Title:
Shade cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Embodiments of a shade cap are disclosed herein. In general, the cap may include a crown with a pair of side regions and a bill extending from a front region of the crown. The cap may further include a pair of ear shades with each ear shade having an inner side coupled to an associated side region of the crown with the inner side of each ear shade positioned above a bottom edge of the crown so that the inner side is spaced above the bottom edge of the crown. Each ear shade may also be positionable between a lowered position and a raised position. When positioned in the lowered position, each ear shade may cover an upper portion of a wearer's ear. When positioned in the raised position, an outer side of the respective ear shade may be located adjacent the associated side region of the crown and above the inner side of that ear shade. Embodiments of the cap may further include a neck flap detachably coupled to a back region of the crown. Other embodiments of the cap may include a pair of side visors detachably coupled to the bill. In yet another embodiment, the cap may be constructed from a fabric having a UPF rating of 10+ or greater.



Inventors:
Moshier, Michael W. (Los Altos, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/049148
Publication Date:
08/03/2006
Filing Date:
02/01/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/18
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090172863TIE MADE OF TEXTILE MATERIAL AND METHOD FOR ITS MANUFACTUREJuly, 2009Somma
20090313737Batter's finger-worn variable-density control-padDecember, 2009Richard
20090235928Helmet for artificial respiration without the aid of face masks or tracheal tubes, with improved wearabilitySeptember, 2009Borsari
20070271676Touch Sensitization GloveNovember, 2007Arai
20040128747Personal hydration and cooling systemJuly, 2004Bumbarger et al.
20080264439Curling iron burn protector kitOctober, 2008Braud
20090293172MITTENS FOR YOUNG CHILDRENDecember, 2009Carota



Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SQUIRE, SANDERS & DEMPSEY L.L.P (600 HANSEN WAY, PALO ALTO, CA, 94304-1043, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A cap, comprising: a crown having a pair of side regions; a bill extending from a front region of the crown; a pair of ear shades, each ear shade having an inner side coupled to an associated side region of the crown, the inner side of each ear shade being positioned above a bottom edge of the crown so that the inner side is spaced above the bottom edge of the crown; and each ear shade being positionable between a lowered position and a raised position, each ear shade covering an upper portion of a wearer's ear when positioned in the lowered position, and wherein, for each ear shade, an outer side of the respective ear shade is located adjacent the associated side region of the crown above the inner side of the ear shade when the ear shade is positioned in the raised position.

2. The cap of claim 1, wherein the inner side of each ear shade are coupled to the associated side region of the crown by at least a double line of stitching extending along the inner side between front and back ends of the respective ear shade.

3. The cap of claim 2, wherein the front end of each ear shade is positioned adjacent stitching on the crown between the associated side region and the front region of the crown so that a portion of the front end of the ear shade extends over an adjacent back corner portion of the bill that is positioned adjacent a border defined by the stitching between the associated side region and front region of the crown.

4. The cap of claim 2, wherein the front end of each ear shade has a substantially straight inner segment extending from the inner side of the ear shade towards an outer side of the ear shade and an arcuate outer segment located between the inner segment and the outer side of the ear shade.

5. The cap of claim 4, wherein the inner segment is longer than the outer segment of the front end of the ear shade.

6. The cap of claim 4, wherein the back end of each ear shade has a generally arcuate outer periphery that has a radius of curvature that decreases in a direction towards the inner side of the ear shade.

7. The cap of claim 1, wherein each ear shade has an outer region detachably couplable to an area of the associated side region of the crown above the inner side of the ear shade when the ear shade is positioned in the raised position.

8. The cap of claim 7, wherein each ear shade is detachably coupled to the associated side region by a pair of snap fasteners when the ear shade is positioned in the raised position.

9. The cap of claim 1, wherein each ear shade has a longitudinal fold extending between front and back ends of the ear shade, the longitudinal fold dividing the ear shade into inner and outer regions, the inner region located between the inner side and the longitudinal fold of the ear shade and the outer region located between an outer side and the longitudinal fold of the ear shade.

