US 3777764 A
A garment formed at least in part of elastic material has an opening provided in the crotch thereof. A cover element in the form of a panty also formed at least in part of elastic material is worn over the main garment to cover the crotch opening and to restore body controlling compression lost in the main garment due to the provision of the crotch opening. The cover element may be attached to the main garment. The invention is applicable to a wide variety of body garments.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Herbener [111 3,777,764 1 Dec. 11, 1973 1 1 UNDERGARMENTS  Filed: Aug. 30, 1972  Appl. No.: 284,719
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 19,204, March 13, 1970,
Pat. No. 3,712,308.
 11.5. C1 128/519, 2/224 R, 2/67  Int. Cl. A4lc 1/00  Field of Search 2/224 A, 224 R, 78 R, 2/78 A, 226, 67; 128/518, 519, 528, 529, 530
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,466,667 9/1969 Rosney 2/240 522,366 7/1894 Golding... 128/528 2,045,401 6/1936 Mowry 128/431 746,060 12/1903 Frisbie 2/78 B 2,960,987 11/1960 Rockwell 128/542 X 2,493,357 l/l950 Miller 2/238 X 3,023,419 3/1962 Strahle 2/67 X 2,477,353 7/1949 Strait 128/529 3,040,751 6/1962 Mastenbrock 128/529 3,449,932 6/1969 Fillmore et a1. 2/224 X 3,498,298 3/1970 Herbeyer 128/533 OTHER PUBLICATIONS A page from Sears Catalog, Fall-Winter 1969, Cat. 239E,
Primary ExaminerGeorge V. Larkin Att0rneyB. P. Fishburne, Jr.
 ABSTRACT A garment formed at least in part of elastic material ments.
3 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTED DEC H I975 SHEET 10F 3 FIG. 2
PATENTEDUEC 1 1 I975 SHEET 3 BF 3 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION With the increasing popularity of elastic body and undergarments next-to-the-skin as embodied in panty hose, body stockings, corselettes and the like, an 7 obvious persistent inconvenience for the wearer is present because of the necessity for substantially removing the garment in comfort stations. Any garment of this character which has a closed crotch is highly inconvenient to the female wearer of the garment and this has been a major drawback to the complete acceptance of these elastic body garments by girls and women of all ages. There is a .degree of inconvenience and some times embarrassment in their use which many individuals are unwilling to accept. In all other respects, the elastic garments of the class mentioned have such great advantages in comfort, warmth, freedom of movement and control of the body-contours that they are highly desirable and are every day coming into more wide usage as the basic foundation garment or underwear for females.
The prior art contains a number of teachings of garments having removable crotch sections or crotch flaps which may be opened and closed and some of these teachings are quite old in the art. None has proven to be reliable and acceptable 'to the wearers of the garments and, in general, this approach to solving the problem is a failure Consequently, it is the objective of this invention to completely and effectively solve the above problem incident to the elastic body garments of the classes enumerated above. The problem is solved in sucha manner that all of the good features of these stretch garments are preserved while the single feature of inconvenience is eliminated in a manner which will be acceptable to the wearer and which will allow the wearer to have full confidence in the practicality of the garment.
More specifically, in accordance with the invention, the problem of completely removing the elastic bodyor foundation garment in a comfort station is eliminated and the garment may remain completely in place on the body with only the necessity for removing a small crotch covering garment portion in the nature of a brief panty element which may be attached permanently to the body garment or formed as a separate element, if preferred.
Aside from the convenience feature, the invention maintains the full ability of the composite garment to properly compression the body and control the body contours. The slight loss of compression caused by removal of the crotch portion of the foundation garment is restored by the effect of the elastic crotch covering separate or attached brief panty element.
The crotch opening provided .in the body garment may actually be a relatively smallopening but one which stretches and expands to a large opening when the wearer assumes a sitting position, and this too is a major feature of the invention and a feature which is the key to its practicality. When the wearer is in a position other than sitting, the crotch opening diminishes in size and-a degree of tension or control on this region of the body is restored.
In view of the foregoing explanation, it is believed that the main features and advantages'of the garment will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and various additional features will appear during the course of th following detailed description. l
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES FIG. l is an exploded perspective view of a body stocking embodying the invention and a separately formed panty element forming a part thereof.
FIG. 1A is a partly diagrammatic perspective view illustrating the enlargement of the crotch opening in a sitting position.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a body stocking and permanently connected panty element in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2A is a view similar to FIG. 1A showing the elements when the wearer is in a sitting position.
