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1. Field of the Invention
The invention generally relates to apparel. More specifically, the invention relates to body garments such as neckties and to neckties having attaching features. The invention discloses a necktie that is self-restraining against an ordinary shirt.
2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98
Origins of the necktie have been linked to ancient Rome. Orators may have worn a cloth neck covering to warm their vocal cords. Colorful neck cloths have continued to be worn as part of later military clothing. Louis XIV of France observed this colorful neckwear on visiting soldiers and adopted it. The fashion spread. Today, colorful neckties remain a bright spot in male business clothing.
A necktie continues to be an important part of business or professional image. Men's business apparel often includes a carefully chosen necktie to convey an impression, such as authority or competence. Depending upon the desired degree of formality or the current fashion style, a restraining device might hold a necktie close to the front of a wearer's shirt. Tie clasps, tie tacs, tie chains, and tiepins are jewelry restraining devices for holding the free ends of a necktie close to a shirtfront.
As a matter of style or of convenience, it may be desirable to restrain a necktie close to the front of the wearer's shirt without the use of jewelry. In any number of situations, a man might find himself without a jewelry tie restraint. As a temporary expedient to prevent the necktie from having a disorderly appearance, a man might employ a paper clip or pin to fasten the necktie to his shirt. However, relying on ad hoc measures such as those is not always reliable.
Neckties often provide a built-in keeper on the backside of the wide end of the necktie. This keeper allows the narrow end of the necktie to be restrained against the wide end. However, this keeper has no function to attach the tie to a shirtfront.
It would be desirable to have a necktie that inherently offers a restraining feature so that the tie can be restrained either with or without jewelry restraining devices. In that instance, a lost or forgotten tie clasp would be of no further inconvenience, as the wearer could employ the inherent restraining device with ease and reliability.
To achieve the foregoing and other objects and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, the method and apparatus of this invention may comprise the following.
Against the described background, it is therefore a general object of the invention to provide an inherent restraining device in a necktie.
According to the invention, a necktie is configured to define or carry one or more buttonholes near the narrow end of the necktie. Such buttonholes enable the narrow end of the necktie to be buttoned to a button of the wearer's underlying shirt. Further, a necktie frequently is equipped with a keeper behind the wide end of the tie. This keeper provides a means for maintaining the narrow and wide ends in close proximity. Thus, by first restraining the narrow and wide ends of the tie via the use of the keeper, the buttonhole on the narrow end effectively will restrain the entire tie.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of the specification, illustrate preferred embodiments of the present invention, and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is front elevational view of a first embodiment of the necktie with wide and narrow ends of a necktie arranged in parallel and with a central length broken away and schematically illustrated in phantom. Also, a representative fragment of a shirtfront is shown in phantom, and a representative button of the shift front is shown engaged through a buttonhole in the narrow end of the tie.
FIG. 2 a rear elevational view of the wide and narrow ends of a necktie with central length broken away, showing the narrow end restrained in a loop on the rear face of the wide end of the tie.
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of a second embodiment wherein the narrow end of a necktie carries a supplemental strip of fabric defining buttonholes.
The invention is an apparatus and method for restraining a necktie to a position juxtaposed to a shirtfront. The restraining device is incorporated into the structure of a necktie, such that a necktie of the specified structure always is adaptable to connect to the front of a business shirt. More specifically, the necktie defines or carries one or more connectors suited to engage a shirtfront. A preferred connector is a buttonhole, which is adapted to engage a shirt button of a button front shirt.
With reference to the drawings, a necktie 10 is configured to have a generally conventional shape. One end 12 is referred to as the wide end, and the opposite end 14 is referred to as the narrow end. Both wide end 12 and narrow end 14 terminate in a short end taper. These opposite end tapers will be referred to, respectively, as wide end taper 16 and narrow end taper 18. When a tie is properly sized, tied, and worn, narrow end 14 hangs at a relative level equal to or slightly above wide end 12, with both ending near the belt or reaching the level of a waistband of the wearer's trousers. Thus, FIGS. 1 and 2 show wide and narrow ends at approximately correct relative heights. A necktie is longitudinally elongated and typically is of an overall length of about fifty-two to sixty-five inches. Various lengths are available so that users of different heights can select an appropriate necktie for his height.
The length can be viewed as having three identifiable sections, although the three are smoothly blended and not always distinct.
The first section extends from the wide end of the tie toward the center. This section will be referred to as the display. The drawings only partially show the display, although it includes wide end 12 of FIG. 1. The display should be sized to be several inches longer than the distance from the top of the wearer's pants to the shirt collar, covering from about one-third to one-half of the total length of the necktie. As a rough estimate, the display may have a length of twenty-five to thirty inches. As worn, most of the display is exposed in front of wearer's shirt. Customarily a necktie is knotted at the shirt collar, and the knot of the tie may be formed from the narrowest portion of the display, which is nearest the center of the necktie. The widest part of the display is found immediately juxtaposed to wide end taper 16. This maximum width should approximate the width of a man's suit coat lapel, which is a factor dependent upon fashion. A width from three to four inches currently is representative but is not a limitation. The width of the display smoothly narrows toward the center section of the tie.
The second section is the center section and will be referred to as the neck wrap. The neck wrap section is within the broken away portion of FIG. 1. Phantom line portion 20 schematically suggests continuity between wide end 12 and narrow end 14 and encompasses the neck wrap section. Phantom portion 20 is not to scale. The neck wrap section is narrower than any part of the display and typically is the narrowest portion of the necktie 10. The width of the neck wrap should be narrower than the height of a shirt collar so that the neck wrap readily is concealed under the wearer's collar, at the sides and rear of the collar. A typical width may fall in the range from about one inch to about one and one-quarter inches. The length of the neck wrap might be similar or less than a collar size. Neck wrap lengths might fall in the range from ten to fifteen inches.
