Previously, I shared my favorite Skyrim clothing mods for mages and Akaviri gear. Below are nice mods fit for rangers, rogues, spellswords, and some suited for those playing dark characters. Armor that improves by feeding on blood sounds cool, doesn’t it?

on “lore-friendly” and my preference

When “realistic” armor is mentioned in regard to Skyrim, I assume this refers to protection in combat and from the elements within context of The Elder Scrolls. Removing dragons and magic would leave Skryim as a civil war game with bandit and item-collecting quests. TES is a fantasy series which includes unrealistic fantasy gear such as Golden Saint, Dark Seducer, and some unwieldy oversized weapons. Daedric armors are imbued with dark powers, and are highly decorative to cause fear. Our history is full of armor decorations to confuse the enemy or inspire confidence among the citizens. Practical is nice, but looking cool has its place.

No matter the armor, direct hits hurt. Armor may be simple padded hides or layered with chain and plates. Real chainmale would hurt flesh without padding, but decorative chain can make an ordinary garment look nice. Coverage is more about flak and incidental contact. The warrior’s skill at wearing a particular armor matters, and more important is the skillset at avoiding combat. Speech, stealth, distraction, and fleeing help one stay alive better than any particular outfit. And there are enchantments to consider in this fantasy world. Coverage may be more important for heavy armors, and light armors need to allow for more movement or stealth.

How decorative, revealing, or practical outfit choice is comes down to my character’s taste. My retired mage, Reisha, always prefered normal clothing, the mourner’s dress and “Blades Hakama” her favorites. She blended in better than wearing mage robes or Dark Brotherhood outfits around town. Another character likes intimidating (decorative) armors.

I give preference to original work. Styles should be similar to or inspired by outfits found throughout Tamriel, which is very diverse in style and cultural background. Historical recreation or realistic gear is great, but I prefer a touch of fantasy suitable for Skyrim.


HDT HighHeels

Some female shoes require “HDT HighHeels System” which make your character taller so that her legs don’t appear mysteriously shorter. Not using this heels mod with footwear requiring it will cause problems. Some mods have normal boot option. Choose carefully.


Rangers, rogues, and spellswords

Some nice improvements by texture updates for existing light armors include “Rustic Forsworn” by Gamwich and “aMidian imperial light and studded” by CaBaL.

According to the description, “Breton Knight” light armor was inspired by Elder Scrolls Online trailer. Besides a misspelling, a few minor nit-picky details shouldn’t hold this outfit back. The daggers are decorative and may clip with arms. The bow doesn’t work with the main download file, so include “Fixed Bow” file and copy contents into Skyrim folder which will replace the file Skyrim/Data/meshes/EsoBretonKnight/Weapons/BretonKnightBow.nif.


If having trouble finding the chest: Located on Wreck of the Pride, start on top deck and take stairs down then turn away from water and walk up the slope.

“Evil Mastermind” by Zerofrot is my second favorite armor mod. For the boys.



Rich in detail, this light armor also looks functional. My Breton vampire, Ezekiel, wears this on a regular basis. He enchanted the masked hood for stealth, the regular hood for desctructive magic combat, and switches for different situations. Expect to fight a pair of werewolves to reach the chest found at a fairly remote location near Dawnstar close to an Imperial camp. Requires glass smithing perk to forge new with leather, quicksilver, and daedra hearts. Temper with daedra hearts.




I preferred the regular thief armor over the Nightingale gear, so an update seemed in order. “Nightingale Prime HD” replaces the texture with more details and a cleaner look.


For something more stylish for the women, try “Celes Nightingale Armor” by Deserter X. Includes several options such as netting, masked hood, or hood with wigs of different colors.


Obtaining the craft book requires some rogue skills getting into the master safe. Crafting with nirnroots leads to having cool green glow designs within the dark leather. This sexy version of the regular Nightingale armor might be too revealing for some considering the cold climate. A rogue could always change to another outfit when heading to colder regions. For “Frostfall” (v3.1 or legacy 2.6), I adjusted the curiass with reduced warmth and coverage to help maintain immersion. The armor protection is slightly better than the standard Nightingale gear.


Celes’s weapons include recolored dagger and crossbow, and a Nightingale Haomas, all which may be strapped on the back using “Dual Sheath Redux”. The haoma comes from “Warrior Within Weapons” by BloodFree, a pack of Persian weapons. Supports “HDT HighHeels System” with options for BBP/HDT.


If you like Deserter X’s work, check out “Gwelda Dawnguard Armor” leather dress with trousers in Dawnguard designs. Works well for a spellsword vampire hunter like “Aurora” modeling below. Requires “HDT HighHeels System” for the boots, and includes BBP/HDT option. Pictured is CBBE-Slim HDT, a swapped mesh from standard “Aurora” body to slim her down a bit.




Dark arts


The following two armor sets by AmethystDeceiver needs a bit of evil touch to craft or maintain. Human hearts and flesh. Dark magic.

In addition to player armor, “Arise - Chapter 1 -The Black Sacrament” armor offers a much improved replacement for the Dark Brotherhood shrouded armor with a similar design. The mod includes a lore-friendly quest to collect the parts for the ancient assassins armors in a variety of colors along wth a spell to create new armor from a summoned forge. The items are found in graves and protected by creatures (one added) so the powerful gear comes with a price. Start by going to Ancient’s Ascent, protected by the existing dragon. This site contains the story starter and enchanted bow to help make collecting human hearts and flesh a bit easier. Think exploding body. The white armor blends well in snowy terrain, and looks cool, too.


“Black Sacrament” armor set is compatible with UNPB, UNPC, CBBE Curvy, CBBE Slim, default female bodies, and most male bodies. For female follower of different body type, choose the appropriate size from the list at the forge. Looks great on my slim character, Jenna.




“Lustmord Vampire Armor” works well for vampires or mortals. I like Serana’s royal armor, but Lustmord makes a nice alternative. The male version (not pictured) is nice, too.

SkyrimEM And LM



The armor is vampiric such that when wearing the full set, one may feed it blood to boost armor rating for eight hours. Some pieces are interchangeable with “Black Sacrament” allowing versatility in appearance. Compatible with CBBE except Slim. You may use “BodySlide” for slimmer body, or give to a busty follower. Below is a pair of screenshots with busty armor for “Selene Kate” on left and slimmed version on Jenna which looks like a push-up. Jenna’s red shawl is from “Black Sacrement.” Unfortunately, “Kate” prefers heavy armor.


For both of these armors, a full set for perks count the barrette in place of a helmet. Hoods may be worn, also.

If you like AmethystDeceiver’s work, then you might like a custom home to go with your new armors. “Amethyst Hollows Dreamworld” resides in a dream world and is expensive unless you complete the mini-quest. The servants are great, and the optional mimic mannequins can be spooky. This is the only custom home I’ve seen where a teleporter makes sense and blends brilliantly with the game world.




Male only:

Female only: