Title:
ACCESSORY STRAP FOR APPAREL
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Embodiments provide accessory straps for apparel, such as outerwear. In various embodiments, the accessory strap may be used to secure gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, and/or other accessories to a piece of apparel, such as outerwear, when the accessory is not being used. Various embodiments of the accessory strap may include an elastomeric element, so that the strap may stretch to encompass large or bulky items. Some embodiments may have an adjustable fit, so that various sized accessories may be securely stowed. In various embodiments, the accessory strap may be stowed under a flap, bellow, or other feature of the outerwear when not in use, for instance to hide it from view and/or prevent it from catching on nearby objects, and various embodiments of the accessory strap may be incorporated into the design of a pocket.


Inventors:
Kelly, Andrea (Portland, OR, US)
Craig, Jason (Portland, OR, US)
Application Number:
13/659757
Publication Date:
04/25/2013
Filing Date:
10/24/2012
Assignee:
COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR NORTH AMERICA, INC. (Portland, OR, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/14
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070000007Predictive and counter predictive visual stimuliJanuary, 2007Macdonald et al.
20090106876Silicone GlovesApril, 2009Yeung
20050268378Ornamental clip for hatsDecember, 2005Butler
20090038058Anti-fog breathing apparatus for the elimination of breath vapor condensation on the surfaces of protective eye lenses associated with recreational equipment.February, 2009Carroll
20090070920Helmet JacketMarch, 2009Holloway
20100024105Sports ProtectorFebruary, 2010Sims
20090064399Frame-Reduced Swim Goggles with Angle-Free LensMarch, 2009Chou
20060179540Breast binder gownAugust, 2006Rotter
20060021114Harness for towing a golfer's pull cartFebruary, 2006Engel
20070006360Sportswear wrap garmentJanuary, 2007Walker
20090158497GLOVES FOR DISPOSAL OF WASTE AND METHODS FOR MAKING AND USING THEMJune, 2009Gober
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An accessory strap for apparel comprising: an accessory strap having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end is coupled to an article of apparel, and wherein the second end is adapted to couple to a fastening element; a fastening element coupled to the apparel, and a strap covering element adapted to cover the accessory strap when the accessory strap is not in use.

2. The accessory strap of claim 1, wherein the accessory strap comprises an elastomer.

3. The accessory strap of claim 1, wherein the fastening element comprises a buckle, a D-ring, a hook-and-eye fastener, a button, a snap, or a hook-and-loop fastener, and wherein the accessory strap assumes a substantially vertical position on the apparel when coupled to the fastening element.

4. The accessory strap of claim 3, wherein the fastening element is coupled to the apparel via an intermediate element.

5. The accessory strap of claim 1, wherein the strap covering element comprises one or more bellows, pleats, folds, creases, or flaps.

6. The accessory strap of claim 5, wherein the strap covering element further comprises a closure element.

7. The accessory strap of claim 6, wherein the closure element comprises a hook-and-eye fastener, a buckle, a button, a snap, a zipper, or a hook-and-loop fastener.

8. The accessory strap of claim 1, wherein the apparel comprises a pocket, and wherein the pocket comprises the accessory strap.

9. The accessory strap of claim 8, wherein the pocket is a cargo pocket, a patch pocket, a single welt pocket, a double welt pocket, a flap pocket, or a slash pocket.

10. The accessory strap of claim 8, wherein the pocket is a jacket pocket, a vest pocket, a shirt pocket, a coat pocket, a shorts pocket, or a pants pocket.

11. An accessory strap for apparel comprising: an accessory strap having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end is coupled to an article of apparel, wherein the second end is adapted to couple to a buckle, wherein the buckle is coupled to the apparel, wherein the first end and the buckle are spaced to span an outerwear accessory, wherein the accessory strap comprises an elastomeric element, and wherein the accessory strap is oriented to assume a substantially vertical position on the apparel when coupled to the buckle; and a strap covering element adapted to cover the accessory strap when the accessory strap is not in use.

12. The accessory strap of claim 11, wherein the strap covering element comprises one or more bellows, pleats, folds, creases, or flaps.

13. The accessory strap of claim 12, wherein the strap covering element further comprises a closure element.

14. The accessory strap of claim 13, wherein the closure element comprises a hook-and-eye fastener, a buckle, a button, a snap, a zipper, or a hook-and-loop fastener.