10. The cap of claim 9, wherein the longitudinal fold of each ear shade is positioned closer to the inner side than to the outer side of the ear shade.

11. The cap of claim 9, wherein the longitudinal fold is in a generally parallel alignment with an adjacent position of the bottom edge of the crown so that the inner region and a portion of the side region of the crown located below the inner edge of the ear shade define a pocket for receiving the upper portion of the wearer's ear when the ear shade is positioned in the lowered position.

12. The cap of claim 1, further comprising a neck flap detachably coupled to a back region of the crown.

13. The cap of claim 12, wherein the neck flap is detachably coupled to the back region of the crown by a plurality of snap fasteners.

15. The cap of claim 13, wherein the neck flap has an upper edge having a convex center region, wherein a surface of the neck flap adjacent the convex center region is coupled to an inside surface of the back region of the crown by the snap fasteners.

16. The cap of claim 15, wherein a first snap fastener detachably couples an apex of the convex center region of the neck flap to the inner surface of the crown; and second and third snap fasteners detachably couple opposite side portions of the convex center region of the neck flap to the inner surface of the crown;

17. The cap of claim 1 further comprising a pair of side visors detachably coupled to the bill.

18. The cap of claim 17, wherein each side visor has an attachment portion for attachment to the associated side edge of the bill and a shade portion, the attachment portion of each side visor having a longitudinal channel for receiving a portion of the associated side edge of the bill therein to attache the side visors to the bill.

19. The cap of claim 1, wherein the cap is constructed from a fabric having a UPF rating of 10+ or greater.

20. A cap, comprising: a crown having a front region, a back region, a pair of side regions, an exterior, an interior and a bottom edge, the interior of the crown having a headband extending along the bottom edge of the crown adjacent the front and side regions of the crown; the back region of the cap having a cutout located adjacent the bottom edge of the crown and a pair of adjustable straps extending across the cutout along the bottom edge of the crown, the cutout having an arcuate periphery, the cutout defining a rear break in the headband and a pair of opposing ends of the headband, each strap having an end coupled to an associated end of the headband, the straps being coupled to each other, wherein a hook and loop faster detachably couples the straps together; a bill extending from the front region of the crown; a pair of ear shades, each ear shade coupled to an associated side region of the crown, each ear shade having front and back ends, and inner and outer sides extending between the front and back ends of the respective ear shade, the inner side each ear shade being coupled to the associated side region of the crown so that a portion of the back end of the ear shade is positioned adjacent a corresponding portion of the cutout located adjacent one of the ends of the headband, wherein the inner side of each ear shade is coupled to the associated side region of the crown by at least a double line of stitching extending along the inner side to the front and back ends of the respective sides, wherein the inner side of each ear shade is positioned above the bottom edge of the crown so that a lower line of the stitching coupling the ear shade to the crown is spaced above the bottom edge of the crown; the front end of each ear shade having a substantially straight inner segment extending from the inner side of the ear shade towards the outer side of the ear shade and an arcuate outer segment located between the inner segment and the outer side of the ear shade, wherein the portion of the front end of the ear shade extending over the back corner region of the crown is located in the inner segment of the front end of the ear shade, wherein the inner side of the ear shade is substantially straight and the outer side of the ear shade has a generally convex periphery; the back end of each ear shade having a generally arcuate outer periphery that has a radius of curvature that decreases in a direction towards the inner side of the ear shade so that a first segment of the back end near the inner side of the ear shade curves more sharply than a second segment of the back end located near the outer side of the ear shade; each ear shade having a longitudinal fold extending between the front and back ends of the ear shade, the longitudinal fold dividing the ear shade into inner and outer regions, the inner region located between the inner side and the longitudinal fold of the ear shade and the outer region located between the outer side and the longitudinal fold of the ear shade, wherein the longitudinal fold is positioned closer to the inner edge than to the outer edge of the ear shade, wherein the longitudinal fold is in a generally parallel alignment with an adjacent position of the lower edge of the crown so that the inner region and a portion of the side region of the crown located below the inner edge of the ear shade define a pocket; the outer region of each ear shade being positionable between a lowered position and a raised position, the outer region extending outwards and downwards from the associated side region of the crown when positioned in the lowered position to cover an upper portion of a wearer's ear and provide shade to the wearer's ear; the outer region of each ear shade being detachably couplable to an area of the associated side region of the crown above the inner side of the ear shade when positioned in the raised position, wherein a pair of snap fasteners detachably couples the outer region of each ear shade to the associated side region of the crown above the inner side of the ear shade; a neck flap detachably coupled to the back region of the crown by a plurality of snap fasteners; a pair of side visors detachably coupled to the bill; and wherein the cap is constructed from a fabric having a UPF rating of 10+ or greater.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to hats and, more particularly, to hats that may provide shade to the ears, nose, and neck of a wearer.

