US 2958327 A
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Nov. 1, 1960 6. w. GEISSMANN FOUNDATION GARMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 29, 1957 IN V EN TOR.
NOV. 1, 1960 w, GEISSMANN 2,958,327
FOUNDATION GARMENT Filed March 29, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. W m
Patented Nov. 1, 1960 FOUNDATION GARMENT Gladys W. Geissmann, 2 Beelmlan Place, New York 22, NY.
Filed Mar. 29, 1957, Ser. No. 649,421 7 Claims. (Cl. 128-525) This invention relates to foundation garments for imparting contour and control comfortably to the figure without impairing natural body postures and motions.
Conventionally, most foundation garments are designed to produce a maximum compression of the flesh with an evenly distributed force without regard for the skeletal structure beneath, or the body action. Those conventional types of foundation garments which purport to convey localized control with the addition of double fabric at isolated spots, do not accomplish the objective because the doubled fabric simply is equalized by excessive stretching out of the single fabric to which it is attached.
At times they produce unnatural shapes like cylinders, or so compress the flesh that an unattractive roll is pushed up and out over the waistline. The indiscriminately applied pressures generated by these garments can and do reduce the wearer to agony, particularly when they multiply as the foundation garment is driven into a sitting position.
The purpose of the present invention, therefore, is to provide an attractive foundation garment affording effective, pleasing figure control while at the same time affording considerable freedom of motion and posture and overall comfort for the wearer.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a foundation garment including a fabric framework made up of a shaped band to encircle the waist and a shaped band to encircle the area or areas at the junction of the thighs and the buttocks, these two bands converging at the front downwardly and upwardly, respectively, into a vertical tension band spanning the more central area of the abdomen. All the bands have strong resilience, girthwise for the most part, so that the vertical abdominal band is substantially unyielding along its span. In this fashion, predetermined pressures are developed for controlling the waist shape, the pressures being consistently applied in amounts which tend to be uniform with varying positions or actions of the body for reasons which will be apparent. Concurrently, abdominal control pressures are applied by the vertical band in tension when the wearer stands erect, these pressures deriving almost entirely from the encircling bands reacting downward on the sturdy, supporting bone structure of the hips and upwardly against the heavier muscles of the buttocks and thighs.
The hip and buttocks areas between the bands are snugly enveloped by a body portion of a second fabric having considerable resilience in two directions, one more than the other. The direction of the least resilience, i.e., maximum resistance to distention, is arranged girthwise about the hips and buttocks, inclining slightly downward to the back, to impart generally uniform figure controlling pressures which tend to be independent of normal movements of the torso. The fabric is arranged with its greatest elasticity predominantly in the up and down direction over the buttocks because it must partake of relatively greater distention in that direction. It is the only structural link vertically between the backs of the two encircling bands and is able to accommodate the extraordinary changes in length and shape necessary to comply with what the figure does between sitting and standing positions. This useful characteristic of the inner or body portion of the garment can be augmented by pre-shaping the back to the natural contours taken by the buttocks in a standing posture. The body portion, having strong horizontal elasticity, also serves to impart abdominal control when the figure is in a sitting position, taking over from the slackening vertical band of the framework. These control forces of the body portion derive from the increased tensions girthwise when the figure is in a sitting position. Overall, there results a continuity of figure-controlling pressures on the abdomen, waist, hips, and buttocks in amounts which adequately reflect and idealize the geometry of the figure without imposing pain-inducting pressures in .localized areas when the figure assumes a variety of positions.
Representative embodiments of the invention from which the above and other features will be readily ap parent are described below having reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a front view of a foundation garment as it would appear filled;
Figure 2 is a back view of the foundation garment of Figure 1 on a model;
Figure 3 is a side view of the foundation garment of Figures 1 and 2;
Figure 4 is a front view of a modified foundation garment construction;
Figure 5 is a front view of another modification of the foundation garment;
Figure 6 is a plan view of a component part of the foundation garments of Figures 1-5;
Figure 7 is a partly developed front view of another component of the garment of Figures 1-3;
Figure 8 is a side view in perspective showing the foundation garment on a model in sitting posture; and
Figure 9 is a fragmentary view of the reinforced inside surface of the outside of the leg of the garment of Figures 1-3.
Referring to the drawing, first to Figures 1-3, the invention is illustrated as embodied in a foundation garment, indicated generally by the numeral 10, taking the form of a girdle with legs, sometimes called a panty girdle. The foundation garment 10 includes a fabric frame assembly having an upper body-encircling band portion 11 adapted to surround the waist area and a lower body-encircling portion 12 adapted to be worn in the area near the junction of the buttocks and the thighs, the portion 12 including, in this embodiment, a pair of leg-encircling band portions 12a and 12b. The encircling band portions 11 and 12 are joined at the front by a vertical tension band portion 13 spanning the abdomen at its critical area, the two bands 11 and 12 being otherwise free of connection by the basic fabric of which the frame assembly is formed.
