BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of Invention
The invention relates to upper body garments providing increased movement. More particularly, the present invention relates to a jacket construction with increased movement as compared to conventional jackets.
2. Description of Related Art
Traditionally, in upper body garment construction, designers were concerned with form-fitting the garment. Many stitching techniques have been utilized to effectively and efficiently form-fit the garment. Such stitching techniques include forming gussets, tapers, darts, slits, slashes, insertions and the like in the garment in order to contour the garment to the person's natural body shape.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
However, such form-fitting techniques tend to reduce the amount of movement achievable when the garment is worn. In particular, movement in the upper body is restricted by the garment. Therefore, one purchasing or designing garments in which high mobility is desired, such as a jogging suit, tend to purchase or design a garment of a larger size. The larger garment provides room for movement in the back and shoulder area where most of the upper body movement is centered. Unfortunately, the extra fabric, particularly in the collar and upper garment area, can be very cumbersome and bulky, which tends to restrict movement and make the fit and appearance of the garment less desirable.
It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide an upper body garment with increased mobility.
The majority of the movement in the upper body is centered around the neck, back, and shoulder area. Traditional upper body garments are concerned with a contour fit to the body, which limits the amount of movement in the upper body. However, Applicant has found that this and other objects of the invention can be achieved by constructing the garment using excess fabric, for example, using the amount of fabric traditionally used to construct an “extra-large” garment to construct a “large” garment of the present invention. The various pieces of fabric used in the construction of upper body garments generally converge around the upper back, shoulder, and neck area. However, oversized fabric causes problems to arise when stitching the neck collar to the garment because of the extra fabric. Typically, larger sized garments have proportionally larger neck areas. However, Applicant found that increased mobility in neck, shoulder and upper back areas and proper fit around the neck area can be achieved by using at least one dart in each shoulder and at least one dart in the upper back area to allow attachment of a neck collar of an appropriate size to the garment. The dart takes up the extra fabric so the neck, shoulder, and upper back area fit properly.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a method of manufacture of the garment such that the method can be used to construct, for example, a jacket, a shirt, a blouse, coat, or the like.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Advantages of this invention include increased mobility in the upper body. For example, any type of activity requiring upper body movement typically limits the type of garment one would wear. The present invention provides a garment that when worn provides increased mobility, does not give the feeling of restricted movement, and provides a collar and shoulder area that properly fits and is not overly large. Thus, such a garment is particularly suited as an exercise or jogging jacket.
The invention will be described with reference to the following exemplary drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a back view of the upper garment, in the form of a jacket, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the upper garment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the cut, unattached fabric pieces to form a dart;
FIG. 4 is a back partial view of the neck and shoulder area of a garment according to the invention;
FIG. 5 is a view of an upper back panel of the garment; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 6 is a view of a shoulder panel of the garment.
Referring to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown. The precise size and type of fabric used in the upper body garment may be chosen freely within the scope of the invention and would be selected according to the dimensions of the person for whom the garment is designed. The upper body garment is, preferably, intended for athletic use, such as an exercise jacket. The upper body garment, preferably a jacket, is made of a suitable material, such as a reflective water repellent fabric with an inner mesh liner allowing the jacket to breathe. The design of the jacket allows ease of movement.
Specifically, the jacket includes an upper back panel 1
, a left shoulder panel 2
, a right shoulder panel 3
, a left front panel 5
, a right front panel 6
, a lower back panel 4
, and a neck collar 7
. As shown, the shoulder panels may optionally include sleeve portions. The panels 1
are each cut corresponding to a size larger than the final recommended size of the jacket to accommodate stitching allowances. Moreover, at least the upper back panel 1
and the left and right shoulder panels 2
are made oversized compared to a normal jacket of a particular size while maintaining a standard or normal neck/collar size. A comparison of collective commercial standards and a preferred exemplary inventive standard are detailed in Table 1.
|TABLE 1 |
| ||COMMERCIAL ||INVENTIVE || |
| ||STANDARD ||STANDARD ||NECK/COLLAR |
| ||(CHEST SIZE - ||(CHEST SIZE - ||SIZES |
|SIZE ||INCHES) ||INCHES) ||(INCHES) |
|SMALL ||≅50″ ||≅62″ ||≅same |
|MEDIUM ||≅52″ ||≅64″ ||≅same |
|LARGE ||≅54″ ||≅66″ ||≅same |
|X-LARGE ||≅56″ ||≅68″ ||≅same |
The extra chest size is preferably achieved by enlarging the back panel 1 and shoulder panels 2 and 3 as described in more detail below.
Darts 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 formed in the upper back and shoulder area are adjacent and substantially perpendicular to a top edge 17 (see FIGS. 3-4) to take up the excess fabric. Each panel is sewn together except for the neck collar 7. The neck collar is attached to the jacket along the top edge 17 of each panel where the size of the neck collar area, for example, corresponds to a person of a large size while the torso, back, and arm area, for example, correspond to a person of an extra large size. The design of the jacket using darts in these areas provides increased ease of movement, which is the object of the invention, while retaining a proper neck fit.
The embodiments of this invention may use various combinations of darts in each panel adjacent and substantially perpendicular to the neck collar 7. Referring to FIG. 3, the dart may be formed by folding over or removing a triangle portion of fabric from the top edge 17 of a panel. Each dimension A, B, θ of the dart is adjustable and dependent upon one another. Specifically, increasing the angle θ between the two edges of the dart allows one to remove more fabric B from the top edge 17. However, an overly large angle θ may cause the fabric to severely bunch up around the base of the dart and/or deform the top edge 17 where the collar 7 is attached. To a certain extent, the properties of the fabric used tend to dictate the range of θ. For example, one may desire a small angle θ when using stiff or heavy fabric, for the bunching of the fabric will be very apparent with a larger angle θ. In contrast, by using a large angle θ with a light fabric, the fabric does not bunch up around the base of the dart. The bunching effect tends to be dispersed throughout the jacket due to the properties of the fabric.
Additionally, the length of the dart A has a direct effect on the increased mobility. As stated above, the invention can provide extra fabric throughout the garment, or at least the shoulder and upper back portions, without increasing the recommended size of the jacket, particularly in the neck or collar area so that proper fit can be achieved. The extra movement is provided by the excess fabric, while still fitting the jacket to the upper shoulder, upper back, and neck area. Therefore, by increasing length A of the dart, more fabric is removed vertically from the jacket. This, in effect, can decrease mobility if made too long, as compared to a shorter dart, because the fabric is removed where the excess fabric may be needed.
Referring to FIG. 4, darts 8-10 are formed in the upper back panel 1. FIG. 4 shows a preferred embodiment where three darts 8-10 are formed in the upper back panel 1. However, the invention is not limited to three darts, and more or fewer darts could be used depending on the size and application of the garment. The number and size of darts 8-10 are determined in consideration of the size of the “oversized” back panel 1. Moreover, at least one dart 11, 12 is formed in each of the left and right shoulder panels 2, 3 on a top edge 17 facing the collar or neck area of the garment. The combination of the darts in the right and left shoulder panels and the upper back panel takes up extra fabric, allowing the panels to fit a proper neck collar, while providing increased movement to the wearer due to the oversized panels which create an enlarged chest size.
The formation of only one dart in the upper back panel 1 is described below, as the formation of the others in the upper back panel may be similar or identical.
Specifically, as shown in FIG. 5, a length C of the dart 8, an amount of fabric removed D, and the spacing E of the darts 8-10 are variable and dependent upon garment size and the amount of increased movement desired. The length C is dependent upon the amount of fabric removed D and the desired appearance of the resultant dart 4 and the upper back area. However, the fabric at the base of the dart tends to bunch up the shorter the length C becomes. Contrarily, the movement becomes more limited the longer the length C is. Additionally, it is desirable to arrange the darts 8-10 and spacing E symmetrically around the center line X of the upper back panel 1 in order to provide similar mobility with respect to the left and right sides of the back and body.
