Title:
SLEEVE ACCESSORY
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sleeve accessory includes a sleeve and a fastening system for attaching the sleeve to a shoulder strap of another clothing item. The sleeve accessory is preferably removable and replaceable, and enables a user to adapt to changing environments or social situations by attaching or detaching the sleeve accessories as desired. Sleeve accessories may be provided in a variety of designs, colors, or patterns, to permit coordination with other clothing, or to permit mixing and matching of colors and patterns to increase the versatility of a wardrobe. In some examples, the sleeve accessory may include a decorative pattern, a logo, or other distinctive markings.


Inventors:
Bradshaw, Victoria D. (Lakewood, CO, US)
Application Number:
14/449919
Publication Date:
02/05/2015
Filing Date:
08/01/2014
Assignee:
BRADSHAW VICTORIA D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sleeve accessory, comprising: a sleeve configured to fit over the arm of a wearer, the sleeve having an upper end configured to be disposed at the shoulder of the wearer, a lower end opposite the upper end, an inside configured to face the skin of the wearer, and an outside opposite the inside; a fastening system configured to removably fasten the sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of another clothing item.

2. The sleeve accessory of claim 1, wherein the sleeve further includes a tab protruding from the upper end of the sleeve so as to extend along the shoulder of a wearer, and wherein an end of the tab is configured to extend beyond and around the shoulder strap of the other clothing item.

3. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the fastening system is disposed on the inside of the sleeve.

4. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the fastening system comprises a hook and loop fastener.

5. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the fastening system comprises a snap.

6. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the fastening system comprises a snap having a decorative shape.

7. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the fastening system comprise a button or a zipper.

8. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the sleeve and fastener system are configured to fasten the sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of a brassiere.

9. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the sleeve and fastener system are configured to fasten the sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of a sleeveless shirt.

10. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the outside of the sleeve includes a decorative pattern.

11. The sleeve accessory of claim 10, wherein the decorative pattern is a simulated tattoo.

12. The sleeve accessory of claim 2, wherein the lower end of the sleeve defines an opening of a size, shape, and position to receive a thumb of the wearer.

13. The sleeve accessory of claim 1, wherein the sleeve is a long sleeve.

14. The sleeve accessory of claim 1, further comprising an insect repellent incorporated into or onto the material of the sleeve accessory.

15. The sleeve accessory of claim 1, wherein the sleeve is made primarily of paper.

16. The sleeve accessory of claim 1, wherein the sleeve accessory is disposable.

17. A method, comprising: placing a first article of clothing on a person, the first article of clothing having a shoulder strap over the shoulder of the person; placing a sleeve accessory over an arm of the person, wherein the sleeve accessory includes a sleeve having an upper end configured to be disposed at the shoulder of the wearer, a lower end opposite the upper end, an inside configured to face the skin of the wearer, and an outside opposite the inside, and wherein the sleeve accessory further includes a fastener system configured to removably fasten the sleeve accessory to the shoulder strap; and fastening the sleeve accessory to the shoulder strap using the fastener system.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising placing a second article clothing over the first article of clothing such that the connection between the sleeve accessory and the shoulder strap is hidden during wear of the first and second clothing articles and the sleeve accessory.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein fastening the sleeve accessory to the shoulder strap includes positioning a tab of the sleeve accessory over the shoulder strap, and folding an end portion of the tab under the shoulder strap.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 61/861,653, filed Aug. 2, 2013 and titled “Sleeve Accessory”, which application is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A wide variety of clothing types and styles are available. However, individual clothing items are often designed to be worn in particular environments and social situations, and may be uncomfortable or inappropriate at other times. For example, a shirt or blouse designed for daytime summer wear may have short sleeves, and may not be comfortable for wear on a cool evening or at other times of year.