BACKGROUND

Hats are often used to help shade a wearer's head from sunlight and are recommended by health care organizations to help reduce the risk of skin damage (including skin cancer) from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Baseball-style caps have been popular for a long time, however, they do not provide adequate shading for a wearer's ears and neck. While broad brimmed hats can afford shade to a wearer's ears and neck, such hat styles simply not have as much popular acceptance by the general public as the baseball cap. As a result, there is a need for a hat that combines the popularity of the baseball cap with shade providing capabilities for the ears and neck.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of a shade cap are disclosed herein. In general, the cap may include a crown with a pair of side regions and a bill extending from a front region of the crown. The cap may further include a pair of ear shades with each ear shade having an inner side coupled to an associated side region of the crown with the inner side of each ear shade positioned above a bottom edge of the crown so that the inner side is spaced above the bottom edge of the crown. Each ear shade may also be positionable between a lowered position and a raised position. When positioned in the lowered position, each ear shade may cover an upper portion of a wearer's ear. When positioned in the raised position, an outer side of the respective ear shade may be located adjacent the associated side region of the crown and above the inner side of that ear shade.

Embodiments of the cap may further include a neck flap detachably coupled to a back region of the crown. Other embodiments of the cap may include a pair of side visors detachably coupled to the bill. In yet another embodiment, the cap may be constructed from a fabric having a UPF rating of 10+ or greater.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic front view of an embodiment of a shade cap with ear shades in a lowered position.

FIG. 2 is a schematic rear view of an embodiment of a shade cap with ear shades in a lowered position.

FIG. 3 is a schematic left side view of an embodiment of a shade cap with an ear shade in a lowered position.

FIG. 4 is a schematic right side view of an embodiment of a shade cap with an ear shade in a lowered position.

FIG. 5 is a schematic top view of an embodiment of a shade cap with ear shades in a lowered position and side visors attached to the bill of the shade cap.

FIG. 6 is a schematic bottom view of an embodiment of a shade cap with ear shades in a lowered position and side visors attached to the bill of the shade cap.

FIG. 7 is a schematic front-left side perspective view of an embodiment of a shade cap with an ear shade in a lowered position and side visors attached to the bill of the shade cap.

FIG. 8 is a schematic front-right side perspective view of an embodiment of a shade cap with an ear shade in a lowered position.

FIG. 9 is a schematic front-left perspective view of an embodiment of a shade cap with an ear shade in a raised position and coupled to the crown by snap fasteners.

FIG. 10 is a schematic rear-right perspective view of an embodiment of a shade cap with an ear shade in a raised position and coupled to the crown by snap fasteners and with a neck flap coupled to back of the shade cap.

FIG. 11 is a close up front view of an ear shade in a lowered position in accordance with an embodiment of a shade cap.

FIG. 12 is a close up side view of an embodiment of a shade cap showing the spacing between an ear shade and a bottom edge of the crown of the shade cap.

