Skyrim Robes Over Armor [UPDATED]
After spending any amount of time exploring Skyrim you'll quickly realize how dangerous the land is. When having to make decisions of how to protect yourself it seems to me that wearing armor is a much stronger choice than wearing robes which offer no protection.
Skyrim Robes Over Armor
The robes I find are often enchanted, which is a big boon, but the articles of clothing can easily be disenchanted and the enchantment can be copied over to armor instead. When thinking about this, the only utility I can see enchanted robes having is a naturally high sell value compared to armor.
This already surpasses the Mage Armor trick by far in terms of armor rating, but you can still improve. If you were able to use the previously mentioned spells and still have Magicka left over for other spells you need to attack, then the armor ratings would go as follows:
Robes have very few advantages over armor. They are completely silent so it is easier to sneak in them and if you are using an alteration spell for armor rating that is affected by the perk Mage Armor then the alteration spells will provide much more defense as long as you are only wearing robes/clothes. It is much easier to have armor buffed with smithing that provides more defense than even the most powerful alteration armor spells though so if you want damage resistance you need to have armor.
To make robes/clothes more viable it kind of pushes you towards using Enchanting, but more so Alteration. Robes themselves have no inherit advantage over armor, but with the use of Alteration you can get yourself some good protection without needing to invest into Light/Heavy Armor, Smithing and Enchanting as Alteration to some degree covers all of that. Early game I'd say it's useful if you get Mage Armor(Alt 30, 3 perks) early on as it will beat out most(I think all and without smithing armor on it's own even with a high Heavy Armor skill ends weaker than Mage Armor) early armors and in terms of weight to defense pretty much always wins until you get to Heavy Armor 70 and grab Conditioning(4 perks) or Light Armor 50 for Unhindered(3 perks). It's easier to raise as well in comparison to the armor skills as it has other uses. The Magic Resistance and Atronach perks also help but these can go with armor and Enchantments making Mage Armor worth skipping for better stats.
While none of the rulebooks come out and explicitly say you are allowed to wear robes over your armor (although it may be more realistic to wear your armor over your robes from a practical standpoint), there is circumstantial evidence to support it.
So, even if you don't buy the argument that armor and robes are not the same kind of item (even though they clearly aren't, despite covering the body in largely a similar fashion), the rules provide for the possibility that they can still be combined if your DM chooses to allow it.
Armor and magical robes are different categories of items, so they can be worn freely together. While plate armor is categorized as Armor, robes are classified into the catch-all category of Wondrous items (DMG p. 140).
Clothing is a type of wearable item in Daggerfall. Clothing items are displayed on the character as worn, like Armor and Weapons. Most clothing items equip to their own slot and do not conflict with other equipped items, but a few will. You cannot wear clothing boots and armor boots at the same time, for example. Most clothing will be worn under the armor, such as shirts and pants, though they may be visible around the armor. Some clothing, such as robes and cloaks, will appear over the armor. Clothing items that would appear to be undergarments take up the shirt or pants slot and cannot be worn under other clothing.
Many clothing items, especially shirts, robes, and cloaks, have different appearances representing different ways to wear the item. A shirt may be tucked into the pants or not, for example. These different styles can be changed by selecting the Use button in inventory, and then clicking on the clothing item. Removing any covering armor will make this easier. Many clothing items of the same name will come in different colors, for example, the Short Shirt comes in beige, green, and other colors.
Most clothing items cover only the equip slot they take up, but some extend over more of the character. The Khajiit Suit takes up the pants slot, but covers most of the body and displays under all other armor and clothing. Dresses and Robes take up the chest slot, but cover most of the body, and may cover other equipment and clothing. Despite their similarities, a robe, formal cloak, and casual cloak can all be equipped at the same time. This results in conflicting images on the character model.
The Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze wore several sets of robes throughout his life, of which three were fully customizable (adding armor, dyeing the robes, and equipping different capes) along with more special sets of robes that each came with near-unbreakable armor, though they could not be customized.
The standard robes were worn over Ezio's normal clothing. The upper body featured a hood with the center shaped to resemble an eagle's beak, which was connected to the robes, with the torso bearing an open collar.
The lower part of the robes were doubly layered, with the back of the robes trailing down to be longer than the front. Around the waist was a long red sash with pouches attached to a belt, holding smoke bombs, bullets, poison and medicine vials. The belt also held together an ornate Assassin insignia, with scabbards holding throwing knives flanking it. The robes featured a leather spaulder where a cape was attached, draped over and around Ezio's left arm and shoulder.
The robes could be dyed with any color that a tailor had to offer. Armor could also be added, and any combination of leather, Helmschmied, metal and Missaglias armor pieces. However, for purely stylistic choices, any combination of armor pieces may have been used together.
Ezio's Roman robes showed similarities between Giovanni and Altaïr's robes in its design, as they had a long, layered lower section, although they maintained the open collared torso similar to Giovanni's robes, and included a closed collar beneath. The hood shape from the previous robes had been kept as well, along with the wide, red sash displaying the Assassin's insignia and the function of carrying Ezio's throwing knives. The robes also continued to feature the cape over Ezio's left arm and shoulder with a leather spaulder.
The robes also bore the Constantinople Assassin insignia and a small, adorned buckle in a shape of diamond, which connected the belts which crossed over his chest. There was also an upside-down Assassin insignia on the tip of the hood. Additionally, small patterns appear to be imprinted on the grey fabric of the robes.
The robes could once again be dyed with any color that a tailor had to offer, with color combinations designed to fit the Turkish setting. New armor sets were also available at the blacksmith shops, being the Azap, Mamluk and Sepahi sets.