United States Patent 3708800

A gown design or construction intended to minimize, if not eliminate, alterations of individual items and reduce ranges of stock sizes for stores, rental establishments and so forth. The present design comprises a gown which is vertically adjustable as to skirt length by means of inclusion of adjustable shoulder straps. The gown includes an empire waist so that material may flow loosely over the hipline, and is provided with a top the back of which is adjustable in a transverse dimension. By such design, a minimum number of tops and gowns may be provided to accommodate a wide range of sizes, such as ladies with odd, even, and even half-sizes.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/22; A41F15/00; (IPC1-7): A41D1/22
Field of Search:
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US Patent References:
3144660Combination garment1964-08-18Portaro
1568107Burial garment1926-01-05Tucker

Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Hunter, Hampton H.
I claim

1. A gown ensemble including, in combination, a top and a gown worn beneath said top, said gown having adjustable shoulder straps and means for so adjusting said shoulder straps connected thereto and constructed such that said gown can be adjusted vertically on the wearer for selecting desired length, said gown having an adjustable drawstring defining a high waist thereof, and a full skirt visible below said top and depending from said drawstring and constructed to fall loosely over the hipline of the wearer, said top having a lower edge margin overlapping said drawstring and having a slit back, said back having overlapping margins provided with selectively adjustable, releasable securement means for releasably securing said margins together in a selected overlap to accommodate the chest size of the wearer, said top and gown thereby accommodating a variety of sizes and figures.

2. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said releasable securement means comprises respective, mutually cooperable, releasable securement fabric strips.

3. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said releasable securement means comprises respective, adjustable hook-and-eye means.

4. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said top has translucent sleeves and an opaque top member, the latter being disposed over said shoulder straps.

5. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said gown is constructed at said high waist to have a retentive, drawstring channel, said drawstring being slideably disposed in said channel, whereby to permit fingered adjustment of material gatherings proximate to and along said drawstring.

6. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said gown has a back provided with a vertical slit, said slit extending below said drawstring, said slit being provided with mutually cooperable zipper means for closing said back at said slit over terminal ends of said drawstring.

7. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said top is fitted over the bustline and is dimensioned for tightly encompassing the chest beneath said bustline and over said drawstring.

8. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said top covers said shoulder straps and said drawstring.

9. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said top and gown present a one-piece appearance.

10. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said skirt comprises inner and outer skirt members, said outer skirt member being comprised of chiffon material, said gown including a bodice, said inner and outer skirt members being secured to said bodice, said drawstring being adjustably and slidably secured proximate the junction of said inner and outer skirt members and said bodice.

11. Structure according to claim 5 wherein looped stitching comprises said drawstring channel.

12. A gown ensemble including, in combination, a top including means for selectively adjusting the girth dimension thereof, a gown worn beneath said top and being visible therebelow, said gown including means for adjusting the length thereof relatively to the wearer, said gown having an adjustable drawstring defining a waist, said gown including a slit back extending below said drawstring, and means for closing said slit back over said drawstring, and said top having a lower edge margin covering said drawstring at said waist.

The present invention relates to dress designs and, more particularly, to a new and improved gown design and construction wherein the necessity for alterations is either reduced or eliminated, and also wherein a wide range of size of individuals can be accommodated by a minimum number of gown sizes when the present construction is used.

The terms "gown" and "gown ensemble" shall be understood to refer not only to wedding gowns, evening gowns and the like, but also cocktail dresses, afternoon dresses and so forth.

In the past, the manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and even the rental establishment have experienced considerable difficulties in manufacturing and stocking gowns, particularly those of the expensive variety. The problem centers in the fact that there are so many different sizes of individuals which need to be accommodated. The ladies' sizes, the evennumbered sizes, such as 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, are for persons having longer waists and skirt length. Ladies who are short-waisted and who require shorter skirt length have to go into the odd-numbered sizes, i.e., 5, 7, 9 and so forth. Furthermore, for the broader individuals, the half-sizes, such as 101/2 and 121/2, and so forth, need to be provided. This entails a great expense in manufacturing, warehousing, and inventorying wide ranges of sizes for various figures. For the retailer and the rental establishment, the costs of stocking all necessary sizes become quite prohibitive. Furthermore, from the customer or renter's point of view it is desirous that one be able to purchase or rent clothing such that a minimum number of adjustments or alterations are required. Preferably, it is very desirous that no alteration requirement exists.

A particular problem is centered in the area of wedding apparel. Wedding dresses are extremely expensive, both to stock and also to purchase. For some of the finer gowns, it would be much more appropriate to have a few sizes to fit all individuals or at least a very wide range, rather than one being required to manufacture and/or stock 12 to 15 sizes.

In the present invention, it has been found through actual tests that substantially all sizes and figures of individuals from, say, size 7 through size 16 and through the long waist, short waist and half-sizes, can be accommodated simply by the manufacturer making and the user stocking simply three skirt or gown lengths and three top sizes. In a preferred form of the invention the top is fitted at its lower band, so that an essentially one-piece appearance is afforded the wearer.