The fabric of the frame assembly band portions 11, i2, and i3 is strongly resiliently distendabl-e in one direction, that is, it has one-way stretch and considerable recovery power. To this end it can take the form of a relatively heavy weave fabric including warp yarns of strong, elastic material. It can also be a combination of materials to achieve this pre-planned result such as lined or multiple thickness. In the garment 10 the direction of the elastic yarns and hence the directions of stretch are arranged to aiford the major component of the stretch girthwise of the wearer, with only a minor component running axially or vertically of the wearer. Referring to Figure l, the direction of stretch of the fabric of the upper band portion 11 is normal to the oppositely inclined reference lines 14a and 14b, whereas the direction of stretch of the fabric of the lower band portion 12 is normal to the oppositely inclined reference lines 15a and 1512'. In the arrangement of Figure 1, the vertical band portion 13 is defined by the downwardly converging lo'wer'edges 16 and 17 of the upper band portion 11 and by the upwardly converging upper edges 18 and 19 of the lower band portion 12, the concavely convergent edges 16 and 18 meeting at a junction 20' on one side of the vertical center line of the garment (and also of the wearer) and generally midway between the upper and lower bands. The convergent edges 17 and 19 meet at a junction 21 correspondingly located on the other side of the center line. In the design of the garment of Figure 1, the upwardly convergent edges 18 and 19 are brought to a point 22 at the center line, being stitched to the underlying portions of the upper band 11. This establishes, in addition to a pleasing optical effect at the front of the garment, a band section of double strength at the place of maximum force concentration. At no time, it shall be recognized, are the positive, figure-controlling forces on the abdomen derived basically from circumferential forces around the torso in the vicinity of the abdomen. In other words, radial pressure inwardly on the abdomen is accomplished locally without constricting the body at the abdomen, in this fashion preventing painful pressures on the lower back area and hip area. Coextensive center seams 23a and 23b join the top of the upper band portion 11 to the lower band portion 12 along the length, it follows, of the tension band 13.
Referring to Figure 7, a representative cut for the frame assembly is illustrated, one side being shown in its threedimensional or finished form and the other side in a developed plan view. The lower band portion 12 and particularly the thigh-encircling portion 12b thereof is formed by a strip 24, the edge 25 of which is brought around and stitched to the edge 26 to form a closed loop for the leg, the edges 25 and 26 being cut to form a gentle downward taper. In the left-hand or finished band portion 12a of the garment this scam is identified by the numeral 27. Also, the upper band portion 11 is preferably tapered gently upwardly by means, for example, of a contouring side seam 28. If necessary, a zipper closure 29 can be provided in the upper margin of the garment, the closure appearing, for example, at the center of the back as shown in the arrangement of Figures 1 and 7.
The space between the band portions 11, 12, and 13 is filled by a body or central portion 30, the shape of which in plan view is illustrated by Figure 6, sewn to the front assembly. This piece takes a generally elliptical form with the portion of maximum height occurring along the vertical center line at the back of the garment, the height decreasing progressively around the girth of the wearer to the junctions 20 and 21 of the frame assembly. The body portion 30 is formed of a two-way stretch material having more give in one direction than the other, but both of which are considerably less powerful than the single direction of stretch of the frame assembly. The portion 30 is fitted in the frame assembly so that the direction of the most resilience or least resistance runs vertically as indicated by the direction-of-stretch lines 31 in Figures 2 and 6, and the direction of most resistance to stretch runs generally horizontally with a slight downward inclination to the back in the standing figure as indicated by the direction-of-stretch lines 32 in Figures 2, 3, and 6. In the seated figure, as shown in Figure 8, these lines change direction, although, as described below, the attendant forces do not.
In a preferred arrangement, the body portion 30 is formed of a knitted net material, commonly called power net, which under equal forces stretches approximately 60 percent further in one direction than in the other. The garment is fitted to the wearer so that the girthwise forces imposed on the hips and buttocks by the body portion 30 affords the desired degree of figure control in these regions. The radial pressures imparted around the girth tend to be rather constant, not changing significantly with the various positions and motions of the wearer, although the directions can change, as described above. In the vertical direction (direction-of-stretch lines 31) where the elongation on the figure varies from a maximum near the center of the back portion to a minimum near the junctions 20 and 21 of the frame assembly, the fabric affords maximum stretch to impose minimum restrictive forces. This does not adversely aifect the figure-controlling action of the inner or body portion 30 of the garment which derives from the relatively greater circumferential forces. In accordance with the invention, additional comfort can be provided in the seat portion of the garment by constructing the body portion 30 to include an additional wedge-shaped section 33 at the lower portion of the seat to provide the vertical expansion for the right angle form of the seated wearer. The body portion 30 is completed by means of a crotch section 34 which can be formed integrally with the seat-enlarging section 33 or, alternatively, seamed thereto. To prevent rolling or curling of the sides of the lower band portion 12, an insert piece 35 (Figures 3 and 9) can be added to the inside surface of the band on either side of the garment.
