US 20060079153 A1
A garment for covering the breasts of wearer is described. In one embodiment of the present invention, the garment includes at least two portions that each include one of two cups, where the portions are easily configurable at the time of manufacture or by the wearer. In one embodiment, the garment is a bikini top having two portions: a right half and a left half. The portions are interchangeable with other portions, enabling the wearer to select right and left portions separately. In one embodiment, the wearer may have left and right portions with differing cup sizes to accommodate asymmetric breasts. In another embodiment, the left and right cups are of the same size, and the right and left portions have different designs to present a fashionable combination of halves at the wearer's discretion.
1. A garment portion for supporting the breasts of a wearer comprising:
a breast cup,
one part of a first fastener having a first matching pair of fastener parts, and one part of a second fastener having a second matching pair of fastener parts,
where the garment portion is releasably coupleable to a matching garment portion having matching fastener parts, and
where the garment portion and the matching garment portions, when coupled, are adapted to fit about the torso of the wearer with the breast cups of said garment portion and said matching garment portion supporting the wearer's breasts.
2. The garment portion of
3. The garment portion of
4. The garment portion of
5. The garment portion of
6. The garment of
7. The garment of
8. The garment of
9. A breast-covering garment for a wearer comprising:
a first garment portion including a first breast cup, a first fastener part, and a second fastener part, and
a second garment portion including a second breast cup, a first fastener part releasably coupleable to said first fastener part of said first garment portion, and a second fastener part releasably coupleable to said second fastener part of said first garment portion,
where said first and second garment portions, when coupled, are adapted to fit about the torso of the wearer with said first breast cup and said second breast cup providing support for the wearer's breasts.
10. The breast-covering garment of
11. The breast-covering garment of
12. The breast-covering garment of
13. The breast-covering garment of
14. The breast-covering garment of
15. The breast-covering garment of
16. The breast-covering garment of
17. A garment for a wearer comprising:
a first breast cup, and
a second breast cup having a size different than the size of said first breast cup,
where said first breast cup and said second breast cup are releasably coupleable to each other to form a breast-support garment adapted to provide a force to support the breasts against gravity.
18. The garment of
wherein said first breast cup is attached to a first fastener part and a second fastener part,
wherein said second breast cup is attached to a first fastener part releasably coupleable to said first fastener part attached to said first breast cup and is attached to a second fastener part releasably coupleable to said second fastener part attached to said second breast cup.
19. The garment of
20. The garment of
21. The garment of
22. The garment of
23. The garment of
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/618,113, filed Oct. 12, 2004.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to garments to be worn over the chest, and more particularly to a garment to cover the breasts formed from more than one garment portion.
2. Discussion of the Background
The upper portions of women's garments, in particular underwear, such as brassieres, and outerwear, such as bikini tops, typically include a pair of connected cups that totally or partially cover the breasts. In general, most prior art women's garments have a pair of breast supporting or covering cups that are the same size. For women have breasts of approximately the same size, prior art garments provide adequate support of the breasts. However, many women have breasts that exhibit some degree of asymmetry. Thus, for example, the breasts may have different shapes or sizes. Where there is a sufficiently large difference between the sizes of the breasts, the use of prior art garments, having two cups of the same size, provide noticeably different support or covering of the two breasts.
Prior art brassieres and bikini tops have no allowance for breast asymmetry. These garments typically have either a pair of cups that are mirror images of each other and that are attached at a position between the breasts, and are attached with a band that wrap about the body. For women having sufficiently differently sized breasts, one breast may be properly supported or covered, while the other is either overly constricted by the cup or has too much space for movement within the cup.
Prior art garments typically have the cups and band forming a continuous piece (as in a sports brassiere), or have a fastener within the band and either between the cups (front opening) or along the band (rear opening). Alternatively, additional straps may provide support to the upper portion of each cup. Thus, for example, shoulder straps may connected to each cup and to positions on the band on the back, or a halter strap connected to each cup may be tied behind the neck. In each of these configurations, there is no provision for differently sized breasts, or for a different amount of support depending on the size of individual breasts.
