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Title:
Garment for Upper Breast Padding
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Upper breast padding in a breast support garment, such as a bra, to fill hollow areas that may form in the upper breast area of a person when the person wears the breast support garment is disclosed. A pad for padding an upper breast area may include at least a portion that may have a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the portion toward the center of the portion. The portion of the pad having the gradually increasing thickness may be disposed on and conformable to the person's upper breast area. The pad may be part of a breast support garment. Or the pad may be removable.


Inventors:
Widell, Gwendolyn M. (New York, NY, US)
Mcnamara, Agnes (Mount Vernon, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/180973
Publication Date:
01/28/2010
Filing Date:
07/28/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/267, 450/57
International Classes:
A41C3/00; A41C3/10; A41D27/26
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080299870Adjustable strap for brassiere having shoulder and body engaging meansDecember, 2008Penunuri
20030060124Self-inflating brassiere padding made of a spongy materialMarch, 2003Yunkatz
20020022434Universal brassiere strap and fastenerFebruary, 2002Plourde et al.
20070077859CorsetApril, 2007Walker et al.
20060089085Novelty ladies swimsuitApril, 2006Ruggiero et al.
20090098802Brassiere pad systemApril, 2009Talamo
20060252344COMPOSITE AIR-PERMEABLE ELASTOMERIC BRA CUPNovember, 2006Jian
20090197509INLAY FOR THE RESILIENTLY SHAPE-MAINTAINING REINFORCEMENT OF BRA CUPSAugust, 2009Fildan et al.
20090205099Seamless SwimsuitAugust, 2009Liu
20070010166Chocolate products containing amorphous solids and methods of producing sameJanuary, 2007Gidish
20090280720Sleeping braNovember, 2009Ceylan
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP (1650 TYSONS BOULEVARD, SUITE 400, MCLEAN, VA, 22102, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pad for padding an upper breast area, comprising: a first portion having a substantially uniform thickness; and a second portion disposed in an upper portion of the first portion and having a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the second portion toward the center of the second portion.

2. The pad of claim 1, wherein the thickness at the edges of the second portion is substantially the same as the substantially uniform thickness of the first portion.

3. The pad of claim 1, wherein the thickness at or near the center of the second portion is thicker than the substantially uniform thickness of the first portion.

4. The pad of claim 1, wherein the gradually increasing thickness of the second portion forms a convex shape of an inner surface of the second portion.

5. The pad of claim 1, further comprising an attachment layer disposed on at least one of the first or second portions.

6. The pad of claim 5, wherein the attachment layer comprises adhesive to adhere the pad to an undergarment configured to be worn on at least the upper breast area.

7. The pad of claim 5, wherein the attachment layer comprises at least one connector to connect the pad to an undergarment configured to be worn on at least the upper breast area.

8. The pad of claim 1, wherein the pad comprises a conformable material.

9. The pad of claim 8, wherein the conformable material of the second portion is configured to conform to the upper breast area of a wearer of the pad.

10. The pad of claim 1, wherein the second portion is configured to be disposed on the upper breast area of a wearer of the pad.

11. A pad for padding an upper breast area, comprising: a material having a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the material toward the center of the material, the material being configured to be disposed on and conformable to the upper breast area.

12. The pad of claim 11, wherein the gradually increasing thickness forms a convex surface of the material.

13. The pad of claim 12, wherein the material has a flat surface opposite the convex surface that is adjacent to an undergarment containing the pad.

14. The pad of claim 11, wherein the thickness increases asymmetrically toward the center of the material such that the thickest portion of the material is off center.

15. The pad of claim 11, wherein the thickness increases symmetrically toward the center of the material such that the thickest portion of the material is at the center of the material.

16. A breast cup for padding an upper breast area, comprising: a pad having at least a portion thereof that has a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the portion toward the center of the portion, the portion being in an upper portion of the breast cup; a first layer of material disposed on an outer surface of the pad; and a second layer of material disposed on an inner surface of the pad.

17. The breast cup of claim 16, wherein the portion of the pad comprises soft foam configured to conform to the upper breast area of a wearer of the breast cup.

