Title:
Pants cuff supports
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention provides pant cuff supports with a mount on the user's leg or shoe, supporting a receiver through a connector. The receiver holds lower pant cuffs off the ground without disturbing a desired baggy pants look.



Inventors:
Mcneely, Joe (San Leandro, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/901612
Publication Date:
04/10/2008
Filing Date:
09/17/2007
Assignee:
Joe McNeely
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/205.1, 2/300
International Classes:
A43B7/00; A41F19/00; A47B96/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KAVANAUGH, JOHN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Quine Intellectual, Property Law Group P. C. (P O BOX 458, ALAMEDA, CA, 94501, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pant cuff support comprising: a pant bottom cuff receiver to functionally receive a bottom cuff of a pant leg and comprising an inner horizontal segment and a outer vertical segment; and, a mount associated with the receiver in a configuration adapted to mount the receiver at about the exterior of a shoe; wherein a pant cuff is supported in the receiver when the pant leg and shoe are worn by a user with the support mounted to the shoe, thereby preventing the cuff from extending down beyond the receiver.

2. The support of claim 1, wherein the receiver comprises a channel defined by the vertical segment, the horizontal segment and an inner vertical segment; the channel having a U-shaped cross section with the opening directed up when mounted to the shoe.

3. The support of claim 1, wherein the receiver is configured to hold the pant cuff substantially by the force of gravity or configured to hold the pant cuff without a clamping force.

4. The support of claim 1, wherein the receiver is configured to hold the pant cuff at least in part with a clamping force.

5. The support of claim 1, wherein the receiver outer vertical segment is configured to visibly present a display surface when worn by the user.

6. The support of claim 1, wherein the receiver is releasably or adjustably associated with the mount.

7. The support of claim 1, wherein the mount is selected from the group comprising: a spur mount, a rivet, a stitch of thread, a pin, a stirrup mount, a clip, a strap, a belt, a garter, a filament, hook and loop fabric, a snap, a wedge, and an insert.

8. The support of claim 1, wherein the mount comprises a strap running up from the receiver, to a position between a foot of the user and an inside surface of the shoe, and down to another receiver outside the shoe.

9. The support of claim 1, wherein the mount comprises a metal, fabric or plastic plate shaped to fit between the heel of the user wearing the shoe and a heel section inner surface of a shoe upper.

10. The support of claim 1, wherein the mount is fixedly mounted to the exterior of the shoe.

11. A pant cuff support comprising: a C-shaped mount comprising a forward opening, a left section, a back section and a right section; and, one or more cuff receivers attached to the mount and comprising a channel with the upper channel opening oriented substantially perpendicular to a plane described by the left side and right side of the mount or comprising a spring loaded clip; wherein the support can be worn by a person with the C-shaped mount at a heel section of a shoe upper with the mount opening facing forward and with the receiver channel opening or clip opening directed up.

12. The support of claim 11, wherein one pant bottom receiver is attached to the back section of the mount.

13. The support of claim 11, wherein a first pant bottom receiver is attached to the left section of the mount and a second receiver is attached to the right section of the mount.

14. The support of claim 11, wherein the receiver channel provides a clamping force across the upper opening.

15. The support of claim 11, further comprising a strap, plate or filament extending across the forward opening from the left section to the right section of the mount.

16. A method of supporting the bottom hem of a pant leg, the method comprising: providing a support device comprising a mounting strap connected to a receiver clamp through a connector strap; mounting the mounting strap around the leg of a person wearing pants; clamping the clamp to the pants at the bottom of a pant leg; whereby the pant leg is supported by an upward force through the connecting strap to support the pant leg, thus preventing the pant leg from touching the ground when the person walks.

17. A cuff support comprising: a mount adapted to mount at the foot or lower leg of a user wearing pants with excess pant length; a receiver connected to the mount and configured to functionally support a cuff of the pants at a point below the mount; wherein said supporting comprises application of upward directed forces.

18. The support of claim 17, wherein the receiver supports the cuff at a point less than 1 inch off a surface, when the mount and receiver are worn by a standing user.

19. The support of claim 17, wherein the receiver includes an opening directed up.

20. The support of claim 19, wherein the receiver is connected to the mount through a connector attached to the receiver closer to the opening than the bottom of the receiver, as viewed with the support in use.

21. A pant cuff support shoe comprising: a shoe comprising a shoe upper or shoe sole; and, a pant bottom cuff receiver mounted in a position on the exterior of the shoe upper or sole, and configured to functionally receive a bottom cuff of a pant leg; wherein the cuff is supported by the receiver when the pant leg and shoe are worn by a user, thereby preventing the cuff from extending down beyond the receiver.

22. The support shoe of claim 21, wherein the receiver is a upward open channel structure comprising an inner horizontal segment and a outer vertical segment.

23. The support shoe of claim 21, wherein the receiver comprises a clamping structure.

24. The support shoe of claim 21, wherein the receiver is mounted to the outer surface of a shoe heel or to a shoe sole.

25. The support shoe of claim 21, wherein the receiver interacts with complimentary features on the cuff, the features are selected from the group consisting of: snaps, zippers, hook and loop, magnetic features, button and hole, and buckles.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to and benefit of a prior U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/846,032, Pants Cuff Support, by Joe McNeely, filed Sep. 19, 2006. The full disclosure of the prior application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is in the field of clothing accessories. In particular, supports for the bottom of one's pants. Pant cuff supports of the invention can be mounted, e.g., to the user's shoes so that a hem receiver can capture the hem of long pants so they do not touch the ground and are not stepped upon by the user. The supports hold up pants bottoms without disturbing the stylish baggy pants look.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The fashion of low riding baggy pants has been with us for some time now and is expected to continue in some form henceforth. For those who indulge in this look, there is a nagging problem that has not had an acceptable solution—how to keep the bottom hem off the ground and how to avoid stepping on the back of the pants cuff. As the fashion is intended to have a certain look and appeal, stepped on and dirty pant bottoms can be distracting. Self-help solutions, such as bundling excess fabric in the rear bottom hem with a rubber band, does not provide an acceptable look. The unique problem of holding up pants cuffs without changing the look requires a new solution.

Until the advent of low riding pants, there was no need for a way to hold pants off the ground because one merely selected pants with an inseam that supports the bottom hen off the ground, or in the case of brothers long hand-me-downs, roll up the cuffs. So, in the field of pants cuffs there have been no inventions to hold pant cuffs up; the historic problem has been to hold the pant legs down. What's more, previous adaptations that incidentally may hold pants cuffs off the ground also would do so in such a way as to destroy the baggy pants fashion statement.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,542,156, Trouser Leg Retaining Device to Oglesby, a strap snaps to the left inside of a pant leg, passes under the arch of a boot and snaps to the right inside of the pant leg. The device is intended to urge the trouser legs to stay down, e.g., as the knee is extended and flexed. Such a device would not prevent pant legs with excessive fabric length from touching the ground. On the contrary, they would urge the excess fabric of baggy pants onto the ground.

In U.S. Pat. No. 4,393,522, Ankle Garter with Foot Stirrup, to Calabrese, a Velcro strap and foot stirrup are used to narrow and hold the bottom of pants in place so that a boot can fit over it with ease. Again, this device is designed to hold down the pant leg and the radial compression of the pant leg is anathema to the baggy pant look.

Many other designs exist, e.g., U.S. Pat. D360,762, to Wilkins; U.S. Pat. No. 4,941,213, to Grilliot; U.S. Pat. No. 2,384,255 to Moore; U.S. Pat. No. 4,115,906, to Lavine, wherein devices are offered to compress and/or hold down pants legs.

In view of the above, a need exists for a way to hold up pants cuffs. It would be desirable to have a stylish way to support pants cuffs without gathering or compressing the hem fabric. The present invention provides these and other features that will be apparent upon review of the following.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Support cuffs of the invention have, e.g., a mounting and connecting system that can support cuff receivers from above. Thus the cuff support systems can help hold up the bottoms of pant legs, so they do not touch the ground or become stepped on by the wearer. The devices can hold up the pants cuffs without disturbing the desired look of baggy pants.

In general, the cuffs supports of the invention include a mounting means to mount the support system on a user's shoe or leg, a receiver means to receive a lower pant cuff of a user's pants, and a connector means running from the mounting means down to the receiver means. The mounting means and connector means can work together to support the receiver means from above to hold up the pant cuff. In some embodiments the receiver can be mounted to a shoe without a connector means. In some embodiments, the receiver is fixedly mounted directly to the shoe, e.g., as an integral part of the shoe upper or sole.

