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Sweatpants by Lauv: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation

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Lauv, also known as Ari Staprans Leff, is a professional songwriter and singer from San Francisco. He is widely recognized for his hit song “I Like Me Better” released in 2017. He is also the writer of songs like Charli XCX’s Boys and No Promises by Demi Lovato and Cheat Codes.    

Lauv learned to play the guitar at the age of 11 and began writing songs at 14. He was nominated for Teen Choice Awards in 2018, MTV Video Music Awards in 2019, and so on. 

His debut album “How I’m Feeling” released in 2020 made it to the number 16 on the US Billboard 200. This album gave the world one of his most uniquely genuine songs, Sweatpants. 

What does the title mean

Sweatpants by Lauv comes from a place most of us are familiar with, a place of loss and heartbreak. When people in love break up, they go through an intense stage of grief which can last for a long time. This song represents that grief in a relatable manner.

Most of us have a habit of not getting out of our sweatpants after a breakup. The name Sweatpants puts a spotlight on that phase of post-breakup depression. But the singer’s delivery of the song does not sound depressing at all. 

Although Lauv has focused on the theme of post-breakup grief in this song, it is still open to many interpretations of loss. For example, this song may also empathize with the feelings of a person who has permanently lost his or her significant other. 

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Verse 1 – What does it mean

Ooh ooh ooh ooh

Sweatpants and songs about her

Coffee with a bit of alcohol

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

All without her

Xanax and a little bit of Adderall

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

This verse is a direct statement about the post-breakup pain one goes through. What do you do to get over your breakup? And what if you’ve lost the love of your life for good? Lauv describes the things one does to survive the emotional trauma caused by a breakup. And the things one does to avoid dealing with that grief, hence the mention of “Coffee with a bit of alcohol” and “Xanax and a little of Adderall”.  

What does the chorus mean

Sweatpants and songs about her

Coffee with a bit of alcohol

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

All without her

Xanax and a little bit of Adderall

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

In the chorus, Lauv focuses on the struggle a person goes through during a breakup. “Sweatpants and songs about her ” is a clear representation of the “wearing sweatpants stage” of breakup. For a singer, this stage is often accompanied by writing songs about the significant other. 

The chorus represents emotions like grief, anger, regret, and guilt. It tells us about things we do to deal with the grief of loss or breakup. The chorus is about people who use distractions to avoid dealing with the pain, and it also speaks the unspoken words that say how avoiding the pain will not make it go away. 

Verse 2 – What does it mean

Since you don’t wanna know

Who I am anymore, you don’t care anymore

Yeah, I can’t really blame you

No, I can’t really blame you

And I don’t wanna know who you’re with when you leave

It’s so hard to believe that it’s been so long

This verse highlights the later stage of breakup grief where your significant other has moved on but you have not. It describes how in a vulnerable state, you desperately want your significant other to know how you have changed and how she would appreciate the person you are now. 

But deep down, you know that’s never going to happen because it’s too late and you have lost your chance. This verse, as sad as it may sound, is delivered beautifully by Lauv.  

Verse 3 – What does it mean

Swear I still feel you on my skin

Your scent in my sheets

Feels like just last week we were together

But these days it’s all

Sweatpants and songs about her

Coffee with a bit of alcohol

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

All without her

Xanax and a little bit of Adderall

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

Sweatpants verse 3 is all about the lasting memories of your significant other. These memories are usually triggered by their scent on your clothes, sheets, and cushions. Or when you suddenly recall how you used to feel when she touched your face. 

Such memories can take you back to the day the memories were formed. They can also make you feel like it just happened yesterday. The transition between such memories and the return to the lonely reality is agonizing. And this is what Lauv tried to say here in an oddly hopeful manner. 

What does the Bridge mean

No motivations, I

Just want to tell you, I

I really miss you but baby that’s not the issue

The issue is coming back expecting this time we’ll last when

We’ve been through this we both know

We’ll fight, fuck and let it go

Again again and again, again again

Cause deep down I still want to 

Feel you on my skin

Your scent in my sheets

Feels like just last week we were together

But these days it’s all

Lauv becomes a little personal with the lyrics in the bridge of the song. He describes things that may be inspired by true events from his own life. But he has written the Bridge verse in a way that most people can relate to it. 

The Bridge also represents the efforts of two people in a relationship. How they try everything to make it work, even when they know it’s not going to work. It’s a beautiful bridge for a song that highlights the emotional struggle of breakup. 

Verse 4  – What does it mean

Sweatpants and songs about 

Coffee with a bit of alcohol

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

All without her

Xanax and a little bit of Adderall

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

Get by

Sweatpants and songs about her

Coffee with a bit of alcohol

Oh no no don’t judge me

Just cause I do anything to get by

The last verse of Sweatpants is a final reminder of the song’s theme. This is why the chorus of the song is repeated twice. Lauv used the last verse as a closing argument to remind us about the theme one last time. He made sure that the listeners would remember what the song is all about. It’s a clever way to get your message across. 

Now you may feel different with every verse of this song. But in the last verse, you will again be reminded of the struggle one goes through during a breakup. And the actions you may take in that state are not entirely yours but motivated by the grief.  

Conclusion

Sweatpants by Lauv sounds like and is a breakup song, but it has a deeper meaning if you truly listen to it. The song does represent the normalcy of negative impact caused by loss or breakup. But it also shows us a way to deal with grief. The song itself may have been Lauv’s way of dealing with whatever he was going through. 

Sweatpants is a wake-up call to everyone who is going through a similar stage of grief. A reminder that you can deal with your pain in a healthy manner. That is one of the reasons the song represents the emotional struggle of breakup. And how one can get distracted by addictive things to avoid the pain of this struggle. 

What you can take home from this song is no matter how painful the grief of loss may be, you should allow yourself to feel it. And choose to deal with it in a way that helps you embrace the memory of the one you lost.

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