In their current form in Star Wars: The Old Republic, social outfits are kind of a compromise. Some of them look outstanding and anybody with the proper social rank can wear them, but unless you are a Sith Inquisitor or a Jedi Consular, there's really no reason to. They are all light armor - customizable, yes, but light armor, and only 2 out of the 8 base classes uses light armor.
However, with Patch 1.3, that will change. Not only will social gear be adaptive - meaning it will scale to your best armor type, so if you are a Sith Juggernaut, for example, it will equip as heavy armor - but it will also be upgradeable with augment kits. And players already have the ability to swap out the mods from current endgame armor into orange gear and still retain the set bonus (the set bonus is tied to the armoring mod). In other words, in 1.3 it will be possible to kick some serious ass and look good doing it.
Get started on your new look with SWTOR's Top Social Gear.