An old TikTok trend of posting videos with the song “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood has made a comeback, and we could not be more pleased. Although these videos are fun and in many cases, very vulnerable, many users do not know the true meaning behind them. The “Sweater Weather” TikTok trend is like an inside joke, except that it’s more heartwarming than funny (although sometimes it's funny) and we want to figure out its true meaning.
After some digging, it seems that “Sweater Weather” has become a bisexual anthem, and the TikTok users making videos that feature The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” are basically announcements within the bi community that they are part of it. The TikTokers making these videos are quietly nodding, “hey, I’m bi,” to their fellow LGBTQ+ community in a cute and quirky way without having to explicitly say it, so there is definitely a deeper meaning to their videos.
The meaning behind the “Sweater Weather” TikTok videos has to do with sexuality.
The song “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood came out in 2013, in which it made it into the Billboard Top 100. However, according to unpublished magazine, “Sweater Weather” has a much deeper history behind its music chart popularity. 2013 was also the height of Tumblr, where many Millennials felt comfortable exploring the deeper facets of themselves. The Neighbourhood shared feeds with artists like Lana Del Rey and the Arctic Monkeys, which lived in a “soft-grunge” space.
Tumblr in the 2010s was a safe space for young people to explore their sexuality, so many in the queer community today may associate those popular Tumblr tunes and moods to a period of coming out. Now, today’s adolescents have been able to take part in that nostalgia on TikTok … but what is the meaning of “Sweater Weather” to them and how did it become a specifically bisexual anthem?
“Sweater Weather” is a bisexual anthem on TikTok for a few reasons.
Beyond its growth on Tumblr, “Sweater Weather” has now grown onto a new social media platform as a bisexual anthem on TikTok. Within the queer community, there are historical signals of if you’re part of it, like wearing a “ring of keys” or saying you’re a “friend of Dorothy.” Nowadays, “Sweater Weather” is part of the new shorthand. It’s possible you’ve seen exchanges like, "Do you listen to Girl in Red?" "Nope, 'Sweater Weather.'"
The first line is referencing a well-established lesbian singer-songwriter, Girl in Red, who has many women loving women songs, but if someone responds with “Sweater Weather,” it means they are bi. “Sweater Weather” itself doesn’t have any specifically bisexual lyrics, and none of the band members are bi.
However, the intimacy of the lyrics as shared by lead singer Jesse Rutherford to ABC News Radio, especially, "One love, two mouths / One love, one house / No shirt, no blouse,” makes the song about sex and intimacy. Not only that, but it makes the song relatively genderless.
TikTok “Sweater Weather” videos have another element to their meaning.
While TikTok users are quietly coming out to “Sweater Weather,” they are still doing a bit more to make it obvious. While some people just post a selfie video and a mysterious caption like, “in case you were wondering…” many TikTokers post a video of themselves cuffing their jeans with a caption similar to, “might lose some followers but it’s ok.” Jean cuffing is another bisexual signaler, partly because jean cuffing knows no gender!
According to Reddit users, it's a bi anthem because it’s been claimed by the bisexual community, and we love it. We fully stan these videos and the TikTokers that are brave enough to share more of who they are, and it’s truly inspiring to see how it has given more young people another safe space to explore and share their sexuality.
Check out more TikTok “Sweater Weather” videos and enjoy the joy of coming out!