In one embodiment, the cuff support includes a pant bottom hem (cuff) receiver to functionally receive the bottom hem of a pant leg, and a mounting means to retain the receiver at or near the exterior of a shoe so that the hem is supported in the receiver when the pants and shoe are worn by a user with the support mounted to the shoe. In this embodiment, it is preferred that the receiver be a U-shaped channel or clip with an opening facing up and having a bottom horizontal segment and a rear vertical segment to support the hem. With such an arrangement, the pant bottom hem can be retained in the receiver substantially by the force of gravity. Optionally, the hem can be retained in the receiver by a substantial clamping force, or not.

The receiver can be directly mounted on the mount or mounted through a connector. The receiver can be releasably and/or adjustably associated with the mount. Alternately, the receiver can be directly mounted to the exterior of the shoe. A receiver outer vertical segment can visibly present a display surface when worn by the user.

The mount can take any form suitable for mounting the receiver in a functional orientation with regard to supporting the pant cuff of a user. For example, the support mount can include a spur (C-shaped) type mount, a stirrup type mount, a pin, a rivet, a stitch, an adhesive mount, a clip, a strap, a garter, a hanger, a belt, a filament, a hook and loop fabric, a snap, a wedge, a shoe insert, etc. The mount can be a strap running up from the receiver, around the opening of a shoe to a position between the user's foot and an inside surface of the shoe, and down to a second receiver outside on the other side of the shoe. Optionally, the mount can be a rigid or semi-rigid plate, e.g., a metal or plastic plate, shaped to fit between the heel of the user wearing the shoe and an inner surface of a shoe upper heel section. Optionally, the receiver can be mounted to the shoe directly and/or fixedly, e.g., as a part of the shoe.

In a particular embodiment, the pant bottom support can include a C-shaped mount comprising a forward opening, a left section, a back section and a right section; and one or more pant bottom receivers attached to the mount and comprising a channel with the upper channel opening oriented substantially perpendicular to a plane described by the left side and right side of the mount. The support can be worn by a person with the C-shaped mount adjacent to the heel section of the shoe upper, with the mount opening facing forward and with the receiver channel opening directed up. The pant bottom receiver can be attached to the back section of the mount. Alternately, a first pant bottom receiver can be attached to the left section of the mount and a second receiver can be attached to the right section of the mount; optionally with the back mounted receiver. Again, the receiver opening, facing up, can be a passive channel or provide a clamping force across the upper opening.

The front opening of the C-shaped mount can have a closure fitting to close the opening and help mount the support to the user's foot, shoe or leg. The fitting can be, e.g., a strap, plate, or filament extending across the forward opening from the left section to the right section of the mount. A front shield can be mounted across the forward opening between the left section and the right section of the mount, e.g., with a display surface for graphic presentations.

The present invention includes methods of supporting pant leg cuffs. The bottom hem of a pant leg can be supported by, e.g., providing a support device with a strap mount connected to a clamp receiver through a connecting strap. The mounting strap can be mounted around the leg of a person wearing pants and the clamp receiver clamped to the pants at the bottom of a pant leg. In this way, the pant leg is supported from the bottom by an upward force through the mounting strap and connecting strap, thus preventing the pant leg from touching the ground when the person walks.

In other embodiments, the cuff support can include a mount adapted to mount at the foot or lower leg of a user wearing long pants, and a receiver connected to the mount and functionally supporting a hem at a point below the mount. Application of upward directed forces between the mount and receiver hold the hem to prevent it from dropping down. In many applications, the receiver supports the hem at a point less than 1 inch off a surface on which the user is standing, when the mount and receiver are worn by the user.

In still other embodiments, the invention can be a shoe that includes an integrated cuff support. For example, the shoe can include a cuff receiver mounted to the back exterior of the shoe. The receiver can be riveted to the back heel section of the upper, e.g., just above the heel. A pair of receivers can fixedly mounted at the sides of the shoe heal section. Optionally, the receiver could be mounted directly to the heel or sole. Optionally, the receiver can be mounted to the shoe through a pin, e.g., running down from the top of the heal section, e.g., between layers of shoe materials.

