To be honest, I have found it useful to splash out on adept and expert robes. With my mages I've always kept weapons handy for when I've used up my magicka in combat, but I've hardly resorted to weapons at all with this character. My previous mage used poisoned daggers when enemies got too close, but this one has hardly done any physical fighting. I've also not joined the mage college yet. I'm playing a Dunmer who is studying Dwemer, and so I chose to travel to Solsteheim where I've been learning from Neloth. I also got the Dwarven spider follower from Kagrumez, so that when I do finally join the college, I'll have a Dwemer themed follower to accompany me on non-dwemer missions like Under Saarthal.