Where can I find cosmetics?
There are Outfitters in Bree, Thorin’s Hall, Michel Delving, Celondim, Trestlebridge, Othrikar, Stock and Rivendell. Check them all. Items purchased from the outfitter do not bind to character.
There are Heavy, Medium and Light Armour Smiths in many towns and regions in Middle Earth. All selling different levels and types of armour for just a few silvers. Go there and try it on with ctrl+left mouseclick! It really looks different on your own character and with another dye colour applied to it. Armour purchased from armour smiths does not bind to character.
Special cosmetic items are offered by the reputation vendors in: Michel Delving, Bree, Thorin’s Hall, Rivendell, Sûri-Kylä (Forochel), Talan Fanuidhol (Lothlórien), Thangúlhad (Mirkwood) and Stangard (Great River). Reputation cosmetics can only be purchased at the corresponding reputation level.
Every festival usually offers several cosmetic items to barter for. These items do not bind to character. The Yule Festival in winter has a questline with specific cosmetic rewards. During the Anniversary festival in April you can find them in boxes that you barter for tokens. These boxes can contain some very unique cosmetics such as Elven Circlet or Short Elven Robe, or sleeveless/short-sleeved versions of more common cosmetics.
You can barter for regular cosmetics and for special “ceremonial” versions of raid armour at the Cosmetics vendor at the skirmish camp. You can also buy all types of older raid armour at the Skirmish Classic vendor. Check out the Cross Class Bartering guide on where to buy armour that is not for your class, but very useful as a cosmetic. Skirmish cosmetics bind to character if you drag them directly into an Outfit slot, however if you copy the item to your Wardrobe, you can store the original on an alt (or sell it on the auction house). Ceremonial Cosmetics are bound to account.
Some quest rewards have unique cosmetic properties with a special design that is not otherwise or commonly available. Use the ctrl+left mouseclick option before choosing your quest reward. Stats can be compensated for, but quest rewards are only offered once. Quest rewards are of course already bound to character, so you will have to store them on the character that obtained it. Volume III, Book 4 & 5 from the Epic questline have exclusive cosmetic rewards.
You can barter for token armour in Moria, Lothlorien, Mirkwood and Enedwaith. However some items that you wouldn’t use for the stats are still valuable as cosmetics. If you have some excess Moria or Mirkwood tokens, use them for cosmetics! Check out the Cross Class Bartering guide to buy armour that is not actually for your class, but still useful as a cosmetic. Tokens are obtained by running the instances of the area and are bound to account, so you can pass them to an alt through Shared Storage.
There is always the odd chance that you loot something cosmetically valuable, even a grey item like Elven Leather Boots or a Plumed Hat. Burglars have a chance at obtaining “grey” loot by using the burgling skill, which can have a unique cosmetic appearance. Check all armour with ctrl+left mouseclick before selling it.
Spend time on the Auction House. Check all armour for appearances, all cloaks and all outfits. Check items with a strange or uncommon name. Check all non-crafted yellow and purple items. Ctrl+left mouseclick is your friend. While you’re there, check for cheap dyes!
Last but not least, there is the Lotro Store. The store has several unique items that you cannot obtain in game, but it also offers some items that are actually quite easy to acquire, so be careful before you decide to make a purchase! Cosmetic store items are bound to account, so you can store all these items on an alt, however to transfer them to an alt you have to make use of regular Shared Storage, as these items cannot be mailed.
There is a “try it on” button in the Lotro store that will allow you to preview the item in the dressing room.
Use Darzil’s Armour Guide to get to know the items that are available in game. You will get to start recognizing common designs from vendors and crafted designs. This will help you recognize a less common item more easily.