Title:
Children's Clothing System Having a Plurality of Clothing Articles and Associated Interchangeable Design Elements
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A clothing system having a plurality of different clothing articles that are designed to be used with interchangeable decorative elements. Each of the clothing articles are of a different size or style, and include one or more securing portions that permit one or more decorative, elements to be removably attached to the clothing article. The decorative elements can be removed from one clothing article for attachment to another clothing article so that the same decorative elements can be worn with any of the clothing articles in the system.



Inventors:
Swift, Eileen Sue (Oak Brook, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/105086
Publication Date:
10/22/2009
Filing Date:
04/17/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/244
International Classes:
A41D1/00; A41D27/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20040255357Bed jacket for invalidDecember, 2004Erickson
20070124842Impact attenuating chin protectorJune, 2007Nascimento et al.
20090025114Core assembly for an athletic protective padJanuary, 2009Hudon et al.
20070044208Knee and elbow protector with three-dimensional designMarch, 2007Huang
20060053521Baseball catcher's maskMarch, 2006Rickon Jr.
20090249531Thermal liner subassembly, fabric and method of useOctober, 2009Kruszewski et al.
20040006811Buttock enhancing pantyhose undergarmentJanuary, 2004Mckenzie
20050177920Garment for supporting and shaping the mid-section of a wearerAugust, 2005Wilkinson
20070157370Semi-rigid protective helmetJuly, 2007Joubert Des
20060053531Quick release weight lifter beltMarch, 2006Mcbride et al.



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOEB & LOEB, LLP (321 NORTH CLARK, SUITE 2300, CHICAGO, IL, 60654-4746, US)
Claims:
1. A clothing system comprising: a plurality clothing articles to be worn as a series; each of the plurality of clothing articles being of a different clothing size whereby each one of the plurality of clothing articles is designed to be worn by a growing individual during a different time in their growth development; wherein each of the plurality of clothing articles includes a securing portion for removably attaching a decorative element thereto.

2. The clothing system of claim 1 wherein the plurality of clothing articles includes: a first clothing article having at least a first securing portion for removably attaching the decorative element thereto; and a second clothing article having at least a second securing portion for removably attaching the decorative element thereto.

3. The clothing system of claim 2 wherein the first and second securing portions each include a first attachment means for removably attaching to a corresponding second attachment means on the decorative element.

4. The clothing system of claim 2 wherein the first and second securing portions are of substantially the same size as the decorative element.

5. The clothing system of claim 2 wherein the first and second securing portions are of substantially the same shape as the decorative element.

6. The clothing system of claim 2 wherein the first securing portion is one of a first plurality of securing portions on first clothing article for removably attaching to a plurality of decorative element; and wherein the second securing portion is one of a second plurality of securing portions on second clothing article for removably attaching to the plurality of decorative elements;

7. The clothing system of claim 6 wherein each of the plurality of decorative elements are of a single theme.

8. The clothing system of claim 6 wherein each of the plurality of securing portions are substantially of the same size.

9. The clothing system of claim 6 wherein each of the plurality of securing portions are substantially of the same shape.

10. The clothing system of claim 1 wherein the plurality of clothing articles are provided in a single package.

11. The clothing system of claim 10 wherein the package further includes at least one decorative element.

12. The clothing system of claim 2 wherein the second clothing article is stylistically different from the first clothing article.

13. 13-14. (canceled)

15. A method for providing a clothing system comprising: obtaining a plurality clothing articles to be worn as a series; each of the plurality of clothing articles being of a different clothing size whereby each one of the plurality of clothing articles is designed to be worn by an individual during a different time in their growth development; identifying a first one of the plurality of clothing articles having one or more first securing portions for removably attaching one or more decorative elements thereto; attaching the one or more decorative elements to the one or more first securing portions of the first one of the plurality of clothing article; identifying, after the individual has outgrown the first one of the plurality of clothing articles, a second one of the plurality of clothing articles having one or more second securing portions for removably attaching one or more decorative elements thereto, the second one of the plurality of clothing articles being of a larger clothing size than the first one of the plurality of clothing articles; removing the one or more decorative elements from the first one of the plurality of clothing article; and

16. (canceled)

17. The method of claim 15 wherein the second one of the plurality of clothing articles is stylistically different than the first clothing article.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the second one of the plurality of clothing articles is of a different color than the first clothing article.