In many embodiments of the invention, the receiver is functionally connected to the mount through a connector. In preferred embodiments, the receiver includes an opening directed up. In other preferred embodiments, the receiver is connected to the mount through a connector attached to the receiver on the lower end of the connector. In preferred embodiments, the receiver is connected to the connector at a point nearer to the receiver opening than to a bottom, pivoting or horizontal segment of the receiver.

DEFINITIONS

Unless otherwise defined herein or below in the remainder of the specification, all technical and scientific terms used herein have meanings commonly understood by those of ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention belongs.

Before describing the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to particular devices, which can, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting. As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to “a component” can include a combination of two or more components; reference to “a mount” can include two or more cooperating mounts, and the like.

Although many methods and materials similar, modified, or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice of the present invention without undue experimentation, the preferred configurations and methods are described herein. In describing and claiming the present invention, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below.

As used herein, the term “display surface” refers to a substantially planar surface of a cuff support, which is visible while the support is worn by a user.

As used herein, the terms “user” or “wearer” refer to a person wearing the cuff supports.

As used herein, a “shoe” refers to footwear, such as, e.g., a shoe, boot, sandal, tennis shoe, and/or the like.

As used herein, terms of direction, e.g., up, down, front back, right left, refer to directions commonly understood in the context of a person standing on a surface, or the orientation of a shoe worn by a standing person.

The term “proximal to”, as used herein, refers to a cuff support component being in contact with or immediately adjacent to the associated object or surface. A receiver mounted “at about” the exterior of a shoe, is functionally mounted on the shoe exterior surface or mounted in a position proximal (e.g., within an inch, 0.5 inch, 0.25 inch, or less) to the shoe exterior surface.

A “substantial clamping force”, as used herein, is a clamping force adequate to hold a pant leg in a receiver under forces likely to be encountered when the cuff support is in use by a user. For example, the clamping force can be al least 1 Newton, 10 Newtons, 100 Newtons, or more; or the clamping can provide a pressure “squeezing” the pant cuff at 10 kilopascal, 100 kilopascal, or more.

With regard to shoe parts, components of shoes are generally as known in the art. For example, the “upper” includes parts in the shell of the shoe above the sole. Inside surfaces of a shoe are those typically in contact with a persons foot when the shoe is being worn.

“C-shaped” and “U-shaped” refer to shapes having three sides and an opening. The transition between the sides can be abrupt, as in a 90 degree angle, or more gradual, as in a sweeping curve. With regard to a frame of reference, a C-shaped structure typically has the opening directed horizontally and a U-shaped structure typically has the opening directed vertically, as is commonly understood.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows schematic diagrams of a cuff support having a U-shaped receiver and C-shaped mount.

FIG. 2 shows a schematic diagram of a cuff support in use.

FIG. 3 shows a schematic diagram of a cuff support having a flexible strap mount inside the user's shoe and a clip receiver to capture the pant cuff.

FIG. 4 shows a schematic diagram of a cuff support having a garter style mount with connectors down to upward facing clips.

FIG. 5 shows a schematic diagram of a cuff support with a sheet structure mount inserted at the inner back shoe upper with a connector directed down the outer heel upper to capture a cuff with a u-shaped clip.

FIGS. 6A and 6B show schematic diagrams of cuff supports incorporated into a shoe. FIG. 6A shows a cuff support mounted by positioning mounting hardware between shoe fabric layers at the heel. FIG. 6B shows a cuff support mounted to a rear heel area using a rivet.

FIG. 7 shows schematic diagrams of an exemplary spur and shield support with a clip receiver.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Many people wear pants in a fashion that provides excess pant length, such that the bottom cuff of the pants will contact the ground, and even slip down under the shoes of the wearer, when the pants are worn as intended. The present invention can retain the bottom cuffs of pants up off the ground, thus preventing unsightly soiling and wear from the cuffs falling down to the ground.

The cuff supports of the invention typically consist of a cuff receiver designed to retain a pant cuff and a mounting structure supporting the receiver from a secure position, e.g., at a point above the receiver. With regard to discussions of the present invention, spatial directions are conventional in the context of a person standing, e.g., wearing long pants, shoes and the support. For example, forward would be considered to be the direction toward the front (toe end) of the shoe; rear or back would be toward the back (heel end) of the shoe; up would be opposite the force of gravity (e.g., toward the user's head) for a standing user; and, down would be toward the ground for a user standing on the ground.