FIG. 13 is a close up bottom view of a back region of an embodiment of a shade cap.

FIG. 14 is a schematic top view of an embodiment of a shade cap kit with detached side visors and neck flap.

FIG. 15 is a schematic bottom view of an embodiment of a shade cap kit with a neck flap folded inside the crown.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to FIGS. 1 to 15, embodiments of a shade cap 10 are disclosed. The cap 10 may include a crown 12 having a front region 14, a back region 15, and a pair of side regions 16,18 that together define an exterior, an interior and a generally ring shaped or oval bottom edge 20 of the crown 12. The bottom edge 20 of the crown 12 defines a bottom opening into the crown 12 adapted for receiving a head of a user (i.e., a wearer) therein. In one implementation, the crown 12 may be formed by a plurality of panels (e.g., panels 22, 24, 26) that are coupled to adjacent panels by stitching 28 along adjacent sides of the panels. In another implementation, the crown 12 may include a plurality of vent holes 30 for providing ventilation into the crown 12.

The back region 15 of the crown 12 may include a cutout 32 located adjacent the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12. In one implementation, the cutout 32 may have an arcuate or semicircular periphery. In one embodiment, the interior of the crown 12 may include a headband 34 that extends along the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12 adjacent.the front and side regions 14, 16, 18 of the crown 12. The cutout 32 defines a rear break in the headband 34 at the back region 15 of the crown 12 along the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12 and may further define a pair of opposing ends of the headband 34 that are located at opposing edges of the cutout 32.

The back region 15 of the cap 10 may also include a pair of adjustable straps 36, 38 extending across the cutout 32 from opposite ends of the cutout 32 along the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12. Each adjustable strap 36, 38 may have an attached end coupled to an associated end of the headband 34 with the opposite free end regions of the adjustable straps 36,38 being coupled together. In one embodiment, a hook and loop faster 40 (such as the type sold under the trade name VELCRO) may be provided to detachably couple the free end regions of the adjustable straps 36,38 together and permit adjustment of the overall size (i.e., diameter) of the headband 34. As another option, a buckle faster may be provided to detachably couple the free end regions of the adjustable straps 36,38 together instead of the hook and loop fastener.

The cap 10 may further include a bill 42 or visor that extends from the front region 14 of the crown 12. In one embodiment, the bill 42 may be longer in length than a typical baseball cap in order to ensure providing adequate shading up to the chin of a wearer of the cap.

The cap 10 may further include a pair of ear shades 44, 46 (also referred to as ear visors or side flaps) with each ear shade 44, 46 coupled to an associated side region 16, 18 of the crown 12. Each ear shade 44, 46 has front and back ends 48, 50, and inner and outer sides 52, 54 extending between the front and back ends 48, 50.

The inner side 52 of each ear shade 44, 46 may be coupled to the associated side region 16, 18 of the crown 12 so that a portion of the back end 50 of the ear shade is positioned adjacent a corresponding portion of the cutout 32 located adjacent one of the ends of the headband 34. The inner side 52 of each ear shade 44,46 may also coupled to the side region 16, 18 of the crown 12 so that the front end 48 of each ear shade 44, 46 is positioned adjacent stitching on the crown between the associated side region 16, 18 and the front region 14 of the crown 12. In such a configuration, a portion of the front end 48 extends over an adjacent back corner portion of the bill 42 that is positioned adjacent a border defined by the stitching between the side region and front region of the crown;

The inner side 52 of each ear shade 44,46 may be coupled to the associated side region 16, 18 of the crown by at least a double line of stitching 56, 58 that extends along the inner side 52 to the front and back ends 48, 50 of the respective ear shade. In such an embodiment, the lines of stitching 56.58 may be spaced apart from each other between about 0.5 cm and about 1.5 cm and preferably, the lines of stitching 56.58 may be spaced apart from each other about 1 cm to help enhance the strength of the coupling.

