Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Dragon Ball Z Costume

First, gather all the necessary materials. To create a Dragon Ball Z costume, you will need a jumpsuit or martial arts gi in the desired color of your character, such as orange for Goku or blue for Vegeta.

Additionally, you will need fabric paint, a brush, and stencils to recreate the unique symbols and patterns on the characters’ outfits.

Don’t forget about accessories like a wig or headband to complete the look.

Here is a step-by-step guide to making a Dragon Ball Z costume:

  • Research and Choose Your Character:
    • Decide which Dragon Ball Z character you want to dress up as12.
    • Popular choices include Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, and Piccolo2.
  • Gather Reference Materials:
    • Collect reference images of your chosen character to use as a guide12.
    • Pay attention to their outfit, hairstyle, and accessories12.
  • Create the Base Costume:
    • Start with a dark blue T-shirt as the base for Goku’s costume2.
    • Purchase or find a pair of baggy orange pants to match Goku’s attire2.
    • Find or create an orange T-shirt, tank top, or vest to wear over the blue shirt2.
    • Cut the sleeves off the orange shirt to create a tank-top-style shirt2.
    • Draw and cut a V-neck-style collar onto the orange shirt2.
  • Add Details and Accessories:
    • Use fabric or craft materials to create additional details specific to your character12.
    • For Goku, you can add the kanji symbols on the back of the orange shirt2.
    • Consider adding a wig or styling your hair to match your character’s hairstyle12.
    • Look for any additional accessories such as belts, wristbands, or shoes that match your character12.
  • Complete the Costume:
    • Put on the completed Dragon Ball Z costume, including the base clothing and added details12.
    • Style your hair or wear a wig to match your character’s hairstyle12.
    • Have fun and embrace the spirit of your chosen character!

Choosing a Dragon Ball Z Character

When it comes to creating a Dragon Ball Z costume, the first and most important step is selecting a character to portray. With a vast array of characters to choose from, it’s essential to research and find a character that resonates with you. Whether you prefer the powerful Goku, the determined Vegeta, or the fierce Frieza, your choice will define the entire creative process.

Researching Dragon Ball Z characters

Before settling on a character, it’s essential to do thorough research. Watch the Dragon Ball Z series or read the manga to familiarize yourself with the different characters and their distinct traits. Pay close attention to their outfits, hairstyles, and overall appearance. This will help you create an accurate and authentic costume.

Selecting a character to cosplay

With your research in hand, it’s time to choose a character that you connect with on a personal level. Consider your favorite character’s personality, their story arc, and their signature moves. This will enhance your cosplay experience as you embody the character both in appearance and demeanor. Once you’ve made your decision, you can move on to the next step of creating your Dragon Ball Z costume.

Gathering Reference Materials

Now that you’ve chosen your Dragon Ball Z character, the next step is to gather reference materials for your costume. This includes finding reference images and collecting the necessary materials.

Finding reference images of the chosen character

To create an accurate costume, it’s crucial to find detailed reference images of your chosen character. Look for images that showcase different angles, close-ups of their outfits, and any special details like armor or accessories. These reference images will serve as your guide throughout the costume-making process.

Collecting materials for the costume

Once you have your reference images, it’s time to start collecting the materials needed for your Dragon Ball Z costume. Depending on the character you’ve chosen, this may include fabrics for the costume, foam or worbla for armor pieces, wig materials, and any additional accessories required. Make a list of all the materials you need and gather them before moving on to the next step.

Creating the Base Costume

The base costume is the foundation of your Dragon Ball Z cosplay. It typically consists of a bodysuit that mimics the character’s attire. The steps involved in creating the base costume will vary depending on the character you’ve chosen.

Constructing the bodysuit

Start by selecting the appropriate fabric for your character’s outfit. Use sewing patterns or alter existing patterns to create the bodysuit. Pay attention to the fit and silhouette, ensuring it closely resembles the character’s attire. Sew the pieces together, leaving openings for the neck, arms, and legs. Make any necessary adjustments to achieve the perfect fit.

Making the armor pieces

While not all Dragon Ball Z characters have armor, many do. If your chosen character has armor, use foam or worbla to create the pieces. Refer to your reference images and sketch out the shapes and sizes of the armor. Cut the foam or worbla to these shapes and heat-shape them to fit your body. Once shaped, paint them to match the character’s appearance.

Adding details to the costume

To make your costume truly authentic, add details that accurately represent your character. This could include embroidered logos, sewn-on patches, or printed patterns. Use fabric paint, applique, or other appropriate techniques to add these details. Take your time and pay attention to the small intricacies that make your character unique.

Working on the Wig

A crucial component of any Dragon Ball Z costume is the wig. The characters in the series have vibrant and elaborate hairstyles, which are essential to accurately portraying them.

Choosing the right wig

Start by choosing a wig that closely matches your chosen character’s hairstyle. Look for wigs made from synthetic fibers that can withstand heat styling. Consider the length, color, and style of the wig, ensuring it closely resembles your character’s hair.

