Title:
Cap with opening for passage of hair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cap for accommodating a wearer with long hair. The cap is sized so as to snuggly fit the head of a female wearer, thereby keeping the opening in the rear of the cap at a consistent, predictable height in relation to the head of the wearer. The opening in the rear of the cap is sized and positioned so as to allow the wearer's hair to pass from the point of accumulation on the wearer's head through the opening without passing under the crown of the cap. Consequently, the crown of the cap is not distorted, and the position of the cap is not displaced, by the wearer's hair.



Inventors:
Briskie, Lisa (Southlake, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/187453
Publication Date:
03/22/2007
Filing Date:
08/26/2005
Assignee:
Be Awesome Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/20
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DUBOIS, BRYANT, CAMPBELL & SCHWARTZ, LLP (700 LAVACA STREET, SUITE 1300, AUSTIN, TX, 78701, US)
Claims:
1. A cap with an opening for the passage of hair comprising: a crown with a bill generally located at the front of said crown; an opening in the rear of said crown, said opening being bordered on the bottom by an adjustment device; and said opening being positioned in said crown so as to coincide with the location at which an accumulation of hair on the back of the wearer's head departs said wearer's head.

2. The cap of claim 1, wherein said cap is a baseball style cap.

3. The cap of claim 1 wherein said opening is configured in the shape of an inverted U.

4. The cap of claim 1 wherein said opening is configured in the shape of an inverted C.

5. The cap of claim 1 wherein said opening is configured in the shape of a star.

6. The cap of claim 1 wherein said opening is configured in the shape of a triangle.

7. The cap of claim 1 wherein the top of said opening is no greater than approximately 14 cm from the bottom of said crown and the width of said opening is between approximately 3 cm and 12 cm.

8. The cap of claim 1 wherein the circumference of the bottom of said crown is between approximately 55 cm and 57 cm.

9. A cap with a single in the rear of said cap opening for the passage of hair comprising: a cap with a crown wherein said cap is sized smaller than conventionally sized caps so that said cap is positioned higher on the wearer's head when worn; an opening in the rear of said crown, said opening being bordered on the bottom by an adjustment device; and said opening being positioned in said crown so as coincide with the location at which an accumulation of hair on the back of wearer of said cap's head departs said wearer's head.

10. The cap of claim 9 wherein said cap is a baseball style cap.

11. The cap of claim 9 wherein said opening is configured in the shape of an inverted U.

12. The cap of claim 9 wherein said opening is configured in the shape of an inverted C.

13. The cap of claim 9 wherein said opening is configured in the shape of a star.

14. The cap of claim 9 wherein said opening is configured in the shape of a triangle.

15. The cap of claim 9 wherein the top of said opening is no greater than approximately 14 cm from the bottom of said crown and the width of said opening is between approximately 3 cm and 12 cm.

16. The cap of claim 9 wherein the circumference of the bottom of said crown is between approximately 55 cm and 57 cm.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION:

The present invention relates to an improved cap and, more specifically, to an improved configuration to better fit the head of a female wearer and to incorporate a passageway for the hair of the wearer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Baseball-style caps are commonly worn during sports and non-sports activities and on a casual basis. During such times, it is common for wearers with long hair to accumulate their hair in a ponytail to prevent uncontrolled movement of their hair. However, in closed-crown caps, such as baseball caps, it is not uncommon for the ponytail to interfere with the placement of the cap on the wearer's head. The ponytail may be bunched up on the top of the wearer's head, in which case it prevents the cap from fitting snuggly on the wearer's head. Alternatively, the ponytail may be adjusted to fit under the bottom edge of the cap's crown. However, since the base of the ponytail is generally a considerable distance above the bottom edge of the cap's crown, a significant portion of the ponytail remains between the back of the wearer's head and the back of the crown. This portion of the ponytail pushes the hat outwardly and, therefore, precludes proper fitting of the cap and may cause considerable discomfort to the wearer.

Wearers have addressed this issue in a variety of ways. For example, some baseball style caps have integrated a U-shaped opening at the back of the cap. Commonly, this opening is above an adjustable strap at the back of the cap. The U-shaped opening was originally intended to allow the strap to be drawn tight without constricting the fabric on the crown of the hat. However, long-haired, cap wearers used this opening as a penetration through which to pass a ponytail. Although the opening is typically large enough to accommodate a ponytail, the location and configuration of the opening are not well suited for this purpose.

For example, while the U-shaped opening allows the ponytail to project through the cap, the opening is typically lower than the base of the accumulation of hair where it departs from the wearer's head so that the accumulated hair must extend downwardly under the cap a substantial distance before penetrating the U-shaped opening. Consequently, the ponytail is situated between the cap wearer's head and the cap from the point at which it leaves the wearer's head to the opening, thereby disturbing the fit and the appearance of the cap. In addition, when the ponytail leaves the hat through opening, it is positioned so as to drape across the wearer's neck, thereby trapping heat against the wearer's body and causing discomfort to the wearer.

Baseball-style caps typically are comprised of a crown in the main body, formed by several fabric panels, and a visor that is secured at the front edge of the crown. A mechanism for adjusting the size of the cap is generally attached on the back portion of the lower periphery of the crown. The size adjustment mechanism may be made out of such materials as, for example, any fabric, plastic, metal, iron, or Velcro and may be an integral part of the cap or separately molded and sewn onto the cap. In one configuration, the size adjustment mechanism is inserted between the crown and the sweatband, and sewn together with the crown and the sweatband to form a fastener.

In addition to being poorly designed to accommodate a ponytail, baseball caps that are generally available are sized to fit the head of a male wearer. Generally, this means that the circumference of the crown at the base is approximately 58 cm. Female wearers generally find that a cap of this size fits loosely and, therefore, is positioned lower on their head than intended. Because the cap is positioned lower on the wearer's head, the opening at the back of the cap is lower which increases the distance that the wearer's hair falls under the crown before reaching the opening.

There is a need, therefore, for a cap that is sized to fit the head of a female wearer while providing an opening that is large enough, and properly positioned, to allow for a ponytail to protrude through the opening.

In light of the foregoing, there is a need for a cap that provides as effectively as those known in the art, but which can better accommodate the needs of a female wearer with long hair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an improved cap for use by wearer's with long hair. More specifically, the present invention provides an improved fit for the head of a female wearer with an opening located so as to allow the wearer's hair to pass through said opening without distorting the crown of the cap or altering the fit of the cap on the wearer's head.

This invention, together with the additional features and advantages thereof will become more apparent to those of skill in the art upon reading the description of the preferred embodiments, with reference to the following drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A better understanding of the system and method of the present invention may be had by reference to the drawing figures, wherein

FIG. 1 is a front view of a conventional baseball cap;

FIG. 2 is a rear view of a conventional baseball cap;

FIG. 3 is side view of a conventional baseball cap on a wearer's head;

FIG. 4 is a rear view of a cap with one embodiment of the opening of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a rear view of a cap with another embodiment of the opening of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a rear view of a cap with another embodiment of the opening of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a rear view of a cap with another embodiment of the opening of the present invention; and

FIG. 8 is side view of the cap of the present invention on a wearer's head.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is an improved cap to be worn by those with long hair. It should be appreciated that the present invention is equally applicable to male or female wearers. It should also be appreciated that caps and hats other than baseball-style caps may benefit from the teachings contained herein. Accordingly, where the words baseball cap or baseball-style cap are used, the words cap, hat or head-covering may be substituted.

Referring now to the various figures of the drawing wherein like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views. FIG. 1 shows a traditional baseball style cap 100. The cap 100 has a crown 102 defmed by a plurality of fabric panels 104 sewn edge-to-edge to define an inverted dome with a bottom edge 106 defining the opening in the cap 100 into which the wearer places his or her head. The fabric panels of the crown 102 are made out of normal woven fabric or stretchable fabric. Adjacent panels are connected and sewn by means that are well known in the art. The bill of the cap 108 projects outwardly from the dome 102 so as to define the front of the cap 100.

FIG. 2 shows a rear view of a conventional baseball style cap. A semi-circular opening 202 is created in the rear of the crown 102 to permit adjustment of the size of the cap 100. A fastening device 204 is provided at the bottom of the opening 202 and generally in alignment with the bottom of the crown 102. The fastening device 204 can be altered which varies the size of the opening 202, thereby creating the ability to selectively increase and decrease the effective diameter of the crown 102 so as to fit the head of the wearer. The fastening device 204 may be any of the multitude of devices know in the art such as, for example, an adjustable strap or a Velcro brand fastener.

FIG. 3 shows a side view of a conventional cap on a wearer's head. Baseball-style caps such as the one depicted are commonly used for casual wear and during sports performances. Wearers of such caps with long hair commonly accumulate their hair at the back of the head, as in a ponytail, to prevent uncontrolled movement of the hair, as in windy conditions and when athletic maneuvers are performed. When the wearer of the cap has long hair, they are faced with the problem of accommodating the hair under the cap or passing the hair out from under the cap, either through the opening in the rear of the cap or under the bottom of the crown 102. If the wearer elects to keep their hair under the cap, the accumulated hair is placed under the crown 102 which tends to prevent the cap from fitting properly on the wearer's head. Alternatively, if the hair is placed through the opening, it tends to drape across the wearer's neck, trapping in heat and causing discomfort.

