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Loin Cloth
For some heroes, this is all the armor they need.

"Also, everyone here could use a little less loin and a lot more cloth."
Belkar Bitterleaf, The Order of the Stick, #736

In essence, a Loincloth is lower body underwear made of cloth or hides. Sometimes it's just a flap over the crotch and rear, and sometimes it's woven like actual briefs.

Often some cultures, especially stereotypically primitive ones, have this as the only form of clothing. But one of the most prominent appearances in fiction is the fantasy Barbarian Heroes, even though they come from the north, where it's really cold. Sure they wear these made of fur, and perhaps they dress better when actually in their northern homelands, but otherwise this is a form of Impossibly Cool Clothes. Is frequently used as a male instance of Stripperific outfits.

May occasionally be justified, if the barbarian from the Grim Up North actually complains about the sweltering heat of the southern lands he's exploring, and refuses to wear more for this reason.

Quite often overlaps with a (Walking) Shirtless Scene. Sometimes the wearer Does Not Like Shoes. Also can be worn by women, with a matching bikini top.

A Super Trope to Fundoshi.

For the female equivalent, see Fur Bikini.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: While his is a kilt and not a loincloth, otherwise movie version of Van Fanel pretty much nailed it. He's enough of a barbarian, and hardly wears anything else for the whole movie.
  • Ouran High School Host Club's Suou Tamaki has to wear a loincloth in the manga after losing a bet to Kyouya. He's a little upset about it at first, but then easily forgets about it after Haruhi gives him a super bouncy ball to play with (so he would stop being a pain).
  • Lucky Star: Konata compares the experience of eating beachhouse food to running around the beach in a loincloth. (This itself is a reference to Mister Ajikko.)
  • Minami-ke features recurring newscasts about a "loincloth festival" as a Running Gag.
  • Ninku: Toji often wears a loincloth.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Father in his final form has a loincloth which used to be part of his robe.
    • There's also Alphonse Elric, who always wears one on his armor. It's not like he needs it, technically speaking, but he probably thinks it's just plain indecent not to have one.
  • Wild Rock is set in One Million BC and has all the men running around in loincloths and little more.
  • In an episode of the latest Cyborg 009 series, 007 gets his clothes torn when he uses his powers to expand his body to huge proportions and wears this. (Notice that in the original manga, he was naked.)
  • Brought up to a truly frightening extent in Adekan. The manga is set in a very strange 1900's esque era of Japan, and loincloths are the equivalent of men's underwear. Shiro doesn't like to wear loincloths, and Kojiro doesn't like that Shiro won't wear it. This leads to much awkwardness as Kojiro occasionally tries to force Shiro into loincloths, models his own loincloth and shows off different forms of loincloth with imaginary models. And he doesn't see anything wrong with this at all.
  • Supposedly as a in-series joke, or as a homage to a particular meme involving "riding", Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector has Sanger Zonvolt, of all people, rocking one in the end credits of Episode 15.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water: Nadia wears one as part of her circus costume, which is her standard attire for the majority of the series, despite having access to other clothing.
  • Ruin Explorers: This applies to Fam, who apparently feels she doesn't need to wear pants (or shoes, for that matter) since she has fur. And no one seems to mind that she runs around in nothing but a thong and a loincloth.

    Arts 

    Board Games 
  • The cover of the board game Hero Quest (pictured above).

    Comic Books 
  • Ka-Zar in the Marvel Universe.

    Films — Animation 
  • Den in his segment of Heavy Metal fashions one out of a flag upon arriving naked on a new world.
    Den: There was no way I was gonna walk around this place with my dork hanging out!
Counts as Hypocritical Humor, since in the original comics that's exactly what he did.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Spartacus. In the opening fight that triggers the revolt, the upper-class Roman women for whom the spectacle has been put on order that both gladiators fight in loin cloths.
  • Jack from Legend — he starts the movie as a solitary woods-dweller wearing little but a loin cloth. After he becomes officially The Chosen One, however, he gets a sword, shield, and suit of armor... which covers his chest and arms, but does nothing to obscure his loinclothed lower body. It's a wonder Darkness never just aimed a little bit lower...
  • The Na'vi in Avatar all wear loincloths.
  • George of the Jungle the title character, who serves as Mr. Fanservice.
  • Surprisingly, in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian the hero only wears a loincloth in a few scenes. However, in the sequel Conan the Destroyer he wears a loincloth for the entire film.
  • The Beastmaster: Dar's standard dress.