19. The method of claim 15 further including providing the plurality of clothing articles in a single package.

20. The method of claim 19 further including providing, in the package, the one or more decorative elements.

21. The clothing system of claim I wherein the relative differences in clothing size between each of the plurality of clothing articles is based on at least one of the age or size of the individual for which the smallest of the plurality of clothing articles is intended.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This disclosure relates generally to articles of clothing, and more particularly, a children's clothing system having a plurality of clothing articles and associated interchangeable design elements.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Children, as well as parents, become attached to certain articles of clothing, especially when those articles include designs of which the child or parent has grown fond. This often results in frustration when the child refuses to wear clothing that does not include that particular design, or when the child damages or outgrows his/her clothing and can no longer wear the desired clothing article. The only solution has been to purchase additional clothing articles, in the same and/or different sizes, having the same design. However, this is not always an option since, often times, clothing articles having a similar design may no longer be available or may not be manufactured in different sizes.

There have been various disclosures of clothing articles that have interchangeable elements. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,484,974 discloses athletic clothing having removable letters that are usable in combinations to identify the wearer of the clothing. The athletic clothing includes an elongated strip having a plurality of loops, while the removable letters are formed from a material having flexible resilient hooks, so that the characters may be secured to the elongated strip.

Additionally, U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,516 discloses a jacket having adhesively securing fabric strips for detachably adhering pictorial representations, insignias or logos to the jacket. The pictorial representations, insignias or logos can then be removed and substituted by the wearer.

Furthermore, U.S. Pat. No. 5,718,589 discloses learning enhancing clothing articles, such as bibs, t-shirts, pants, dresses, or pajamas. Each of the clothing articles is provided with removable pictures, letters, characters, numbers, or the like. To enhance learning, these removable elements are positioned up-side-down on the clothing article so that the wearer, when looking down at the clothing article, sees the element as being right-side-up.

None of these disclosures, however, describe or even address a clothing system in which the same designs can be utilized with multiple, different, clothing articles, and continue to be utilized even after an original clothing article has been worn out or outgrown.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a clothing system by which a set of decorative elements can be utilized with a plurality of different clothing articles. The plurality of clothing articles include at least a first clothing article and a second, different, clothing article. The first clothing article has at least a first securing portion for removably attaching one or more decorative elements thereto, and the second clothing article has at least a second securing portion for also removably attaching the one or more decorative elements thereto. When desirable, the one or more decorative elements can be removed from first clothing article and attached to the second. In one aspect of the invention, the second clothing article may be of a larger size that the first clothing article, thus permitting a child to keep wearing clothing exhibiting the same one or more decorative elements as the child grows. In another aspect, the second clothing article may also be stylistically different from the first clothing article, thus permitting the same decorative elements to be worn repeatedly and successively with different types of clothing articles.

In accordance with another aspect, the present invention also includes a method for providing a clothing system. The method includes obtaining a first clothing article having one or more first securing portions for removably attaching one or more decorative elements thereto; attaching the one or more decorative elements to the one or more first securing portions of the first clothing article; and wearing the first clothing article in combination with the one or more decorative elements. The method further includes obtaining a second, different, clothing article having one or more second securing portions for removably attaching one or more decorative elements thereto; removing the one or more decorative elements from the first clothing article; attaching the one or more decorative elements to the one or more second securing portions of the second clothing article; and wearing the second clothing article in combination with the one or more decorative elements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Various embodiment of the disclosure are now described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying figures.

FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of a clothing article in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 2a-b show one embodiment of a decorative element in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows one embodiment of a series of clothing articles in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows another embodiment of a series of clothing articles in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows yet another embodiment of a series of clothing articles in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present invention provides a clothing system having a plurality of different clothing articles that are designed to be used with interchangeable decorative elements. Each of the clothing articles includes one or more securing portions that permit one or more decorative elements to be removably attached to the clothing article. As such, the decorative elements can be removed from one clothing article for attachment to another clothing article in the series. As will be discussed below, the clothing articles may each be of a different size so that the decorative element can continue to be worn even after a child has outgrown a previous clothing article in the series. The clothing system may also include clothing articles of different styles, colors, etc., to permit the same decorative element to be worn repeatedly with such different clothing articles.

FIGS. 1 and 2a-b illustrate an exemplary embodiment of a clothing article 100 and associated decorative element 200 in accordance with the present invention. In the illustrated figures, the clothing 100 article is a shirt, while the decorative element 200 illustrated is a circular element depicting the picture of a basketball. However, it should be understood that the present invention may apply to any type of clothing such as pants, skirts, sweaters, hats, shoes, skirts, etc. The present invention may also employ any type of decorative clement having any shape and any theme may be used. Thus, the decorative element may depict pictures, letters, designs, photos, or any combination thereof.

