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, either with or without a matching bikini top.
A Super-Trope to Fundoshi.
A Sister Trope to Fur Bikini (the Distaff Counterpart).
Compare Pelts of the Barbarian.
- Both the guy and girl in this Coty Wild Musk commercial are wearing loincloths.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- In Jewelpet Sunshine, Titana asks Shouko for help in becoming more manly. One of the things she does is make him wear a loin cloth with the Japanese word for 'man' on it.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ninku: Toji often wears a loincloth.
- 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).
- Ruin Explorers: Apparently, Fam feels she doesn't need to wear pants (or shoes, for that matter) since she has fur. And no one seems to care that she runs around in nothing but a thong and a loincloth - likely because she's underaged.note
- Most of the ogres from Shutendoji, including the main character after tapping into his ogre heritage (although it happens actually after some well placed Clothing Damage).
- 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.
- 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.
- Wild Rock is set in prehistory and has all the men running around in loincloths and little more.
- YuYu Hakusho Literally all of the ogres, including Jorge, only wear a loin cloth. It's even lampshaded a few times by Koenma that they should wear more clothes.
- Sculptor Paul Manship has fun with a loincloth in Indian Hunter and his Dog. As the hunter runs after his quarry the front flap of his loincloth preserves his modesty, but the rear flap billows up and exposes his backside.
- The cover of the board game HeroQuest (pictured above) shows the barbarian in one.
- B'wana Beast in DC somewhat subverts this: he wears a loincloth over a pair of animal skin shorts. He may be the only example of a hero wearing their Underwear of Power on the outside... of their Underwear of Power. His succesor, Freedom Beast, tried to live down the more ridiculous aspects of his predecessor, including this one.
- Ka-Zar in the Marvel Universe.
- Sillage: As a Wild Child, Navis spends the first issue topless and wearing nothing but a loincloth, wristbands, and ankle bands. When she is picked up by the aliens, she wears regular clothes.
- The usual garb for Tragg and the other men of his tribe in Tragg and the Sky Gods. Being a Handsome Heroic Caveman, Tragg looks much better in his.
- Wonder Woman Vol 1: Queen Clea has Steve Trevor dressed in a fur trimmed loincloth, and nothing else, for his public execution. She hands him a sword and intends to watch him fight her giant monsters to death in the arena over dinner, but to her disappointment he kills all of her monsters and survives. Her subsequent order for him to be shot by the archers perched all around the arena goes awry when he uses the corpse last of the beasts he'd killed as a shield against the arrows.
- The Star Trek: Voyager fanfic Attack of the 50-Ft Half-Klingon has an oversized B'Elanna Torres appearing in the Captain Proton holodeck program to wreck revenge on a philandering Tom Paris. As she doesn't have Magic Pants she's wearing a loincloth made from stitched bedsheets and no underwear. Later Tom returns to seek revenge as The Amazing Colossal Man, but he hasn't been able to find underwear either, which makes him vulnerable to a Jet Pack-wearing heroine using the kind of attack that wouldn't be contemplated in a 1950's monster movie.
- Heavy Metal: Den in his segment fashions one out of a flag upon arriving naked on a new world. Counts as Hypocritical Humor, since in the original comics that's exactly what he did.
Den: There was no way I was gonna walk around this place with my dork hanging out!
- Moana: Deuteragonist Maui wears nothing more than a leaf loincloth and animal-tooth necklace because his whole body is covered in Animated Tattoos which need to be exposed as they add depth and commentary to the ongoing story.
- Avatar: The Na'vi all wear some variety of loincloth or similarly skimpy body wrapping.
- Avatar: The Way of Water: "Spider" - possibly the first human to be born on Pandora - spends much of his time among the Na'vi, and thus adopts a similar dress.
- The Beastmaster: Dar's standard dress.
- Conan the Barbarian: Surprisingly 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.
- George of the Jungle: The title character, who serves as Mr. Fanservice, wears one. He calls it a "buttflap."
- The Gods Must Be Crazy: All the Bushmen dress like this, even the females.
- Legend (1985): Jack. 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...
- Liane, Jungle Goddess: Liane forgoes the usual Fur Bikini of the Jungle Princess, and instead just wears a loin cloth and necklaces.
- The Lord of the Rings: Gollum wears only a small loincloth to preserve his modesty.
