CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
- FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
- SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of Invention
This invention relates to a separate, transferable, attachable and removable stretch waistband device used to convert the use of regular clothes into early stages up to full-term maternity use (and thereafter) and/or for accommodation in any increase or decrease in waistline size that simultaneously relieves pressure from front lower abdomen.
2. Background of the Invention
Throughout the maternity duration and afterwards, the problem of quickly changing waistlines presents itself. This causes the need to either purchase or attain numerous waistline conforming garments such as pants, skirts, and shorts. In effect, this can be very uneconomical, especially for the short periods of time that a particular waist size is needed. Great investments have been made for many individuals establishing their non-maternal wardrobe. This invention allows the individual the use of their regular, lower garment, non-maternal wardrobe for use during maternal stages and/or periods of expanding waistlines.
Most women, not ready to move into maternity intended clothing, wear their pant flys open or unfastened to accommodate for their expanding waistlines. This comprise allows for continual pant adjustment and exposure.
In addition to the expense involved with the purchase of maternity-intended clothing, in many circumstances, there is a great pressure exerted upon the abdomen region due to a smaller elastic component of the lower garment, causing undue discomfort and irritation.
Previous inventions, in attempt to accommodate this problem of changing waistlines, however, these attempts have included the creation of inserts at the section where the lower garment opens or have involved a permant alteration. The present invention however, involves a separate, transferable, attachable and removable stretch waistband device that completely encircles the abdomen/hip region used for the intent to cover the open fly region and provisionally convert the use of regular clothes into pregnancy use, up to full-term maternity use (and thereafter) and/or for accommodation in any increase or decrease in waistline size that relieves pressure from front lower abdomen. This separate attachment does not alter the original garment and allows return of the initial garment back for utility of original use. The separate and detachable device attaches to the belt loops of the wearer's regular lower garment and is easily transferred from one garment to another.
Prior art efforts, known to the inventor, in making accommodations in the waist band of a lower body garment or otherwise provides changes in the waist line measurements of an individual, include the following:
U.S. Pat. No. 2,873,452, issued in 1959 to Jacobs, is a permanent section affixed to the garment with the inability to be removed. This invention is proposed strictly as a maternity garment and is not applicable in the attachment and detachment of a separate entity to regular clothing.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,099,014 granted to inventor Smith in 1963, discloses a means of altering a regular garment for usage during different stages of pregnancy. This reference teaches a means that employs single, localized, alterations during each period of pregnancy.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,431,562 issued to Souders in 1969, declares the use of insert panels by which a regular garment may be converted into maternity usage.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,580,298, inventor Tuisl, issued Apr. 8, 1986, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,683,595, inventor Cash, issued Aug. 4, 1987 disclose waist band extenders that are non-stretch or non-elastic in nature. U.S. Pat. No. 5,163,184, inventor Reardon, issued Nov. 17, 1992 discloses invention that is made out of similar material as original garment. The following inventions cover or address the open section of existing garment expressly through the use of an inverted triangle or insert. U.S. Pat. No. 5,946,730, inventor Blair, issued Sep. 7, 1999, is a V-shaped attachment connected to the fly. U.S. Pat. No. 4,803,740, inventor Dawson, issued Feb. 14, 1989, includes a waist band extender for a garment which includes a triangular panel for bridging the fly opening of a garment to secure the waist band of the garment. This triangular section only accommodates for the fly opening and is observed and placed onto or in the garment as an insert concept. U.S. Pat. No. 5,575,011, issued Nov. 19, 1996 to Allen, describes the attachment of a waistband extender to the button fly opening and made of inextensible material.
- BACKGROUND OF INVENTION—OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES
As may be noted from the above, the prior art does not disclose a separate, detachable, transferable extensible waistband that lays overtop of an existing lower body garment attached via belt loops and encircles the wearer's circumference. This device is used as a simple and convenient method for adaptation of a regular lower garment into use during the early and full-term stages of pregnancy and, thereafter, while simultaneously allowing for optimal front abdominal comfort. This invention also permits the original garment to be returned to its former state and appearance without alteration, all of which, this invention was created to accomplish.