18. The breast cup of claim 16, wherein the first layer of material comprises moldable material to mold to the shape of the pad, a surface of the moldable material including aesthetic elements.

19. The breast cup of claim 16, wherein the second layer of material comprises a protective material to prevent damage to the pad.

20. The breast cup of claim 16, wherein the upper portion of the breast cup includes at least a third of the breast cup.

21. The breast cup of claim 16, wherein the pad is removable.

22. The breast cup of claim 21, further comprising a pocket formed between the first and second layers of material to hold the pad.

23. The breast cup of claim 16, wherein the portion is either an upper portion of the pad or the entire pad.

24. A bra for padding an upper breast area of a wearer, including a pair of containing areas configured to contain the breasts of the wearer, the bra comprising: a padded area in an upper portion of each containing area and configured to cover the upper breast area of the wearer, the padded area having a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the padded area toward the center of the padded area.

25. The bra of claim 24, wherein the padded area is configured to conform to the shape of the upper breast area of the wearer.

26. The bra of claim 24, wherein the padded area is configured to fill in a hollow formed in the upper breast area of the wearer.

27. The bra of claim 26, wherein the hollow is formed when the breasts of the wearer are lifted by the bra.

28. The bra of claim 26, wherein the hollow is formed due to at least one of weight loss, breastfeeding, disease, injury, or aging.

29. The bra of claim 24, wherein the padded area comprises a flat surface and a convex surface, the convex surface formed from the gradually increasing thickness of the padded area.

30. The bra of claim 29, wherein the convex surface is configured to be adjacent to the upper breast area of the wearer and the flat surface is adjacent to the inner surface of the upper portion of the containing area.

31. A garment for padding an upper breast area, comprising: a pad including a first portion having a substantially uniform thickness, and a second portion disposed in an upper portion of the first portion and having a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the second portion toward the center of the second portion, wherein the pad is disposed at a breast portion of the garment with the second portion disposed at an upper breast portion of the garment.

32. A garment for padding an upper breast area, comprising: a pad including a material having a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the material toward the center of the material, wherein the pad is disposed at an upper breast portion of the garment.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This relates to breast padding and, more particularly, to padding in a breast support garment, such as a bra, for a person's upper breast area to fill hollow areas that may form in the upper breast area when the person wears the breast support garment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Good muscle tone in the breast area can produce a smooth shapely look. However, muscle tone can be diminished or lost through a variety of circumstances, such as weight loss, breastfeeding, disease, injury, and aging. These can cause the breasts to sag and, when in bra, hollows to form in the upper breast area, thereby resulting in a less smooth, less natural breast shape.

Push-up bras have traditionally been used to enhance cleavage. Such bras do not counter the muscle tone problem because they only work on the bottom of the breasts to push the breasts up, not at the top of the breasts where the hollows form. In some cases, the push-up action may actually make the hollows more pronounced.

Contour (or padded) bras have traditionally been used to make the breasts appear larger. Such bras do not counter the muscle tone problem because they only work primarily on the front of the breasts, not at the top of the breasts where the hollows form.

Accordingly, there is a need for a garment to counter the muscle tone problem.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This relates to upper breast padding to fill hollow areas that may form in a person's upper breast area when the person wears a breast support garment. In some embodiments, a pad for padding an upper breast area may include a first portion that may have a substantially uniform thickness and a second portion that may have a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the second portion toward the center of the second portion, where the second portion may be positioned in an upper portion of the pad and the first portion may surround the second portion to form the remainder of the pad. In some embodiments, a pad for padding an upper breast area may include a material that may have a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the material toward the center of the material, where the material may be disposed on and conformable to the person's upper breast area.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary bra for padding an upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary breast cup for padding an upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary side view of a bra for padding an upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary cross-sectional view of a breast cup for padding an upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary side view of another bra for padding an upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary cross-sectional view of another breast cup for padding an upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary cross-sectional view of a removable pad for padding an upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary cross-sectional view of another removable pad for padding an upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following description of preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which it is shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention can be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments can be used and structural changes can be made without departing from the scope of the embodiments of this invention.