Styling the wig to match the character

Once you have your wig, it’s time to style it to match your character’s hairstyle. This may involve trimming the wig, using heat styling tools to create spikes or curls, or adding extensions to achieve the desired look. Refer to your reference images and take your time to achieve the best result possible.

Crafting the Accessories

No Dragon Ball Z costume is complete without the appropriate accessories. These can range from props such as weapons or energy beams to specialized shoes and gloves.

Creating props such as weapons or energy beams

If your chosen character uses a weapon or has energy beams as part of their signature moves, you’ll need to craft these props. Research various crafting techniques such as foamsmithing, prop making, or 3D printing to create accurate and durable props. Pay attention to the small details and paint the props to match your character’s signature colors.

Making shoes and gloves

Depending on your character, you may need to create specialized shoes or gloves. Look for appropriate shoe bases and modify them to match your character’s footwear. Use the same method for gloves, ensuring they closely resemble your character’s handwear. Add any necessary details or symbols to complete the look.

Painting and Finishing Touches

Once you have all the pieces of your Dragon Ball Z costume ready, it’s time to paint and add the finishing touches. This step will bring your costume to life and make it truly unique.

Painting the costume and accessories

Using fabric paint or airbrushing techniques, paint your costume and accessories to match your character’s colors. Pay attention to shading and highlighting to add depth and dimension to your costume. Take your time and be patient with this step, as it can make a significant difference in the final result.

Adding weathering effects

To make your costume look more realistic, consider adding weathering effects. This could include burn marks, scuffs, or battle damage. Use paints, brushes, or sponges to carefully apply these effects to the appropriate areas of your costume and props. Take inspiration from the character’s story or fight scenes to determine where weathering would be most prominent.

Adding final details

Lastly, add any final details to your costume. This could include sewn-on patches, printed logos, or additional accessories. Double-check your reference images to ensure you haven’t missed any essential elements. This attention to detail will elevate your costume and make it stand out.

Assembling the Costume

Now that each individual piece of your Dragon Ball Z costume is complete, it’s time to assemble everything into one cohesive outfit.

Putting on the bodysuit and armor pieces

Start by putting on the bodysuit and ensuring it fits correctly. Then, carefully attach the armor pieces to the bodysuit using a secure and discreet method. Pay attention to the placement and ensure it matches your character’s design. Consider using snaps, velcro, or hidden hooks and eyes for attachment points.

Attaching accessories

Once the bodysuit and armor are in place, attach any remaining accessories such as belts, harnesses, or capes. Pay attention to the small details and make sure everything is secure. This will ensure that your costume remains intact throughout your cosplay experience.

Styling the wig

Finally, put on your wig and style it according to your character’s hairstyle. Use hairspray, gel, or other styling products to keep the wig in place. Take the time to adjust and refine the wig until it accurately represents your character’s hair.

Practicing Poses and Moves

To fully embody your chosen Dragon Ball Z character, it’s important to study their poses and moves. This will allow you to accurately portray their personality and power in your cosplay.

Studying the character’s poses and moves

Watch scenes from the Dragon Ball Z series or consult reference materials to study your character’s poses and moves. Pay attention to their body language, facial expressions, and signature moves. Look for common poses or iconic moments that define your character’s personality.

Practicing and mastering the signature poses

Once you have a good understanding of your character’s poses and moves, practice them yourself. Mirror their stance, experiment with different angles, and strive to embody their energy and power. With practice, you’ll be able to confidently perform your character’s signature poses and moves during cosplay events.

Taking Care of the Costume

After all the hard work and effort put into creating your Dragon Ball Z costume, it’s essential to take proper care of it to ensure its longevity.

Properly storing the costume

Store your costume in a cool, dry place where it won’t be exposed to moisture or direct sunlight. Consider using garment bags or boxes to protect it from dust and other potential damages. Hang the costume if possible to avoid creases or wrinkles.

Repairing any damages

If your costume sustains any damages, such as tears or loose seams, make the necessary repairs promptly. Use the same materials and techniques that were initially used to create the costume. Take the time to fix any damages to maintain the costume’s overall quality.

Cleaning and maintaining the costume

To keep your costume looking fresh and clean, spot clean it when necessary. Use gentle detergents or fabric cleaners and follow the care instructions specific to your materials. Avoid machine washing or drying unless explicitly stated. Regular maintenance will prolong the life of your costume and keep it looking its best.


Creating a Dragon Ball Z costume is a rewarding and creative endeavor that allows fans to bring their favorite characters to life. By following this step-by-step guide, you can embark on your cosplay journey with confidence. From researching and gathering reference materials to crafting and assembling the costume, each step is crucial for achieving an accurate and authentic portrayal. Remember to pay attention to the small details, practice your character’s poses and moves, and take proper care of your costume. With dedication and passion, you can create a Dragon Ball Z costume that showcases your love for the series while showcasing your own creativity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *