So I saw this on the mobile game Bit Heroes. Thought it was a great idea and it works beautifully. So basically what happens is when you acquire a piece of armor it goes into the "Cosmetic Page" where (for vanity reasons) you can equip the piece of armor as a visible piece of clothing. So here is an example. Say I have a hood but it is level 12 and I am wearing a level 22 Santa hat, I can go into a page where I can equip the hood as my visible armor but in reality I still have the Santa hat on.
Here's the link for how to do the cosmetic page from Bit Heroes for an idea on how it works. If there's any questions I'm happy to further explain.