In this embodiment, which may for example be used to form an exercise jacket having a large size, the dart has a length C of approximately 2.5 inches; the amount of fabric removed D per dart 8-10 is approximately 1 inch (as measured at the collar seam) (½″ tuck); and the spacing E between the darts in the upper back panel 1 is approximately 1.5 inches, but can vary. Additionally, the three darts 8-10 are approximately equidistantly spaced from each other and two sides 14, 15 of the upper back panel 1. Once the triangle portion denoted by 8′, C, and D is removed from the panel, the two edges 8′ of the fabric are sewn together with one edge slightly overlapping the other edge. Stitching is provided along the entire length of the dart. This step is repeated for the remaining two darts in the upper back panel 1.
Upon completion of the three darts 8-10 in the upper back panel 1, a total length of 3×D has been removed from the top edge 17 of the upper back panel 1. In this embodiment, this results in a total of about three inches removed (3×1). Thus, the size of the upper back panel 1 along the top edge 17 is reduced to a size smaller than the original size of the upper back panel 1, which was cut to be oversized.
As shown in FIG. 4, in this embodiment, only one dart 11, 12 is formed in each of the left shoulder panel 2 and the right shoulder panel 3, respectively. It is desirable that the darts 11, 12 are of the same size and identically spaced to provide similar mobility in each of the shoulders. The formation of only one dart 12 in the right shoulder panel 3 is described below, as the formation of the other dart 11 is similar or identical. Again, depending on the size and application, more or fewer darts can be provided.
Referring to FIG. 6, the length F of the dart, the amount of fabric removed G, and the spacing H of the dart are variable. Again, the length F is dependent upon the amount of fabric removed G and appearance of the resultant dart 12 and the upper shoulder area. The fabric around the dart 12 tends to bunch up the shorter the length F. However, the increased movement is reduced the longer the length F.
In this embodiment, the dart length E is approximately 2.5 inches; the amount of fabric removed G per dart is approximately 1 inch; and the spacing H of the dart in the left shoulder panel 2 is approximately 1.25 inches from the shoulder edge, although it can vary slightly and achieve a similar effect. Once the triangle portion denoted by 12′, F, and G is removed from the panel, the two edges 12′ of the fabric are sewn together with one edge slightly overlapping the other edge. Stitching is provided along the entire length of the dart. This step is repeated for the other dart 11 in the left shoulder panel 2.
Upon completion of the darts 8-12 in the shoulder panels 2, 3 and in the upper back panel 1, a total length of approximately 3×D+2×G is removed from the top edge 17 of the panels 1, 2, 3. In this embodiment, between approximately 4.5 to 5.5 total inches are removed from the top edge 17. Therefore, a neck collar 7 is attached that is about 5 inches smaller with respect to a collar normally attached to the upper body of a garment with this overall size. That is, a normal neck or collar can be used. For example, the commercial standard for a medium jacket is about a 52″ chest size and about a 21.5″ neck size. With the invention, a medium jacket has a same neck size of about 21.5″, but a chest size of about 64″, which allows a proper fit of the neck to the person while also attaining increased mobility, particularly in the upper back and shoulder areas making the jacket particularly suitable as an exercise jacket.
In summary, a jacket or outer garment with an “oversized” chest size is provided that allows more freedom of movement of the upper back and arms, while retaining the overall comfort and fit of a conventional jacket. That is, rather than a wearer merely buying a larger sized garment, such as an XL rather than an L, which would be uniformly larger everywhere, a wearer can wear the inventive outer garment, which adds about 8 to 12 inches of fabric total to the shoulder and back panels to achieve the “oversized” chest size, while the darts provided on the back panel and/or shoulder panels adjust the oversize garment to adapt to a collar similar in size to a “normal” outer garment of a desired size. Accordingly, neck size, sleeve length and waist circumference are appropriately sized as normal to ensure a desirable fit, without the garment feeling or looking bulky or loose, while allowing increased upper body mobility. As such, the garment is particularly adapted for use as a workout or exercise jacket.