The inner side 52 of each ear shade 44,46 may be positioned above the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12 (that defines the bottom opening into the crown that receives a wearer's head) so that a lower line of the stitching that couples the ear shade to the crown is spaced above the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12 to provide a space or pocket 60 above the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12 for receiving therein an upper portion of a wearer's ear more comfortably than if the ear shade was attached immediately adjacent to the bottom edge of the crown. The lower line of stitching may be spaced about 0.5 cm and about 1.5 cm from the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12. In an exemplary embodiment, the lower line of stitching may be spaced apart from the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12 by about 1 cm.

The front end 48 of each ear shade 44, 46 may have a substantially straight inner segment 62 extending from the inner side 52 of the ear shade towards the outer side 54 of the ear shade and an arcuate outer segment 64 located between the inner segment 62 and the outer side 54 of the ear shade. In one embodiment, a portion of the inner segment 62 of the front end 48 of each ear shade may extend over an adjacent back comer region of the bill 42 to help ensure proper overlap over the bill 42 and afford adequate shade to the temple region of a wearer's face.

In one implementation, the inner segment 62 may be longer than the outer segment 64 of the front end 48 of each ear shade 44, 46. In such an implementation, the inner segment 62 may be between about one half to about three-fourths the overall length of the front end 48 of the respective ear shade. In an exemplary embodiment, the inner segment 62 may have a length between about one inch and about three inches. The outer segment 64 of the front end 48 may be between about one fourth (i.e., one quarter) to about one half and/or about three-fourths the overall length of the front end 48 of the ear shade. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer segment 54 may be between about one quarter inch and about one inch.

The back end 50 of each ear shade 44,46 may have a generally arcuate outer periphery that has a radius of curvature that decreases in a direction towards the inner side 52 of the ear shade so that a first segment of the back end 50 near the inner side 52 of each ear shade curves more sharply than a second segment of the back end located near the outer side 54 of the respective ear shade.

Each ear shade 44,46 may have a longitudinal fold 66 that extends between the front and back ends 48,50 of the ear shade. The longitudinal fold 66 divides each ear shade into inner and outer regions 68, 70 with the inner region 68 located between the inner side 52 and the longitudinal fold 66 of the ear shade and the outer region 70 located between the outer side 54 and the longitudinal fold 66 of the ear shade. The longitudinal fold 66 may be positioned closer to the inner side 52 than to the outer side 54 of each ear shade and may be in a generally parallel alignment with an adjacent position of the bottom edge 20 of the crown 12 so that the inner region 68 of each ear shade and a portion of the corresponding side region 16, 18 of the crown 12 located below the coupled portion of the inner side 52 of the ear shade define an ear pocket that is adapted for receiving an upper portion of a wearer's ear therein when the cap is worn by the wearer.

In use, the outer region 70 of each ear shade 44,46 may be positionable between a lowered position (see e.g., FIGS. 1-5, 7, 8, and 11) and a raised position (see e.g., FIGS. 9 and 10). When positioned in the lowered position, the outer regions 70 of the ear shades 44,46 may extend outwards and downwards from the side regions 16,18 of the crown to cover an upper portion of a wearer's ear and provide shade to the wearer's ear. When in the raised position, the outer region 70 of each ear shade may extend upwards so that the outer side 54 of the ear shade is positioned above the inner side 52 of the ear shade.

In one implementation, the inner side 52 of each ear shade 44,46 may be substantially straight with the outer side 54 of the ear shade 44,46 having a generally convex periphery for helping to provide a more tapered profile to the ear shades when in a lowered position. In one exemplary embodiment, each ear shade 44, 46 may extend over between about one fourth and about the entire ear of a wearer when positioned in the lowered position and preferably, the ear shades 44,46 may extend between about one half and about three fourths the wearer's ear when in the lowered position.