    Literature 
  • Most visual adaptations of Conan the Barbarian. Howard's original short stories (and most Conan stories by later authors) are better about dressing Conan in clothing appropriate to his current situation (e.g., in chain armour as a mercenary captain or professional soldier; in leather armour as a brigand leader; shirtless but in breeches as a thief; loincloth when a slave or tropical pirate).
  • Also Cohen the Barbarian from Discworld, who is a pastiche of Conan as an octogenarian.
    • Parodied by Nijel the Barbarian, a Cohen wannabe who wears long woolly underwear beneath the loincloth because he promised his mother.
    • Trolls generally just wear a loincloth, to conceal ... whatever it is trolls have that they find necessary to conceal.
  • Guin of Guin Saga is only wearing this when he first appears, though he wears armor when he has the chance.
  • Tarzan is often depicted this way, but just as often his hides make a wraparound outfit.
  • Illustrated editions of The Jungle Book and other Wild Child stories sometimes depict their protagonists this way if only to avoid showing them naked.
  • Mau, in Nation, whose people refer to Westerners as "the trousermen".
  • In The Krytos Trap, Proud Warrior Race Twi'leks are said to wear an outfit that consists of a loincloth, wrapped leggings to the knee, Fingerless Gloves, and a decorative/functional bandoleer, all under a cloak. Wedge Antilles, visiting to try and coax them into selling the New Republic some medicine, puts on a modified version that includes an emerald green loincloth over his trousers. He wants his garb to signal that he's a warrior and not a merchant, but he's also not a Proud Warrior Race Twi'lek.
  • In M. R. Harrington's The Indians of New Jersey: Dickon Among the Lenapes, all the men wear one. At one point, the villain, Toad Face, tries to force the hero, In the Forest, to wear a woman's skirt instead. It does not end well.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Rom and his fiancée were looking at wedding dresses, and one was nothing but a loincloth. His Ferengi nature felt that was a good compromise, but it got rejected.
  • The most common costume in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. At least when they're not wrestling naked.
  • The Feathered Serpent, a British young adult show from the 1970s set in Aztec Mexico, sometimes has fit young men just wearing loincloths. The handsome Prince Heumac has a couple of loincloth scenes. In one of them he's accompanied by his servant Tozo (who's more conservatively dressed), while in the other he's engaged in ritual combat with another guy in a loincloth.

    Music Videos 
  • Vocaloid: Gackupo and Kaito wear it in the song "Dancing Samurai", as well as some other videos.

    Pinball 
  • The main character from Atari's Hercules pinball, as seen on both the backglass and playfield.
  • Ditto for the winged hero of Bally's Paragon
  • The protagonist in Gorgar has one.
  • The barbarian Warrior in Dungeons & Dragons enters the dragon's lair with nothing but a loincloth and a shield.

    Video Games 
  • Maeda Toshiie from Sengoku Basara wears nothing but a loincloth and a few belts.
  • Rock, a berserker from Soul Calibur wears this as part of his default outfit.
  • In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, this is the result after Bang Shishigami uses his astral heat. He's even got an achievement called "Loincloth Festival".
  • Alan (The Brave One) from Magic Sword: Heroic Fantasy wears one and little else, being a Barbarian Hero.
  • Goro and Kintaro in Mortal Kombat both have briefs, with a flap in front added in later games to show off the cloth physics.
  • The PCs in Dragon Age: Origins are wearing this under their clothes, if you decide to let them wear clothes. They don't take them off during the sex scenes, however. There's one especially erotic-looking scene where Alistair and The Warden get thrown into a dungeon cell wearing nothing but their underwear. The heavy Chiaroscuro from the torchlight in the dungeon makes it rather difficult to forget everyone's naked.
  • Dragon Quest
  • In Dark Souls, the player wears this under all their armor.
  • Diablo III: Among the PC classes, the Witch Doctor's attire generally includes a loincloth, and the Barbarian's starting outfit is little else. Many NPCs wear loincloths as well (especially the demons).
  • Krystal in Star Fox Adventures wears a loincloth and bikini top, in contrast to her catsuit in the later games.
  • Conkers Bad Fur Day has Buga the Knut, a caveman whose loincloth has problems staying up.
  • Most of the playable characters and enemies in Golden Axe wear these, with Gilius Thunderhead being a rare exception.
  • Leo of Red Earth wears a loincloth, boots, and nothing else.
  • Soul Calibur: Seung-Mina wore one as part of her default costume in the first three games in the series. She finally averts the trope in SC IV, in favor of more conservative attire.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Order of the Stick, loincloths are standard-issue for gladiator convincts in the Empire of Blood — even for Lizard Folk, although they don't need them.
  • Goblins
    • Minmax the Unstoppable Warrior doesn't like pants.
    • Also Thaco, who's wearing a loincloth until the younger goblins insist he tries out some halfling clothes, because of his tendency to flash them in the wind or when doing a hand-stand.
  • Gorgado in Fite! wears one. Guz also wears one under his armor, and spends a while in nothing but it after he loses said armor.
  • In one arc of Schlock Mercenary some of the Toughs ended up stranded in the middle of the wilderness of a remote planet naked, one of the first things they did after landing was skin a dead animal to make buttflaps.
  • In Girls in Space, the girls are marooned on Prehistoric Earth and wear Loincloths as part of their Cavegirl costumes.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Eugen Sandow, a German body-building pioneer and professional strongman. Sandow was also a major source of inspiration for Tarzan.
  • Standard male attire for many North American Indian societies. Crazy Horse wore nothing but this, in keeping with his vision.
  • Standard male attire in many tribal societies worldwide, especially in warm climates.
  • Gandhi wore a loincloth to symbolize solidarity with the Indian working class.
    There was an old fellow named Gandhi
    Who went in the bar for a shandy.
    With his great loincloth
    He wiped off the froth
    And the barman said, "Blimey, that's handy!"


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alternative title(s): Furry Loincloth; Hide Underwear
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