- Planet of the Apes: The human males typically wear loincloths.
- Return of the Jedi: The famous or (infamous) Princess Leia Slave Girl costume basically has this, just with longer bits of cloth on the front and back. Most cosplayers will use a flesh (or near-flesh) tone undergarment, but the original can be seen here, clearly with nothing on the hips.
- Shandra: The Jungle Girl: Cord sees in himself living in the jungle wearing only a loin cloth in one of the visions Shandra shares with him. At the end of the movie, he joins Shandra in the jungle, and is clad only in a loin cloth.
- 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.
- Tarzan is usually seen this way in film adaptations:
- In the second Tarzan film of the Johnny Weissmuller series, Tarzan and His Mate, Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) also wears a loin cloth around her nether regions. This proved too naughty when The Hays Code crackdown came in 1934, so later Tarzan films had O'Sullivan wearing a one-piece.
- 2016's The Legend of Tarzan largely subverts the trope, as Alexander Skarsgård wears mid-calf trousers for most of the story, only donning his character's signature loin cloth for the final scene (representing the abandonment of his privileged status in England and returning to his true life among the apes).
- The Fall: The Mystic in the story within a story only wears a loincloth and, eventually, tattoos that double as a map.
- The Belgariad: Garion is forced to wear a skimpy loincloth during his brief Go-Go Enslavement in Nyissa's Decadent Court, thanks in no small part to Queen Salmissra's chemically induced Extreme Libido. He's rescued before things can get further out of hand.
- 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). He does have a way of getting knocked out, stripped, and imprisoned, though...
- 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.
- Parodied in Don't Go Near the Water by William Brinkley. Edgar Rice Burroughs is coming for a visit, so the Navy brass suggest he do a PR tour to a nearby island, but the natives wear ordinary clothes and refuse to dress in loincloths for the occasion. A sergeant who speaks the language is able to persuade them to play along (if the Navy provide the loincloths) but the film is never used anyway, which is just as well as the natives can be heard complaining about the fit of the loincloths around their nether regions.
- This is probably what Grignr of The Eye of Argon was supposed to be wearing, but the word that actually ended up being used was "g-string". How it had folds is anyone's guess. (A loincloth can have a wider waistband and even pockets.)
- Guin of Guin Saga is only wearing this when he first appears, though he wears armor when he has the chance.
- 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.
- Illustrated editions of The Jungle Book and other Wild Child stories sometimes depict their protagonists this way if only to avoid showing them naked.
- In Many Waters, many of the characters only wear a loincloth, as it is set in Old Testament times. Lampshaded, as the modern characters blush when seeing Yalith in only a loincloth, with her breasts exposed.
- Mau, in Nation, whose people refer to Westerners as "the trousermen".
- In Star Wars: 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.
- Tarzan is often depicted this way, but just as often his hides make a wraparound outfit.
- Star of the Beastmaster television series Daniel Goddard often complained about the coverage afforded by his loincloth, advocating for it to be shorter.
- 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.
- The most common costume in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. At least when they're not wrestling naked.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Rom and his fiancée look at wedding dresses, and one is nothing but a loincloth. His Ferengi nature feels that this is a good compromise, but it's rejected.
- Ted Nugent wore one as part of his "wild man" persona.
- Vocaloid: Gackupo and Kaito wear it in the song "Dancing Samurai", as well as some other videos.
- Lumbee Warrior wears a loincloth over his tights.
- In Dungeons & Dragons' 5th edition, Barbarians can add their constitution bonus to their AC if they don't wear armor, resulting in living tanks walking around in nothing but a loincloth.
- Space 1889: What the bestial High Martians wear.
- Warhammer Fantasy: Savage orcs, who are viewed as primitive even by other orcs, have yet to master the use of metal, and so their only armor is a loincloth, bones, and warpaint.
- In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, this is the result after Bang Shishigami uses his astral heat. He's even got an achievement called "Loincloth Festival".
- Conker's Bad Fur Day has Buga the Knut, a caveman whose loincloth has problems staying up.
- In Dark Souls, the player wears this under all their armor. Subverted in Dark Souls 3, however, where the player character wears knee-length underwear when not equipping any armour or clothes, and thus ends up wearing fewer clothes when actually putting on a loincloth.
- 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).
- 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 Dragon Quest III, the female soldier's Chainmail Bikini outfit has a loincloth piece.
- Dragon Quest IV: Manya's outfit has a loincloth strip.
- Most of the playable characters and enemies in Golden Axe wear these, with Gilius Thunderhead being a rare exception.
- The Immersive Armors mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim adds a whole lot of new armors. One of them, the "Barbarian Hero" set, is basically Conan the Barbarian's iconic outfit if worn by a male character (fur loin cloth, fur boots, bracers, and a leather circlet; the female variant has a skimpy leather apron with sideboobs instead of the loincloth). A similar outfit can be found in the Conan Hyborian Age mod.
- Kim Wu from Killer Instinct during KI 2 wears a Qipao-like outfit with a bottom half that's a loin cloth which easily shows her underwear. She wears a more modest outfit in her reboot appearance (where she wears an outfit similar in style but she has shorts on).
- 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 Nameless One and Trias wear this in Planescape: Torment.
- Leo of Red Earth wears a loincloth, boots, and nothing else.
- Both Rau and Tati wear these in Rise of the Kasai.
- Maeda Toshiie from Sengoku Basara wears nothing but a loincloth and a few belts.
- Rock, a berserker, wears this as part of his default outfit.
- 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.
- Krystal in Star Fox Adventures wears a loincloth and bikini top, in contrast to her catsuit in the later games. It happens to be the "flap over the crotch and rear" variant◊.
- World of Warcraft has several Cloth and Leather legs armors that are simply speedo-style loincloths on both males and females. Unfortunately, Mail and Plate don't have such options for males (females get Chainmail Bikini versions of several of them), though Mail does have some short-shorts for the guys.
- Happy Tree Friends: Cro-Marmot the frozen caveman wears a loincloth.
- In El Goonish Shive, Ellen considers renting a jungle movie rated R for language, violence, and frequent and gratuitous loincloth removal.
- 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 Girls in Space, the girls are marooned on Prehistoric Earth and wear Loincloths as part of their Cavegirl costumes.
- 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.
- The title character of The Legend of Lucy wears one. It became her favored style of dress after living with a forest tribe she helped out.
- 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.
- 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.
- Twisted Tropes: Rukia, Renji and Chad take a pic of a giant Yammy Llargo from below and make fun of his minimalistic clothing choice, to his annoyance.
- In TwoKinds, wolf keidran wear these on the regular when they're not just naked. Their Special Occasion clothes are a little more substantial.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, this seems to be the male equivalent to underwear; in particular, Aang and Sokka usually wear just this while swimming (though Zuko seems to have something closer to an actual bathing suit). Members of the Foggy Swamp Tribe have them as standard attire, though.
- The title character of Fangbone! (and the original Fangbone! Third Grade Barbarian books) wears one, befitting of his barbarian origins.
- Fred the Caveman: The male cavemen in the show wear these. Emma, meanwhile, wears a fur outfit that covers her torso.
- Galtar and the Golden Lance, Galtar wears furry briefs, despite wearing golden armor above the waist.
- In Gargoyles, all the main male gargoyles have this except for Hudson. Females vary between the bikini version (Demona) or something that looks more like a dress (Angela).
- Gravity Falls: In the episode "Dipper vs. Manliness", Dipper starts wearing a loincloth after joining the manotaurs. He switches back to his regular outfit at the end of the episode.
- He-Man in both He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) and its reboot.
- Mike, Lu & Og: Og
- The Simpsons: Mr. Burns and his Grizzly Bear Underwear.
- Wild Smurf in The Smurfs. In the comic books, Wild only wore leaves until Tailor made him a loincloth.
- In Steven Universe, the Zoomans, both male and female, wear white loincloths along with blue vests and earrings.
- Steven also had to wear one, and later admits that he hates them.
- In Thundarr the Barbarian, the eponymous hero wears a furry vest joined with a loin cloth.
- 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!"
- In Indian wrestling (Kushti), the wrestlers wear a colorful loincloth that looks like a pair of briefs.
- In Sumo Wrestling, the wrestlers wear a loincloth called a mawashi.
- It should be noted that a traditional loincloth is not a pair of flaps connected by a string, as sometimes presented in illustrations, but a single piece◊ of cloth or leather that goes under the legs and is held up by a waistband, leaving two flaps hanging. There are also other variations, like the Japanese Fundoshi and the Roman subligaculum◊.