Several objects and advantages of the present invention include:
(a) An effective system and means to enable the wearer to wear existing lower garment (such as pants, jeans, shorts, or skirts) during pregnancy or other times of expanding or decreasing waistline.
(b) An extensible fabric waistband worn over an existing garment at the waist/hip region to ensure a snug/form-fit that holds the existing article of clothing up on the waist or hips of wearer.
(c) The elimination of a restrictive waistband in the wearer's regular lower garment by allowing the fly to remain open while wearing article.
(d) The fly area being covered by a wide stretchable band to hide the appearance of an open fly region.
(e) Advantages of greater modesty around the waistline of the wearer.
(e) Stretchable decorative overlays (such as stretchable lace, nylon, spandex, elasthanne or any other extensible material) that look like a shirt overlay serve the function of hiding the stretch material band or waistband, as well as give the band unique style and appeal. These overlays are created to appear as a regular shirt worn at the waist/hip region or otherwise called a faux-shirt.
(f) A stretchable wide waistband is worn around the entire circumference of the wearer in a 360° manner to ensure stability to the existing open fly garment.
(g) A wide flexible waistband allows for less concentrated pressure around lower abdomen, producing greater comfort for wearer.
(h) Fasteners on stretchable material forming the band, located near the top of the band, allow for convenient attachment and detachment for the wearer.
(i) the small elastics used to attach the stretchable waistband to the wearer's regular attire through the belt loops are flexible; therefore accommodates for strenuous movement and tension often demanded in the waist region.
(j) device is easily removable and transferable from garment to garment, enabling multiple use.
(k) upon removal of the waistband device, the original garment is non-effected and can return to original use.
(l) no sewing or alternation to existing garment is needed.
These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention are provided by the removable maternity garment accessory which comprises a transferable, expandable and contractible waistband, worn at the waist and hips, that attach to the wearer's regular pants, allowing her to wear her existing pants during maternity. The invention's stretch characteristics expand and decrease to accommodate for the changes in waistline sizes, while providing extreme comfort and style. The stretchable band covers the open fly region of one's existing pants and appears as a shirt. The invention solves the age-old problem of women wearing their pant flys open and exposed during pregnancy. Other objects of the invention include holding the lower garment in place, expanding as the belly does, appearing as a shirt, and covering the open fly.
In accordance with the present invention a stretchable band device comprises an expandable main body band that temporarily attaches to a lower garment and covers fly region of a lower garment to allow fly of lower garment to be worn unfastened and means for attaching said expandable main body band to belt loops of a lower garment article.
In the drawings, closely related figures have the same number but different alphabetic suffixes.
FIGS. 1A to 1D show the cylindrical stretchable waistband device as worn on the body.
FIG. 1A shows the cylindrical stretchable waistband device from the outside perspective attached to a regular lower garment without the decorative overlay attached. Figure illustrates the device as worn on the body.
FIG. 1B illustrates the cylindrical stretchable waistband device shown from the inside view as it is attached overtop of a regular lower garment. Figure illustrates the device as worn on the body.
FIG. 1C shows device with faux-shirt overlay attached. Figure illustrates the device as worn on the body.
FIG. 1D shows device with a lace faux-shirt overlay attached. Figure illustrates the device as worn on the body.
FIG. 2 illustrates the cylindrical stretchable waistband device with attachment mechanisms on the inside of device used to attach device to wearer's existing lower garment. Device is shown in the non-attached state.
FIG. 3 illustrates the cylindrical stretchable waistband device with attachment mechanisms on the inside of device with the decorative overlay attached to the outside. Device is shown in the non-attached state.
FIGS. 4A to 4B are comprehensive views of the cylindrical stretchable waistband device.
FIG. 4A is a comprehensive view illustrating cylindrical stretchable waistband device in an attached state to the wearer's regular lower garment without faux-shirt overlay.
FIG. 4B is a comprehensive view illustrating the cylindrical stretchable waistband device in an attached state to the wearer's regular lower garment including the faux-shirt overlay.
