Title:
CLOTHING ACCESSORY AND METHOD OF USE
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A clothing accessory is provided for application to the end of a shirt sleeve or a trouser leg. The clothing accessory has fasteners for attaching the clothing accessory to the shirt sleeve or trouser leg. A decorative design is displayed outwardly when the clothing accessory is combined with the shirt sleeve or trouser leg. The clothing accessory resembles a cuff when combined with the shirt sleeve or trouser leg. A method of applying the clothing accessory to the end of a shirt sleeve or trouser leg is also provided.


Inventors:
Dyon, Benjamin (Winter Park, FL, US)
Application Number:
13/089965
Publication Date:
10/25/2012
Filing Date:
04/19/2011
Assignee:
DYON BENJAMIN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/08; A41B7/04; A41D1/06
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A clothing accessory comprising: a tubular member having a first open end and a second open end; a first fastener secured to the tubular member adjacent the first open end; and a second fastener secured to the tubular member adjacent the second open end, wherein the first fastener couples to the second fastener.

2. The clothing accessory of claim 1, wherein the first fastener and the second fastener are magnetically attracted to one another.

3. The clothing accessory of claim 2, further comprising a first enclosure having an internal cavity which contains the first fastener.

4. The clothing accessory of claim 3, wherein the tubular member comprises an inner surface formed of a first fabric layer and an outer surface formed of a second fabric layer, wherein the first enclosure is disposed between the first fabric layer and the second fabric layer.

5. The clothing accessory of claim 4, further comprising a stitch for connecting the first fabric layer, the second fabric layer, and the first enclosure.

6. The clothing accessory of claim 3, further comprising a second enclosure having an internal cavity which contains the second fastener.

7. The clothing accessory of claim 1, further comprising a slit formed in the tubular member and extending from the second open end toward the first open end.

8. The clothing accessory of claim 7, further comprising a first aperture and a second aperture formed in the tubular member on opposing sides of the slit.

9. The clothing accessory of claim 1, further comprising a decorative surface.

10. A clothing accessory for a shirt sleeve or a trouser leg comprising: a tubular member having a first end, a second end, and a decorative surface; and a means for coupling the first end to the second end through the shirt sleeve or the trouser leg.

11. The clothing accessory of claim 1, wherein the means for coupling includes a magnetic element.

12. A method for applying an auxiliary cuff to an end of a shirt sleeve worn by a person, the auxiliary cuff including a decorative inner surface, an outer surface, a first open end, and a second open end, the method comprising: placing the auxiliary cuff around an arm of the person with the decorative inner surface facing toward the arm; moving the first open end of the auxiliary cuff under the end of the shirt sleeve; and turning over a portion of the second end of the auxiliary cuff such that a portion of the decorative inner surface faces away from the arm.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the auxiliary cuff includes a first magnet adjacent the first open end and a second magnet adjacent the second open end.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising moving the second magnet adjacent the first magnet, wherein the end of the shirt sleeve is pressed between the first magnet and the second magnet.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising moving the auxiliary cuff and the end of the shirt sleeve toward an elbow of the person.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the auxiliary cuff includes a first pocket for retaining the first magnet and a second pocket for retaining the second magnet.

17. The method of claim 16, the wherein auxiliary cuff includes a first fabric layer forming the decorative inner surface and a second fabric layer forming the outer surface.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein at least one of the first pocket and the second pocket is disposed between the first fabric layer and the second fabric layer.

19. The method of claim 14, further comprising folding back the end of the shirt sleeve before moving the first open end of the auxiliary cuff under the end of the shirt sleeve.

20. The method of claim 14, further comprising inserting a decorative fastener through at least one aperture formed in the auxiliary cuff.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to clothing accessories and more particularly concerns decorative cuffs to be used in combination with shirt sleeves, trouser legs, and the like.

BACKGROUND

Modern shirt sleeves often include a decorative interior liner having a design different from that of the exterior of the shirt sleeve. It has become fashionable for individuals to roll back the ends of their shirt sleeves to display the decorative interior liner. One fashionable aspect of these shirts arises from the display of their decorative interior liner, rather than from the exterior of the shirt which typically possesses a conventional design. Such a shirt having a conventional exterior design will be considered fashionable primarily by virtue of the display of its rolled-back decorative interior liner.