Pants that receive the greatest benefit from the cuff supports of the present invention are typically those that, e.g., are long enough and/or are worn low enough that the bottom cuffs are at risk of contacting the ground. For example, pants with an inseam greater than the inseam of the person wearing the pants and/or those pants worn (as is the fashion) with the pant waist well below the waist of the person wearing the pants (e.g., “baggy” pants, or pants worn slung down with the belt region low on or below the hips).

In one aspect of the invention, a cuff support is provided in which a cuff hem receiver is adapted to capture the lower portion of a pant leg, e.g., the bottom hem (cuff). The receiver is typically connected to a mount above the receiver so that tensile forces are directed up from the receiver to the mount, thus supporting the pant leg from dropping down. Optionally, the receiver can be fixedly mounted directly to the exterior surface of a shoe, e.g., with the mount positioned below, adjacent, or (preferably) above the receiver.

In one embodiment, the cuff support is essentially like a cowboy's spur mount, but with the goad end replaced with a cuff receiver, as shown in FIG. 1 (1A side view mounted to shoe; 1B top view). The support mount 10 is a C-shaped structure that can wrap around the user's ankle or heel area from the left to the back to the right, with the front opening 11 oriented forward. The mount can be supported by resting on the outward expanding portions of the foot. Further support can be provided by closing the front opening with a closure fitting 19, such as a strap and buckle, VELCRO straps, a shoelace and/or the like. The cuff receiver 12 can be a U-shaped channel made up of front 13, bottom 14, and rear 15 sheet segments providing a U-shaped cross section. In preferred embodiments, the receiver does not include a goad. With the cuff support mounted with the receiver at the outer rear of a wearer's shoe 16, and with the receiver opening 17 directed up, the wearer's pant cuff 18 can be supported and prevented from touching the ground or the under side of the wearer's shoe, as shown in FIG. 2. In other embodiments, the receiver can be a clamp (e.g., a spring loaded clip), directed up, urged closed by a spring force to grasp the cuff instead of only passively receiving the cuff in an immobile channel.

In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, a flexible or inflexible connector strap 30 is configured to run from one side (left) of a shoe 31, under a wearer's foot, to the other side (right) of the shoe. The left and right ends of the connector can have support segments 32 directed down to receivers 33 that can receive pant cuffs 34 had support them with an upward force, e.g., that prevents the cuffs from touching the ground when worn by a user.

Cuff Support Mounts

Cuff support mounts of the invention can themselves be mounted on structures, e.g., associated with the lower leg area, so that connections to cuff receivers can support pants from falling down onto walking surfaces when worn by a person. The support mounts can interact, e.g., with the calves, lower leg, ankle or foot of the person; and/or the inner pant leg mid length or the shoe of the person, when the support is in use. In certain embodiments, the mount can be a direct mount to the exterior of the shoe, so that, e.g., the receiver is essentially a fixed component of the shoe.

In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 4, the support mount is essentially a garter 40 about the leg or ankle 41 of the user. However, instead of pulling up the sliding top of a sock, connectors 42 pull up the dangling end of a pant leg. This is an entirely different problem, e.g., because of the different locations of the required support, the different topology of the baggy pant over the constricted sock, the different geometry of support from beneath as compared to support from above.

In another embodiment of support mounts, the mount is essentially an open collar or spur mount comprising a C-shaped rigid or semi rigid structure that fits at about the ankle with the arms of the “C” extending along the left and right sides of the ankle and with the opening facing forward. Such a shape can rest stably about the ankle of a user, e.g., resting on the downwardly expanding aspects of the foot and/or top aspects of a shoe. To further stabilize the C-shaped support mount, one or more closure fittings can be located at or across the opening. For example, a filament (e.g., shoe string) can run one or more times across the opening, e.g., to tighten and/or enclose the mount about the ankle or foot (optionally mounting shield with a display surface). Optionally, a strap can run between the ends (arms or “side sections”) of the C-shaped mount to secure the mount, e.g., against walking forces. For example, the straps can be metal, plastic or fabric straps, running across the opening and secured at the arm ends. The straps can be elastic. The straps can be opened with, e.g., a snap, buckle, loop and hook connection, or the like.