Referring to Figure 4, there is illustrated a foundation garment 10 having a construction basically similar to that of Figures 1-3, but difiering in the preparation and assembly of the components. In Figure 4, in which parts more or less identical to those of Figures 1-3 are identified by like, primed reference numerals, one-half of the upper band portion 11 and one-half of the lower band portion 12 are cut as a single or integrated fabric piece 36. Similarly, the other half of the upper band portion and the other half of the lower band portion are formed from a single fabric piece 37, the two pieces being joined along a front center seam 38 in which a zipper closure 39 can be incorporated. By this technique, one thighencircling portion 12b can be included integrally with the piece 36, and the other 12a integrally with the piece 37, the thigh portions including seams 40 and 41 respectively. In this form of the garment the broken lines 14a and 14b, signifying as in Figure 1 the non-stretch grain of the fabric in the framework assembly, are duplicated in direction in the extension of the lower bands 1211', as indicated by the lines 15a and 15b. This results when the upper band is cut in one with the leg band rather than in two pieces as shown in Figure 1. In either case, girthwise or horizontal elasticity and vertical strength are so combined that the elasticity is able to work at an angle up over the hips and at an obliquely opposite angle down into the curved leg bands, which curve changes the pitch of the elasticity as it progresses around the leg. This affords live, flexibly forceful action to the abdominal control and the feeling of the whole garment.
A legless foundation garment 10" can be provided in accordance with the invention as shown by Figure 5. Parts of the foundation garment of Figure 5 which correspond generally to those of Figures l-3 are again identified by like, primed reference numerals. The lower bodyencircling band portion 12 takes the form of a single loop to surround the area between the two thighs and the buttocks. A side upper closure 42 can be incorporated between the hip area and the center line as shown, or a center front or center back closure can be used. As in all of the garments described herein, garters 43 can be included in the lower band portion. The same principles of figure control, including the abdominal span 13' brought into tension by the oppositely directed warp stretch pulls spread over the upper hips and the lower torso by the upper and lower band portions 11 and 12. As in all of the illustrated embodiments, localized vertical abdominal support is achieved without squeezing hard every part around the hips and abdomen, or atfecting the sensitive lower back area in prolonged sitting posture.
Referring to Figure 8, a foundation garment in accordance with the present invention is illustrated on a seated figure, in which connection it will be observed that the spacing between the back of the lower encircling band 12 and the back of the lower encircling band 11 has increased materially, the change in dimension being accommodated by the freedom of elongation embodied in the construction of the body portion 30 coupled with the absence of other vertical connections between the relatively more powerful band portions. In sitting attitude, the stronger and less yielding band portions of the garment are not subjected to significantly increased stress. The band portions at the front of the garment are capable of easily hinging to accommodate the angle between the thighs and the lower abdomen. At this time the tension around the waist and legs is lessened to afiord comfort for long periods of sitting, while the horizontally-applied forces of the body portion 30 come into play to impart abdominal control. The horizontal forces become increasingly elfective under the extra tension of the sitting position. Thus, there are changes in forces controlling the figure as the figure assumes different postures. Standing erect, as indicated in Figure 3, the upper and lower band portions, by virtue of their shapes and locations, are relatively secure against axial movement, reacting against body surfaces and bone structures well able to withstand the dispersed axial forces. These forces are passed to the vertical band 13 through an X configuration deriving from the downwardly convergent, curving edge portions 16 and 17 and the upwardly converging, curving edges 18 and 19 in an action which is substantially independent of the predetermined girthwise hip and buttock region control imparted by the inner two-way stretching body portion 30. At no time are force concentrations generated by the more conventional and potentially painful expedient of plying reinforcing material with two-way material in localized areas to distort the garment and multiply the pressures.
The ledge formed by the skeletal hip bones under the muscle and flesh covering of the waistline just above the location of the hip bones, serves as a natural bearing point from which to suspend the means of control of the abdomen. The waistband is so shaped at the side seams over the hip bone area that a sloping line is accomplished outwardly to accommodate the bone formation underneath, in this fashion complying with the existence of the underlying structure of the body. An unattractive tube-like shape is avoided as are strain on the nerves and fatigue and immobilization of the muscles. Also eliminated is the tendency to push waistline flesh up and out into a roll. The absence of constriction at the hip bone area avoids agonizing discomfort when the wearer bends or sits. Thus, sitting comfort is not sacrificed for a prescribed silhouette in a standing position.
