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1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to apparel, and in particular to a garment suitable for wearing in a beach environment providing privacy for the changing of clothing underneath the garment.
2. Description of the Related Art
Many people visit beaches in order to participate in a wide variety of water activities. Examples of popular beach activities include surfing, snorkeling, boogie boarding, scuba diving, and swimming. When engaging in water-based activities, it is common to wear clothing specifically designed for the water environment.
Examples of clothing intended for wear in the water includes swimming suits such as swimming trunks, Speedos, and bikinis. In situations where the water is cold, protective suits such as wetsuits and drysuits are often worn to provide additional comfort and protection against hypothermia by insulating the wearer from the cold water.
While the clothing described above is certainly appropriate for water activities, quite often upon exiting the water, wearers of water appropriate clothing desire to change into other clothing. For example, wearers of bikinis may find that their apparel is not deemed to be acceptable, or attracts undue attention in some settings away from the water. While Speedos may be acceptable around the water or while swimming in competition, in some settings away from the beach or a pool, Speedos are viewed by some with derision or ridicule. Swimmers wearing wetsuits and drysuits may find such garments to be uncomfortable upon leaving the water. The fabric used in wetsuits and drysuits may consist of neoprene layers several millimeters thick. For example, in water temperatures of 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit, a wetsuit of 7 mm thick, insulating neoprene is recommended. However in air temperatures of a similar range, a beachgoer may be comfortable in far lighter weight attire. Wetsuits and drysuits are generally tight fitting often including seals that squeeze tightly at the wrists or ankles. Wearers may also find that these insulating suits constrict their movements making it desirable to remove them when insulation from cold water is not necessary. In some cases people may simply find wearing wet garments problematic. For example, wet clothing may be damaging to the upholstery of furniture or the interior of a car.
For at least the above reasons, people may wish to change out of their beach attire after participating in water activities at a beach or swimming pool. It may also be desired to travel to the beach wearing regular dry activity clothing and to change into swimwear at the beach.
In some cases, there may be no appropriate changing facilities near the water. Depending on personal modesty, or the laws and mores of a particular area, some people may want or need to guard their privacy when changing clothes at a public beach. One solution is to change clothes under the cover of a large beach towel. Changing garments while holding a towel around one's body may be particularly difficult to manage with tight fitting garments such as a wetsuit. Wetsuits are often difficult to don or remove even with two free hands and the body motion required to remove the garment may tend to cause the body to become uncovered.
Another solution is to provide a portable enclosure such as a tent in which a beachgoer can change into or out of swimwear. While this solution can be successfully used, the solution requires carrying around a fairly bulky item.
A desirable solution is to provide a wearable garment under which a person may change clothing. A swimmer could change clothes by pulling his or her arms, and the attire the swimmer desires to change into within the confines of the garment that is roomy enough to change inside. Preferably the changing garment should cover the upper and lower portions of the body so that optimal privacy is maintained for the changer. The changing garment should be designed so that a person can pull their arms within the garment without leaving open holes in the sleeve or torso area to compromise the changer's privacy. Ideally the garment will present an aesthetically pleasing appearance so that it is wearable on the beach.
Thus, a hooded changing garment solving the aforementioned problems is desired.
The hooded changing garment is a garment for protecting the privacy of a wearer while removing or donning attire. The garment protects privacy by covering the wearer's body from view while the wearer changes his clothes underneath the garment. The garment includes a torso-covering portion, a lower portion covering the portion of the body not covered by the torso-covering portion, two sleeves attached to openings at the sides of the upper portion of the torso-covering portion. The sleeve openings at the torso are sufficiently large enough so that when wearing the garment the wearer may retract his or her arms into the interior of the torso-covering portion. The sleeves are sufficiently long so that when a wearer's arms are pulled into the interior of the garment, the sleeves cover the sleeve openings so that the wearer's body is not visible to a prospective observer outside of the garment.
