US 3543763 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Frank Porco Bronx, New York  Appl. No. 744,150  Filed July 11, 1968  Patented Dec. 1, 1970  Assignee Bil'lex Foundations, Inc.
New York, New York a corporation of New York  STOCKING SUPPORT MEANS 1 Claim, 6 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 128/535; 2/224: 128/510; 24/73  Int. Cl A4lc 1/00  Field ofSearch 128/535, 524530; 24/73, 73.90, 73(GS), 73(PA), 73.1; 2/224, 239, 240, 241
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 846,321 3/1907 Lane 24/73.1
Primary Examiner-Adele M. Eager Attorney-Jacobi, Davidson, Lilling & Siegel ABSTRACT: A stocking support means which is relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture, The stocking support means is compact and flat, thereby eliminating unsightly bulges and the like. A particular application of the stocking support means is its use in conjunction with a panty girdletype undergarment. The inventive stocking support means includes a strip, preferably of elastic, which is attached by stitching to the lower region of the undergarment, with the stitching placed such that the strip folds downwardly at its midpoint forming an upper portion which overlies the lower portion. Male and female snap fastener halves, secured to the upper and lower portions respectively, are automatically juxtaposed and cooperate with each other, thereby engaging the stocking. The snap fastener means are preferably fabricated of a plastic material.
Patented Dec. 1, 1970 z I i lay/ M V STOCKING SUPPORT MEANS This invention relates to means for retaining and supporting stockings, and more particularly to support means for stockings to be used in conjunction with a panty girdle-type undergarment.
Many types of garters and similar devices are known for supporting long stockings. Perhaps the most widely used of these devices is the ordinary garter which is suspended from the lower region of an undergarment such as a corset or garter belt and which engages the upper edge portion of the stocking by means of a rubber or some similar resilient material which cooperates with a wire member, with the stocking therebetween. This well-known device suffers from the obvious disability of being extremely bulky and unwieldy when considered in light of the current abbreviated styles of women's clothing. Further, the conventional garter hangs below the garment to which it is attached and consequently, it often becomes visible beneath the lower portion of a short skirt or other overgarment.
Other means have been suggested for use with womens undergarments, such as panty girdles, to retain and support long stockings, and at the same time remain hidden and relatively bulk-free so as to present a, pleasant overall appearance. In some cases this purpose has been achieved, but only at the expense of other desirable features such as comfort to the wearer or great difficulty and expense of manufacture.
It is, therefore, a primary object of this invention to provide stocking support means free of the aforementioned and other such disadvantages. More specifically, an important object of this invention is to provide stocking support means which lie flat, yet which are comfortable to the wearer. A further object of this invention, consistent with the foregoing objects, is to provide stocking support means which are relatively inexpensive and simple to manufacture. Another object of this invention is to provide stocking support means which directly en- I gage a portion of the stocking yet which do not damage the same.
Still another significant object of this invention is to provide a stocking support means in conjunction with a woman's undergarment of the panty girdle-type which will retain the stockings of the wearer in the proper position while, at the same time, remaining relatively bulk-free and comfortable to the wearer.
These and other objects, advantages and salient features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description which, taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.
Referring to the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a panty girdle embodying the stocking support means ofthis invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view ofthe panty girdle of FIG. 1 partially fragmental and partially broken away to show the stocking support means of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a front view of the stocking support means of this invention before being applied to a garment;
FIG. 4 is a side view of the stocking support means in accordance with this invention showing the first step of its application to a stocking;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of the stocking support means of FIG. 4 in the fully locked position on a stocking member; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the locking members of the stocking support means ofthis invention.
Referring first to FIG. 1 there is'shown a typical panty girdle-type undergarment generally designated by the numeral 10. The panty girdle 10 includes a body and leg encircling member 12 and a crotch member 14. The body and leg encircling member 12 may be considered to have an upper, body encircling portion 16 and a lower, leg encircling portion 18 which, combined with a portion of crotch member 14, encircles the upper portion of the wearers leg. The upper body encircling portion 16 typically has a waist encircling elastic band attached thereto by conventional stitching means. A band 22 of elastic or the like encircles the periphery of leg opening24 formed by the leg encircling portion 18 and crotch member 14. This ensures a proper snug fit of the garment. Stocking support members, generally designated by the numeral 26, are secured to the garment 10 at spaced intervals around leg opening 24. The stocking support members 26 are secured to the garment 10 by stitching means 28. The body and leg encircling portion 12 can be fabricated of any conventional materia1, and is preferably made of a two-way stretch-type fabric. Crotch portion 14 is fabricated of any suitable soft and gentle fabric material, in a known manner.