In part because their popularity, these shirts generally are more expensive than similar conventional shirts lacking a decorative interior liner. Another issue with these modern shirts is that the decorative interior liners are permanently attached to the shirt sleeves. As a result, individuals are required to buy multiple shirts if they desire a shirt having a certain exterior design with several different decorative interior liners. Additionally, the decorative interior liners tend to wear quickly when the shirt sleeve is not rolled back because the liner is in constant contact with the skin of the individual. Still further, the variety of decorative interior liners that may found be found in any particular clothing store tends to be limited.

In light of the above, prior to the present invention, a need existed for a clothing accessory that allows an individual to outfit the end of an existing shirt sleeve or trouser leg with a decorative design of the individual's choosing.

SUMMARY

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a clothing accessory is provided. The clothing accessory has a tubular member consisting of a first open end and a second open end. The clothing accessory has a first fastener secured to the tubular member adjacent the first open end and a second fastener secured to the tubular member adjacent the second open end. The first fastener can be coupled to the second fastener. In one embodiment, the first fastener and second fastener are magnetically attracted to one another. The first fastener is contained in an internal cavity of a first enclosure. The tubular member has an inner surface formed of a first fabric layer and an outer surface formed of a second fabric layer. The first enclosure is disposed between the first fabric layer and the second fabric layer. A stitch connects the first fabric layer, the second fabric layer, and the first enclosure. The second fastener is contained in an internal cavity of a second enclosure. A slit may be formed in the tubular member and extends from the second open end toward the first open end. A first aperture and a second aperture may be formed in the tubular member on opposing sides of the slit. The tubular member has a decorative surface.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a clothing accessory for a shirt sleeve or a trouser leg is provided. The clothing accessory has a tubular member consisting of a first end, a second end, and a decorative surface. The clothing accessory has a means for coupling the first end of the tubular member to the second end of the tubular member through the shirt sleeve or trouser leg. The means for coupling includes a magnetic element.

Additionally, a method for applying an auxiliary cuff to an end of a shirt sleeve worn by a person is provided. The auxiliary cuff includes a decorative inner surface, an outer surface, a first open end, and a second open. The method includes placing the auxiliary cuff around an arm of the person with the decorative inner surface facing toward the arm of the person, moving the first open end of the auxiliary cuff under the end of the shirt sleeve, and turning over a portion of the second end of the auxiliary cuff such that a portion of the decorative inner surface faces away from the arm. The auxiliary cuff includes a first magnet adjacent the first open end and a second magnet adjacent the second open end. The method includes moving the second magnet adjacent the first magnet such that the end of the shirt sleeve is pressed between the first magnet and the second magnet. The method includes moving the auxiliary cuff and the end of the shirt sleeve toward an elbow of the person. The auxiliary cuff includes a first pocket for retaining the first magnet and a second pocket for retaining the second magnet. The auxiliary cuff includes a first fabric layer forming the decorative inner surface and a second fabric layer forming the outer surface. At least one of the first pocket and the second pocket is disposed between the first fabric layer and the second fabric layer. The method includes folding back the end of the shirt sleeve before moving the first open end of the auxiliary cuff under the end of the shirt sleeve. The method includes inserting a decorative fastener through at least one aperture formed in the auxiliary cuff.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a clothing accessory;

FIG. 2 is a side view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-1 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 shows the first embodiment of the clothing accessory in use with the end of a shirt sleeve worn by a person

FIG. 5 shows a second embodiment of the clothing accessory in use with the end of a shirt sleeve worn by a person;

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a third embodiment of the clothing accessory; and

FIG. 7 shows a side view of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While the present invention will be described in connection with specific embodiments, it will be understood that the claimed invention is not limited to specific disclosed embodiments. On the contrary, the description is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the sprit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Turning to FIGS. 1 and 2, a first embodiment of a clothing accessory 10 is shown comprising a tubular member 12, first fastener 14, and second fastener 16. The tubular member 12 is a hollow sleeve having a first open end 18 and a second open end 20. The first fastener 14 is secured to the tubular member near the first open end 18 and the second fastener 16 is secured to the tubular member near the second open end 20. The manner in which fasteners 14, 16 are secured to the tubular member 12 is discussed below. The tubular member 12 is formed of a flexible material allowing the tubular member 12 to be turned inside out. The tubular member 12 can be turned partially inside out such that the second open end 20 overlaps the first open end 18. In this configuration, the clothing accessory 10 may have the appearance of a sleeve cuff or a trouser cuff.