In accordance with the present invention, the clothing article 100 includes a securing portion 102 having an attachment means 104 designed to allow the decorative element to be removably attached thereto through a complementary attachment means 204 on the back surface 202 of the decorative element 200. In one exemplary embodiment, the attachment means 104 on the clothing article 100 may be a series of flexible resilient hooking elements that are designed to form releasable attachments with a series of closely positioned loop elements on the back surface 202 of the decorative element 200. Of course, the hooking elements may alternatively be provided on the back surface 202 of the decorative element 200 while the loop elements are provided in the securing portion 102 of the clothing article 100. Other types of attachment means may also be used so long as the decorative element can be repeatedly removed and replaced. For example, Velcro® strips or adhesive surfaces may be used. The decorative element 200 may also be removably attached to the clothing article using buttons or snaps.

In one embodiment, the shape of the securing portion 102 is also preferably the same or smaller than the decorative element 200. In this way, no portion of the attachment means is visible when the decorative element 200 is attached, providing a better aesthetic appearance. Additionally, as shown in FIG. 2b, the attachment means 204 may also be provided on only a portion of the back surface 202 of the decorative element 200 and, more preferably, only near the perimeter of the decorative element 200. This allows the decorative element 200 to securely affix to the clothing 100 without requiring excessive force to remove the decorative element 200.

One exemplary embodiment of a clothing system 300 in accordance with the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, the clothing system 300 includes a plurality of clothing articles 302-306 that are each of a different size and are designed to be worn successively as a child grows. Thus, in one embodiment, clothing article 302 may be a SMALL size, clothing article 304 may be a MEDIUM size, and clothing article 306 may be a LARGE size. However, it should also be understood that the actual relative difference in sizes between the different articles may be dependent on the age and size of the child for which the smallest article of clothing in the system is intended. For example, clothing articles for infants may have a smaller degree of difference between sizes than clothing articles for teenagers. Additionally, although the clothing system of FIG. 3 is illustrated as showing only three articles of clothing, it should also be understood that any number of articles may be provided. As used herein, the term “child” or “children” is also meant to include infants, toddlers, teenagers and children of all ages that are still growing.

As shown in FIG. 3, the decorative element 200 is initially removably attached to the securing portion 308 of the smallest clothing article 302 to be worn by the child. Once the child outgrows that clothing article 302, the decorative element 200 is removed and attached to securing portion 310 of the clothing article 304 of the next larger size. Once the child outgrows that clothing article 304, the decorative element is again removed and attached to the securing portion 312 of clothing article 306. As a result, the child maintains clothing articles having the same decorative element 200 throughout multiple stages of development. This is not only desirable for the child, but also simpler and more cost effective for the parent.

Although in FIG. 3 the different clothing articles are shown as being of the same type (i.e., a shirt), it is also contemplated that the clothing articles may also be of different types or styles. For example, the smallest clothing article may be a sleeveless shirt, the middle sized article may be a short-sleeved shirt, and the largest article may be a collared shirt. Each of the different clothing articles may also be of different colors. To permit the decorative element to be seamlessly transferred from one clothing article to the next, the shapes of the securing portions 308-312 on each clothing article are also preferably the same size and may be positioned in a similar location on the clothing article.

FIG. 4 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of the present invention. As in FIG. 3, the clothing system 400 of this embodiment includes a plurality of clothing articles 402. 404, and 406 that are of different sizes and designed to be worn successively as a child grows. In this embodiment, however, each of the clothing articles includes multiple securing portions, each having an attachment means. Thus, clothing article 402 has securing portions 408, 410, and 412; clothing article 404 has securing portions 414, 416, and 418; and clothing article 406 has securing portions 420, 422, and 424.

By providing multiple securing portions on each clothing article, multiple decorative elements can be simultaneously attached to a single clothing article. In one embodiment, the multiple decorative elements may be of a single theme. For example, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the multiple decorative elements 426, 428, and 430 are shown as each having a different butterfly design. Of course, other themes may also be used. For example, for a sports theme, one decorative element may show a soccer player, one decorative element may show a ball, and one decorative element may show a goal. Thus, it is understood that each of the decorative elements may be of a different design and have a different size and shape.

As with the prior embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the decorative elements 426, 428, and 430 are initially removably attached to the securing portions 408, 410, and 412, respectively, of the smallest clothing article 402 to be worn by the child. Once the child outgrows that clothing article 402, the decorative elements can be removed and attached to securing portions 414, 416, and 418 of the clothing article 404 of the next larger size. Once the child outgrows that clothing article 404, the decorative elements can again be removed and attached to the securing portions 420, 422, and 424 of clothing article 406.