The leg portion 18 is depicted in FIG. 2 with the front thereof broken away to show the stocking support means 26 in the operative position. As can be seen, the stocking support means 26 can be mounted on either the leg encircling portion 18 or the crotch portion 14 by stitching means 28.
Attention is now directed to FIG. 3 wherein there is shown stocking support means 26 in a completely assembled condition but prior to being secured to the undergarment 10. Stocking support means 26 includes a longitudinally extending strip 30 of a suitable material which is preferably a soft elastic band. The strip 30 will be folded transversely at the center thereof, shown as a fold line 32, to form an upper portion 34 and a lower portion 36. Snap fastener means comprising male fastener half 38 and female fastener half 40 are secured respectively to the upper portion 34 and the lower portion 36. It should be clearly understood, however, that while this is the preferred placement the relative positions of the male fastener half 38 and the female fastener half 40 could be reversed. The stocking support means 26 is secured to the garment 10 by stitching means which will be located at the upper end of the lower portion 36, that is, near fold line 32. Returning momentarily to FIG. 2, it will be appreciated that due to the placement of the stitching 28 the upper portion 34 will fold downwardly to overlie the lower portion 36 in such a way that male fastener half 38 will be juxtaposed with female fastener half 40 thereby obviating the necessity of the wearer to fumble with the stocking support means when attaching the same to a stocking. As can be seen in FIG. 4 the stocking support means 26 will be folded at fold line 32 such that upper portion 34 overlies lower portion 36 and male fastener half 38 is automatically juxtaposed with female fastener half 40 with the stocking 42 placed therebetween. FIG. 4 depicts this relationship in a position immediately prior to the final fastening step of the stocking support means 26 with the stocking 42.
The male and female fastener halves 38 and 40 are secured to the elastic strip 30 by retainers 44 which, since they work in an identical manner with both the male fastener half 38 and the female fastener half 40, will be described in relation to male fastener half 38 with the understanding that such description applies to both fastener halves. Male fastener half 38 and female fastener half 40, and retainers 44 are preferably fabricated of a thermoplastic material. FIG. 6 shows that retainers 44 include web portion 46 and upstanding posts 48 which engage corresponding holes 50 in web portion 56 of male fastener half 38. In attaching the fastener to the elastic strip 30 the posts 44 pierce, or pass through, the strip 30 and engage the holes 50 of male fastener half 38. The posts 48 are then sealed by conventional heat sealing methods to form locking head 54 thereby locking the male fastener half 38 and retainer 44 in place. In a similar manner the posts 48 of retainer 44 engage hold 50 in female fastener half 40 and are also sealed in a conventional manner.
Centrally located in web portion 56 of male snap fastener half 38 is upstanding knob 58 and an annular, inwardly enlarged peripheral channel 60. Female fastener member 40 has a centrally located inwardly enlarged socket 62 which corresponds to and cooperates with knob 58. When the male fastener member 38 and female fastener member 40 are in use, they become fully engaged with the stocking 42 therebetween as shown in FIG. 5.
The use of a synthetic plastic for the fastener halves 38 and 40 and the retainer 44, besides being relatively inexpensive and easy to fabricate into the finished product, has another important advantage to the stocking support means of this invention. As will be readily apparent, the retainers 44 will come into direct contact with the leg or thigh of the wearer of the garment 10, but they will not cause any undue discomfort due to extremes of temperature, as metal fastener means are known to do. Further, the relatively thin and flat stocking support means of this invention will not cause any unsightly bulge or other external manifestation of its presence.
While the stocking support means of this invention has been depicted in combination with a long-line-type panty girdle, it is eminently clear that it will work equally well with any type of undergarment including a brief-type panty girdle.
It is accordingly clear that the foregoing objects of this invention have been satisfied by reference to an exemplary and preferred embodiment thereof. It is apparent, however, that other modifications and embodiments may be made without departing from the spirit or scope thereof.
l. Stocking support means comprising a longitudinal fabric strip adaptable to be folded transversely into a first portion and an overlying second portion, and cooperating snap fastener means, said snap fastener means comprising a first half and a second half, said first half being secured to said first portion and said second half being secured to said second portion, said two halves being adaptable to cooperate with each other with stocking means being engaged therebetween, said stocking support means being adaptable to be secured to an undergarment, and wherein said snap fastened halves comprise a male half and a female half, each of said halves being secured to said strip by a cooperating retaining means and wherein said halves and said retainer means are fabricated ofa synthetic plastic comprising a thermoplastic resin, each of said halves comprising a flat web portion with a plurality ofspaced holes therein, and each of said retainers comprising a flat web portion with a plurality of spaced upstanding posts therein adaptable to be alined with said holes and secured thereto, and in combination, an undergarment, said undergarment having an upper, body encircling portion and lower, leg and thigh encircling portion, said stocking support means being secured to said lower portions at spaced intervals.