A lower portion of the garment extends from the bottom of the torso-covering portion and is open at the bottom. The lower portion of the garment is sufficiently long to cover portions of the body about which the wearer desires privacy and is sufficiently long so as to preserve the wearer's privacy while the wearer makes the body motions necessary to change into or out of attire such as swimming trunks, a wet suit or a bikini underneath the changing garment. The changing garment may extend below the wearer's knees and may also be long enough to extend below a wearer's ankles when the garment is donned. The garment may also include a hood attached to the opening at the top of the torso-covering portion. The hood may be provided with a drawstring for closing the hood and the opening at the top of the torso-covering portion.
The overall width of the torso and lower portion of the garment is wide enough so that the garment encloses a sufficient volume not to unduly constrain the movements of the wearer once the wearer has retracted his arms within the interior of the garment so that the wearer may change into or out of attire, such as a swim suit and/or a wet suit.
The lower portion of the garment may be hemmed, with the hem containing a drawstring that can be used to tighten the garment around the body. The lower portion of the garment may be rolled up around a wearer's body with the hem of the garment tightened using the drawstring to hold the garment in place around the waist of the wearer. In this configuration the changing garment presents an appearance similar to a conventional sweatshirt. The changing garment may be made of cotton fleece material as used for a conventional sweatshirt. The material may also be made of a water absorbent material.
These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.
FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a hooded changing garment according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a front view of the changing garment with the wearer's arms retracted into the garment.
FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the lower portion of the changing garment showing the drawstring in the changing garment hem.
FIG. 4 is a front view of the changing garment rolled up and tied off at waist using the drawstring.
FIG. 5 is a front view showing wearer changing into a swimsuit underneath the changing garment.
FIG. 6 is a front view of the changing garment showing functional dimensions.
Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.
The present invention is a garment for changing into and out of attire underneath the garment while maintaining the wearer's privacy.
FIGS. 1-6 show the details of a changing garment in accordance with the invention. FIG. 1 shows a beachgoer 36 wearing the changing garment 20 at the beach 32. The changing garment 20 is made of cotton sweatshirt or cotton fleece material. The changing garment 20 includes a hood 22 which can cover the head of the wearer or which can be removed from the head and folded back along the wearer's shoulders. The hood 22 may be provided with a hood drawstring 38 threaded through the hem in the circumference of the hood 22. Pulling the ends of the hood drawstring 38 tight secures the hood 22 to the head of the wearer if the hood is being worn, and also closes up the top of the changing garment 20.
A pouch 34 may be provided near waist level on the front of the changing garment 20. The pouch 34 has open sides in which the wearer may insert his or her hands to protect them from exposure to the sun or to cold weather.
The changing garment 20 has preferably full length sleeves 24 which extend to the wrists of the wearer 36 covering substantially all of the wearer's arms as shown in FIG. 1.
The lower portion of the changing garment 26 extends substantially below the knees of the wearer. As shown in FIG. 1, the lower portion of the changing garment 26 may extend below the ankles of the wearer 36. Additional details of the lower portion of the changing garment 26 may be understood by referring to FIGS. 1 and 3. The bottom of the lower portion of the garment is provided with a hem 28. A drawstring 30 may be threaded through the hem of the changing garment. The changing garment 20 is open at the bottom.
Additional features of the changing garment may be understood by referring to FIG. 2. The wearer of the changing garment 20 has withdrawn his arms from the sleeves 24 of the garment into the interior of the torso-covering portion of the changing garment 20. Because the sleeves 24 extend substantially below the attachment point to the torso of the garment, when the arms of the wearer are retracted into the changing garment 20, no opening is created by the retraction of the arms into the garment through which the body of the wearer may be viewed.
The particular dimensions of the garment and character of the material used for the garment allow retracting the arms from the sleeves into the interior of the torso and lower portion of the changing garment. The fleece material of the changing garment is stretchable which assists the wearer in maneuvering his arms out of the sleeves while wearing the changing garment. The dimensions of the sleeves at the attachment point to the torso are relatively large and enable the wearer of the changing garment to retract the elbows from the sleeves and into the interior of the changing garment without removing the changing garment. The changing garment is also oversized in comparison with a garment conventionally providing ample room for removing beach attire. Because the changing garment is open at the bottom, during the changing process, the wearer's privacy is maintained due to the length of the changing garment. Preferably, the lower portion of the garment extends substantially near (within several inches of) the feet of the wearer.
