then sell it on the Auction House or trade it with other players. Or, be a lovely, lovely person and give it away if you do not need it.

Cross-Character “Storage”

Wardrobe is not storage in the normal sense. But if an item is in the Wardrobe, any character can use it to make an outfit. No need to mail the items between characters or do swapping in Shared Storage or Homestead chest.

Easy Filtering & Search

If you just want a head item, you can just see head items, for example. You can filter weapon type, too (note: shields are under Armour: Shield). And if you’re looking for a particular item, or keyword, use the search function.

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How Do I Unlock the LOTRO Wardrobe?

Shared Wardrobe can be unlocked for 595 LOTRO points via the LOTRO store. When it’s on sale, the price can be 476LP, or lower if included in Black Friday sales. Although this may seem like a lot of LOTRO points, if you complete the deeds in two or three starter regions, you’ll be able to afford it.

To find the unlock follow this path:
LOTRO Store → Account → Slots & Storage → Shared Wardrobe Space.

If it’s on sale, you can just hit the “% Sales” tab.

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Create a Wardrobe Outfit

To make an outfit from Wardrobe, you need visit a Vault-Keeper. These can be found in most major towns (but not Ost Guruth in the Lone-Lands) as well as in housing areas.

VIPs: if you’re a VIP/Subscriber, you can get a reusable “Town Services” item from the daily quest. This allows you to use most vendors/services you would find in a town, including Vault-Keeper/Wardrobe services.

1. Add Item(s) to Wardrobe

Drag the armour or cosmetic from your bags into the Wardrobe window. You can also drag items straight from your character’s vault and shared storage into wardrobe.

2. Load Character Panel & Outfit Tab

Pull up the character panel (default key: C) and choose which outfit tab you want to change.

3. Find Item

Locate which outfit item you want to use. If you have a lot of items in your Wardrobe, you may find using the text search or a drop-down filter quicker than scrolling.

4. Add or Select Dye

If you need to add another dye option to it, do that first. Then left click the item and choose the colour you want from this drop-down:

5. Drag Item to Slot

Left click the wardrobe item and drag it to the relevant slot on your outfit tab.

Rinse and repeat for other outfit items.

6. Activate Outfit

If you want to show or hide certain parts of your cosmetic outfit, do that. Then you can activate and enjoy it!

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Final Tips

  • You can apply dyes to items in your Vault too. However these cannot be dragged straight into an outfit slot. You’ll still need to temporarily move these to your bags or into the Wardrobe first.
  • Items can be dragged from Vault and Shared Storage into your Wardrobe.
  • You can set items to show/hide per outfit. So I frequently have a non-combat outfit that either just shows a sword, or has all weapons/shields hidden. Don’t forget the RPG part of MMORPG.
  • Make the most of Wardrobe’s filters. If you’re looking for items only dyed black, then filter by that colour.
  • See another player wearing something you like? If that player is not marked as “Anonymous”, you and use Right Click → Inspect to have a gander at the outfits they have set up!

Cosmetic Outfits: Community Links

A blog post on how to make a cosmetic outfit in LOTRO would not be complete without giving hat-tips to community folks. Many players tweet, share and post their outfit creations. Use them for inspiration and share their outfits with your friends. In no particular order:

You can also search twitter for certain hashtags like #LOTROcosmetics.

TL;DR Be a Hero in Style, Make Your LOTRO Outfits, then save Middle-Earth!

I hope this guide to making cosmetic outfits in LOTRO has been useful. Keep your eyes on quest rewards to pick up outfit components as well as the LOTRO Events Calendar to take part in Festivals! Making outfits is fun and helps make your character truly your own. Now, go destroy the works of the Enemy in style.


1Outfit slots you have yet to unlock have a coin over them. Clicking one of those will open the LOTRO store at the relevent sections to purchase the unlock

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Fibro Jedi

A 30-something Shadow Jedi, married and have a small daughter. By that I mean "young", not just "short". I have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia andI play LOTRO, SWTOR and FFXIV and blog about two of them. Social Media has connected me with so many people and some of those have become amazing friends too! As a hobby I am relearning drawing, which you can see on my DeviantArt profile.