As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, in one implementation, the front and back ends 48, 50 of each ear shade 44, 46 may include angled regions 110, 112 adjacent the inner side of the respective ear shade 44, 46. These angled regions 110, 112 help to keep the contour of the ear shades as smooth as possible against the crown 12 when the ear shades are in a raised position.

When positioned in the raised position, the outer region 64 of each ear shade 44,46 may be detachably couplable to an area of the associated side region 16,18 of the crown 12 above the inner side 52 of the respective ear shade. In one embodiment, a pair of snap fasteners 72, 74 may be provided to detachably couple the outer region 70 of each ear shade 44,46 to the associated side region 16,18 of the crown 12 above the inner side of the ear shade. In an illustrative implementation, a first snap fastener may be located towards the front end of each ear shade and a second snap fastener may be located towards the back end of each ear shade. The first and second snap fasteners 72,74 of each ear shade 44,46 may also be arranged so that they lie on a common line that is generally parallel to the inner side 52 of the respective ear shade 44,46 to help provide a satisfactory contouring of the ear shade 44, 46 when fastened to the side region 16,18 of the crown 12 in the raised position. The first snap fastener may also be spaced apart from the front end 48 of the corresponding ear shade and the second snap fastener may be spaced apart from the 50 back end of the corresponding ear shade to help hide the snap fasteners when each ear shade 44,46 is fastened in the raised position. In an exemplary implementation, the first and second snap fasteners 72,74 may be spaced apart from each other between about one inch and about four inches.

The cap 10 may further include a neck flap 76 that may be detachably coupled to the back region 15 of the crown 12. The neck flap 76 may be detachably coupled to the back region 15 of the crown 12 by a plurality of snap fasteners 78, 80, 82 that help to ensure that the neck flap 76 is properly aligned when attached to the crown 12. As another option, the neck flap 76 may be detachably coupled to the back region 15 of the crown 12 by one or more hook and loop fasteners (e.g. such as the hook and loop fasteners known by the trade name VELCRO).

The neck flap 76 may have upper and lower edges 84, 86 and a pair of side edges 88, 90 extending between the upper and lower edges of the neck flap. The upper edge 84 of the neck flap 76 may have a generally camel-back contour with a convex center region 92 having a curve that matches a curve defined by the cutout 32 in the back region 15 of the crown 12. The upper edge 84 of the neck flap 76 may also have side portions 94, 96 that extend beneath the back ends 48 of the adjacent ear shades 44,46 so that a portion of each ear shade 44,46 near the back end 48 of the respective ear shade 44,46.

The lower edge 86 of the neck flap 76 may have a generally concave contour for affording additional comfort to a wear's neck when the wearer wears the cap 10 with the neck flap 76 extending over the wearer's neck. In one embodiment, the lower edge 86 of the neck flap 76 may have a greater radius of curvature than a radius of curvature of the center region 92 of the upper edge 84 of the neck flap 76 so that the center region 92 has a shaper curve than the lower edge 86 of the neck flap 76. The side edges 88, 90 of the neck flap 76 may taper downwards towards the lower edge 86 of the neck flap 76 to provide more shade to the exposed region of the back of a wearer's neck above a collar region.

In one embodiment, the neck flap may include a bottom slit 114 and a pair of side slits 116, 118 that may help to drape the neck flap 76 on the neck of a wearer more comfortably and to help fold the neck flap 76 inside the crown 12 (see FIG. 15).

To couple the neck flap 76 to the back region 15 of the crown 12, a surface of the neck flap 76 adjacent the convex center region 92 may be coupled to an inside surface of the back region 15 of the crown 12 adjacent the cutout 32 by the snap fasteners 78, 80, 82 (see e.g., FIG. 13). In one embodiment, a first snap fastener may be provided to detachably couple an apex of the convex center region of the neck flap to a corresponding apex of the cutout in the back region of the crown. Second and third snap fasteners may also be provided to detachably couple opposite side portions of the convex center region of the neck flap to corresponding side portion of the cutout.