FIGS. 5A to 5B shows attachment mechanisms used to attach cylindrical stretchable waistband device via belt loops.
FIG. 5A shows a perspective drawing of stretchable attachment mechanism in an attached state to the belt loop of an already existing lower garment.
FIG. 5B is a cross sectional view of the stretchable attachment mechanism in connection to the waistband device.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION—FIGS. 1A TO 5B—PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
- 10 cylindrical stretch waistband core
- 12 fasteners located on the cylindrical stretch waistband core
- 14 wearer's original lower garment
- 16 belt loops on wearer's original lower garment
- 22 stretchable attachment mechanism
- 24 faux-shirt overlay
- 26 lace faux-shirt overlay
- 28 elastic or stretchable material strips
- 30 fasteners located on the stretchable attachment mechanism
A preferred embodiment of the waistband of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 4A (a comprehensive view without the overlay) and FIG. 4B (a comprehensive view including the faux-shirt overlay). The structure consists of a cylindrical stretchable waistband core 10 which expands and decreases in size horizontally around the wearer's waist and/or hips. In the preferred embodiment the cylindrical waistband core is at least 4 inches or 10 cm vertically wide or greater and encircles the wearer's waist and/or hips 360°. The preferred embodiment of the cylindrical waistband can consist of any material with stretchable characteristics (such as nylon, elasthanne, rayon, elastic, spandex, knitted cotton, jersey knit, ribbed material or any other such.) Overtop of the cylindrical stretchable waistband core 10, a faux-shirt overlay exists 24. The faux-shirt overlay is also created with a stretchable material to conform to the wearer's shape as shown in FIGS. 1C and 1D. In the preferred embodiment the overlay also can consist of any stretchable material (nylon, elasthanne, rayon, elastic, spandex, knitted cotton, jersey knit, and including stretchable lace).
- Alternative Embodiments
As illustrated in FIG. 1A, fasteners 12 are attached, incrementally, near the top of the cylindrical waistband core 10, encircling the waistband. Used in the preferred embodiment are fasteners in the form of a snap (however, any other such fasteners can be substituted such as hook and eye, buttons, Velcro, etc.) On the underside of the invention (FIG. 1B), stretchable attachment mechanisms 22 attach the cylindrical stretchable waistband core 10 to a wearer's existing lower garment 14. FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 show the embodiment of the invention in a non-attached state with the stretchable attachment mechanisms 22. The stretchable attachment mechanisms 22 consist of between 5 to 6 elastic strips or stretchable material strips 28. The number of elastic or material strips 28 is dependent upon the number of standard belt loops in a regular lower garment for that particular size of waist. FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate a more detailed depiction of the stretchable attachment mechanisms 22 in connection with the cylindrical waistband core 10 and the belt loop of an existing lower garment 16. The stretchable attachment mechanisms 22 have two fasteners 30 located at opposite ends. In the preferred embodiment these fasteners 30 are illustrated as snaps (however, any other such fasteners can be substituted such as hook and eye, buttons, Velcro, etc). The fasteners 30 are permanently secured to the stretchable elastic/material strips 28 and are then connected and/or disconnected to the fasteners 12 incrementally located around the cylindrical waistband core 10.
Alternative embodiments of the invention include variations to the general scope of the invention. Snaps are used in the preferred embodiment however any such item used as a fastener can be substituted for the connection of the main body waistband to the belt loops of an existing lower garment (ei. hook and eye, buttons, Velcro, etc). The overlays can attach anywhere to the main body band, at top as well as sides. The preferred embodiment figures illustrate the main body band created in parallel fashion however the band can be parallel or non-parallel. The preferred embodiment shows the main body waistband as a circular band sewn together that is slipped on the wearer; however a zipper (or any other such fastener) can be used to connect the main body band together at side, front, or back.
- Operation—FIGS. 1A to 5B
For application to a garment that does not possess belt loops, main body waistband can be placed overtop and maintain position due to conformed fit from the stretchable characteristics of material of the invention.
