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Publication numberUS20040049834 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/246,189
Publication dateMar 18, 2004
Filing dateSep 18, 2002
Priority dateSep 18, 2002
Publication number10246189, 246189, US 2004/0049834 A1, US 2004/049834 A1, US 20040049834 A1, US 20040049834A1, US 2004049834 A1, US 2004049834A1, US-A1-20040049834, US-A1-2004049834, US2004/0049834A1, US2004/049834A1, US20040049834 A1, US20040049834A1, US2004049834 A1, US2004049834A1
InventorsGregory Stangle, Elizabeth Rodriguez
Original AssigneeStangle Gregory L., Rodriguez Elizabeth S.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sleeve for clothing coverage and support
US 20040049834 A1
Abstract
The present invention is a wearable device about an individual's waistline and over unfastened clothing, so that the device offers coverage over unfastened clothing and offers support to the clothing and to the individual's waistline.
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Claims(11)
What is claimed is:
1. A wearable device about an individual's waistline and over unfastened clothing, so that the device offers coverage over the unfastened clothing and offers support to the clothing and to the individual's waistline, the device comprising:
(a) a sleeve; and
(b) a means for covering an unfastened article of clothing;
whereby the sleeve can be worn over unfastened clothing so that the sleeve offers coverage over the unfastened clothing and further the sleeve offers frictional support to the clothing and the waistline of an individual.
2. A wearable device about an individual's waistline and over unfastened clothing, so that the device offers coverage over the unfastened clothing and offers support to the clothing and to the individual's waistline, the device comprising:
(a) a sleeve having an inside surface and an outside surface; the sleeve further having a first end and a second end;
(b) the inside surface of the first end folding onto itself forming a waist fold; and
(c) the inside surface of the second end folding onto itself forming a hip fold;
whereby the first end defining a waist opening and the second end forming a hip opening such that the sleeve can be worn over unfastened clothing so that the sleeve offers coverage over the unfastened clothing and further the sleeve offers frictional support to the clothing and the waistline of an individual.
3. The device of claim 2 further comprising elastic fabric.
4. A wearable device about an individual's waistline attached to clothing such that the device can be unfolded around the clothing so that the device offers coverage over unfastened clothing and offers support to the clothing and to the individual's waistline, the device comprising:
(a) a sleeve; the sleeve further having an affixed end and a movable end;
(b) an article of clothing; and
(c) the affixed end of the sleeve attaching to the clothing;
whereby the movable end of the sleeve can be folded around the clothing such that the clothing is covered by the movable end of the sleeve so to allow the clothing to be unfastened and whereby the sleeve offers coverage over the unfastened clothing and further offers frictional support to the clothing and the waistline of an individual.
5. The device of claim 4 further comprising elastic fabric.
6. The device of claim 4 where the affixed end attaches to the clothing by stitching.
7. The device of claim 4 where the affixed end attaches to the clothing by hook and loop fasteners.
8. A wearable device about an individual's waistline attached to clothing such that the device can be unfolded around the clothing so that the device offers coverage over unfastened clothing and offers support to the clothing and to the individual's waistline, the device comprising:
(a) a sleeve having an inside surface and an outside surface; the sleeve further having an affixed end and a movable end;
(b) an article of clothing having an inside surface and an outside surface; and
(c) the inside surface of the affixed end of the sleeve being attached to the inside surface of the clothing;
whereby the movable end of the sleeve can be folded around the clothing such that the outside surface of the clothing is covered by the movable end of the sleeve so to allow the clothing to be unfastened and the sleeve offers coverage over the unfastened clothing and further the sleeve offers frictional support to the clothing and the waistline of an individual.
9. The device of claim 8 further comprising elastic fabric.
10. The device of claim 8 where the inside surface of the affixed end attached to the inside surface of the clothing by stitching.
11. The device of claim 8 where the inside surface of the affixed end attached to the inside surface of the clothing by hook and loop fasteners.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a garment that is worn about the waist of the wearer to (1) enable the wearing of clothing that is otherwise too small to be zipped, buttoned, snapped or otherwise fastened, such as during pregnancy or with respect to an overweight wearer or a wearer whose body proportions have changed, and (2) provide support for the abdomen of the pregnant or overweight wearer or other wearer whose body proportions have changed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Women undergo significant physical changes during pregnancy. As a woman's pregnancy progresses and her physical size increases, her regular wardrobe no longer fits properly. Typically, the woman's initial reaction to this dilemma is to try to figure out a way to prolong the use of her regular wardrobe and, thus, avoid having to purchase and wear unattractive maternity clothing.

[0003] In the early stages of pregnancy, as the woman's belly begins to expand, her regular pants, skirts and shorts (collectively, “Bottoms”) become too tight in the waist to wear comfortably. In an effort to prolong the ability to wear the Bottoms, the woman begins to wear her Bottoms without fastening the top button, snap, hook or other fastener (“Fastener”), often using a rubber band or other device as a means of securing the Bottoms on the woman's body. Before long, as her pregnancy progresses and her belly further expands, the woman will be unable even to fasten the zipper on her Bottoms. The woman will then wear her Bottoms unzipped and secured with the rubber band or other temporary means with long tops that cover the unzipped zipper and unfastened Fastener so as not to expose her undergarments or uncovered body to the public.

[0004] At this stage of pregnancy, in order to accommodate and conform to her expanded figure, the woman will need new and larger clothing to wear throughout the rest of her pregnancy and for an extended period of time after giving birth until she regains her pre-pregnancy figure. Adding to the burden of acquiring new clothing is the fact that the woman will want her new clothing to be both comfortable and attractive. The woman may attempt to deal with these problems in a number of ways. One option is for the woman to purchase regular clothing in larger sizes to accommodate her expanded figure. However, the problem encountered by the woman that purchases oversized regular clothing is that, while the new clothing might accommodate the woman's expanding waistline, the remainder of the woman's body has not expanded proportionately. The result is clothing that may fit around the waistline, but is still too large for the rest of the woman's body, resulting in a poor, uncomfortable fit and unattractive appearance.

[0005] Another option for the pregnant woman is to purchase a new wardrobe consisting of various types of maternity clothing. However, because maternity clothing is expensive, the purchase of a new maternity wardrobe is not a viable option for many pregnant women. In addition to the cost issue, existing maternity clothing offerings are limited, consisting of oversized pants with unsightly elastic waistbands and oversized tops and dresses that are intended to be worn out and over such pants. These maternity clothing options are unacceptable for most women that do not have unlimited resources to spend on clothing but want to maintain an attractive appearance and their own personal style throughout pregnancy. These maternity clothing options are also unacceptable for working women that must maintain a professional appearance in the work environment.

[0006] Pregnant women are not the only people that experience difficulty in wearing their regular clothing. Throughout the course of a lifetime, a person's body shape often changes due to any of a number of factors including diet, aging, illness, lack of exercise, and the like. The person may become overweight, or the proportions of the person's body may simply change over time. Unfortunately, the person's wardrobe does not conform to such bodily changes, and eventually the wardrobe no longer properly fits the person. Thus, the person is forced to cease wearing otherwise wearable clothing and purchase replacement clothing that properly fits the person's body.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0007] One object of the present invention is to provide a garment that enables the wearing of clothing that is otherwise too small to be zipped, buttoned snapped or otherwise fastened, such as during pregnancy or with respect to an overweight wearer or other wearer whose body proportions have changed.

[0008] Another object is to provide such a garment that provides support for the abdomen of the pregnant or overweight wearer or other wearer whose body proportions have changed.

[0009] Another object is to provide such a garment that provides coverage of the body when used with the wearer's existing unfastened clothing.

[0010] Another object is to provide such a garment that is comfortable and easy to wear during use over long periods of time without burdening the person wearing the apparatus or any particular portions of the body.