15. The accessory strap of claim 11, wherein the apparel comprises a pocket and wherein the pocket comprises the accessory strap.

16. The accessory strap of claim 15, wherein the pocket is a cargo pocket, a patch pocket, a single welt pocket, a double welt pocket, a flap pocket, or a slash pocket.

17. An accessory strap for apparel comprising: an accessory strap having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end is coupled to an article of apparel at a first location, wherein the second end is coupled to the apparel at a second location, wherein the first and second locations are spaced to accommodate an outerwear accessory and positioned to orient the accessory strap in a substantially vertical position on the apparel, and wherein the accessory strap comprises an elastomeric element; and a strap covering element adapted to cover the accessory strap when the accessory strap is not in use.

18. The accessory strap of claim 17, wherein the strap covering element comprises one or more bellows, pleats, folds, creases, or flaps.

19. The accessory strap of claim 17, wherein the apparel comprises a pocket and wherein the pocket comprises the accessory strap.

20. The accessory strap of claim 17, wherein the elastomeric element is configured to secure the outerwear accessory to the apparel.

21. A method of securing an accessory to an article of apparel comprising: providing: an accessory strap having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end is coupled to an article of apparel, and wherein the second end is adapted to couple to a fastening element; a fastening element coupled to the apparel, wherein the accessory strap assumes a substantially vertical position on the apparel when coupled to the fastening element; and a strap covering element adapted to cover the accessory strap when the accessory strap is not in use; extending the accessory strap from the strap covering element a distance sufficient to accommodate a desired accessory; inserting the accessory between the accessory strap and the outerwear; and tightening the accessory strap to secure the accessory to the outerwear.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/550,838 entitled “ACCESSORY STRAP FOR APPAREL,” filed Oct. 24, 2011, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

Embodiments herein relate to the field of apparel, and, more specifically, to accessory straps for apparel, such as outerwear.

BACKGROUND

Gloves, mittens, and other apparel accessories are prone to being lost when they are temporarily removed to expose the wearer's hands during outdoor activities. Because these items often are too bulky to fit into a pocket, some have devised leashes and clips to secure gloves and mittens to a jacket or coat. However, these solutions leave the mittens or gloves dangling inconveniently from the sleeve, where they can impede the use of the hands. Furthermore, leashes and clips may pose a snag hazard. In addition to gloves and mittens, other bulky items also may need to be stowed during outdoor activities, such as hats, scarves, earmuffs, neck warmers, and the like. In addition to being too large to be stored in a pocket, these items may be wet from use, making them inconvenient to store in an interior compartment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments will be readily understood by the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Embodiments are illustrated by way of example and not by way of limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a pocket with an accessory strap, in accordance with various embodiments;

FIG. 2 illustrates the pocket of FIG. 1 with the accessory strap stowed behind a fabric bellow; and

FIG. 3 illustrates the pocket of FIG. 1 with a gloves secured by the accessory strap, in accordance with various embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DISCLOSED EMBODIMENTS

In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration embodiments that may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural or logical changes may be made without departing from the scope. Therefore, the following detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of embodiments is defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

Various operations may be described as multiple discrete operations in turn, in a manner that may be helpful in understanding embodiments; however, the order of description should not be construed to imply that these operations are order dependent.

The description may use perspective-based descriptions such as up/down, back/front, and top/bottom. Such descriptions are merely used to facilitate the discussion and are not intended to restrict the application of disclosed embodiments.

The terms “coupled” and “connected,” along with their derivatives, may be used. It should be understood that these terms are not intended as synonyms for each other. Rather, in particular embodiments, “connected” may be used to indicate that two or more elements are in direct physical or electrical contact with each other. “Coupled” may mean that two or more elements are in direct physical or electrical contact. However, “coupled” may also mean that two or more elements are not in direct contact with each other, but yet still cooperate or interact with each other.

For the purposes of the description, a phrase in the form “A/B” or in the form “A and/or B” means (A), (B), or (A and B). For the purposes of the description, a phrase in the form “at least one of A, B, and C” means (A), (B), (C), (A and B), (A and C), (B and C), or (A, B and C). For the purposes of the description, a phrase in the form “(A)B” means (B) or (AB) that is, A is an optional element.