This relates to upper breast padding which may have a thickness that gradually increases from the edges of the padding toward the center of the padding. The thickness may form a convex surface of the padding. The convex surface may be disposed on and conformable to the shape of the upper breast area so as to fill any hollows formed thereon. The padding may be part of an undergarment or a garment. Alternatively, the padding may be removable. The use of the padding may provide a smooth and shapely look to a breast, particularly in the upper breast area.

As used herein, “upper breast area” may encompass any portion of the breast at or above the nipple line.

Although some embodiments of this invention may be described herein in terms of bras, it should be understood that embodiments of this invention are not so limited, but are generally applicable to any undergarment or garment that contains and/or supports the breasts, such as a corset, a camisole, a bustier, a swimsuit, a halter top, and the like.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary bra for padding an upper breast area of a wearer according to embodiments of the invention. In the example of FIG. 1, a bra 10 with upper breast padding may include a bottom portion 11 to encircle the torso of a wearer of the bra, connectors 14 to secure the bottom portion around the torso of the wearer, a pair of breast cups 12 to contain and/or support the wearer's breasts, a center portion 17 to connect the breast cups together, underwire 16 to help the breast cups contain and/or support the wearer's breasts, and a pair of straps 13 to extend over the wearer's shoulders, where one end of each strap connects to the bottom portion and the other end of each strap connects to a breast cup. The padded bra 10 may also include a pair of breast pads (not shown), one in each breast cup 12. Either all of the breast pad or thicker portions of the pad may be positioned in an upper portion 15, e.g., at least an upper third, of the breast cup 12 to provide padding for the upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention. The size and position of the upper breast padding is not limited to those of the upper portion 15 illustrated here, but may include any size or position in the cup that is disposed on the upper breast area. The breast pads will be described in more detail later.

It is to be understood that a bra is not limited to the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, but may include other bras, such as a strapless bra, a backless bra, a front-clasp bra, a sports bra, a tube bra, an adhesive bra, a wireless bra, a nursing bra, and the like.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary breast cup for padding an upper breast area of a wearer according to embodiments of the invention. In the example of FIG. 2, a breast cup 12 with upper breast padding may include a breast pad (not shown), where either all of the pad or thicker portions of the pad may be positioned in an upper portion 15 of the breast cup to provide padding for the upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention. The breast pad in the upper portion 15 may have a gradually increasing thickness (as illustrated by a gradient 25) from the edges of the upper portion toward the center of the upper portion. This increasing thickness may form a convex shape on the inner surface of the breast cup 12 adjacent to the wearer's upper breast area. The outer surface of the breast cup 12 may remain flat so as to maintain a smooth look. In this example, the breast pad in the upper portion 15 may have an oval-shaped perimeter. However, the breast pad in the upper portion 15 may have any geometrically-shaped perimeter capable of providing padding for the upper breast area according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary side view of a bra for padding an upper breast area of a wearer according to embodiments of the invention. In the example of FIG. 3, a bra 10 with upper breast padding may have a pair of breast cups 12 that may each include a breast pad 35 throughout the entire breast cup. The breast pad 35 may provide full coverage and have two thickness portions 35A and 35B. The thickness portion 35B may have a substantially uniform thickness and may cover the majority of the wearer's breast. The thickness portion 35A may have a gradually increasing thickness from the edges of the portion toward the center of the portion and may cover all or a portion of the wearer's upper breast area. The thickness of the portion 35A may increase asymmetrically from the edges toward the center so that the thickest part is off center. Alternatively, the thickness of the portion 35A may increase symmetrically from the edges toward the center so that the thickest part is at the center of the portion. The thickness at the edges of the portion 35A may be about the same as that of the entire portion 35B. The breast pad 35 may have the thickness portion 35A forming an upper portion of the pad with the thickness portion 35B surrounding the portion 35A and forming the remainder of the pad. Examples of the breast pad thickness may include, but are not limited to, about 0.2 cm in portion 35B and from about 0.2 cm at the edges to about 1.5 cm at or near the center in portion 35A.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary cross-sectional view of a breast cup for padding an upper breast area of a wearer according to embodiments of the invention. In the example of FIG. 4, a breast cup 12 may include an outer layer of material 42, a breast pad 35, and an inner layer of material 44. The breast pad is described previously in FIG. 3. The breast pad 35 may include any conformable material capable of conforming to the upper breast area of the wearer. An example of breast pad material can include, but is not limited to, polyurethane foam. An advantage of conformable material is that it may conform to the amount of muscle tone present in the wearer's breast area. For example, if the wearer has sufficient muscle tone and needs little or no upper breast padding, then the breast may push against the breast pad to flatten it. Conversely, if the wearer has less muscle tone and needs more upper breast padding, then the convex shape of the breast pad may fill and conform to the breast hollows.