The tubular member has an inner surface 22 and an outer surface 24. The tubular member can be manufactured from a single or multiple layers of fabric. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the inner surface 22 is formed of a first fabric layer 26 and the outer surface 24 is formed of a second fabric layer 28. The fabric layers 26, 28 may be rectangular in shape before being formed into the shape of the tubular member 12.

Preferably, the first fabric layer 26 forming the inner surface 22 has a decorative design. Fabric having a decorative design generally is more expensive than fabric lacking a decorative design. Therefore, it may be advantageous to form only the inner surface 22 of a fabric having a decorative design in order to lower manufacturing costs. In an embodiment where the tubular member 12 is manufactured from a single layer of fabric, both sides of the tubular member may have a decorative design. The decorative design of the inner surface 22 is displayed outwardly when the tubular member 12 is turned inside out. The manner in which the inner surface 22 is displayed outwardly is described more below with regard to FIG. 4.

The second fabric layer 28 may be formed of a material that creates a high coefficient of friction between the second fabric layer 28 and a shirt sleeve 29. As shown in FIG. 4, the surface of the second fabric layer 28 contacts the surface of the shirt sleeve 29 when the clothing accessory 10 is combined with the end of a shirt sleeve 29. A high coefficient of friction between the second fabric layer 28 and the shirt sleeve 29 prevents the clothing accessory 10 from slipping away from the shirt sleeve 29. In one embodiment, a coating or adhesive may be applied the second fabric layer 28 to increase friction between the second fabric layer 28 and the shirt sleeve 29.

Fabric layers 26, 28 are held together along their edges by one or more stitches 32. A stitch is defined herein to encompass any fastening means comprising a loop or turn of thread or yarn. It may be advantageous for the edge of the second open end 20 of the tubular member 12 to have an aesthetically pleasing appearance given that it is displayed outwardly when the clothing accessory 10 is combined with the end of a shirt sleeve 29 as shown in FIG. 4. This is accomplished by placing folded end portions of each fabric layer 26, 28 side-by-side as shown in FIG. 3. In this configuration, the inward folded end portions of fabric layers 26, 28 are sewn together with one or more stitches 30, 32. As discussed more below, stitch 30 additionally may close an open end of first enclosure 34. On the other hand, the edge near the first open end 18 of the tubular member 12 may not require an aesthetically pleasing appearance given that it is hidden from view when the clothing accessory is combined with the end of a shirt sleeve 29. As such, this edge may be formed by bare ends of the fabric layers 26, 28 that are fastened together by a zigzag stitch, for example. Forming the edge of the first open end 18 in this manner may be less expensive than forming the edge of the second open end 20 as discussed previously because no excess length fabric is required to form a fold near the edge. The means for fastening together fabric layers 26, 28 is not limited to stitches. Other fastening means such as adhesives, thermal bonding, and/or staples may be employed for fastening together fabric layers 26, 28.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, first fastener 14 and second fastener 16 are retained within a first enclosure 34 and a second enclosure 36, respectively. Each enclosure 34, 36 has an internal cavity 38, 40 that contains, respectively, fasteners 14, 16. Enclosures 34, 36 secure or connect fasteners 14, 16 to the tubular member 12. Various other fastening means may be used to secure or connect fasteners 14, 16 to tubular member 12 such as adhesives, thermal, bonding, staples, stitches, and the like. Enclosures 34, 36 may be attached to the tubular member 12 in various locations. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, the enclosures 34, 36 are located near the edges of the open ends 18, 20, respectively. An advantage of this configuration is that the edges of the open ends 18, 20 may be more easily aligned when the clothing accessory 10 is combined with the end of a shirt sleeve 29 as shown in FIG. 4.

The enclosures 34, 36 may be located between the fabric layers 26, 28 as shown in FIGS. 1-4. In these figures, enclosures 34, 36 have a pocket-like configuration and are manufactured from a rectangular piece of fabric. For example, the enclosure 34 may be manufactured by folding a rectangular piece of fabric, stitching close one open side of the folded piece of fabric, stitching close another open side of the folded piece of fabric, placing the fastener 16 within the resulting internal cavity 38, and lastly stitching close the remaining open side of the folded piece of fabric. In this example, the first enclosure 34 has one edge formed by a fold and three edges formed with stitches.