The description may use the terms “embodiment” or “embodiments,” which may each refer to one or more of the same or different embodiments. Furthermore, the terms “comprising,” “including,” “having,” and the like, as used with respect to embodiments, are synonymous.

Embodiments herein provide accessory straps for apparel, such as outerwear. In various embodiments, the accessory strap may be used to secure gloves, mittens, hats, earmuffs, scarves, neck warmers, and/or other accessories to a piece of apparel, such as outerwear, when the accessory is not being used. Various embodiments of the accessory strap may include an elastomeric element, so that the strap may stretch to encompass large or bulky items and secure the item under pressure/tension. Some embodiments may include an adjustable fit feature, so that various sized accessories may be securely stowed. For instance, some embodiments of the accessory strap may include or be coupled to a buckle, snap, button, hook-and-loop fastener, or other closure device that may be used to adjust the length of the accessory strap to suit a desired purpose.

In various embodiments, the accessory strap may be stowed under one or more flaps, bellows, creases, pleats, folds, or another feature of the outerwear when not in use, for instance to hide it from view and/or prevent it from catching on nearby objects. For instance, in some embodiments, the accessory strap may be positioned next to a flap or panel in the apparel that may be folded over the accessory strap when not in use. In other embodiments, the accessory strap may be positioned under or within one or more bellows, creases, folds, or pleats, such as one or more box pleats, that may at least partially cover and hide the accessory strap when not in use. In some embodiments, the accessory strap may be positioned inside a pocket, such as within a slash or patch pocket. In these embodiments, the accessory strap may be pulled out from under (or within) the bellows, creases, folds, pockets, or pleats for use. In some embodiments, the flaps, bellows, creases, folds, pockets, or pleats may include one or more fasteners, such as a snap, hook-and-eye closure, button, zipper, or hook-and-loop-type closure device to secure it in the closed position when the accessory strap is not being used.

Various embodiments of the accessory strap may be incorporated into the design of a pocket, for example a jacket pocket, vest pocket, shirt pocket, coat pocket, shorts pocket, or pants pocket. In some embodiments, the pocket may be a cargo pocket. In other embodiments, the pocket may be a patch pocket, a flap pocket, a slash pocket, a single welt pocket, or a double welt pocket. In various embodiments, the pocket may be positioned anywhere on the outside of the outerwear where it is convenient to have a pocket, such as a front pocket, side pocket, hip pocket, chest pocket, or rear pocket on a jacket, vest, shirt, or coat, or a front pocket, hip pocket, back pocket, or leg pocket on a pair of pants or shorts. In some embodiments, the accessory strap may be incorporated substantially vertically into the center of the pocket, whereas in other embodiments, the accessory strap may be incorporated in an off-center fashion, at an angle, or on the side of the pocket. In some embodiments, a single pocket may include two or more accessory straps.

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a pocket with an accessory strap, in accordance with various embodiments. Referring now to FIG. 1, in various embodiments, the accessory strap 100 may be incorporated into a pocket 102. In various embodiments, the pocket optionally may include a strap-covering element 104, which in the illustrated embodiment is a bellow, but which may include one or more flaps, pleats, creases, folds, pockets, or a combination thereof in other embodiments. As shown in the illustrated embodiment, accessory strap 100 may be accessed from underneath element 104 by pushing the fabric of strap-covering element 104 (e.g., the bellow) to the side or reaching under strap-covering element 104 and extracting strap 100. Although accessory strap 100 is illustrated in this embodiment as being incorporated into a pocket 102, one of skill in the art will appreciate that such an accessory strap is not necessarily a part of a pocket, but may be positioned anywhere on a garment that allows convenient access by the user.

In some embodiments, accessory strap 100 may be secured at both the top and bottom ends (not shown) to the apparel, for example via stitching, or optionally via one or more releasable fasteners (not shown). In various embodiments, accessory strap 100 may include an elastomeric element, such as rubber, elastane, latex, neoprene, Lycra™, Spandex™, or any other natural or synthetic elastomer. In various embodiments, this elastomeric element may allow accessory strap 100 to stretch sufficiently to accommodate large and bulky accessories.

