Get equipped items to work with animations

I am building an equipment system where players can customize their character’s outfit. It works fine for rigid items such as firearms, sunglasses, helmets, etc. Simple enough to attach via socket.

However, what about items like uniforms which need to adhere to the character animations, how do I approach that problem? Do I need to create dozens of animations for every piece of clothing? If I put bones in the clothes, would there be a way to anchor them to the character’s bones so I only need to animate the character?

Yes for clothing I would use the same skeleton as the character and the same animation to move the clothing vertices, export it to Unreal, and animate at the same time. I have zero experience with interchangable clothes on characters but that sounds like the most stable and reliable way to do things.

There might even be a way to tell Unreal to animate them together specifically, but I don’t know it.

Yeah I figured that would be one way to do it, I just feel like with all the RPGs out there that there has to be an easier and/or more efficient way to do that…

I might be wrong because I haven’t tried this yet, but I think you can have one skeleton and one animation, and just use the same animation and skeleton reference for the other skeletal meshes (including the clothing).

What would be simpler than that?