A display surface can be incorporated into the fittings or connectors across the opening of the C-shaped mount. For example, a display surface for ornamental designs, indicia or logos can be incorporated into the stabilizing straps, described above. Optionally, a shield can be interlaced with filament fittings to mount a display surface.

In other embodiments of the support mounts as shown in FIG. 5, the mount 50 can be a rigid or semi-rigid sheet structure (e.g., like a shoe horn) that can fit down into a space between the rear upper shoe and a user's heel area. For example, the insert mount can have a curvature (essentially a cylinder section) that conforms to the back inside of a shoe and can closely follow the contours of the back of a user's foot (i.e., running along the Achilles' tendon to the back of the heel). The top 51 of such a mount can curve around the back top of the shoe opening, e.g., to direct a support connector 52 to a spring loaded cuff receiver 53 at or near (proximal to) the rear outer bottom of the shoe. In a related mount, the sheet structure can be configured to fit comfortably (e.g., thin, pliable, and/or appropriately contoured) in the shoe between the user's foot and the inner side of the shoe. Such a mount can provide a secure position at the upper side opening of the shoe for a connector running down to a cuff receiver on the left and/or right side of the shoe. In preferred embodiments of this side insert mount, there is a mount on each (left and right) side of the shoe. In other embodiments, there are three or more insert mounts, e.g., left, right and back center.

In one embodiment, instead of the mount 50 fitting between the user's heel and the interior surface of the shoe, the mount is inserted into the shoe material and/or is fixedly mounted to the shoe, as shown in FIG. 6. For example, as shown in FIG. 6A, the mount 50, can be a pin or plate of material retained between shoe layers of the inner shoe surface 54 and the outer shoe surface 55. Alternately, the receiver 53 can be fixedly mounted the shoe by a fixed mounting means 56, such as, e.g., a rivet, stitch, glue, and/or the like. See FIG. 6B. Of course, fixedly mounted embodiments can include two or more mounted receivers, e.g., at the rear and/or sides of the shoe.

In other embodiments, the mounts can be thin, flexible or rigid, straps configured to fit close to the inside walls of the rear shoe, allowing connections at the side and/or rear shoe opening to connectors downwardly directed to receivers, e.g., supporting pant cuffs near a walking surface. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, these strap mounts can be thin fabric straps 30 with appropriate length (optionally adjustable) to run from the top left side shoe opening, along the inside rear left side surface, across the inside (heel sole) floor, and up the inside rear right side surface to the top right side opening. The strap mount can incorporate left and right connectors 32, e.g., hanging down from the shoe opening to receivers 33 capable of holding pants cuffs off the ground when in use.

Cuff Support Receivers

Cuff support receivers receive pant cuffs to prevent them from slipping down beyond the receiver. For example, the receivers can capture pant cuffs (e.g., bottom hem region) and provide vertical support forces, e.g., up through support connectors to support mounts, thus holding the pant cuffs from touching the ground when the pants and cuff supports are worn by a user.

The cuff receivers can be any of various suitable configurations, to capture and hold up pant cuffs. The receivers can grasp cuffs and/or receive cuffs, e.g., into a upward open trough shape, lock onto cuffs, pin onto cuffs, in any way known in the art, to provide upward support of the cuffs.

In one embodiment, the receivers can be upwardly open U-shaped structures, such as U-shaped wires, molded plastic components or sheet metal. For example, see FIGS. 1 and 3. In use, the U-shaped structure can passively receive the bottom of a pant cuff, which is held up in place against the force of gravity. In other embodiments, the U-shaped structure can be spring loaded to urge the tops of the receiver inner (e.g., front) and outer (e.g., rear) vertical segments towards each other, so that a pant cuff in the receiver is retained by a clamping force of the receiver.

In other embodiments, the receivers can be upwardly directed clips, e.g., mounted to a support connector at some point above a pivot point 35, as shown in FIG. 3. In preferred embodiments, the pivot point is below the clip opening 36, which opens up when worn in use. The clip vertical segments can be spring loaded at the pivot point so that they are urged closed toward each other. Alternately, the slip segments can be urged closed with clamping forces directed from a pivoting locking member to hold the cuff.

