Vegeta is one of the most iconic manga characters of all time. From his black spiky hair to his signature blue & white armor, there’s really no mistaking Vegeta. His arrogance and ultimate redemption made fans falls in love with him, but it’s Akira Toriyama’s design for that character that keeps him compelling to watch in action.
Like with most characters in Dragon Ball’s original run, Vegeta doesn’t stay in the same clothes for long. He changes his outfit for every single arc in the original Dragon Ball Z, sometimes multiple times in the same arc. His armors might not be as varied as Goku’s many gi, but they more than get the job done.
10 Cell Arc Armor
Vegeta’s Cell arc armor is by far his most popular, but that might be why it’s also far from his best. By the Universe Survival arc, it’s simply overused. Dragon Ball Super: Broly gives fans a brief respite by having Vegeta wear his Boo arc spandex, but it doesn’t take long for him to put his armor back on.
That said, if nothing else, Dragon Ball Super: Broly does darken the body of Vegeta’s armor. With a bolder blue, the Cell arc armor actually looks much nicer. Perhaps still not as nice as Vegeta’s armor outfits, but it’s definitely not bad when in Shintani’s hands.
9 End Of Z Gi
Where Vegeta’s Cell Arc armor is overused, his End of Z gi is frankly just bland. Sweatpants and a tank top, this is by far Vegeta’s least memorable look. In fact, almost all of the character redesigns at the end of the original series play more to a casual aesthetic with the exception of Goku, Pan, and Goten.
It’s also interesting to note that Toriyama chose not to give Vegeta a traditional martial arts gi in a series inherently about martial arts. At the end of the day, Vegeta prefers regular exercise gear. Which is a nice way of contrasting him with Goku, actually.
8 GT Street Clothes
Vegeta’s GT street clothes are in many ways a natural extension of his End of Z gi. He still has a tank top and traditional pants, but he’s traded the sweats for jeans. When paired with the vest, it’s actually not too bad of a look for Vegeta. Without the vest, though, Vegeta’s left looking very bland and uninspired.
It’s still visually memorable if nothing else, but that’s mainly because it’s so unseen. Even in its own series, Vegeta doesn’t start wearing his street clothes consistently until the Super 17 arc. By that point, GT is far past its prime and barely worth watching anymore.
7 Early Namek Armor
A variation of Vegeta’s Saiyan arc armor, the armor he wears on Namek is pretty much just the top half of his original armor. Without the ornate belt, Vegeta doesn’t look nearly as flashy, but he’s much slicker looking on Namek than on Earth. Without the belt flarings, Vegeta can engage in combat with way more fluidity.
It’s also great to see how Vegeta’s armor gradually breaks down over the course of the arc. He can’t find a replacement until right before the fight with Freeza. By then, Vegeta’s armor is in pieces and his spandex underneath is torn apart. It’s a nice look that showcases how much Vegeta struggled on Namek.
6 Saiyan Arc Armor
Of course, it’s also nothing the series hadn’t done before. While it’s great to see Vegeta’s armor gradually break over the course of an entire story arc, the final battle in the Saiyan arc manages to pull the same feat off in a faster and cooler way. Vegeta just looks so regal with this armor, and this was before it was revealed he was royalty.
It also helps that Vegeta has the most distinct armor of the three invading Saiyans. He’s the only one with a complete set. Helping matters is also the fact that Vegeta is clearly designed to visually contrast Goku. Where Goku wears orange, Vegeta wears blue. Where Goku is tall, Vegeta is short. Where Goku’s gi is simple, Vegeta’s armor is ornate.
5 End Of Z Jacket
Vegeta only wears this jacket briefly, but it’s one of his better looks. In general, Vegeta tends to pull off casual Dragon Ball wear really well. This leather jacket is gone the moment the main characters arrive at the 28th Tenkaichi Budokai, but it leaves a stylish impact. Paired with khakis, Vegeta looks like a proper adult man.
It’s also very reminiscent of Goku’s jacket and khakis combo near the end of the Cell arc. Both Saiyans settled into some very similar casual wear. Of course, Goku prefers to stay in his gi and End of Z tunic as evidenced by Super and beyond, but Vegeta at least seems to own a wider wardrobe.
4 Boo Arc Spandex
Vegeta’s Boo arc spandex is almost deceptively simple. After three arcs of serving as the main cast’s signature villain, Vegeta has finally reformed. Or so he seems. He lives on Earth with his Earthling wife and half Earthling son while wearing Earthling clothes. Seeing Goku again triggers a midlife crisis, but Vegeta comes to accept his lot in life.
More importantly, though, the Boo arc spandex just pairs insanely well with Super Saiyan. It’s better designed for the form than his Cell arc armor was. Especially as a Majin, Vegeta just looks so refined visually. That he wore it again in Dragon Ball Super: Broly was a delight.
3 Resurrection F Armor
Resurrection F isn’t a particularly good movie, but it has some really good redesigns for both Goku and Vegeta. To better match Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan’s blue hair, Toriyama heavily refined Goku and Vegeta’s clothing. Vegeta got grey spandex with a much sleeker chest-piece.
When Vegeta turns Super Saiyan Blue, the great ends up taking a blue tint thanks to SSB’s aura. It’s honestly one of the most inspired design decisions in Dragon Ball. Vegeta continues to wear the armor for the Universe 6 Tournament arc, but he hasn’t worn it since. A shame since it’s leagues better than his Cell arc armor.
2 Badman Shirt
Vegeta wears his Badman shirt so briefly, but it’s unironically one of his coolest outfits in Dragon Ball. Vegeta pulls off the pink terrifically and the soft yellow khakis create a truly memorable look. This should have been Vegeta’s go-to wear for the rest of the series, it’s just such an endearing outfit on Toriyama’s part.
Of course, the fact it’s used so sparingly is also why it has value. If he wore it all the time, it wouldn’t be as special. Or hilarious. Here’s Vegeta ready to reunite with Freeza, the man who killed him, and instead of putting on armor he just flies off in a button-down. Even Gohan found his armor!
1 Late Namek Armor
What’s interesting about Vegeta’s last suit of armor on Namek is that he labels it as an out of date model. It’s a nice little bit of world building so late in the series. In general, Namek marks one of the last times Toriyama fleshes out Dragon Ball’s finer details. It gives Vegeta’s armor a bit more value in that respect.
It’s also just incredibly clean looking. Of all of Vegeta’s armors, this is the slickest and most visually appealing in combat. It’s not distracting. If anything, it enhances Vegeta’s very few fights. That he dies in this armor is also quite noteworthy.