Considered by some fans to be the “real” protagonist of Dragon Ball Z, Son Gohan has one of the most cohesive and complete character arcs in the series, if nothing else. He may not be the series’ actual main character, but he’s not far behind his father, Son Goku. Every arc sees Gohan developing even further, to the point where he’s not the main character almost seems off.
Since Gohan ages over the course of the series, as well, he’s depicted wearing plenty of different outfits; even more than Goku ever wore. Every Gi in Gohan’s life represents a different part of his story arc.
10 Turtle School Gi
The Turtle School Gi just gets plainer and plainer as the series continues. By the end of the Buu arc, Goku isn’t even wearing it anymore, instead adopting a teal tunic for the end of the series. It is an iconic outfit, though, so it does make sense that Gohan would wear his father’s signature Gi at some point in his life.
He dons the kanji-less, sash variant for his battle against Majin Buu. It almost gives off the impression that Gohan is formally taking over Goku’s role, but the arc ends up switching gears almost immediately, leaving Gohan’s character arc technically complete but unsatisfying.
9 Saiyan Armor
Vegeta’s Cell arc Saiyan armor might be his most iconic look, but it’s also his most overused, almost devaluing it. In the original series, he only wears it for the one arc. Of note, so do Goku, Trunks, and Gohan, all of which rock the Saiyan armor to varying degrees. For Gohan, it gets a bit better when he cuts his hair.
The Saiyan armor does pair nicely with Super Saiyan, but it’s just not an outfit Gohan wears often enough. He immediately gets rid of it after the Room of Spirit and Time and never wars it again. That said, Legacy of Goku II actually has Gohan fighting Cell in the armor. Vegeta, Trunks, and Gohan all wearing the same armor is a bit overkill, though.
8 Battle Jacket (RIT)
Not helping the Saiyan armor win any favors is the fact that Gohan already wore a Battle Jacket in the previous arc. Of the RIT variant, Gohan’s Namek arc Battle Jacket very much resembles Vegeta’s armor from the beginning of the arc. It’s the one time in the series where Gohan visually embraces his Saiyan identity.
It also pairs shockingly well with the bowl cut, far and away Gohan’s worst haircut in the series. It’s in this armor where Gohan also contributes the most to a final battle, actively engaging Freeza in combat while Vegeta sulks in a corner and Piccolo rushes to save the day.
7 Martial Arts Gi
Amazingly, Gohan’s only unique Gis all come from the Buu arc. He only wears his unique martial arts gi when he’s training for the 25th Tenkaichi Budokai so it doesn’t really see any meaningful action outside of filler and non-canon movies, but it does stand out as the only standard gi Gohan owns that’s all his.
Interestingly, the manga color scheme for the gi honors both Goku and Piccolo— Gohan’s two martial arts masters. The body of the gi is purple whereas the sash, ankle warmers, and wristguards are all orange. It’s an interesting gi and one that deserved more attention.
6 Turtle School Demon Gi
The first real dogi Gohan wears in Dragon Ball, Piccolo creates a uniform for him that more or less perverts the Turtle School’s teachings. While the body is orange like Goku’s uniform, the kanji is Piccolo’s personal demon kanji, branding Gohan as a member of the demon clan. Piccolo also gives Gohan a sword, which is always a plus.
Gohan gets the most use out of this outfit in the anime’s filler episodes leading up to the Saiyan invasion. In the manga, Toriyama doesn’t linger on Gohan’s early training too often, but the anime makes a whole mini-arc out of it. If nothing else, this is one of Gohan’s most iconic looks.
5 Demon Gi (Scarf)
Gohan wears the scarf version of Piccolo’s demon gi for almost all of Dragon Ball Z. From halfway through the Saiyan arc to halfway through the Cell arc, this is Gohan’s signature look. He changes outfits here and there, but this is the gi that defines Gohan’s life before he becomes a Super Saiyan.
It’s also just a great looking gi. The scarf is an excellent way of keeping Gohan’s outfit unique while also paying tribute to Piccolo. The headband he wears in the Saiyan arc is also a nice touch, but it doesn’t last past the fight with Vegeta.
4 Orange Star Uniform
Gohan’s Orange Star Uniform is the only non-combat outfit he fights in. Not just that, it’s this outfit he wears when he’s taking on the identity of the “Golden Warrior.” He doesn’t fight too much while wearing this in the manga, but the uniform looks great with or without Super Saiyan. The vest and messenger bag add a nice, dorky layer to Gohan’s character.
Funnily, it might be this outfit that more or less solidifies Gohan’s character. While he always cared about his studies, Toriyama found a way to reflect that in Gohan’s character design. This is the outfit that best understands who Son Gohan is as a character. He can look cool, but he’s got to be dorky in the process.
3 Kaioshin Outfit
Kaioshin the character may not be the most respected character, but the Kaioshin race is nothing to laugh about. They’re far and away one of Dragon Ball’s most interesting races, and the time Gohan spends on the Kaioshin planet training with the Z-Sword stands out as some fo the Buu arc’s best.
Donned in the traditional Kaioshin garb, Gohan’s never looked more unique. It’s clear he won’t be wearing this outfit to defeat Buu, but it’s an interesting uniform to train it. Just the fact that the Kaioshin are so divine in nature gives Gohan an otherworldly aura. It’s almost as if the uniform is signifying how far above the curve Gohan has gone.
2 Demon Gi (Cape)
Gohan comes out of the Room of Spirit and Time a fundamentally different character. He’s changed and matured after having trained with his father. This is something Piccolo immediately recognizes in him. Rather than giving Gohan his usual scarf, Piccolo gives Gohan his very own cape. For the only time in the series, Gohan and Piccolo wear identical outfits.
It’s worth noting that, in the arc where Gohan formally takes over Goku’s role as the main character, he’s representing Piccolo and not Goku himself. This is likely because Toriyama knew that Gohan would be leading the series for a while. It’s possible that Gohan wearing Goku’s gi at the end of the Buu arc is tied to this thread.
1 Saiyaman Tunic
Green does really feel like Gohan’s color when it comes down to it. Goku has orange and shades of red, Vegeta has blue, Piccolo has purple, so why shouldn’t Gohan have a green outfit? His Saiyaman tunic is just that, and not only does it pair excellently with his base and Super Saiyan forms, it also contrasts Goku and Vegeta’s outfits nicely.It’s in this uniform where Gohan most comes off like his own character. Dragon Ball has become his story; he’s at the front of the action, and he’s ready to go on one hell of a character arc. Unfortunately, the Buu arc pivots hard, and, while the overall story doesn’t suffer too much, Gohan’s character does. If nothing else, he’ll always look great in green and black.