The third section extends from the center section to narrow end 14 of the necktie. This third section will be referred to as the tail. The drawings only partially show the tail by showing narrow end 14 in FIG. 1. In some designs of a necktie, the tail and neck wrap are similar in width and lack significant demarcation. In other neckties, the tail broadens before reaching narrow end taper 18. As a general rule, the width of every part of the tail is less than the width of any part of the display. This relationship is important to comply with the longstanding tradition that, as worn, the tail is hidden behind the display, as suggested in FIG. 2. As an example and not a limitation, the width of the widest part of the tail, found juxtaposed to narrow end taper 18, might be about one and one-half inches.
In the first embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG. 1, narrow end 14 defines one or more buttonholes 22. These buttonholes are arranged in linear series above narrow end taper 18, with the lowest buttonhole near the narrow end taper 18. Additional buttonholes may be spaced in linear series above the lowest buttonhole, in close spacing. As an example, the buttonholes may be spaced apart one inch, on-center. The closeness of spacing is appropriate to the purpose of having more than one buttonhole. This purpose is to have available one buttonhole that suitably aligns with a button 24 of a shirtfront 26. Buttons of a man's dress shirt typically are spaced apart three and one-half inches, on-center. A series of three or four buttonholes has been found to produce a reasonably suitable alignment between one of the buttonholes and a shirt button. A properly worn tie should show fullness and drape gracefully. Accordingly, the chosen buttonhole should allow a slight amount of extra fabric in the necktie above the buttonhole and in no instance should pull the necktie.
An adequate restraint for necktie 10 controls both narrow end 14 and wide end 12. The view of FIG. 2 shows the rear face of wide end 12 with a keeper 28 for holding narrow end 14. Keeper 28 is formed of a transverse strip of fabric that sometimes is a manufacturer's label. The opposite ends 30 of keeper 28 are attachment points that secure the label to the necktie. The method of attachment typically is by a glue or adhesive, especially thermal adhesive, although other methods are equally effective. For example, the keeper might be attached by stitching. The ends 30 might be folded back under the central area of the keeper and then attached to the wide end of the necktie, providing a more finished appearance. In FIG. 2 the ends 30 are exposed for clarity.
The central length of keeper 28 between ends 30 is not adhered to the necktie. This central area of the keeper 28 is wider than narrow end 14 of the necktie, which enables narrow end 14 to pass between keeper 28 and wide end 12. Thus, keeper 28 and wide end 12 define a loop that holds narrow end 14 and wide end 12 in restrained juxtaposition to one another. The keeper is positioned high enough on wide end 12 to permit a plurality of buttonholes 22 to be disposed below keeper 28 when the necktie is properly positioned for wear. When properly positioned, wide end taper 16 and narrow end taper 18 are overlapped, as shown. As noted above for a properly worn necktie, narrow end 14 hangs at a relative level equal to or slightly above wide end 12. The normal placement of a keeper 28 is from about six to nine inches above the lowest point of wide end 12, which is adequate spacing to allow buttonholes 22 to be suitable disposed.
The rear face of necktie 10 displays a longitudinal seam 32 where the folded fabric of necktie 10 meets and typically is sewn together by a slipstitch. Seam 32 lies near a longitudinal or vertical centerline of the elongated necktie and provides a suitable target location for placing aligned buttonholes 22. For convenience, buttonholes 22 may be longitudinally or vertically elongated in alignment with seam 32, which produces buttonholes 22 that are parallel to the preferred orientation for buttonholes on a dress shirt.
The keeper 28 may have a buttonhole 31 formed in its central area. When the narrow end of the necktie 10 is tucked through the keeper, the central area of the keeper is exposed to the shirtfront. Thus, a buttonhole 31 on the keeper might be buttoned to the shirtfront. This is an optional solution that is not an equivalent replacement for buttonholes 22 on the narrow end 14 of the necktie 10. Many keepers 28 are attached to a necktie 10 with insufficient strength to serve repeatedly as a restraint and to tolerate the stress of buttoning. Nevertheless, the placement of a buttonhole 31 on the keeper might provide an additional buttoning location, if desired. It may be preferred to orient the buttonhole 31 transversely, to better match and accommodate the transverse elongation of the keeper 28.
A second embodiment, best shown in FIG. 3, locates buttonholes 22 on a supplemental carrier strip 34 that is attached to the rear face of narrow end 14. The carrier strip overlies a portion of narrow end 14. Selected attached portions of carrier strip 34 are bonded or otherwise secured to the rear face of narrow end 14. For example, carrier strip 34 is longitudinally elongated and aligned with the longitudinal dimension of the necktie. The carrier strip may be secured to narrow end 14 at longitudinally opposite, top and bottom ends 36. Intermediate attachment points may be used, as required. Adhesive, especially thermal adhesive, fabric glue, and stitching are examples of various means for attaching the carrier strip to the necktie. At least a central portion of carrier strip 34 in the vicinity of a buttonhole 22 is free of surface-to-surface attachment to the necktie. At such a free area, the wearer is able to insert a finger between carrier strip 34 and narrow end 14 to aid in buttoning a shirt button through a buttonhole 22.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be regarded as falling within the scope of the invention as defined by the claims that follow.