The outer layer of material 42 may cover the outer surface of the breast pad 35 to provide an aesthetically pleasing look. The outer layer 42 may include any moldable or stitchable material capable of forming a covering for the breast pad 35. Examples of outer layer material can include, but are not limited to, lycra, nylon, cotton, spandex, polyester, or combinations thereof, such as about 100% nylon, about 70-90% nylon and about 10-30% spandex, about 90% polyester and about 10% spandex, about 100% polyester, about 65% polyester and about 35% cotton, about 100% cotton, and so on. The outer layer 42 may also include aesthetic elements, such as lace, patterns, and prints. The outer layer 42 may be draped, stitched, glued, or otherwise attached to the breast pad 35.

The inner layer of material 44 may cover the inner surface of the breast pad 35 to protect the pad from air and moisture that may damage the pad and to provide a comfortable fit next to the breast. The inner layer 44 may include any moldable or stitchable material capable of forming a lining for the breast pad 35. Similar to the outer layer material, examples of inner layer material may include, but are not limited to, lycra, nylon, cotton, spandex, polyester, or combinations thereof in the previously mentioned compositions. The inner layer 44 may be stitched, glued, or otherwise attached to the breast pad 35.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary side view of another bra for padding an upper breast area of a wearer according to embodiments of the invention. In the example of FIG. 5, a bra 10 with upper breast padding may have a pair of breast cups 12 that may each include a breast pad 55 in an upper portion of the breast cup. The breast pad 55 may cover all or a portion of the upper breast area of the wearer and may gradually increase in thickness from the edges of the pad toward the center of the pad. The thickness of the pad 55 may increase asymmetrically from the edges toward the center so that the thickest part is off center. Alternatively, the thickness of the pad 55 may increase symmetrically from the edges toward the center so that the thickest part is at the center of the pad. An example of the breast pad thickness may include, but is not limited to, from about 0.2 cm at the edges to about 1.5 cm at or near the center.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary cross-sectional view of another breast cup for padding an upper breast area of a wearer according to embodiments of the invention. In the example of FIG. 6, a breast cup 12 may include an outer layer of material 62, a breast pad 55, and an inner layer of material 64. The breast pad is described previously in FIG. 5. The breast pad 55 may include any conformable material capable of conforming to the upper breast area of the wearer. An example of breast pad material can include, but is not limited to, polyurethane foam.

The outer layer of material 62 may cover the outer surface of the breast pad 55 and the remainder of the breast to provide an aesthetically pleasing look. The outer layer 62 may include any moldable or stitchable material capable of forming a covering for the breast pad 55 and the breast. Examples of outer layer material can include, but is not limited to, lycra, nylon, cotton, spandex, polyester, or combinations thereof in the previously mentioned compositions. The outer layer 62 may also include aesthetic elements, such as lace, patterns, and prints. The outer layer 62 may be draped, stitched, glued, or otherwise attached to the breast pad 55.

The inner layer of material 64 may cover the inner surface of the breast pad 55 to protect the pad from air and moisture that may damage the pad and may cover the remainder of the breast and provide a comfortable fit next to the breast. The inner layer 64 may include any moldable or stitchable material capable of forming a lining for the breast pad 55. Examples of inner layer material can include, but is not limited to, lycra, nylon, cotton, spandex, polyester, or combinations thereof in the previously mentioned combinations. The inner layer 64 may be stitched, glued, or otherwise attached to the breast pad 55. The portions of the outer layer 62 and the inner layer 64 that do not cover the breast pad 55 may be stitched, glued, or otherwise attached together to form the breast cup 12.

