US 20070101473 A1
The present invention broadly comprises an article of manufacture that includes a free hanging garment having an image fixedly attached to the interior of the garment, which when raised, conceals the identity of the wearer and reveals the image fixedly attached to the interior surface of the garment. The free hanging garment includes a hem edge, a waist edge, an exterior surface and an interior surface. The interior surface has the hem edge positioned on one perimeter of the free hanging garment, and the waist edge is on the opposite perimeter of the free hanging garment. The upper portion of the image that is fixedly attached to the interior surface is proximate to the hem edge and the lower portion of the image is distal to said hem edge.
1. A costume comprising:
A free hanging garment comprising a hem edge, a waist edge, an exterior surface and an interior surface; said interior surface having an image fixedly attached; wherein said hem edge and said waist edge are on opposite perimeters of said free hanging garment, wherein an upper portion of said image is proximate to said hem edge; and a lower portion of said image is distal to said hem edge.
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20. A method of wearing a costume comprising:
suspending a free hanging garment from a wearer's waist, said free hanging garment having an image fixedly attached to an interior surface of said free hanging garment; grasping said free hanging garment; and raising said free hanging garment overhead to reveal the image fixedly attached to said interior surface of said free hanging garment.
This invention relates generally to a costume, and more particularly, to a free hanging garment that suspends from the waist of a wearer, having an exterior surface and an interior surface with an image applied to the interior surface, which functions as a costume that instantaneously transforms the appearance of the wearer.
Costume design and the tradition of wearing costumes have a long history that has been practiced in most every civilization. The use and design of traditional costumes is well known. Masqueraders searching for an unusual costume design most likely can find a costume purveyor that will have a selection that matches nearly every taste or penchant. While there is an almost endless supply of variation on the physical appearance of a costume, there is currently an absence of costumes that can provide the wearer with the option of changing their appearance quickly and easily.
Many costumes have several elements that must be worn to adequately change or conceal the appearance of the wearer. A traditional costume may provide a complete transformation of the individual, but traditional costumes are cumbersome or uncomfortable and detract from the enjoyment that the wearer can derive from masquerading as someone, or something else. Although a person can choose to merely wear a mask to conceal their identity or change their appearance, a mask can only provide a means to change the head and face of the wearer, and the transformation is never complete; and there is still the issue of comfort that is not addressed. Despite years of traditional costume and mask design, there is still one other common deficiency that these traditional costume designs can not provide the wearer, the element of surprise. Individuals disguised as ghouls, creatures, or even political figures, which use either a mask or full costume, can not surprise the observer with their appearance since the observer has fair warning of what is approaching. A costume or mask wearer is also limited to wearing one costume unless the outfit worn requires multiple pieces or involves an elaborate design.
What is needed, then, is a costume design that provides the wearer with an simplified way to quickly change their appearance, to give the wearer the element of surprise. The costume should have the capability of changing the appearance of the wearer in an instant, transforming a person right before the eyes of any observers.
The present invention broadly comprises an article of manufacture that includes a free hanging garment having an image fixedly attached to the interior of the garment, which when raised, conceals the identity of the wearer and reveals the image fixedly attached to the interior surface of the garment. The free hanging garment includes a hem edge, a waist edge, an exterior surface and an interior surface. The interior surface has the hem edge positioned on one perimeter of the free hanging garment, and the waist edge is on the opposite perimeter of the free hanging garment. The upper portion of the image is fixedly attached to the interior surface proximate to the hem edge, and the lower portion of the image is proximate the waist edge and distal to the hem edge.
