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The present invention relates to an customizable apparel having one or more detachable decorative and interchangeable elements replaceably coupled thereto in a wide variety of possible configurations. The article of apparel has substantially all exposed cloth surfaces made of a material having a multiplicity of button and loop elements. To couple the decorative elements to the article of apparel, the detachable decorative elements have a multiplicity of hook elements adapted to engage the loop elements of the material.
Due to the current societal emphasis on individuality, today's fashion industry is marked by a growing demand for unique, personalized or designer goods. Regardless of the demand for such goods, present economic realities prevent most consumers from acquiring these typically expensive luxuries. Consumers have shied away from the costly designer clothes market and have turned to the practice of being more creative with the clothes they already own.
The apparel industry has not been isolated from current trends. Somewhat more pronounced than as seen in adults, today's children are characterized by a heightened fashion self-consciousness. In this light, increasingly greater demands are being made for articles of apparel that are unique or personal. However, due to the costs involved, and often exacerbated by the inherent fickleness of children, parents are often unwilling or unable to purchase new articles of clothing on the demands of their children every time an old article of clothing goes out of style.
Prior patents have disclosed garments having removable ornamentations. Nonetheless, these past patents have had several shortcomings.
In U.S. Pat. No. 3,484,974 (Culmone), there is disclosed a garment with an elongated flexible strip having fine loops on its outer surface upon which may be attached removable identifying characters. The characters have a plurality of hooking elements on their rear surface which detachably engage the loops of the strip, so that characters were removably secured to the shirt. The primary problem with the Culmone patent is that, as disclosed, the ornaments, i.e. the characters, were not directly coupled to the garment, i.e. the shirt. Instead, the ornaments were replaceably attached to an intermediary strip, and the intermediary strip was permanently attached to the garment. In this light, the problem is clear. The intermediary strip formed a layer sitting atop the garment layer that would be unsightly unless coupled with ornamentation. Without such ornamentation, the garment would be seen as having an indistinct, seemingly purposeless, strip across its torso. Such a limitation is inconsistent with the goals of the present invention.
In U.S. Pat. No. 4,249,268 (Berler), there is disclosed a garment consisting essentially of sections of a fabric having a plurality of loop elements on its outer surface upon which ornaments may be removably attached and strips of stretchable fabric joining the various sections of the looped fabric. The garment includes a neck opening adapted for insertion of a wearer's head when the garment is donned, and a portion surrounding the neck opening is formed of a stretchable fabric to permit the wearer's head to pass through the neck opening in the case when the neck opening is smaller than the wearer's head.
My invention offers consumers the opportunity to buy one item of apparel and customize it with various clothing appliques or embellishments to make it appear different each time. It allows the consumer to express their sense of style without having to purchase new apparel each time they wish to do so.
The present invention overcomes the issues described above by providing articles of apparel, such as shoes, t-shirts, shoes and hats the exposed cloth surfaces of which are made of a material capable of having removably attached to it a wide variety of detachable decorations. Such articles would allow a wide variety of personalized decorative design and composition by the consumer in accordance with the consumer's own individual tastes. The consumer may decorate the article in one fashion on one occasion and, with ease, redecorate the article in another fashion on another occasion. Thus, while buying only one article and a few decorative attachments, the consumer can achieve a wide array of styles. This will reduce the costs to the consumer while satiating the consumer's desire for personalized articles of clothing.
Apparel such as t-shirts and pajamas that have graphics on them and attachment mechanisms, such as velcro or buttons, allowing the addition and removal of decorative appliques or embellishments that alter the appearance of the graphics on the apparel. The entire concept, which includes the apparel design elements that enable attachment of the appliques such as velcro and buttons, as well as the appliques that fit with those graphics and have the matching attachment mechanism on them, such as velcro and buttons. An example of this is a t-shirt with a graphic of a girl on it that has velcro on it. Appliques with velcro can then be applied to the graphic to change the girl's clothes, shoes, hair and accessories, altering the appearance of the girl graphic on the t-shirt.
I have invented apparel that is sold with attachable “parts” (clothing appliques or embellishments)_that can be easily replaced to make the garment look different every time a consumer wears it. I have invented the ability for consumers to buy different “parts” (clothing appliques or embellishments) that allow them to customize their apparel seperately from the apparel that they would attach to so that they can collect and modify their apparel endlessly.
My invention is the ability to customize typical shirts by attaching separate items to the front of the shirt. The shirt, the design printed on the shirt, the separate items, including material used to create them, the type of attachment mechanism and the placement of the attachment mechanisms on the shirt and the items can vary, but the concept of customizing shirts with separate items using corresponding attachment mechanisms on both the shirt and the separate items encapsulates the invention.
1A: Shows the corresponding connecting material (Velcro hard side) on the t-shirt
1B: Shows the corresponding connecting materiel (Velcro soft side) on the applique, in this case a handbag
2A: Shows the corresponding connecting material (Velcro hard side) on the t-shirt
2B: Shows the corresponding connecting materiel (Velcro soft side) on the applique, in this case the top half of a dress
3A: Shows the corresponding connecting material (Velcro hard side) on the t-shirt
3B: Shows the corresponding connecting materiel (Velcro soft side) on the back of the applique, in this case the bottom half of a dress
4A: Shows the corresponding connecting material (Velcro hard side) on the t-shirt
4B: Shows the corresponding connecting materiel (Velcro soft side) on the back of the applique, in this case the leash of the a dog
5A: Shows the corresponding connecting material (Velcro hard side) on the t-shirt
5B: Shows the corresponding connecting materiel (Velcro soft side) on the back of the applique, in this case a dog
6: The t-shirt—this is drawn with hidden lines due the fact that it is not being claimed.
7: The front view of the dress applique
7A: The back view of the dress applique
8: The front view of the handbag applique
8A: The back view of the handbag applique
9: The front view of the dog applique
9A: The back view of the dog applique
10: Printed figurine on the t-shirt
11: Indicates a group of items, specifically the entire device in this case.
FIG. 1 depicts how an example of my invention could appear on a typical shirt (6) with a group of items (11) attached to the front of the shirt.
FIG. 2 depicts an example of the various items and attachment mechanisms involved in my invention, including a typical shirt (6) and the attachment mechanisms on the t-shirt (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A) that correspond with attachment mechanisms on other items that are separate from the typical shirt and will attach to the front of the shirt (1B, 2B, 3B, 4B and 5B).
There are three separate items depicted in FIG. 2.
One is a miniature dress, of which the front view (7) and back view (7A) are depicted. The back view (7A) also depicts the corresponding attachment mechanisms (2B and 3B) to the attachment mechanisms on the front of the shirt (2A and 3A).
Another separate item depicted in FIG. 2 is a miniature handbag, of which the front view (8) and back view (8A) are depicted. The back view (8A) also depicts the corresponding attachment mechanism (1 B) to the attachment mechanisms on the front of the shirt (1A).
The third separate item depicted in FIG. 2 is a miniature dog, of which the front view (9) and back view (9A) are depicted. The back view (9A) also depicts the corresponding attachment mechanisms (4B and 5B) to the attachment mechanisms on the front of the shirt (4A and 5A).
FIG. 3 depicts an example of how the items and attachment mechanisms used as an example in FIG. 2 fit together on a typical shirt (6). In this example, the shirt has an image of a girl printed on the front of the shirt (10). The remainder of the illustration depicts how the separate items should be positioned, in order to attach them to the front of the shirt. It depicts that the miniature dress (7), the miniature handbag (8) and the miniature dog (9) should all be attached to their corresponding attachment mechanisms with the back view of each item towards the front of the shirt.