While the invention has been described above having reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it can take various forms and arrangements without departing from the scope of the invention. The principles of the invention are applicable, for example, to a wide variety of foundation garments including girdles, panty girdles, and corsets. Also, a number of different sheet or fabric materials can be used, consistent with the indicated balance of resiliency. The framework assembly of the present invention can be made without a releasable closure such as a zipper if desired, although gerater precision of control is afforded if a closure is used because it provides more readily for the band at the waistline to ride on the supporting hip bones in a very comfortably contoured shape, cut to accommodate the greater extension of the skeletal bones beneath the flesh. The
invention should not be regarded as limited except as defined in the accompanying claims:
1. In a foundation garment, a frame assembly of flexible sheet material including first body-encircling waist band means, second body-encircling band means to be disposed generally below the buttocks of the wearer, vertical band means merging with and joining the first and second hand means along the front of the garment, the vertical band means being dimensioned relatively to the positions of the first and second band means to be pulled taut by the first and second body encircling band means when the wearer stands erect, and a body portion of relatively more resilient flexible sheet material having elasticity in both directions and joined to the frame assembly to fill the space between said band means, whereby girthwise forces between the band means derive from the relatively more resilient body portion substantially independently of the frame assembly, whereby with the figure standing erect the frame assembly imparts abdominal control through tension in said vertical band means, the tension relaxing as the figure assumes a sitting posture with abdominal control shifting from the vertical tension deriving from the frame assembly to horizontal forces deriving from the distended body portion.
2. A foundation garment as set forth in claim 1, said second encircling band means comprising a pair of bands to encircle the thighs of the wearer, each of the last said pair of band means merging into said vertical band means adjacent the lower front portion of the garment.
3. A foundation garment as set forth in claim 1, said second encircling band means comprising a single band to encircle the lower torso of the wearer, the band inclining forwardly upwardly to merge into the vertical band means adjacent the lower front portion of the garment.
4. A foundation garment as set forth in claim 1, said body portion at the back of the garment being arranged to afford maximum resilience in a vertical direction to accommodate bending, said frame assembly being formed of relatively less resilient material having resilience predominantly in one direction, the first, second, and vertical band means being arranged with its direction of resilience disposed girthwise.
5. In a foundation garment, a frame assembly of flexible sheet material including first body-encircling band means to be disposed generally about the waist of the wearer and having a front portion which curves downward along its lower edge on either side of the front center line of the garment, second body encircling band means to be disposed generally below the buttocks of the wearer and having a front portion which curves upwardly along its upper edge on either side of the front center line of the garment, said first and second band means being vertically spaced apart, said curving edges of the first and second band means merging together in two junctions proximate to and equally spaced from the front center line of the garment and generally midway between the first and second encircling band means, thereby to define vertical band means along the vertical front center line of the garment, which vertical band means is held in tension when the wearer stands erect by the opposing forces derived from the encircling band means, and a body portion of flexible sheet material having substantially greater resilience than the material of said band means to span the distance between said first and second band means, whereby addominal controlling forces derive substantially from said frame assembly as developed in the vertical band means, and the girthwise figure controlling forces between the first and second hand means derive substantially from said resilient body portion, the material of said body portion aflording resilience in both directions. 1
6. A foundation garment as set forth in claim 5, said second body-encircling band means including a pair of thigh-encircling bands curving outwardly and b ackwardly from the front of the garment.
7. A foundation garment as set forth in claim 5, said body portion comprising a single piece of resilient flexible sheet material "of generally oval shape joined to said band means, said frame assembly being formedof sheet material having substantially-oneway stretch of relatively less resilience than either direction of stretch of the body portion, the-directionof stretch running substantially girthwise of the wearer.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Oliensis Oct. 28, 1947 Morin Mar. 20, 1951 Loftus et a1 Aug. 28, 1951 Hurwitz Feb. 24, 1953 Murdock Mar. 24, 1953 Schwoerer Aug. 11, 1953 Leonard Apr. 20, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATION OF CORRECTION Patent No .i 2 958,327 November 1,, 1960 Gladys W, Geissmann It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered pat ent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
In the grant (only) line 12 for "Gladys W, Geissmann his heirs" read Gladys W Geissmann, her heirs c Si ned and sealed this 2nd day of May 1961,
ERNEST W. SWIDER DAVID Ln LADD Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents