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Loincloth

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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
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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.

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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.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Both the guy and girl in this Coty Wild Musk commercial are wearing loincloths.

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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 underagednote .
  • 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 1 Million B.C. 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 most clothes.
  • Most of the ogres from Shutendoji, including the main character after taping into his ogre heritage (although it happens actually after some well placed Clothing Damage).
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    Arts 

    Board Games 
  • The cover of the board game HeroQuest (pictured above) shows the barbarian in one.

    Comic Books 
  • Ka-Zar in the Marvel Universe.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.

    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 (1985) — 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, wears one. He calls it a "buttflap."
  • 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.
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy: All the Bushmen dress like this, even the females.
  • Gollum wears only a small loincloth to preserve his modesty in The Lord of the Rings-trilogy.
  • 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.
  • The human males typically wear loincloths in Planet of the Apes.
  • In 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.

    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). 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Star of the Series/Beastmaster television series Daniel Goddard often complained about the coverage afforded by his loincloth, advocating for it to be shorter.

    Music Videos 
  • Vocaloid: Gackupo and Kaito wear it in the song "Dancing Samurai", as well as some other videos.
  • Ted Nugent wore one as part of his "wild man" persona.

    Pinballs 
  • 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.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Lumbee Warrior wears a loin cloth over his tights.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Space 1889: What the bestial High Martians wear.

    Video Games 

    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.
  • For their first appearance in The KA Mics Sven & Oli wore them.
  • 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 El Goonish Shive, Ellen considers renting a jungle movie rated R for language, violence, and frequent and gratuitous loincloth removal.
  • In TwoKinds, wolf keidran wear these on the regular when they're not just naked. Their Special Occasion clothes are a little more substantial.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • He-Man in both He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) and its reboot.
  • In Thundarr the Barbarian, the eponymous hero wears a furry vest joined with a loin cloth.
  • Galtar and the Golden Lance, Galtar wears furry briefs, despite wearing golden armor above the waist.
  • The Simpsons: Mr. Burns and his Grizzly Bear Underwear.
  • Mike, Lu & Og: Og
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dar dons one in his segment of Heavy Metal.

    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!"
  • It should be noted that loincloth is not a pair of flaps connected by a string, as sometimes presented in illustrations, but a single piece of cloth or leather wrapped between legs and tied on the waist, leaving two flaps hanging.

Alternative Title(s): Furry Loincloth, Hide Underwear

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