[0011] Another object is to provide such a garment that is adaptable to the enlargement and change in configuration of the abdomen of the pregnant woman during the entire period of gestation, instead of requiring the purchase of a larger garment each time the pregnant woman's size increases.

[0012] Another object is to provide such a garment that enables the pregnant or overweight wearer or other wearer whose body proportions have changed to continue wearing her existing wardrobe and avoid having to purchase expensive and unattractive maternity clothing or other oversized clothing.

[0013] Another object is to provide such a garment that can be worn without pilling, snagging or otherwise damaging the fabric of the wearer's clothing.

[0014] Another object is to provide such a garment that is inexpensive to manufacture and sell while having a long operational life.

[0015] Another object is to provide such a garment that can be manufactured as part of original garments, allowing pregnant women and others with rounded abdomens to purchase form-fitting clothing.

[0016] Further objects and advantages are to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purpose described which is dependable, economical, durable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0017] These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the detailed description annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. The foregoing and other objects and advantages are achieved in the present invention. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying descriptive matter in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018]FIG. 1 illustrates a view of the sleeve 10 of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0019]FIG. 2 illustrates the sleeve 10 having an inside surface 16 and outside surface 18.

[0020]FIG. 3 illustrates the first end 12 and second end 14 of the sleeve 10 featuring an area of elastic material that folds over attaching to the inside surface 16.

[0021]FIG. 4 illustrates the first end 12 folded over to create the waist fold 22, and the second end 14 folded over to create the hip fold 24.

[0022]FIG. 5 illustrates unfastened clothing 30.

[0023]FIG. 6 illustrates how the sleeve 10 of the invention can be worn over such unfastened clothing 30, thus keeping such unfastened clothing 30 on the body of the wearer and hiding both the unfastened clothing 30 and the wearer's exposed body.

[0024]FIG. 7 illustrates a movable sleeve 40 visible through a cut-way of the clothing 32.

[0025]FIG. 8 illustrates how, initially, the sleeve 40 could be built into clothing 32 without impacting normal use.

[0026]FIG. 9 illustrates the outside surface 36 of the clothing 32, where the movable sleeve 40 is folded over and around the clothing 32 to provide extra covering of the clothing 32 or support of the person's body.

[0027]FIG. 10 illustrates the movable sleeve 40, folded around the clothing 32.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0028] The present invention is a wearable device about an individual's waistline and over unfastened clothing, so that the device offers coverage over unfastened clothing and offers support to the clothing and to the individual's waistline. The preferred embodiment is shown in FIGS. 1-6.

[0029]FIG. 1 illustrates a view of the sleeve 10. As shown in FIG. 1, the sleeve 10 has a first end 12, second end 14, and as shown in FIG. 2, which is a cut-away along line 2-2 in FIG. 1, the sleeve 10 has an inside surface 16 and outside surface 18. Sleeve 10 is of a hollow, tubular, very roughly rectangular shape that is open at its first end 12 to define a waist opening, and is also open at its second end 14 to define a hip opening. The sleeve 10 is composed of elastic material and has an elasticity and a width that adheres to a wearer's natural body shape without constraint.

[0030] As shown in FIG. 3, which is a cut-away along line 3-3 in FIG. 1, the first end 12 and second end 14 of the sleeve 10 feature an area of elastic material that folds over attaching to the inside surface 16. As depicted in FIG. 4, a cut-away along line 4-4 in FIG. 3, the first end 12 folds over to create the waist fold 22, and the second end 14 folds over to create the hip fold 24. The waist fold 22 and hip fold 24 create a two-ply elastic fold that provides additional strength to hold clothing in place on the wearer's body and direct additional support toward the midsection of the wearer.