The enclosures 34, 36 may be connected to the tubular member 12 via stitches, staples, adhesives, thermal bonding, and the like. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the stitch 30 which fastens together the fabric layers 26, 28 is also used to fasten the enclosure 34 to the fabric layers 26, 28. Additionally, the stitch 30 is used to close shut one side of the enclosure 34 after the fastener 16 has been placed in the internal cavity 38. Using the stitch 30 to accomplish each of these functions rather than using multiple stitches helps lower manufacturing costs.

Restraint stitches 42, 44 may be used to confine the fasteners 14, 16 to a bottom portion of their respective enclosures 34, 36. The restraint stitches 42, 44 may be formed in the enclosures 34, 36 after the fasteners 14, 16 have been placed in the enclosures 34, 36. By confining the fasteners 14, 16 to a portion of enclosures 34, 36, the fasteners 14, 16 may be more easily aligned with each other when the clothing accessory 10 is combined with the end of a shirt sleeve 29 as shown in FIG. 4.

The fasteners 14, 16 preferably are formed of a magnetic material and are magnetically attracted to one another. The fasteners 14, 16 have a magnetic field or force capable of penetrating several layers of fabric. In one embodiment, the fasteners 14, 16 are formed of industrial grade high-strength magnets. The fasteners 14, 16 may have a round shape as shown in the figures or any other geometric shape. For example, the fasteners 14, 16 may have the shape of a rectangular strip. The fasteners 14, 16 may be secured directly to the tubular member 12 via an adhesive, thermal bonding, stitch, staple, and the like. Alternatively, the fasteners 14, 16 may be held in enclosures that are connected to the tubular member 12 as shown in the figures. Since the clothing accessory 10 may be cleaned with water and chemical detergents, the fasteners 14, 16 preferably are formed of a corrosion resistant material, such as stainless steel, and/or have a corrosion resistant coating.

FIG. 4 shows the clothing accessory 10 gripping the end of a shirt sleeve 29. In FIG. 4, the tubular member 12 is partially turned inside out such that the second open end 20 overlaps the first open end 18. In this arrangement, the inner surface 22, which may have a decorative design, is displayed outwardly. Alignment of the edges of the second open end 20 and the first open end 18 positions the first fastener 14 adjacent the second fastener 16. The magnetic attractive force between the fasteners 14, 16 presses the shirt sleeve 29 between the first open end 18 and the second open end 20 of the tubular member 12. The pressure applied by the fasteners 14, 16 to the shirt sleeve 29 firmly holds the clothing accessory 10 to the shirt sleeve 29. When attached to the end of the shirt sleeve 29, the clothing accessory 10 substantially resembles a sleeve cuff.

The clothing accessory 10 is removed from the shirt sleeve 29 by first pulling the second fastener 16 away from the first fastener 14 such that their magnetic attraction is diminished and then pulling the tubular member 12 away from the shirt sleeve 29. The clothing accessory 10 may be attached to the end of a trouser leg in a similar fashion as described above.

The second open end 20 of the tubular member 12 has a diameter larger than that of the shirt sleeve 29. In an exemplary embodiment of the tubular member 12, the second open end 20 has a diameter of approximately 4 inches. A diameter of this size permits the clothing accessory to be combined with the sleeves of most shirts. The tubular member 12 shown in the figures has a circular cross-section and a constant diameter along its length. In another embodiment, the tubular member 12 has a diameter that varies along its length. In one embodiment, the diameter near the first open end 18 may be smaller than the diameter near the second open end 20 so that the first open end 18 squeezes the arm of a user, thereby preventing the clothing accessory 10 from sliding down the arm of the user.

The tubular member 12 may also have a slit 46 extending from the second open end 20 toward the first open end 18 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In an exemplary embodiment, the slit 46 may be approximately 2 inches in length. In one embodiment, the slit 46 may be an angled cut. The tubular member 12 may also have apertures 48, 50 located on opposing sides of the slit 46. The apertures 48, 50 are capable of receiving a decorative fastener such as a cuff link (not shown). A function of the slit 46 and apertures 48, 50 is to mimic the appearance of a shirt sleeve cuff having a slit and button holes.

As described above, the first fabric layer 26 may have a decorative design which is displayed outwardly when the clothing accessory 10 is combined with the end of a shirt sleeve 29. The decorative design may be any design the user desires. For example, the decorative design may be any color, pattern, character, logo, texture, or combination thereof. In particular, school or professional team logos may be used.