It should be appreciated that the phrase free hanging garment includes apparel suited for women or men, which could include a skirt or a kilt, or other garments that hang freely from a wearer's waist. A preferred embodiment of the invention includes at least one marker on the exterior of the garment, located proximate to the hem edge that signifies to the wearer the position at which the wearer should grasp the garment to properly disguise their appearance. In another embodiment of the invention the marker is a pleat or crease in the free hanging garment that also acts as a visual cue to allow the wearer to rapidly determine the proper location to hold and subsequently lift the garment. Once the garment is grasped at the marker position, the wearer can raise the garment upward to conceal her upper body and reveal the image on the interior of the garment. When the garment is raised the wearer is revealing not only the image on the interior surface of the garment, but the legs of the wearer are also revealed. For this reason, it should be appreciated that costume wearers may want to disguise or adorn their own legs with additional costume images or accoutrements, and leg garments that complement the image of the interior surface of the garment is another embodiment of this invention.
In another embodiment of the invention a band is placed at a location proximate to the waist of the wearer. The band can be reinforced to add stability to the waist edge, or an elastic member can be added to add comfort and flexibility to the waist edge. Another embodiment of this garment implements separate layers for the exterior and the interior surface. Both layers can be joined either by stitching or an equivalent means such as adhesive, hook and loop strip, or adhesive tape that is ironed. This embodiment adds substance and body to the garment, which can better conceal the image fixedly attached to the interior surface if more delicate or slightly transparent fabrics are used. In another embodiment, images or decoration can be placed on the exterior surface of the garment to give the wearer the option of having two costumes in one. The interior surface is equally flexible in that the image fixedly attached to the interior can be the preferred embodiment of a human-like form, or can run a range of images, which can include nature figures or animal forms, or any image conjured by the imagination. Just as the limits on the characters conjured up in fantasy literature are almost boundless, the limits on the images that can be put onto the interior surface are equally abundant.
A primary objective of the invention is to provide a costume including a free hanging garment with an image fixedly attached to the interior of the garment that gives the wearer the ability to surprise would be observers.
Another objective of the invention is to provide a costume that is two costumes in one that includes a free hanging garment with an image fixedly attached to the interior of the garment and decoration or images on the exterior, which gives the wearer the option of masquerading with the exterior of the garment exhibited, or raising the free hanging garment, hiding the exterior surface and their true form, revealing the image fixedly attached to the interior of the garment.
Another objective of the invention is to provide costume including a free hanging garment that has an interior surface and an exterior surface, wherein the exterior surface includes a marker that guides the wearer in the proper position to grasp the free hanging garment and reveal then reveal the image on the interior surface.
A further objective of the invention is to provide a garment including an image on the interior surface of the free hanging garment that is aligned with the legs of the wearer to add realism to the transformation effected by the costume.
These and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon reading the following detailed description of the invention in view of the several drawings of the invention.
The nature and mode of operation of the present invention will now be more fully described in the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawing figures, in which:
At the outset, it should be appreciated that like drawing numbers on different drawing views identify identical structural elements of the invention. While the present invention is described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred embodiments, it is understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments.
Free hanging garment 42 comprises interior surface 20 and exterior surface 22, and it is preferred that both surfaces are opposite sides of a single piece of fabric, but other embodiments include having exterior surface 22 as a separate piece of fabric joined to interior surface 20, which is another separate piece of fabric. Both individual pieces of fabric can be joined by stitching the pieces together, or joining them in a comparable method. Having a separate interior surface 20 and exterior surface 22 creates a thicker free hanging garment which can better obscure image 18 that is fixedly attached to interior surface 20.