The relationship of the dimensions for the changing garment is made clear by referring to FIG. 6. The dimension D1 describes the width of the sleeve at the torso. The D1 dimension must be sufficiently large so that a wearer can retract their arms into the interior of the changing garment without requiring the wearer to be extraordinarily flexible. The dimension D2 describes the width of the garment about the shoulders. The width of the changing garment at the waist and across the lower portion of the garment are preferably substantially the same dimension as D2, but may alternatively be somewhat larger than D2. This dimension must be large enough to provide enough room within the changing garment to change into or out of attire such as a wet suit, swimming trunks or a bikini. However making D2 too large will provide a bulky appearance that may detract for the overall aesthetic appearance of the changing garment. The sleeve is tapered to a dimension D3 at the wrist. The dimension D3 is sufficiently large so that the garment does not bind to the wearer's arm making it difficult to retract the arms from the sleeves into the interior of the garment without removing the garment.
In an example embodiment, a changing garment for a person weighing about 200 lbs and about six feet tall might be made of cotton fleece material, with the upper arm dimension D1 being approximately 13 inches, the cross shoulder with dimension D2 being approximately 26 inches, and the wrist dimension D3 being approximately 6 inches. The cross section of the changing garment at the waist and at the lower hem is approximately 27 inches. The described garment is large enough to allow changing into or out of a wetsuit. Other types of swimming attire such as swimming trunks can be changed within a somewhat smaller changing garment and thus the garment may be provided in a more close fitting size if changing into or out of wetsuits is not required.
As shown in FIG. 4, the changing garment 20 may be worn in a configuration providing an appearance very similar to a conventional sweatshirt. The lower portion of the changing garment 26 may be rolled up the wearer's body into a compact configuration. In this configuration the garment hem 28 is positioned near the waist of the wearer. The hem drawstring 30 may be pulled tight and tied off, holding the lower portion of the garment in a compact folded arrangement at the waist of the changing garment 20.
The method of changing attire underneath the changing garment may be understood while referring to FIG. 5. After the wearer retracts his or her arms within the interior of the changing garment 20 as described above, the user may use both hands to remove the attire currently being worn. This first attire may be dropped out of the open bottom of the changing garment 20. The attire the wearer wants to change into such as swimming trunks 40 may be pulled into the interior of the changing garment 20 through the open bottom of the changing garment. Alternatively, attire 40 may be pulled into the garment interior by grasping the attire to be donned 40 in one hand and pulling it through the changing garment sleeves 24 while the wearer retracts his arm within the changing garment interior. Attire may also be inserted into or removed from the interior of the garment through the opening for the head at the top of the changing garment. Once the attire is within the interior of the garment, the wearer may seal up the garment by closing the top with the hood area or alternatively leave the hood opening open in order to visual observe progress in putting on or taking off attire under the changing garment. The wearer may then change into a new garment using both hands without fear that the garment would become unwrapped from the wearer's body as might happen while changing under a towel.
In an alternate embodiment of the invention, the sleeves may be shorter than full-length but extending far enough so that when the wearer's arms are retracted into the garment, the wearer's torso is not exposed through the arm openings. For example, the sleeves may extend to the elbow of the wearer. The length of the sleeve is sufficiently long so that the sleeve extends below the lower portion of the attachment of the sleeve at the shoulder, so that when the wearer's arms are retracted within the garment, the torso of the wearer remains covered. The changing garment may be shorter than ankle length, for example, a knee-length garment would allow changing with only slightly more care than an ankle-length garment to maintain the wearer's privacy.
Materials other than cotton fleece may be used. The material used to construct the changing garment may be a water absorbent material that allows the garment to be used as a towel.
It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.