FIG. 5 shows a second embodiment of the clothing accessory 10. This embodiment includes all the features of the first embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4 and additionally comprises a third fastener 52 and a fourth fastener 54 contained within a third enclosure 56 and a fourth enclosure 58, respectively. The addition of the fasteners 52, 54 provides a stronger pressing force between the clothing accessory 10 and the shirt sleeve 29. This helps prevent the clothing accessory 10 from becoming dislodged from the sleeve 29, for example, when the user swings his arms or bends his elbows.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show a third embodiment of the clothing accessory having patch-like enclosures 60, 62 for holding the fasteners 14, 16. Here, the patch-like enclosures 60, 62 are formed of a patch of fabric sewn onto the second fabric layer 28 at the outer surface 24. The internal cavity of the enclosure is formed between the patch of fabric and the second fabric layer 28. In the patch-like configuration of the enclosure, fewer layers of fabric may be located between the first fastener 14 and the second fastener 16 when the clothing accessory 10 is combined with the end of the shirt sleeve as compared to an embodiment having a pocket-like enclosure. As such, the magnetic field or force of the fasteners 14, 16 is required to penetrate fewer layers of fabric when the clothing accessory is combined with a shirt sleeve 29. In other embodiments (not shown), the patch-like enclosure could be located on the first fabric layer 26 at the inner surface 22, on a surface of second fabric layer 28 opposite the outer surface 24, and/or on a surface of the first fabric layer 26 opposite the inner surface 22.

A method for applying the clothing accessory 10 to the end of a shirt sleeve 29 will now be described. A similar method can be used for applying the clothing accessory 10 to the end of a trouser leg. In the following example, the shirt sleeve 29 is worn on the arm 64 of a user while the clothing accessory 10 is applied. However, the clothing accessory 10 may be applied to a shirt sleeve 29 not worn by a user.

First, where the end of the user's shirt sleeve 29 has an existing cuff, the user unfastens the existing cuff and folds or rolls it inwards towards their arm, and to their desired length so that a clean seam is displayed and the existing cuff has been rolled to the inside. However, it is not required that the user roll up the existing cuff before applying the clothing accessory 10. Next, the user places the clothing accessory 10 around the arm 64 with the inner surface 22 facing toward the arm 64 of the user. As such, the surface having the decorative design initially faces inwardly. Then the user moves the clothing accessory 10 up the arm 64 such the first open end 18 is slid under the end of the shirt sleeve 29. Generally, approximately half of the tubular member 12 should is covered by the end of the shirt sleeve. Next, the user turns over the second open end 20 such that the inner surface 22 faces away from the arm in an outwardly direction. This action creates a fold 66 in the clothing accessory 10 at the end of the shirt sleeve 29. By folding back the second open end 20, the fasteners 14, 16 are brought into close proximity with each other. In an embodiment where fasteners 14, 16 comprises magnets, fasteners 14, 16 are attracted to one another through the shirt sleeve 29. The shirt sleeve 29 therefore is pressed between the fasteners 14, 16. Finally, a user may pull or push the combination of the clothing accessory 10 and the shirt sleeve 29 toward a final resting position near the user's elbow. The user may also fold back the combination of the clothing accessory 10 and the shirt sleeve 29 additional times in order to create a tighter fit between the clothing accessory 10 and the user's arm. In an embodiment where the clothing accessory has the apertures 48, 50, the user may insert a decorative fastener such as a cuff link through the apertures.

Removal of the clothing accessory 10 from the shirt sleeve 29 comprises moving the fasteners 14, 16 away from one another such that any attractive force between the fasteners is diminished. Next, the second open end 20 rolled away from the first open end 18. The clothing accessory 10 may be entirely unfolded such that the fold 66 is removed. Lastly the clothing accessory 10 is slid away from the elbow and off of the arm of the user.

The present invention is not limited to magnetic fasteners. The means for coupling the first open end 18 of the tubular member 12 and the second open end 20 of the tubular member 12 may include pins, safety pins, adhesives, velcro, buttons, clips, clasps, elastic bands, strings, and the like. In an embodiment where magnetic fasteners are not employed, the means for coupling may penetrate the end of the shirt sleeve 29 in order to couple the tubular member 12 to the end of the shirt sleeve 29. In one embodiment, the means for fastening may have a male portion and a female portion where the end of the shirt sleeve 29 is compressed between the male portion and female portion.

While the invention has been described in connection with various embodiments, it will be understood that the invention is capable of further modifications. This application is intended to cover any variations, uses or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention, and including such departures from the present disclosure as, within the known and customary practice within the art to which the invention pertains.