How do you guys choose your gear? Do you base it off of the way it looks, the lore/story behind it/your character, or just the stats and armor rating/damage of it?
I mostly go for appearance and lore. If I don't like the way something looks, I won't wear it. My main melee-oriented character wears plain steel armor w/ shoulder pauldrons, leather bracers/light Imperial bracers, and steel cuffed boots with a Skyforge steel sword and a steel shield. I'll also use a Nordic sword once I get to Solstheim.
My second character, an archer, usually wears either leather armor, boots, and bracers or Hjaalmarch guard armor, fur boots, and hide bracers. And the weapons/ammo are an Imperial bow with steel arrows or a Nordic bow with Nordic arrows.
When I am doing the Civil War questline, I wear whatever Imperial uniform fits that character's playstyle.
I never wear a helmt and I also don't like to have my hands covered and I don't like to have full sleeves on my armor. I'm not sure why. I think it just makes combat feel a bit more personal when you're using your bare hands and your head is uncovered. Then, since most bracers don't go well with sleeved armor, that pretty much gets rid of sleeves.
The only exceptions to the no helmet thing are enchanted circlets and Imperial helmets during the Civil War questline.