Between the appearance slots and the dye system, it's possible to get some very nice looking outfits together in LoTRO. However, one of the biggest challenges can be finding a hat or helmet that doesn't look dumb. For whatever insane reason, LoTRO has the the overall worst headgear designs I've encountered in an MMO. I thought I'd show off some of the better headgear I've stumbled across, and give hints on how to find it.
Also, please excuse the compression and lighting on some of the shots. This is my first attempt at posting screenshots here, some turned out much better than others. Expect improvements in any future "photo essay" style piece. This post was inspired by the conversation here at Wilhelm's. Ok, on to the gear.
For cloth wearers, my favorite is this guy:
It's a brimmed hat with a feather. Here is a close-up:
Hats that use this model come as rewards from a handful of quests, including a quest in the elf starter instance. However the most reliable way to find them is to check monster drops. It's actually fairly common to find hats that use this model as drops on humanoids.
For heavy wearers, so far this is my personal favorite:
On a close-up you can see it has some nice details:
So far as I know the only way to get this helmet is by searching the bodies of your foes. I found it on a random goblin in the North Downs. It does not appear to be part of any normal armor set, crafted or otherwise.
For a leather wearer, it's hard to go wrong with these mid level crafted helmets, seen here with the outrider's armor set as depicted at Darzil's equipment guide:
Pretty much any tailor can make them. It's the model used for teirs II-IV of crafted leather gear, with only minor changes between tiers. Until you get to the "bunny ears" in teir V the differences in decoration are pretty subtle. While arguably a bit boring, it at least looks functional and won't disrupt your outfit.
The Lossoth helmets, also look very nice if paired with Lossoth gear. You can see the cloth, leather, and heavy variants at Darzil's excellent website. Admittedly they can look odd in non Lossoth outfits.
Another thing to keep in mind is that no headpiece looks good with every outfit. For example, I have a dwarven runekeeper that I conceived of as being a bit of a fop (well, for a dwarf anyhow). The hat that he is using doesn't look good with most outfits. However, dyed correctly I feel that it really brings together his current outfit:
My main character has been using an admixture of dwarven and elven style armor for quite some time now. While I don't normally go for the "bunny ears" helmet, the plain leather helmet above just didn't fit in well with the rest of her intricately detailed gear. In her outfit, the bunny ears seem to fit right in:
Seen here again in a higher rez screenshot and an earlier outfit:
Finally, if all else fails, there is always the ever popular hooded cloak. There are actually some very nice ones to pick from. Even if you don't have founder's bonus gear or the like to pick from, any tailor can very likely make you something much more interesting than the two tone cloaks you get from quests. For example, this is one of the eight or so hooded cloaks my tailor can make:
If you are at least 35, a tailor can hook you up with something you'll probably like well enough to wear until you start finding rare cloaks in high level (48+ for the most part) and epic quests. For that matter, if you don't want a hooded cloak a tailor can make you an interesting cloak that dyes well at almost any level . . .but now I'm starting to ramble. Happy hunting!