As to the formation of the jacket, the upper back panel 1 is joined to the lower back panel 4. Specifically, the upper and lower back panels 1, 4 can be attached to one another by 1-inch stitching spaced approximately 3 inches apart, providing ventilation in the back of the jacket. The upper back panel 1 preferably overlaps the lower back panel by approximately 2 inches. The left shoulder panel 2 is joined to the upper and lower back panel 1, 4 along seam 14 and is joined to the left front panel 5 along seam 13. Additionally, the right shoulder panel 3 is joined to the upper back panel 1 along seam 15 and is joined to the right front panel 6 along seam 16. Next the lower edges 18, 18′ of the left and right shoulder panels 2, 3 beginning at point P are stitched together to form sleeve portions of the jacket. Finally, a neck collar 7 is attached to the top edge 17.
In this exemplary embodiment, representing a size large exercise jacket, the panels have the following dimensions:
| ||TABLE 2 |
| || |
| || |
| || ||SIDE ||LENGTH |
| ||PANEL ||(Reference #) ||(inches) |
| || |
| ||Upper Back Panel ||17 || ≅6″ |
| || ||14, 15 || ≅12.5″ |
| || ||21 ||≅15″ |
| || ||22 || ≅15.5″ |
| ||Shoulder Panel ||17 || ≅3″ |
| || ||20 || ≅17.5″ |
| || ||18 ||≅21″ |
| || ||19 ||≅14″ |
| ||Neck Collar || 7 ||≅22″ |
| ||Total Back Width ||W || ≅34.5″ |
| || |
While not necessary, inner mesh liner panels can be cut corresponding to the size of each panel of the outer shell of the jacket described above. Darts can be formed in the left and right liner shoulder panels and the upper liner back panel using the same method as described above. In a preferred embodiment, three darts are formed in the upper liner back panel and one dart each is formed in the left and right liner shoulder panels. The darts should correspond to the size of the darts formed in the outer shell of the jacket as described above. However, the size does not have to be exact, for the inner mesh liner is preferably an extremely light and stretchable fabric. Therefore, the fabric will tend to expand and retract with body movement.
The inner mesh liner panels are sewn together along the same edges as when the outer shell panels were attached. Next, the inner mesh liner is attached to the inner side of the outer shell.
The jacket fabric is, preferably, a highly reflective fabric. In the light, the jacket appears non-reflective as any other jacket would appear. However, when a bright light is shined on the jacket, for example from a car headlight, the jacket appears as a bright white color. Therefore, one can wear the jacket without wearing a highly reflective vest.
A hood can be provided, which can be enclosed in a zipper portion 19 of the neck collar 7. The hood fabric is preferably very light and stretchable, allowing the fabric to breathe.
Additionally, zippers can be provided for ventilation spanning the underarm area. For example, the zippers may be disposed along the seam of the shoulder panel 2, 3 extending between the lower back panel and the front panels, not shown.
One or more stylish reflective stripes may be sewn onto the upper back panel 1 denoting the overlap over the lower back panel. The reflective stripe or stripes may further be sewn around the circumference of the jacket.
Elastic can be provided at the base of the lower back panel and at the base of the shoulder panel. The bottom edge of the fabric preferably overlaps the elastic so that it may be is sewn in place. Therefore, the resultant bottom edge of the jacket and the end of each sleeve conforms to the form of a wearer's body. Additionally, the bottom portion of the jacket and sleeves can be cuffed. Furthermore, a drawstring can be provided at the bottom portion of the jacket so the wearer can adjust the fitting of the base of the jacket.
While the invention has been described with respect to preferred embodiments, these are meant to be illustrative and not limited. Various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For instance, while the garment is preferably an outer jacket, it could equally function as a shirt or blouse.