With particular reference to FIGS. 6, 7 and 14, the cap 10 may also include a pair of side visors 98, 100 that may be detachably coupled to the bill. Each side visor 98, 100 may include an attachment portion 102 for attachment to the associated side edge of the bill 42 and a shade portion 104 for providing shade to areas near a wearer's eyes.

The attachment portion 102 of each side visor 98, 100 may define a longitudinal channel 106 for receiving a portion of the associated side edge of the bill 42 therein to attach the side visors 98, 100 to the bill 42. The longitudinal channel 106 of the attachment portion 102 of each side visor 98, 100 may have a pair of resiliently deflectable side walls that provide a biasing force towards each other when the side edge of the bill is inserted into the longitudinal channel. This way, the bill may be pinched between the side walls when inserted into the longitudinal channel to hold the side visor to the bill 42.

Each side visor 98, 100 may also have a concave inwards edge 108 that is shaped to match a convex contour of a corresponding region of the side edge of the bill 42 adjacent the portion of the side edge of the bill that is received by the longitudinal channel of the attachment portion of the side visor. The shade portion 104 may also taper towards a front edge of the shade portion.

In one embodiment the side visor may be constructed from an opaque material (e.g., an opaque plastic, fabric and/or paper material) to prevent light from passing through the side visors. In another embodiment, the shade portion and/or attachment portion of each side visor may be constructed from a transparent or translucent material (e.g., a clear or tinted plastic material) to permit the passage of some light through the side visors. In addition, designs and logos and other images may be included on the side visors (e.g., a team logo on a shade portion of a side visor) to help enhance the appeal of the side visor.

In one implementation, the front end 48 of each ear shade 44,46 may overlap over a back edge of a shade portion 104 of a corresponding side visor 98, 100 when the side visor is coupled to the associated side edge of the bill 42 to help provide continuous shading around the side of the cap 10 between the ear shade 44, 46 and the bill 42.

The cap 10 may be constructed from a fabric having a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating of 10+ or greater to help afford further protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In a preferred embodiment, the cap 10 may be constructed from a fabric having a UPF rating of 45+ or greater to provide further protection to a wearer's head from ultraviolet radiation. In one implementation, the fabric may even have an UPF rating of about 50+. UPF is a standard for rating fabrics. A UPF rating is an indication of how much UV radiation may be absorbed by the material. A UPF rating of 50 may reduce the skin's exposure to UVA and UVB by 50 times.

In one embodiment, each of the ear shades and/or the neck flap may be may of two or more layers of fabric to help provide a more finished look to the ear shades and neck flap, to help enhance the rigidity of these elements, and to help provide additional sun screen protection to a wearer's ears and neck.

In use, the cap 10 may be worn in the manner of a traditional baseball cap with the ear shades 44, 46 either in the raised position to expose the wearer's ears or the lowered position to cover the wearer's ears. The wearer may also attach the neck flap 76 prior to wearing so that when the cap 10 is worn, the neck flap 76 drapes over the back of the wearer's neck. The side visors 98, 100 may also be attached to the sides of the bill 42 to provide further shade to the area of the wearer's face near the eyes of the wearer.

When not needed the ear shades 44, 46 may be positioned in the raised position and secured to the side regions 16, 18 of the crown 12 with the snap fasteners 72, 74 to securely hold the ear shades in the raised position.

As shown in FIG. 15, if the wearer does not wish to use the neck flap 76, the wearer may also fold the neck flap 76 into the inside of the crown 12 so that the neck flap 76 is stowed inside the crown when worn by a wearer. The head of the wearer inserted into the crown helps keep the neck flap from unfolding out of the crown. In addition, the bottom and side slits 114, 116, 118 of the neck flap may also be used to form overlapping portions of the neck flap 76 in the and provide a more rounded and smoother contour to the stored neck flap that may be more comfortable when worn on the head of the wearer.

While various embodiments have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. Thus, the breadth and scope of a preferred embodiment should not be limited by any of the above described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.