CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
- STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL SPONSORSHIP
There are no utility patent applications related to this application.
- BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
No invention claimed in this application was made under Federally sponsored research or development.
1. Field of the Invention
The invention relates to headwear and more particularly to hats or caps having an opening that has an opening that allows passage of a wearer's long hair there through. The invention permits quick securing of a wearer's long hair to the hat or cap away from the wearer's neck. This is accomplished without unwanted snagging or binding of the hair when the hair is secured or released from the hat or cap.
2. Background Art
There have been numerous attempts to devise a hat or cap that accommodates long hair:
U.S. Pat. No. 6,421,838 B1 (Frank) illustrates the use of an elastic band integral with a hat or cap. The band is looped around the hair to hold the hair of the hat or cap wearer. There is no disclosure or suggestion of the elastic strap means having a quick release/attach to the hat or cap feature and of securing the hair to the hat or cap as in the present invention. The present invention does not use an elastic band to loop around the wearer's hair of the type used in this patent.
Japan Publication 08-113813 (Satomi) shows rubber members that are optionally attached to openings in a hat.
Japan Publication 2005-068622 (Yoshiko) shows an elastic mesh structure that covers an opening in a hat that allows long hair to pass through the hat.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,321,854 (Kronenberger) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,875,494 (Garnier et al) show a solution based on the use of a second opening in a cap that is designed specifically for the passage of long hair there through. They do not show or suggest the elastic strap means or the manner by which the hair is secured to the hat or cap of the present invention U.S. Patent Application Publication 2006/0117461 A1 (Kelly) shows a hair accessory piece that is detachably mounted in a cap.
U.S. Design Patents, D405,590 (Bartz) shows a decorative band surrounding the opening in a cap.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
U.S. Design Patent D474,576 S, shows a ponytail visor with means to secure the ponytail.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention relates to a hat or cap such as a baseball style cap or cap with a visor having an opening through which long hair of a wearer can pass thorough. The hair is gathered for example in the form of a ponytail and fashionably secured to the cap by elastic strap means provided on the cap. The user extends the elastic strap means over the top of the gathered hair and the strap's loose end is secured to the cap. The hair can thus be firmly and strongly secured to the cap and away from the neck and face of the wearer. This is especially advantageous to individuals engaged in strenuous activities including sports such as golf or tennis where the movement of long hair into the face and neck may pose a nuisance and adversely affect one's game.
FIG. 1 is a perspective side view showing an embodiment in which a single elastic strap means is used to secure the wearer's hair to the cap.
FIG. 2 is a rear plan view of the elastic strap and cap shown in FIG. 1 embodiment.
FIG. 3 is a rear plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 with the elastic strap means opened.
FIG. 4 shows a top plan view of the elastic strap means in extended condition.
FIG. 5 shows a bottom plan view of the elastic strap means shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged side plan or edge view of the elastic strap shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 shows an embodiment in which two (2) elastic strap means are used on the cap.
FIG. 8 shows an embodiment in which two (2) elastic strap means are arranges in a “X” or cross configuration.
FIG. 9 is an embodiment having three (3) elastic strap means.
FIG. 10 shows sectional view of elastic strap means taken along section 10-10 of FIG. 6.
The hat or cap of the present invention is provided with elastic strap means by which the long hair of the wearer can be secured to the hat or cap away from the neck and face. The elastic strap means in the embodiment shown in drawings is shown to cross over the hair extending out from an opening in the hat or cap thereby firmly holding the hair to the rear panel of the hat or cap. The elastic strap means (13,17,20,23,26,29,32) is comprised of the following elements: a fabric outer cover (12), elastic strip or band (35), quick attach/release section (4,5,15,16,19,22,34,25,30 and 31) that cooperate with cooperating means (7 and 34) fixed on the hat or cap to allow quick attachment and release. The example shown in the drawings is a hook and loop type fastener such as Velcro™. The elastic strap means is fixed to the cap at one end (5,14,18,21,24,27,28 and 33) and forms an integral part of the hat or cap. The elastic strap means is/are positioned above rear opening (10) in the rear portion of the hat or cap (1) through which the gathered long hair exits. The rear opening (10) can be of any shape desired. The hat or cap may have a bill, peak or visor (2) in the front portion and adjustment means (8) for adjusting hat or cap size in the rear portion. The adjustment means (8) can be a strap and buckle configuration (9) as shown in the Figures. However, any known or conventional means for adjusting the hat or cap to fit the wearer's head can be used. The hat or cap may optionally have vent holes (37) and be of gore or panel construction (38).
One of the advantages of the present elastic strap is its property of non-binding to hair. This is due in part to the use of a sleeve which may be of fabric, cloth or cloth-like material (12) that encloses the elastic material or band (35). The length of which is at least long enough to accommodate the stretched out length of the elastic material or band (35) and if desired can be longer to maintain a fashionable gather or bunch-up appearance similar to a scrunchy when the elastic strap means is extended, such embodiment is shown in the drawings. The sleeve imparts a fashionable flair to the hat or cap. It is noted that while FIG. 5 shows a seam (36), the sleeve can be seamless. The sleeve can be of any desired color and may have any texture, or printed, painted or otherwise applied design(s).
The embodiment shown in FIG. 1 employs a single elastic strap means (3) to hold long hair gathered into a ponytail (11) as shown. The elastic strap means is stretched and extended over the ponytail and the quick attach/release section (4) of the strap is attached to the cap, thus holding the ponytail onto the cap.
FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 show embodiments employing 2 or more elastic strap means, which are used when it is desired to hold the hair more firmly to the hat or cap, and/or for thick or very long hair.
FIG. 7 shows a parallel arrangement of the elastic strap means. The quick attach/release sections (15,16) are located diagonally across the cap opening (10) and from one another, like wise for the fixed ends of the elastic strap means.
FIG. 8 shows an “X” or crisscross configuration for two elastic strap means (20,23). The quick attach/release sections (19,22) are positioned on opposite sides above cap opening (10) and horizontally opposite one another.
FIG. 9 shows another embodiment employing three elastic strap means: two in a “X” or cross pattern (26,29) and one elastic strap means horizontally above opening (10) in cap (1).
It is noted in regard to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 7,8 and 9, the placement of quick attach/release section can be varied other than the manner shown, for example, the sections can be located such that the sections are on the same side of the hat, i.e., one above the other. It is further noted that other changes may be made without departing from the spirit, scope and the teaching of the invention.