In operation, one puts on his/her regular lower garment apparel 14, leaving the lower garment opening non-connected or unfastened. The separate cylindrical stretch waistband 10 is then slipped on overtop of the wearer's regular lower garment apparel 14. In appearance, the regular lower garment has a thick stretchable waistband encompassing the wearer at the top of his/her regular garment apparel. The waistband device 10 stretches horizontally to conform to the body shape of the wearer creating a snug and comfortable fit. The vertical band width is 3 inches or 7.5 cm or greater. The vertical width of the band is to cover, in minimum, the bottom of the fly opening up over the wearer's regular lower garment waistband, encompassing the entire open fly region. Attached to the top of the stretchable waistband device 10 is the option for an overlay 24 and 26 (FIGS. 1C and 1D). The function of these overlays, first of all, serves the purpose to cover the cylindrical stretchable waistband device 10. Secondly, the overlays serve a stylish and decorative purpose. These overlays are intended to appeal to the fashion senses and enhance the attractiveness of the waistband device 10. The overlays create the illusion of a shirt being worn over the top section of the wearer's original garment and are noted as faux-shirt overlays 24 and 26. The overlays look like the bottom of a t-shirt or stretchable lace shirt worn at the waist or hip region. The overlays are stretchable like the waistband to also allow for conformity to the body shape of the wearer ensuring a snug and comfortable fit.
To temporarily affix the cylindrical waistband device 10 to the wearer's regular lower garment 14, stretchable attachment mechanisms 22 are used through the belt loops 16 of the wearer's regular lower garment. The fasteners 12, located incrementally near the top of the cylindrical waistband core 10 that encircle the waistband, are attached to the fasteners 30 located on the stretchable attachment mechanisms 22 located on the underside of the invention (FIG. 1B). The stretchable attachment mechanisms 22 contain two fasteners 30, one at each end. One end is fastened to a fastener 12 located on the waistband 10 while the other end is threaded through the belt loop 16 and fastened to the next incremental fastener 12 located on the waistband device 10. This method of attachment and de-attachment serves the purpose of non-permanent alteration to the wearer's existing lower garment. The wearer is able to remove the device via fasteners and the original garment returns to its original state.
From the description above, a number of advantages of my separate, transferable, attachable and removable stretch waistband device used to convert the use of regular clothes into early stages up to full-term maternity use (and thereafter) and/or for accommodation in any increase or decrease in waistline size that simultaneously relieves pressure from front lower abdomen becomes evident as the waistband device:
- CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE
(a) enables a woman to wear her own pants during pregnancy
(b) economically, reduces costs by not needing to buy maternity pants
(c) easily attaches to ones existing pants and has a snug form-fit to hold pants in place
(d) eliminates the restrictive waistband in regular pants by allowing the fly to remain open
(e) covers the open fly region and ensures stability to the existing open fly garment
(f) appears as a shirt or a lace shirt, enhancing one's wardrobe opportunities
(g) fashionable and stylish
(h) are easily removable and transferable from garment to garment
(i) no sewing or alteration needed
(j) easy to put on and comfortable to wear
(k) accommodates for strenuous movement and friction that is often demanded in the waist region
(l) original pants are non-effected and can return to original use
(m)can also be worn after birth as waistline decreases
(n) used by non-maternity women who prefer the layer t-shirt look but rather not wear multiple shirts
In describing the invention, certain embodiments have been used to illustrate the invention and the practices thereof. However, the invention is not limited to these specific embodiments as other embodiments and modifications within the spirit of the invention will readily occur to those skilled in the art on reading this specification. Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.
It should be understood that the embodiments described herein are merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art may make variations and modifications without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the snap fasteners, button fasteners and hook and loop, and Velcro fasteners of any described embodiment are interchangeable among the embodiments. Similarly, any other known material fastening device can be substituted. Although all described embodiments relate to pants, it should be understood that the present invention can be used with any garment, such as shorts, skirts or the like that are fastened around the waist, and the closeable seam of such garments need not be formed on the front of the garment. All such variations and modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. Thus, the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed, but is to be limited only by the claims appended hereto.