Optionally, the cuff receiver can be configured to employ other types of fittings, such as snaps between the cuff and receiver, pins, hook and loop, magnets, buckle elements, and the like. For example, the pants can be configured to interact uniquely with the receiver to provide the desired support. The pant cuff and receiver can have complimentary hardware to attach the pant cuff to the receiver. In one aspect, the pants have a button hole and the receiver has a button or “cuff link” feature that can be secured in the pant cuff hole to hold the cuff. Alternately, the pant can have the female side of a “snap” fitting and the receiver can have the male side. Alternately, the pant can have a loop fabric and the receiver a hook fabric of a VELCRO™ connector system, or visa versa.

The outer vertical surface of a receiver, typically open to view when in use, can be a display surface. For example the display surface can include graphic designs, alphanumeric characters, logos, and/or other indicia.

Wearing Cuff Supports

Cuff supports of the invention are generally worn by a user (person) by mounting the support mount on the user's body or on the user's shoe, and by placing the lower end of the user's pant cuff into the support receiver of the cuff support. Alternately, the cuff supports can be worn by wearing a shoe having an appropriately configured receiver fixedly mounted as an integral part of the shoe.

To employ removable cuff supports, e.g., as shown in FIG. 2, the user can don his pants and shoes. Then, the user can slide the cuff support mount over the heel end of the shoe with the mount opening facing forward. The mount can be secured onto the shoe by closing the front closure fitting, e.g., by attaching an elongate fastener across the front opening at fitting points on the front ends of both mount side sections. Then, the user can place the rear pant cuff into the receiver, where it will remain under normal walking use without falling out onto the ground.

With regard to the strap configuration, e.g., as shown in FIG. 3, The user can put on his pants, then place the strap mount section across the shoe opening as he puts his foot into the shoe, thus capturing the mount between his foot and the inner sides and bottom of the shoe. Next, the user can clip the receivers onto the pant cuffs on the left and right, so that the cuffs can not drop below the receivers onto the ground while the supports are in use.

With regard to the cuff support configuration of FIG. 5, the user can put on his pants and shoes. The support mount can then be inserted into the back of the shoe between the user's foot and the inner rear shoe upper. The rear of the pant bottom hem can be placed into the receiver from above to provide support to the hem, thus preventing it from touching the ground or finding its way under the heel of the shoe.

For embodiments wherein the supports are integral to the shoes, as shown in FIG. 6, the user can put on the pants, then put on the shoes. Finally, the user can capture the pant cuff in the receiver to prevent the cuff from contacting the ground.

In preferred methods of the invention, the support is worn with the receiver opening facing upward. In preferred embodiments, the support is worn with the receiver mounted to a mount connector at a point at or near the top of the receiver.

EXAMPLES

The following example is offered to illustrate, but not to limit the claimed invention.

The Hux Cuff Support

A cuff support was designed with a spur type mount, strap type closure fitting and a clip type receiver, as shown in FIGS. 7A to 7D.

FIG. 7A is a top view of the support. The C-shaped spur support mount 60 is closed at the front opening with a strap style closure fitting 61 having a display surface 62. The cuff support included a receiver 63 having a rocking, spring-loaded clip 64 with the opening (mouth) 65 oriented upward.

The C-shaped mount has mounting hardware at the ends of both mount sides 66, to receive ends 67 of the closure fitting. When the ends are inserted into the hardware, they are adjustably captured to close the mount front opening, thus securing the mount on a wearer's foot in use.

The C-shaped mount has receiver mounting hardware 68 that can removably receive a receiver. The receiver can be removed from the mount and repositioned at different heights, so that pant cuffs can be supported at different heights.

The closure fitting display surface can include graphic symbols, logos, alphanumeric characters, other indicia, and the like.

It is understood that the examples and embodiments described herein are for illustrative purposes only and that various modifications or changes in light thereof will be suggested to persons skilled in the art and are to be included within the spirit and purview of this application and scope of the appended claims.

While the foregoing invention has been described in some detail for purposes of clarity and understanding, it will be clear to one skilled in the art from a reading of this disclosure that various changes in form and detail can be made without departing from the true scope of the invention. For example, many of the support components and ways to use the supports described above can be employed in various useful combinations.

All publications, patents, patent applications, and/or other documents cited in this application are incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent, patent application, and/or other document were individually indicated to be incorporated by reference for all purposes.