An essential feature of the invention is that the top can be adjustable for various chest or bust sizes, and that the underneath gown is adjustable as to length at the shoulder strap area. Also includable in a preferred embodiment of dress design is the feature of an empire waist, having an adjustable drawstring to fit the wearer's chest cage immediately below the bustline. Thus, material can be preliminarily adjusted by the fingers of the wearer so that unsightly gatherings, at various points around the girth of the individual, do not exist. Additionally, the material from the empire waist is allowed to flow freely over the hipline so that the natural waist is not accentuated. This accommodates a large number of hip dimensions and negates the effect of long waists and short waists on the over-all appearance of the gown design.

Thus, virtually 95 percent of all of the marketing public can be accommodated with simply three sizes of adjustable tops as made herein and three skirt lengths relative to the gown shown herein.

Accordingly, a principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved dress or gown design.

A further object of the invention is to provide a gown design simulating a one-piece gown appearance.

An additional object is to provide a gown or dress design wherein, by suitable adjustments, a variety of figures can be accommodated.

An additional object is to provide a gown design having both vertical and girth adjustable features, the gown design also preferably including an empire waist such that skirt material may flow freely and loosely over the hipline.

A further object of the invention is to provide a drawstring adjustment for a gown with a zipper combination, such that the drawstring ends may be covered by the zipper when the adjustment has been made.

A further object is to provide a gown suitable for stocking in department stores, ready-to-wear shops, and also rental establishments so that a variety of sizes and figures of individuals can be accommodated without otherwise necessary alterations.

The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front prospective view of a lady or girl wearing the gown design of the present invention.

FIG. 1A is an upper rear view of the wearer of the subject new dress or gown design and is taken along the arrow 1A in FIG. 1.

FIG. 2 is a view of the wearer of FIG. 1 with the top removed, illustrating the fit of the underneath gown and the vertical adjustment feature relative to the adjustable shoulder straps.

FIG. 3 is a rear view of the individual of FIG. 2, illustrating the positioning and adjustment of the empire waist drawstring as well as the zippered back thereover.

FIG. 3A is an enlarged section view taken along the line 3A--3A in FIG. 3, illustrating in enlarged scale the stitched construction of one form of the invention.

FIG. 3B is a fragmentary elevation taken along the line 3B--3B in FIG. 3A.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary detail taken along the line 4 in FIG. 2, is rotationally displaced 90° in a clockwise direction, and illustrates the adjustable feature of a representative shoulder strap of the gown.

FIG. 4A is a cross-section taken along the line 4A--4A in FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary detail of a representative back portion of the top member of the gown design, and is taken along the line 5 in FIG. 1A.

FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 5, but illustrates the details of the releasable securement construction provided the top or FIG. 1A and FIG. 1.

FIGS. 7 and 7A are fragmentary, sectional details taken along the line 7--7 in FIG. 5, illustrating accommodation as to FIG. 7 for a relatively small chest size, and, as in FIG. 7A, for a larger chest size.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are similar to FIGS. 5 and 6, but illustrate an optional hook and eye configurement, lending adjustability to the overlapping margins of the back of the top member worn by the individual.

FIGS. 10 and 10A are fragmentary, sectional details taken along the line 10--10 in FIG. 1, illustrating releasable cooperation for a relatively large chest size, see FIG. 10, and for a smaller chest size, see FIG. 10A.

In the drawings the gown ensemble 10 of the present invention includes a gown 11 and a separate top 12. Gown 11 has a skirt 13 having an outer skirt member 14 made from a chiffon material, whereas the bottom or inner skirt member 15 thereof is preferably made from a polyester crepe material. If desired, the bodice 12 of gown 11 may also be made from opaque crepe such as a polyester crepe material and stitched as by stitching 16 to the inner and outer skirt members 14 and 15 as shown in FIG. 3A. Prior to such securement, there may be provided loose, loop stitching as at 17 to provide a channel or runway for a drawstring 18. Of course, the material itself may be simply conveniently looped for the drawstring, the purpose for which will be hereinafter explained.

The gown 11 is adjustable vertically by means of the inclusion of shoulder straps 19 and 20. These are made adjustable by virtue of the inclusion of respective buckles 21. Thus, the individual members 19 and 20, such as at 20A and 20B in FIGS. 4 and 4A, are included with adjustment buckle 21. Strap portion 20A of strap 20 may be stitched or otherwise secured together as at 22. Such secures the respective buckle in place as at 21. The strap portion 20B is looped through the buckle in the manner shown in FIG. 4A so that an adjustable securement can be had. The lengthening of each of the shoulder straps 19 and 20, both of which are constructed in the manner shown in FIGS. 4 and 4A, will accommodate a vertical adjustment of the gown so that the desired length of the gown relative to the floor can be selected. Accordingly, for a given size range, variations in height of the wearer can be accommodated.

The gown is also constructed to accommodate not only average-sized ladies, but also narrow and broad individuals, having either a relatively short waist or a relatively longer waist. Thus, the waist of the gown is not fitted so as to accentuate the natural waistline or hipline, but rather is constructed for a high waist effect, known in the trade as an "empire waist." Thus, the empire waist at E in FIG. 2 is just below the natural bustline of the individual and perhaps four inches above the natural waistline. Hence, the inner and outer skirt members 14 and 15 will flow loosely over the hips without accentuating the line of the same.