[0031] The fabric of the sleeve 10 can be completely manufactured by machine (such as a Santoni knitting machine) without any manual stitching or sewing of multiple fabric pieces, resulting in the seamless tubular shape and overall attractive appearance of the preferred embodiment of the invention. However, any other suitable material that provides sufficient comfort, expandability, resiliency, uniform support and shape retention when stretched or expanded can be employed as the fabric of the invention, and such material may be manufactured via means other than by seamless knitting machine, resulting in an embodiment of the invention that is not seamless. The fabric composition must have the desired elastic characteristics so that the invention is effective for holding in place upon the body of the wearer clothing that is otherwise unable to be fastened or closed, and for shaping and firming the waistline and mid-section of the wearer. Furthermore, the waist fold 22 and hip fold 24 can be attached to the inside sleeve of the sleeve 10 by either stitching or by being integrally woven along with the remainder of the sleeve 10.

[0032] The foregoing characteristics permit the invention to be expanded about and cover the specific area of clothing that is otherwise unable to be fastened or closed and the corresponding specific body portion intended by the wearer, such as the belly area, providing uniform, gentle support and shape thereto. The invention can be constructed in any suitable size and configuration, however, the preferred embodiment has, in an unstretched condition and laying flat, a length of nine inches (9″) to fifteen inches (15″) and, in an unstretched condition and laying flat, a width of four inches (4″) to ten inches (10″). Owing to the superior cost, ease of manufacture, wearing comfort, expandability, resiliency, support and attractiveness of the fabric composition of the preferred embodiment of the invention, the preferred embodiment is constructed in a “one size” manner. However, the invention can be manufactured in various shapes and sizes to accommodate different materials, different body portions and different size requirements and conditions of the persons intending to wear the invention. Alternatively, the sizing method can simply involve the use of predetermined small, medium, large, extra large sizes and/or other sizes, based upon predetermined criteria, and the shape of the invention can be varied from the tubular, very roughly rectangular shape of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0033] The sleeve 10 is made of fabric, preferably a soft, woven, elastic, and resilient fabric. The specific fabric that is employed can be selected based on a variety of factors, including, without limitation, cost, ease of manufacture, wearing comfort, expandability, resiliency, support and attractiveness. The sleeve 10 preferably is a fabric comprised of 95% material commonly known as “microfiber nylon” and 5% material commonly known as “spandex”, and is a seamless material that is woven into a seamless embodiment of the invention, with the ability to expand to fit the wearer's body as it changes during the course of pregnancy or the overweight wearer or other wearer whose body proportions have changed.

[0034]FIG. 6 illustrates how the sleeve 10 is to be worn. Initially, as shown in FIG. 5, a person as he or she gains weight or her body expands, such as during pregnancy, the clothing may be too tight for her to wear unless she leaves the clothing unfastened, perhaps with the zipper lowered or unbuttoned. FIG. 5 depicts such unfastened clothing 30.

[0035] To rectify this situation, as shown in FIG. 6, the wearer easily applies the sleeve 10 to her body by either stepping into the sleeve 10, by sliding the sleeve 10 up to the desired location on her body, or by sliding the sleeve 10 on from overhead down to the desired location on her body. As shown in FIG. 6, the sleeve 10 is worn around the circumference of her body from the hip area through the waist and midsection areas, over the wearer's unfastened clothing 30, or other relevant article of clothing that is unable to be fastened or closed or wherever it is necessary to secure the wearer's clothing on to the body. The invention can also be worn wherever the wearer desires additional support or coverage.

[0036]FIG. 6 shows how the sleeve 10 of the invention can be worn over such unfastened clothing 30, thus keeping such unfastened clothing 30 on the body of the wearer and hiding both the unfastened clothing 30 and the wearer's exposed body. The waist fold 22 and hip fold 24 coupled with the elastic mid-portion of the sleeve 10 exert a gentle compression force against the unfastened clothing 30. The same gentle compression force provides support for the belly of a pregnant wearer and is effective in shaping the midsection of the wearer, providing a more attractive appearance.

[0037] Another embodiment is a movable sleeve 40 attached to a piece of clothing 32. FIG. 7 illustrates a movable sleeve 40 visible through a cut-a-way of the clothing 32.

[0038] The movable sleeve 40 could be incorporated in and made part of clothing 32, including, without limitation, skirts, pants, shorts, and dresses, as they are manufactured.

[0039] In addition, the movable sleeve 40 could be attached to such clothing 32 after manufacture, either by the manufacturer or wearer. Additionally, the movable sleeve 40 may be manufactured like the sleeve 10, as described above.

[0040]FIG. 8 shows how, initially, the sleeve 40 could be built into clothing 32 without impacting normal use. The sleeve 40 would be folded over inside the clothing 32 when not deployed by the wearer, as shown in FIG. 8. Later, as the wearer finds necessary for fastening undersize clothing or providing additional coverage or support, the wearer would instantly deploy the movable sleeve 40 by simply folding it out and over the outside surface 36 of the clothing 32 to achieve its function, as shown in FIG. 9. This implementation would offer the wearer the additional convenience of not having to carry and wear a separate garment. In addition, building the invention into regular clothes would provide for matched coloring between the invention and the clothing, providing for a more attractive appearance.

[0041]FIG. 8 shows an inside out view of clothing 32, exposing the inside surface 34 of the clothing 32, where the movable sleeve 40 is attached to inside surface 34. The movable sleeve 40, as shown in FIG. 8, has an affixed end 42 and a movable end 44. The affixed end 42 of the sleeve 40 can be attached to the inside surface 34 of the clothing 32 by stitching, by hook and loop fasteners, or by being woven integrally with the article of clothing itself.

[0042]FIG. 9 illustrates the outside surface 36 of the clothing 32, where the movable sleeve 40 is folded over and around the clothing 32 to provide extra covering of the clothing 32 or support of the person's body. FIG. 10, a cut-away along line 10-10 in FIG. 9, illustrates the movable sleeve 40, folded around the clothing 32. Further, the affixed end 42 is shown to be attached to the inside surface 34 of the clothing 32, and the movable end 44 of the sleeve 40 is folded around the clothing 32 and overlays the outside surface 36 of the clothing 32.

[0043] Hence, while the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment and an alternate embodiment, it will be understood that it is not intended that the invention be limited to that embodiment and method. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as disclosed.

[0044] As to the manner of usage and operation of the instant invention, same should be apparent from the above disclosure, and accordingly no further discussion relevant to the manner of usage and operation of the instant invention shall be provided.

[0045] With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum proportions for the elements of the invention, and variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

[0046] Therefore, the foregoing is considered illustrative of only the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact method, construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7124448 *May 10, 2004Oct 24, 2006Irese DavenportPants construction stabilized by integral undergarment
US7181775 *Apr 25, 2003Feb 27, 2007Ingrid CarneyMaternity garment
US7395557 *Nov 9, 2005Jul 8, 2008Cass And Crew, L.L.C.Seamless upper body garment
US7676852 *May 16, 2006Mar 16, 2010Ingrid & Isabel LLCMaternity garment
US7908677 *Jun 2, 2008Mar 22, 2011Montgomery LatonyaInsert panel for pants
US8074298 *Sep 5, 2006Dec 13, 2011Irese DavenportPants construction stabilized by integral undergarment
US8266723 *Jan 22, 2010Sep 18, 2012Liliana FrandsenMethod and apparatus for accommodating and covering of varying abdomen
US8276216Jun 22, 2011Oct 2, 2012Ingrid & Isabel, LlcMaternity garment
US8763164 *Jul 10, 2009Jul 1, 2014Kathy MacGillivrayConvertible maternity garment
US20100235965 *Jan 22, 2010Sep 23, 2010Liliana FrandsenMethod and apparatus for accommodating & covering of varying abdomen
US20110179552 *Jan 26, 2010Jul 28, 2011Hold Your Haunches, Inc.Casual exercise garment
US20110179555 *Sep 23, 2010Jul 28, 2011Hold Your Haunches, Inc.Compression garment
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/338
International ClassificationA41D1/20
Cooperative ClassificationA41D1/20
European ClassificationA41D1/20