In some embodiments, the upper breast padding may be a part of the breast support garment. In other embodiments, the upper breast padding may be removable from the garment, as will be described in FIGS. 7 and 8 below.

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary cross-sectional view of a removable pad for padding an upper breast area of a wearer according to embodiments of the invention. In the example of FIG. 7, a removable pad 70 with upper breast padding may have a breast pad 75 and an attachment layer 73. The breast pad 75 may provide full coverage and have two thickness portions 75A and 75B. The thickness portion 75B may have a substantially uniform thickness and may cover the majority of the wearer's breast. The thickness portion 75A may have a gradually increasing thickness from the edges of the portion toward the center of the portion and may cover all or a portion of the wearer's upper breast area. The thickness of the portion 75A may increase asymmetrically from the edges toward the center so that the thickest part is off center. Alternatively, the thickness of the portion 75A may increase symmetrically from the edges toward the center so that the thickest part is at the center of the portion. The thickness at the edges of the portion 75A may be about the same as that of the entire portion 75B. The breast pad 75 may have the thickness portion 75A forming an upper portion of the pad with the thickness portion 75B surrounding the portion 75A and forming the remainder of the pad. Examples of the breast pad thickness may include, but are not limited to, about 0.2 cm in portion 75B and from about 0.2 cm at the edges to about 1.5 cm at or near the center in portion 75A. The breast pad 75 may include any conformable material, such as polyurethane foam.

The attachment layer 73 may cover all or a portion of the outer surface of the breast pad 75 and may attach the breast pad to the wearer's breast support garment. For example, the attachment layer 73 may attach the breast pad 75 to the inner surface of a breast cup of a bra, with the thickness portion 75A in the upper portion of the breast cup. The attachment layer 73 may include an adhesive to adhere to the support garment. Alternatively, the attachment layer 73 may include one or more connectors, e.g., hooks, Velcro, snaps, etc., to connect to the support garment.

Alternatively, a breast support garment may have a pocket into which the removable pad 70 may be placed with the thickness portion 75A in the upper portion of the breast area of the garment. In which case, the attachment layer 73 may be omitted.

Alternatively, the attachment layer 73 comprising adhesive may cover all or a portion of the inner surface of the breast pad 75 and may be adhered directly to a wearer's breast with the thickness portion 75A on the wearer's upper breast area. The wearer can then put on a standard breast support garment.

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary cross-sectional view of another removable pad for padding an upper breast area of a wearer according to embodiments of the invention. In the example of FIG. 8, a removable pad 80 with upper breast padding may have a breast pad 85 and an attachment layer 83. The breast pad 85 may cover all or a portion of the upper breast area of the wearer and may gradually increase in thickness from the edges of the pad toward the center of the pad. The thickness of the pad 85 may increase asymmetrically from the edges toward the center so that the thickest part is off center. Alternatively, the thickness of the pad 85 may increase symmetrically from the edges toward the center so that the thickest part is at the center of the pad. An example of the breast pad thickness may include, but is not limited to, from about 0.2 cm at the edges to about 1.5 cm at or near the center. The breast pad 85 may include any conformable material, such as polyurethane foam.

The attachment layer 83 may cover all or a portion of the outer surface of the breast pad 85 and may attach the breast pad to the wearer's breast support garment. For example, the attachment layer 83 may attach the breast pad 85 to an upper portion of the inner surface of a breast cup of a bra. The attachment layer 83 may include an adhesive to adhere to the support garment. Alternatively, the attachment layer 83 may include one or more connectors, e.g., hooks, Velcro, snaps, etc., to connect to the support garment.

Alternatively, a breast support garment may have a pocket into which the removable pad 80 may be placed with the pad in the upper portion of the breast area of the garment. In which case, the attachment layer 83 may be omitted.

Alternatively, the attachment layer 83 comprising adhesive may cover all or a portion of the inner surface of the breast pad 85 and may be adhered directly to the wearer's upper breast area. The wearer can then put on a standard breast support garment.

Although embodiments of this invention have been fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be noted that various changes and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications are to be understood as being included within the scope of embodiments of this invention as defined by the appended claims.