It is noted that the drawstring makes the gown 11 adjustable as to the chest cage dimension of the individual immediately below the bustline. Such a drawstring adjustment draws the empire waist to the body and facilitates the user in proportioning the material about this dimension of her body so that excessive gatherings do not occur in any particular regions. Hence, it is not the bottom band 23 of top 12 that is relied upon to retain the skirt material, as this could not be done, but rather the drawstring and the finger adjustments by the wearer of the material so that unsightly gatherings do not take place.

The terminations or ends of the drawstring and its cooperation of the gown can be made either promixate the back zipper 24 or slightly indented with respect thereto. In any event, once the drawstring adjustment is made, then the user will simply zip upwardly the zipper 24 provided the gown, so as to fully enclose the same and its terminal ends at the wearer's back. To accommodate such a convenient construction, it is indicated that the combination of the bodice 12 and gown 11 is provided with an upperly directed, rearwardly positioned slit 25; sewn to opposite ones of each are respective zipper halves 26 and 27 of zipper 24.

Once the gown has been adjusted for vertical disposition, see FIG. 2, and once the empire waist has been formed (tightened), see FIGS. 1, 3 and 3A, then the user need only put on the top 12, in the manner shown in FIG. 1A, so that the entire ensemble is worn.

As to top 12, the same includes an opaque top member 24 terminating in a lower, empire waistband 23. Sleeve members 25 and 26 are provided with the usual cuffs 27 and 28, and are stitched as at 29 and 30 to the top member 24 in a conventional manner. It is noted that the top 12 is slit in the back at 31. and preferably this slit extends from upper to lower boundaries 32 and 33 of the top 12.

To accommodate girls of various bust and chest sizes, the margins 31 and 32 of the top have contiguous surfaces 33 and 34 provided with mutually securing means 35 and 36. These may take the form of releasable securement fabrics, known to the trade as "Velcro." Thus, a "hook" Velcro strip 35 may be sewn to surface 33, whereas the "loops" Velcro strip 36 will be sewn to surface 34. It is noted that the Velcro strips are so positioned that a maximum girth dimension adjustment may be had without revealing the strips to external view when the top is fastened together at the back.

Accordingly, the overlapping layers C and D of the top at the back of the garment are so constructed that there will be a smooth appearance at the back of the garment as indicated in FIG. 1A. FIGS. 7 and 7A illustrate relative adjustments at the back of the garment for small and large chest sizes respectively.

Rather than employ the releasable securement strip such as Velcro in FIGS. 5 and 6, the hook-and-eye construction, which is common with other apparel of ladies, may be used. Thus, the conventional multiple eye strip 37, currently manufactured for other types of ladies' garments, may be sewn to one margin C of the top, whereas the multiple-hook strip 38 can be sewn to the other overlapping margin D. In such event, the garment can be adjusted for both large and small chest sizes in accordance with the configuration shown in FIGS. 10 and 10A respectively.

Accordingly, it is seen that the top of the gown ensemble is adjustable for various chest measurements, this by virtue of the adjustable back as at B in FIG. 1A and as explained in connection with the structures shown in FIGS. 5-10A. The gown is provided with vertical adjustment means as aforesaid so that proper floor length can be had; girls of natural waist dimension, or those who are either short waisted or long waisted, can be accommodated by virtue of the empire waist configurement of the gown and the drawstring adjustment which enables a prior positioning of material about the region of the empire waist so that unsightly gathering or excessive gathering in particular places is not experienced.

It is to be observed that the terms, "empire waist" and "high waist" are used synonymously and simply refer to a waistline in the gown which is positioned above the natural waistline of the individual. Further, it is seen that the skirt compromises a full skirt falling from the high waist over the hipline of the individual so as not to accentuate the same.

It is noted that once the top is put on, then the entire ensemble presents a unique, one-piece gown ensemble appearance. Of course, if desired, the bottom band 23 need not fit snugly over the empire waistline as shown in FIG. 1, but rather may be held outwardly from such waistline through enlargement of dimension at this area and the bust contour. In such a configuration the sleeves generally would be opaque and the top designed more or less as a jacket, but with the same rearward adjustable dimensions and features. In any event, for gowns such as wedding dresses, it is preferred that the design shown in FIG. 1 be used so that a simulated one-piece ensemble is presented.

By sUch a design, it has been found that but three gown lengths and three sizes of tops need be provided to accommodate virtually all sizes of individuals. Accordingly, if the skirt lengths are 38, 40, and 42 relative to the gown, and the tops are of sizes 32, 34 and 36, then virtually all sizes of ladies from size 7 to size 16, including both odd and half-sizes as well as even sizes, may be accommodated. This will include the, e.g., 7 and 9 sizes, that is, those girls and ladies who are shorter and have shorter waists and skirt lengths, the half-sizes, which include broader people, and the even numbered sizes, representing girls and ladies of longer waists and longer desired skirt lengths.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects, and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.