Some embodiments of accessory strap 100 may include an adjustable fastening element 106 to allow the length of accessory strap to be configured to securely hold a variety of sizes of accessories. For example, in some embodiments, adjustable fastening element 106 may be used to loosen accessory strap 100 in order to fit around a pair of large gloves or another accessory (see, e.g., FIG. 3), and then may be tightened in order to secure the gloves (or other accessory) in position. In various embodiments, rather than coupling directly to the apparel at both ends, the accessory strap 100 may couple directly to the apparel at a first end, and it may couple to the adjustable fastening element 106 at the second end. The adjustable fastening element 106 may couple to the apparel directly or via an intermediate element, such as a separate length of strap or webbing. In some embodiments, the accessory strap may couple to an adjustable fasting element or other coupler at both the first and second ends, for example when the accessory strap is configured to be removable. Although adjustable fastening element 106 is a buckle in the illustrated example, one of skill in the art will appreciate that other types of adjustable fastening elements may be substituted, such as one or more D-rings, one or more hook-and-eye fasteners, a snap or plurality of snaps, a button or plurality of buttons, or a hook-and-loop type closure such as Velcro™.

In the illustrated example, adjustable fastening element 106 is a buckle that is coupled to accessory strap 100 near the top of pocket 102 and that is coupled to the apparel within strap-covering element 104. In such an example, accessory strap 100 may be coupled to pocket 102 at or near the bottom of pocket 102, and may extend to and pass through adjustable fastening element 106, folding back on itself and leaving a free end 108. In use, accessory strap 100 may be tightened by pulling on free end 108, and may be loosened by lifting and releasing adjustable fastening element 106. Although the illustrated example includes a single strap length that couples to fastener 106 near the top of pocket 102, one of skill in the art will appreciate that fastener 106 may be located at any position along accessory strap 100, such as at the bottom, middle, or top, and that in some embodiments, fastener 106 may be used to join two lengths of strap together. Additionally, although accessory strap 100 is illustrated as being in a vertical orientation, in some embodiments, accessory strap 100 may be positioned horizontally or at an angle relative to vertical, such as five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty, or forty-five or more degrees from vertical, depending on the design of the outerwear.

FIG. 2 illustrates the pocket of FIG. 1 with the accessory strap stowed behind a strap covering element 104. Referring now to FIG. 2, in various embodiments, strap covering element 104 may partially or completely hide accessory strap 100 when in a closed position. Although strap covering element 104 is an accordion-sewn bellow in the illustrated example, one of skill in the art will appreciate that strap covering element 104 may have a different construction in other embodiments, such as one or more pleats, flaps, folds, creases, pockets, or the like. In some embodiments, strap covering element 104 may be made from the same or a coordinating material as the surrounding fabric, so as to better hide accessory strap 100 when not in use. Some embodiments of strap covering element 104 may include one or more closure elements to hold strap covering element 104 in a closed position over accessory strap 100, such as a hook-and-eye fastener, a buckle or a plurality of buckles, a snap or plurality of snaps, a button or plurality of buttons, a zipper, or a hook-and-loop type closure such as Velcro™.

FIG. 3 illustrates the pocket of FIG. 1 with a glove secured by the accessory strap, in accordance with various embodiments. Referring now to FIG. 3, in use in various embodiments, a user may actuate accessory strap 100 by inserting his or her fingers under accessory strap 100, pulling it out from beneath the strap covering element (not shown), and stretching accessory strap 100 sufficiently to accommodate accessory 110, which in the illustrated embodiment is a glove. If necessary, in some embodiments, accessory strap 100 may be further loosened via adjustable fastening element 106. Accessory 110 may then be positioned underneath accessory strap 100, which may then be tightened by pulling on free end 108 of accessory strap 100, thus securing accessory 110 in place.

In various embodiments, to remove accessory 110 from accessory strap 100, accessory 110 may simply be pulled free of accessory strap 100, or, if needed, accessory strap 100 may first be loosened via adjustable fastening element 106 before accessory 110 is pulled free. In various embodiments, accessory strap 100 may then automatically slide back under strap covering element (not shown).

Although certain embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that a wide variety of alternate and/or equivalent embodiments or implementations calculated to achieve the same purposes may be substituted for the embodiments shown and described without departing from the scope. Those with skill in the art will readily appreciate that embodiments may be implemented in a very wide variety of ways. This application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations of the embodiments discussed herein. Therefore, it is manifestly intended that embodiments be limited only by the claims and the equivalents thereof.