FIG. 3 is a composite perspective view showing a body stocking with crotch opening and an associated panty hose garment with full crotch to be worn in conjunction with the body stocking.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 3gshowing a body stocking having a crotch opening and apanty girdle to be worn exteriorly thereof.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing a. full length stretch body garment including integral stocking portions and an associated brief panty'element to cover the crotch opening of the full length garment.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of elastic panty hose and a brief covering panty element showing a further embodiment of the invention.
' FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a girdle and coacting panty briefs.
FIG. 8 is a similar view of a corselette and coacting panty element. I v
FIG.- -9 is a similar view of another form of corselette and coacting panty element embodying the invention.
7 DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings in detail wherein like numeralsdesignate like parts, and making reference first to FIGS. 1 and 1A, there'is shown a body stocking 20 which is a relatively thin garment formed of material which will stretch in all directions, and consequently has the ability to tension the body in all directions. Cu stomarily, these stretch garments are made in one size which will fit substantially all wearers. The body stocking 20 applies tension to the body circumferentially and also in the up-and-down direction. Shoulder straps 21 serve to enhance support in the, upward direction and the leg portions of the garment serve in opposition to the shoulder straps to pull the garment downwardly.
- In contrast to a conventional body stocking having a full crotch, the body stocking 20 has a substantial portion of the crotch removed so as to form a crotch opening or slot 22 which is elongated front-to-rear and may have its ends tapered as shown. The marginal edges of theslot 22 may be reinforced with stitching in any suitable rnanner but the slot or opening, like the remainder of the body stocking, must have the ability to stretch in all directions. The opening 22 may be a relatively small opening in the relaxed garment 20, but when the wearer assumes a sitting position, as illustrated in FIG. 1A, the crotch opening 22 stretches and becomes considerably enlarged, and this ability of the garment is what renders the same so useful and practical and eliminates the necessity for lowering or removing the entire garment in a comfort station.
Worn in conjunction with the body stocking and forming an important component of the invention is an exterior panty element 23 having a full crotch 24 and preferably formed of the same muIti-direction stretch knit material utilized for the body stocking. The panty element 23 may be a brief element of any desired shape or style including the Bikini shape, if preferred. When applied over the body stocking 20, the panty element not only covers the crotch opening 22 but serves the additional important purpose of restoring the compression to that region of the body where some compression is lost due to the provision of the opening 22. Additionally, the panty element supplements the action of the panty hose by applying added tension around the hips so as to provide a degree of girdle action. In FIG. 1, the panty element 23 is formed separately from the body stocking 20 with no permanent attachment thereto.
FIGS. 2 and 2A show a slightly different embodiment of the invention from FIGS. 1 and 1A, the chief difference being that the crotch covering panty element 23' is permanently attached to the body stocking 20 by a short line of stitching 25 at the front of the waist. Other attaching means may be employed including separable fasteners. A virtue of having the two garment elements attached is that they will not become separated or lost during laundering or during periodsof non-use. Except for the attachment feature, the construction of the garment and its utility is substantially as described in FIGS. 1 and 1A. FIG. 2A illustrates a sitting attitude where the opening 22 is enlarged andthe panty element 23' is idle at the front of the garment, having been pulled down at the rear when the sitting position was assumed by the wearer. The legs of the userremain in the panty element 23 while in the sitting position, and it is a simple matter'to return the panty element to the regular use position upon standing by simply pulling the same up at the rear.
FIG. 3 shows a further embodiment of the invention where the same body stocking 20, previously described, with stretchable crotch opening 22 is employed in conjunction with conventional stretch panty hose 26 which have a full crotch. Similarly to the panty element 23, the panty hose 26 is worn over the body stocking 20 for covering the opening 22 and restoring tension to the garment which would otherwise be lost.
by the presence of the crotch opening. The same convenience feature is preserved, whereby only the upper portion of the panty hose need be pulled down below the hips and over the thighs when the wearer of the composite garment is in a sitting position. With the arrangement in FIG. 3, the two components form a full length elastic body garment which covers the body from the shoulders to the toes and exerts maximum compression around the hips where such compression is most needed.
FIG. 4 shows still another embodiment utilizing the same elastic body stocking 20 having crotch opening 22 and a coacting panty girdle 27 which may be formed of heavier stretch material so as to be able to exert more control on the body particularly in the region of the hips. The same essential features of the invention already described are preserved with the embodiment of FIG. 4.
FIG. 5 illustrates a full length one-piecestretch material body garment 28 having integral legs and feet and, if desired, a double thickness region 29 around the hips for'added control. This garment exerts tension in all directions and this feature is conventional in the knit material employed. The one-piece garment 28 is provided with a stretchable crotch opening 30 or slot substantially identical to the opening 22 and for the same purpose described.