There are some prior art garments that are intended for use by women who have had mastectomies. These garments include one cup and a prosthetic or prosthetic support, or are constructed to constrict the chest during a post-operative period for therapeutic purposed. Other garments provide therapeutic tissue pressure to areas of the upper torso as compressive pressure to the lymph glands, for example none of these garments are generally suitable for providing breast support for women having breast asymmetry.
In summery, the prior art does not provide adequate support for women having breast asymmetry. There is a need to provide a garment that provides better support or fitting of the breasts.
The present invention overcomes the disadvantages of prior art by providing a garment formed from easily configurable portions. In one embodiment of the present invention, the garment has a right portion with a right cup and a left portion with a left cup. The left and right portions are assembled with a pair of front coupling members at the front of the garment and a pair of rear coupling members at the rear of the garment. The assembled garment may have the appearance of a conventional top, such as a bikini top, brassiere, or other upper torso covering garment, but may have differing left and right cup sizes. Alternatively, the garment portions or the assembled garment may have the same or different size cups, and have differing appearance, such as different color, patterns, or other features of ornamentation.
It is one aspect of the present invention to provide a breast-covering garment for a wearer. The garment includes a first garment portion and a second garment portion. The garment portions each include a breast cup with matching two fasteners, where each portion includes a first fastener part and a second fastener part. The fasteners are releasably coupleable to separate the two breast cups. The first and second garment portions, when coupled, are adapted to fit about the torso of the wearer with the first breast cup and the second breast cup covering the wearer's breasts. In one embodiment of the present invention, the garment is a strapless top. In another embodiment of the invention, the garment has straps which may be removably detachable. In yet another embodiment of the invention, the garment is a halter top. In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the cups have different cup sizes.
It is another aspect of the present invention to provide a garment for a wearer. The garment includes a first breast cup and a second breast cup having a size different that the size of the first breast cup. The first breast cup and the second breast cup are releasable coupleable, and where the garment is a breast-support garment adapted to provide forces to support the breasts against gravity.
It is yet another aspect of the present invention to provide a garment portion for covering the breasts of a wearer. The garment portion includes a breast cup, one part of a first fastener having a first matching pair of fastener parts, and one part of a second fastener having a second matching pair of fastener parts. The garment portion is releasably coupleable to a matching garment portion having matching fastener parts and the garment portion and the matching garment portions, when coupled, are adapted to fit about the torso of the wearer with the first breast cup and the second breast cup covering the wearer's breasts.
These features together with the various ancillary provisions and features which will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, are attained by the breast covering garment of the present invention, embodiments thereof being shown with reference to the accompanying drawings, by way of example only, wherein:
Reference names are used in the Figures to indicate certain components, aspects or features shown therein, with reference names common to more than one Figure indicating like components, aspects or features shown therein.
The present invention is a garment to cover or support the breasts of a garment wearer as undergarments, including but not limited to brassieres or undergarments that include breast covering or support, or as swimwear, including but not limited to bikini tops or swimwear that includes a breast support portion. While the invention is directed primarily to breast covering or support, the garment includes, but is not limited to, garments that fit over the front, or that wrap about primarily about, the upper torso, garments that extend downwards to include a lower torso covering or support, and garments that extend further downwards to include partial or complete leg coverings. Although the present invention may be incorporated into garments that cover more than the breasts, the invention will be described herein with reference to the Figures, and without limitation as to the scope of the invention, as a “top.”
In general, the present invention is a top that provides added flexibility and functionality to wearers of several top forms well know in the art. These tops include, but are not limited to, tops having various amount of breast coverage or support, for example a push-up bra, a demi-cup bra, a top with or without an underwire, and tops having cups that are supported by a band below the breasts, by straps tied about the neck, or by shoulder straps.
Fasteners 103 and 105 are formed from fastener parts usable for garment fastening, including, but not limited to, those fasteners know in the field, such as combinations of clasps, hook-and-loop, hook-and-eye, or hook-and-pile fasteners, button-and-button hole, magnetic elements, and ties. Thus, for example, one embodiment of the present invention includes a hook-and-eye fastener 103, where fastener part 113 is a hook and left fastener part 123 is the matching eye of the hook-and-eye fastener. In one embodiment of the present invention, fastener 103 is a fastener commonly used in front opening tops, and fastener 107 is a fastener commonly used in back opening tops.
In addition, top 100 optionally includes a pair of shoulder straps, shown in
In general, the left and right garment portions 110, 120 that are selected individually and/or assembled as a pairs, and have fasteners 103, 107 that allow the portions to be assembled into top 100. The assembled top 100 may be formed of garment portions 110, 120 having cups 111, 121 that are of the same or different sizes, or may be formed of garment portions having same or different ornamental features. In one embodiment of the present invention, a variety of garments having different sizes, shapes, cups 111, 121 or ornamental accessories have matching fastener parts 113, 123, and 117, 127 allowing for the manufacturer, retailer, or wearer to assemble customized garments, for example, from matching or complementary left and right garment portions 110, 120. Thus, for example, right and left garment portions 110, 120 may be selected by the wearer to reconfigure the garment from other connectably compatible garment portions, for example to replace one portion or another, or to mix-and-match different portions, for example, left and right bikini halves having different patterns or designs.
In one embodiment of top 400, garment portion 110 has cup 111 with an interface 411 to band portion 112, an interface 413 connected to band portion 115, and an interface 415 connected to a shoulder strap 419 that extends to position 417 of band portion 115. In another embodiment of top 400, garment portion 120 has cup 121 with an interface 421 to strap 122, an interface 423 to strap 125, and an interface 425 connected to a shoulder strap 429 that extends to position 427 of strap 115.
Materials and construction techniques for garment portions 110 and 120 are know in the field, and depend on the size and purpose of top 100. Thus, for example, some tops, including “sports bras,” are constructed to minimize movement of the breasts, and may include elastic and inelastic portions to surround the breast and restrict movement, while most other types of tops are constructed to contain the breasts within inelastic cups. In general, shoulder straps 419, 429 supply an upwards force to the top of cups 111, 113, either to the shoulders or to band portion 105 to keep top 100 in place and/or to provide added support to the breasts.
Garment portions 110 and 120 can be formed using techniques know in the field. Thus for example, cups 111, 113, band portions 112, 122, 115, 125, and straps 419, 429 can each be formed from one or more separate pieces of fabric and connected by sewing the pieces together. Alternatively, cups 111, 113, band portions 112, 122, 115, 125, and straps 419, 429 can be formed from the same piece of material.
In one embodiment of top 500, each garment portion 110 and 120 has a single band between fasteners 103 and 107. Thus, for example, garment portion 110 has a band 511 that includes straps 112 and 115, with cup 111 connected to the band through fabric 513. In another embodiment of top 500, garment portion 120 has a band 521 that includes straps 122 and 125, with cup 121 connected to the band through fabric 523.
Top 600 has a first detachable shoulder strap 619 and a second detachable shoulder strap 629 that are generally similar to shoulder straps 419 and 429, respectively, and that also include fasteners. More specifically first shoulder strap 619 extends from a front end 612 including a fastener 611 to a back end 614 including a fastener 613, and second shoulder strap 629 extends from a front end 622 including a fastener 621 to a back end 624 including a fastener 623.
As shown in
Top 800 has a strap 819 attached to cup 111 and having a free end 811, and a strap 829 attached to cup 121 and having a free end 821. In one embodiment, top 800 is a “halter top.” For use as a halter top, strap end 811 and 821 are tied behind the neck of a wearer W, thus providing support for cups 111 and 121 behind the wearer's neck.