So that the cap more properly fits the wearer's head, the wearer will alternatively pass their hair through the opening 202 in the rear of the cap 100. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the conventional cap sits on the wearer's head just above the ears. Because caps are commonly sized to fit a male wearer's head, it is not uncommon for the cap to sit low on a female wearer's head or even to rest on her ears. Because the cap 100 sits lower on a female wearer's head, the top of the opening 202 in the back of the cap is positioned lower on the wearer's head in relation to the point at which the ponytail departs the wearer's head. Consequently, the ponytail lies under the hat from the point at which it departs the wearer's head to the top of the opening 202, thereby pushing the hat out of position and creating discomfort for the wearer. In addition, because the wearer's hair pushes the cap out of position, a distortion of the crown 102 results which detracts from the appearance of the cap 100.

FIG. 4 shows a rear view of one embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the cap 100 has a crown 102 defmed by joined panels 104 to produce an inverted, dome-shaped configuration to accommodate the head of a wearer. A bill (not visible in this view) projects forward from the crown 102 as in the prior art caps. A size adjustment device 204 is also incorporated into the rear of the cap 100. The adjustment device 204 may be made out of such materials as, for example, any fabric, plastic, metal, iron, or Velcro and may be an integral part of the cap 100 or separately molded and sewn onto the cap 100. While the cap 100 is shown as a baseball-style cap, it should be understood that the invention contemplates incorporation into any hat, cap or headwear having a crown.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, an opening 402 is provided at the rear of the crown 102. The opening 402 is located to coincide with the point at which the wearer's hair departs the wearer's head. By configuring the opening in this manner, the wearer's hair can penetrate the crown 102 without disturbing the fit of the cap. In addition, because the hair leaves the wearer's head through a higher position than with conventional caps, the hair tends not to drape across the wearer's neck, thereby allowing the wearer to be cooler and more comfortable while wearing the cap.

The opening 402 should start above the adjustment device and extend generally no higher than 14 cm above the bottom of the crown. The opening should be at least 3 cm wide an no wider than 12 cm. Taking into account the foregoing dimensions, the opening in the crown 102 can be any configuration such as, for example, an inverted U-shaped configuration shown in FIG. 4, an inverted C-shaped configuration shown in FIG. 5, a star-shaped configuration shown in FIG. 6, or a triangular-shaped opening as shown in FIG. 7. In each case, the bottom of the opening 402 is defined by the adjustment device 204.

FIG. 8 shows the cap 100 of the present invention on the head of a female wearer. In one embodiment, the circumference at the bottom of the crown 102 of the present invention is between approximately 55 and 57 cm which is less than the typical circumference of 58 cm for a standard cap. Because the cap 100 is sized smaller than conventional caps, the cap 100 fits more snuggly around the female head, thereby keeping the opening in the rear of the cap 100 at a consistent, predictable height in relation to the head of the wearer. In addition, the depth of the crown 102 is shorter than that of a conventional cap so that it fits above the female wearer's ears. Together, the shortened crown 102 along with the smaller circumference provide for the proper fit for the female wearer. The opening 402 in the rear of the cap 100 is sized and positioned so as to allow the wearer's hair to pass from the point of accumulation on the wearer's head through the opening 402 without passing under the crown of the cap. The positioning of the cap 100, coupled with the location of the opening 402, allow the wearer's hair to pass neatly out of the opening 402 so as not to accumulate between the wearer's head and the crown 102 of the cap 100. As a result, the cap 100 fits the wearer's head as designed and there is no accumulation of hair under the cap to distort the crown 102 or displace the cap on the wearer's head.

While the present system and method has been disclosed according to the preferred embodiment of the invention, those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that other embodiments have also been enabled. Even though the foregoing discussion has focused on particular embodiments, it is understood that other configurations are contemplated. In particular, even though the expressions “in one embodiment” or “in another embodiment” are used herein, these phrases are meant to generally reference embodiment possibilities and are not intended to limit the invention to those particular embodiment configurations. These terms may reference the same or different embodiments, and unless indicated otherwise, are combinable into aggregate embodiments. The terms “a”, “an” and “the” mean “one or more” unless expressly specified otherwise.

When a single embodiment is described herein, it will be readily apparent that more than one embodiment may be used in place of a single embodiment. Similarly, where more than one embodiment is described herein, it will be readily apparent that a single embodiment may be substituted for that one device.

In light of the wide variety of possible caps, the detailed embodiments are intended to be illustrative only and should not be taken as limiting the scope of the invention. Rather, what is claimed as the invention is all such modifications as may come within the spirit and scope of the following claims and equivalents thereto.

None of the description in this specification should be read as implying that any particular element, step or function is an essential element which must be included in the claim scope. The scope of the patented subject matter is defined only by the allowed claims and their equivalents. Unless explicitly recited, other aspects of the present invention as described in this specification do not limit the scope of the claims.