Having played Skyrim for more hours of my life than I care to think about, I’m always on the lookout for ways to shake things up and make the next playthrough a little different.
I have plenty of NPC clothing overhauls, like Brigandage and Common Clothes, but I also have quite a few outfits I’ve downloaded over the years that I’d like some NPCs to wear. It was one of those small niggles that I didn’t get around to doing anything about until recently, when I went searching for an easy way to do it and stumbled across this Reddit thread.
Now that example is for the Apachii Divine Elegance mod, so I did adapt it slightly, but this turned out to be a straightforward solution.
First of all, you need to decide on your “source” for clothing. I used Merge Plugins to merge various individual outfits esps into one, and then converted that merged esp to esm. This gave me a source file I could install into my game and, because it’s an esm, it doesn’t count towards your plugin limit. You can use more than one esm as masters for your esp.
To actually add the outfits, you need TES5Edit. Following the steps in the Reddit thread (adding a master to your esp is as simple as right-clicking your esp and selecting “Add master…”), you can quickly change the outfit of any NPC you like.