Image 18 is fixedly attached to interior surface 20. Image 18 is preferably a two-dimensional image, however, an image on interior surface 20 could include contour or projections that could give image 18 a three-dimensional appearance or are actually three-dimensional. In a preferred embodiment image 18 is fixedly attached to interior surface 20 of costume 10 with the top of image 18 proximate to hem edge 16, and the bottom of image 18 distal to waist edge 14. In the preferred embodiment the top of image 18 has at least one head 30, and the bottom of image 18 is preferably arranged to abut waist edge 14. Bottom of image 18 is to preferably a waist of torso 32. Image 18 should be fixedly attached to inner surface 20 at a position that aligns torso 32 of image 18 with legs 38 of wearer 12 to add realism to the illusion created by the costume. Preferably image 18 portrays at least one torso 32 and at least one head 30 connected to torso 32, but other embodiments could have an image 18 that has multiple heads or multiple torsos for that matter. Other embodiments can have image 18 with arms 34 connected to torso 32, understanding that multiple arms 34 could be used as well. However it should be understood that image 18 can be devoid of arms, head, or torso, in favor of some non-human form, such as a tree, flower, animal figure, or some other subject matter from nature. In other embodiments image 18 can be a non-human creature or animal that has more than one head, or appendages that are not natural to human beings. Alternatively, costume 10 could also be comprised of a stiffening reinforcement included in the upper portion of image 18. This stiffening reinforcement would improve the ability of the wearer to completely hide their actual head and torso, by resisting free hanging garment 42 from collapsing or bending.
It is advantageous that costume 10 include leg garment 36 that includes an image fixedly attached to the exterior of leg garment 36. The image fixedly attached to leg garment 36 is preferred to match and make whole image 18 of free hanging garment 42. As free hanging garment 42 is raised into place the bottom of image 18 aligns with the top of the image on leg garment 36 to give the appearance that image 18, and the leg image, are the actual torso, head, arms, and legs of the wearer. This arrangement can augment the illusion contemplated by costume 10. Leg garment 36 is depicted in
Another embodiment of costume 10 has an exterior surface 22 that is adorned with a multiplicity of decorative elements which could include elements such as bows, ribbons, embroidery, stitching, appliqué, or other decorations. A decorated exterior can improve the shock value of the transformation accomplished by costume 10 since observers would be deceived by the soft image created by a decorated exterior surface 22, and shocked when free hanging garment 42 is raised to conceal exterior surface 22 and the actual upper body of the wearer, and image 18 of interior surface 20 is revealed. For example, the wearer of costume 10 could have an exterior surface 22 that resembles the appearance of a princess, and when the wearer raises free hanging garment 42 to conceal that soft exterior revealing the contrasting image 18, the shock value is enhanced due to the great contrast between the appearance of exterior surface 22 and interior surface 20.
In the preferred embodiment image 18 is printed onto an iron-on transfer that is then fixedly attached to interior surface 20 of free hanging garment 42. Heat is applied to the iron-on transfer to fixedly attach image 18 to interior surface 20. Alternatively, image 18 could be printed directly to interior surface 20. Printing can be executed using a number of processes or machines, but preferably a color ink jet printer or a color laser printer is used. Since printer capacity and complexity varies greatly, it would be understood that the realism of image 18 can vary greatly, and the image can be printed in one piece or in numerous pieces that can be assembled prior to fixedly attaching image 18 to inner surface 20 of the costume, all dependent on the type of printer used. In another embodiment image 18 can just as readily be first printed onto a suitable textile, and then fixedly attached to interior surface 20 of the costume by stitching, adhesive or another similar attachment means. One of ordinary skill in the art would understand that a range of suitable textiles could be used successfully which include: cotton, polyester, cotton/polyester blend, rayon, or other textiles with similar properties.
Other embodiments include an image 18 that could also be fixedly attached to interior surface 20 by drawing image 18 onto interior surface 20, embroidering image 18 onto interior surface 20, weaving image 18 into interior surface 20, adhesively attaching image 18 to interior surface 20, or screen printing image 18 to interior surface 20. Image 18 can also be detachable from interior surface 20 via the use of removable attachment means like hook and loop (i.e. Velcro™) fasteners, tape, or a releasable adhesive. By removably attaching image 18 to interior surface 20, the image can be changed giving the wearer of the costume the option of changing image 18 instead of the entire costume 10.
Thus, it is seen that the objects of the present invention are efficiently obtained, although modifications and changes to the invention should be readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art, and these modifications are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.