As shown in FIG. 4, each of the securing portions on each of the clothing articles may be of the same shape and size. This permits the wearer to change the position of the decorative elements on the clothing article whenever it is desired. However, it should be understood that each of the securing portions may also be of a different predefined shape if the decorative elements are designed to be positioned in a predetermined order. For example, if the decorative elements are those of the sports theme mentioned above, one securing portion may be of a first shape corresponding to the soccer player, another securing portion may be a second shape corresponding to the ball, and yet another securing portion may be of a third shape corresponding to the goal.

FIG. 5 illustrates yet another exemplary embodiment of the present invention. As shown, the clothing system 500 includes a plurality of clothing articles 502, 504, and 506. Each clothing article 502, 504, and 506 is illustrated as having a single square-shaped securing portion 508, 510, and 512, respectively, for attaching a decorative element 514 thereto. However, as noted above, it is understood that there may be multiple securing portions, and the securing portion or portions may be of a different shape.

In embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the plurality of clothing articles 502, 504, and 506 are each of a different color. For example, clothing article 502 may be red, clothing article 504 may be white, and clothing article 506 may be blue, although any color may be used. As a result, the wearer may, on any given day, wear a clothing article of any color in combination with the same decorative element 514. This has multiple advantages. For example, a child that is strongly attached to the decorative element can wear clothing with the same decorative element on successive days without the need to do laundry. By utilizing multiple clothing articles with the same decorative element, the clothing also does not wear out as quickly. Furthermore, by providing multiple colors of clothing, the child also does not appear to be repeatedly wearing the same clothing article. It should also be understood that while the embodiment shown in FIG. 5 includes a plurality of clothing articles that are of different colors, the clothing articles may additionally, or alternatively, include other stylistic differences, such as, for example, the style of shirt (e.g., collar, no collar, sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve, etc.) or the location of the securing portion.

In accordance with the present invention, it is contemplated that a plurality of clothing articles and one or more associated decorative elements may be provided in a single package. In this way, a single purchase can be made which would allow a single design to be worn with multiple, different, clothing articles. The number of clothing articles in a particular package is a matter of design choice and may be altered for differing age groups.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, it is also contemplated that one or more clothing articles having a securing portion may be provided in a package without any decorative elements. Such packages may be provided to allow for the purchase of additional larger clothing articles should there be a desire to continue utilizing clothing articles with the decorative element after a child has outgrown the largest clothing article in a previously purchased package, or should there be a desire to wear the decorative element with a different style or color of clothing article. Such packages would also allow clothing articles to be replaced should they be lost, ripped, or otherwise rendered un wearable for any reason. As above, the number of clothing articles in a particular package is a matter of design choice and may be altered for differing age groups.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, it is further contemplated that one or more decorative elements may also be sold in a package without any associated clothing articles. Such decorative elements may be purchased to replace worn out, previously purchased decorative elements, or as additional decorative elements that may be interchanged with others. It one embodiment, multiple decorative elements packaged together would also preferably be of a single theme.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, one or more decorative elements may be provided in a kit in combination with means for affixing the one or more decorative elements to a plurality of conventional clothing articles. The clothing articles may be provided in a single package with the kit, although the kit may also be provided separately without the clothing articles. In one embodiment, the means for affixing the one or more decorative elements may include an iron-on patch having an attachment means capable of receiving the one or more decorative elements, and instructions for affixing the iron-patch onto a plurality of clothing articles in accordance with the present invention. Of course, the kit may also include other types of affixing means, such as, for example, a sewing kit and the relevant instructions for sewing the attachment means to a plurality of clothing articles.

Further advantages and modifications of the above described invention will readily occur to those skilled in the art. For example, although the clothing articles described above have securing portions in certain locations on the front of the shirts, the placement of the securing portions may be altered. For example, each shirt may additionally or alternatively have securing portions on other portions of the front of the shirt, on the back of the shirt, on the sleeve, etc. As noted above, other types and styles of clothing articles may also be utilized. Although the clothing system is described above as being utilized for children's clothing, the clothing system may also be utilized for adults. For example, the clothing system may include different size articles to accommodate adults that gain or lose weight.

The invention, in its broader aspects, is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative system and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described above. Various modifications and variations can be made to the above specification without departing from the scope or spirit of the present invention, and it is intended that the present disclosure cover all such modifications and variations provided they come within the scope of the following claims and their equivalents.