My character also wears half plate, and I agree about teh oooogly. However, I think that the torsos are what determines the type of the armor, and that it's hard coded that way.
If I'm wrong about that, then yes, I agree whole-heartedly. For now I cover up with a robe that looks like a tabard.
I wonder if it would be possible to copy some of the appearance of plate torsos to the robe options? There are a couple "robe" options that cover only the torso, I believe one looks like some kind of padded armor torso and one looks like a studded leather torso.