Welcome back - there are crafted armors that are OK (but not great) once you get to 81 - 85, but not only do you have to make the armor, you need to make two sets of symbols to go with them (there are lower versions too, but they aren't worth the trouble).
You can start here for some basic information and links to recipe pages.
If you want gear that will help you actually stand up to fighting, I think I'd look into the quested armors starting with the House of Thule expansion once you get to 80.
Below 80, Elegant Defiant is probably good enough to get you to 80?
What server? (and welcome back)