In conjunction with the body garment 28, there is provided a brief panty element 31 of similar stretch material having a closed crotch 32 capable of covering the opening 30 when in the elevated use position indicated by the broken lines 33 in FIG. 5. Again, the element 31 serves the dual purpose of covering the crotch opening and restoring tension which would otherwise be sacrificed by the formation of the opening.
FIG. 6 shows another embodiment where the basic garment 34 is in the form of stretch panty hose provided with a stretchable crotch opening 35 for the described purpose. A coacting Bikini-type panty 36 is shown and this serves the same purpose as the panty el ements already described in previous embodiments.
FIG. 7 of the drawings shows the invention applied to an elastic panty girdle 37 which may be formed of lightweight, medium or even heavy stretch material dependent upon the needs of the wearer. Two way stretch material is contemplated for this type of garment, as shown by the arrows in FIG. 7. The girdle 37 is equipped with a crotch opening 38, as previously described, and a brief stretch panty 39 is adapted to be worn over the girdle 37 to cover'the crotch opening 38 and restore any lost tension.
In this type of foundation garment, it is desirable to incorporate in the abdominal region a suitable pocket or compartment means 40 receiving a movable stay unit 41 of the type fully disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,498,298, issued Mar. 3, 1970, to Henry M. Herbener. The purpose of this movable stay unit is to hold up the top edge of the girdle at the front and to flatten the abdomen while permitting ease of bending the body at the waist, as described in said patent.
FIG. 8 shows another modification of the invention applied to a corselette 42 formed of stretch material of any desired weight. In this case, a crotch opening may be formed by straps 43 which also serve to hold the lower end of the garment down securely. An elastic panty element 44 is provided for the purposes already described in the other embodiments. The girdle 42 is further provided with another form of movable stay unit 45 at its front, also shown and described in the above-mentioned patent and this unit flattens the abdomen, allows ease of movement and bending at the waist, and upholds the top edge of the garment at the center. The mode of operation of the unit 45 is fully covered in said patent.
FIG. 9 shows still another embodiment wherein a corselette 46 is formed with a crotch opening 47 according to the invention. A brief panty element 48 is again provided to cover the opening 47 and add tension and control at the hips and crotch region in the composite garment. The garment is again equipped with the aforementioned movable stay unit 45 to hold up the front of the garment which, in the case of a corselette, lacks shoulder straps. In this instance, the stay unit 45 is a most important element and this is fully disclosed in the above-mentioned Herbener patent.
It may now be seen that the invention is highly versatile and may be applied readily to a variety of underwear items and foundation garments for women. The crotch opening feature and associated panty element, either in the attached or unattached form, supplements the operation of the movable stay units covered in the above-mentioned patent. The two features acting together will result in the ideal undergarment having Stay Up Top characteristics. The invention is ideally suited for the popular lightweight stretch garments including body stockings and panty hose but may also be incorporated advantageously in girdles, corselettes and like garments formed of lightweight, medium weight, or heavier stretch material, the latter type material being for large women. in all cases, the general mode of operation of the crotch opening will be the same, namely, that the opening will be small in a standing position and will expand when a sitting position is assumed. In all cases, there is a unique coaction between the two garment components, namely, body garment and covering panty element, in that the latter serves not only to cover the crotch opening but to restore compression in the garment lost by the formation of the opening. Also, the panty element completely eliminates the very objectionable problem concerning garment removal when no crotch opening is provided as with conventional panty hose, body stockings and panty girdles.
While the invention has been described to some extent and illustrated in terms of undergarments, it should be clearly understood that the invention concepts are equally applicable to bathing suits as well as other body garments and the description and drawings are not to be construed in a limiting sense. Also, various forms of garments embodying the invention may be adorned with lace, embroidery or other decorative material to meet the desires of the public.
It is to be understood that the forms of the invention herewith shown and described are to be taken as preferred examples of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.
1. A composite garment comprising in combination an elastic body portion adapted to cover at least the hip region of the wearer, said garmentbody portion having leg openings and having a crotch section between the leg openings, said crotch section having a front-to-back elongated strectchable convenience opening which expands when the wearer is seated and tends to close when the wearer is standing, and a covering panty component of elastic material worn on the exterior of the garment body portion in covering relation thereto, said panty component having a crotch section which is closed and unapertured so as to completely cover said convenience opening, said panty component because of its elasticity compensating for loss of body compression in the crotch region caused by the provision of the convenience opening and restoring to this region the required normal degree of compression when the panty component is in the normal covering relationship to said body portion.
2. The structure of claim ll, wherein said garment body portion and said panty component are both formed of multi-direction stretch fabric having the ability to conform snugly to the body contours of the wearer.
3. The structure of claim 1, wherein said body portion comprises a sheer body stocking garment and said panty component comprises a Bikini-type panty.