One embodiment of the present invention includes the fitting of cups 111 and 121 separately for a woman to ensure that top 100 properly fits, covers, and/or supports both breasts. For women having beasts of essentially the same size, cups 111 and 121 may, for practical purposes be the same as would be found in a prior art top. For women having breasts of differing sizes, cups 111 and 121 have different sizes.
The present invention allows for a top having identical cup sizes, as in the prior art, and also allows for the easy assembly of garments at the time of purchase or by garment or garment portions within an individual's wardrobe. Thus, for example, a manufacture may prepare a range of differently shaped, sized, or ornamented garments with front and back fasteners according to the present invention, for example by having matching rear fastener parts 115, 125, and front fastener parts 117, 127, and marking them to allow for easy identification of the size of the garment portions. In one embodiment of the present invention, each garment portion is marked according to the side (left or right) and the size of a symmetrically assembled garment. Thus, for example, brassieres may are manufactured by laying out the components, such as straps 101, 105, cups 111, 121, shoulder straps 119, 129, and fasteners 103, 107 for symmetric breast (that is, matching sized cups 111, 121). The garment portions are then marked according to the symmetric size and the side of the garment—thus, for example, the right and left garment portions 110, 120 of a 36A brassiere is marked 36AR and 36AL, respectively, the right and left garment portions 110, 120 of a 36B brassiere is marked 36BR and 36BL, respectively, and so on. Fasteners 103 and 105 are identical for each top 100, allowing for the combination of any left and right garment portion 110, 120.
The top of the present invention may be fit using any of numerous techniques. Thus, for example, a woman that notices that a 36B brassiere fits the right breast properly and fits the left breast tightly could form a top by fastening a right garment portion marked “36BR,” since a 36B brassiere properly fits the right breast, and a left garment portion that is larger, for example, marked “36CL,” since a 36B brassiere constrains the left breast. Alternatively, the inventive top may be fit by providing a wearer with a series of cups having sizes that allow for the gauging of the appropriate left and right cup size, or by providing a series of sized inserts that can be placed in a symmetric brassiere that fits one breast too loosely to determine how much smaller one breast is than the other.
Reference throughout this specification to specific embodiments or to “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, for example, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art from this disclosure, in one or more embodiments.
Similarly, it should be appreciated that in the above description of exemplary embodiments of the invention, various features of the invention are sometimes grouped together in a single embodiment, figure, or description thereof for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure and aiding in the understanding of one or more of the various inventive aspects. This method of disclosure, however, is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed invention requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects lie in less than all features of a single foregoing disclosed embodiment. Thus, the claims following the Detailed Description are hereby expressly incorporated into this Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment of this invention.
It should further be appreciated that although the top of the present invention is described with reference to specific embodiments, the top may, but is not limited to two garment portions that, exclusive of the connectors, include right and left portions that are substantially mirror images of one another; right and left portions that are substantially mirror images of one another in function and that have ornamentation differences including, but not limited to, differences in color, material, pattern, ornamentation, outer shape, or other fashionable features, right and left portions that have different cup sizes, with or without ornamentation differences; and right and left portions that have different cup sizes and substantially similar outer cup sizes, with or without ornamentation differences. Furthermore, the left and right garment portions of the present invention may be packaged or sold together, or may be packaged or sold separately, allowing the wearer to assemble the two garment portions for wearing.
It should further be appreciated that although the straps, bands and cups of the present invention have not been discussed in every detail, the invention is not limited to specific strap, band or cup structures. In particular, the inventive aspect of the present invention of having fasteners on a top that allows each of the cups to be part of garment portions that may be coupled can be incorporated in to many tops structures known in the field.
Thus, while there has been described what is believed to several embodiments of the invention, those skilled in the art will recognize that other and further modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention, and it is intended to claim all such changes and modifications as fall within the scope of the invention.