Additionally, a person may encounter varying environments, in which different kinds of clothing may be desirable. For example, a person working outdoors may wish to adapt his or her clothing to changing temperatures throughout the day.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect, a sleeve accessory includes a sleeve configured to fit over the arm of a wearer. The sleeve has an upper end configured to be disposed at the shoulder of the wearer, a lower end opposite the upper end, an inside configured to face the skin of the wearer, and an outside opposite the inside. The sleeve accessory further includes a fastener system configured to removably fasten the sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of another clothing item. In some embodiments, the sleeve further includes a tab protruding from the upper end of the sleeve so as to extend along the shoulder of a wearer, and an end of the tab is configured to extend beyond and around the shoulder strap of the other clothing item. The fastening system may be disposed on the inside of the sleeve. The fastening system may include a hook and loop fastener. The fastening system may include a snap. The fastening system may include a snap having a decorative shape. The fastening system may include a button or a zipper. In some embodiments, the sleeve and fastener system are configured to fasten the sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of a brassiere. In some embodiments, the sleeve and fastener system are configured to fasten the sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of a sleeveless shirt. The outside of the sleeve may include a decorative pattern. The decorative pattern may be a simulated tattoo. In some embodiments, the lower end of the sleeve defines an opening of a size, shape, and position to receive a thumb of the wearer. The sleeve may be a long sleeve.

According to another aspect, a method includes placing a first article of clothing on a person, the first article of clothing having a shoulder strap over the shoulder of the person. The method further includes placing a sleeve accessory over an arm of the person. The sleeve accessory includes a sleeve having an upper end configured to be disposed at the shoulder of the wearer, a lower end opposite the upper end, an inside configured to face the skin of the wearer, and an outside opposite the inside. The sleeve accessory further includes a fastener system configured to removably fasten the sleeve accessory to the shoulder strap. The method further includes fastening the sleeve accessory to the shoulder strap using the fastener system. In some embodiments, the method further includes placing a second article clothing over the first article of clothing such that the connection between the sleeve accessory and the shoulder strap is hidden during wear of the first and second clothing articles and the sleeve accessory. In some embodiments, fastening the sleeve accessory to the shoulder strap includes positioning a tab of the sleeve accessory over the shoulder strap, and folding an end portion of the tab under the shoulder strap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A-1C illustrate the use of a sleeve accessory in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a pattern for a sleeve accessory in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a completed sleeve accessory in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 4A-4D illustrate the process of attaching a sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of another garment in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a partial view of a sleeve accessory having a hole for receiving the user's thumb, in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 6 shows a sleeve accessory in accordance with other embodiments, including a simulated tattoo.

FIGS. 7A-7C illustrate a decorative design of a snap feature and its use to attach a sleeve accessory to another garment, in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the invention provide a clothing accessory in the form of a sleeve that may be removable and replaceable, so that it can be used with a variety of other clothing items. The accessory may be used for a number of reasons, for example to add long sleeves to accompany a short-sleeved top for added warmth, for protection from the sun, for modesty, simply to achieve a new “look”, or for other reasons such as those discussed below.

FIGS. 1A-1C illustrate the use of a sleeve accessory in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In this example, person 100 is wearing a sleeveless top 101, which has shoulder straps 102a and 102b. For the purposes of this disclosure, a “shoulder strap” includes any narrow portion of a garment passing over the shoulder of the wearer. Shoulder straps may be made of fabric strips, elastic bands, cords, or other materials. A shoulder strap may have an appreciable width such as is shown in FIG. 1A, may be a very narrow “spaghetti strap”, or may have another suitable width and shape.

FIG. 1B, shows the addition of two sleeve accessories 103a and 103b, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, to the ensemble worn by person 100. Example sleeve accessories 103a and 103b are described in more detail below, and are configured to fit over the arms of person 100. Each sleeve accessory 103a, 103b includes a fastening system 104a, 104b configured to removably attach the sleeve accessory to the respective shoulder strap 102a, 102b.

In FIG. 1C, person 100 has put on T-shirt 105 over sleeveless top 101 and over sleeve accessories 103a, 103b. Conveniently, fastening systems 104a and 104b are hidden, so that the ensemble appears complete and coordinated. While two sleeve accessories 103a and 103b are shown in this example, it will be recognized that only a single sleeve accessory could be used.

There may be many reasons why a user may wish to use sleeve accessories according to embodiments of the invention. For example, the user may wish to adapt to a changing environment. For example, a hiker may put sleeve accessories such as accessories 103a and 103b in place in the morning at the beginning of a hike, and remove them as the day warms up in order to remain comfortable. In another example, a gardener may prefer to wear short sleeves in the morning, but cover her arms during the heat of the day to protect them from the sun.

In another example, a wearer may simply wish to alter the “look” of a particular garment, for example, to add the appearance of long sleeves to a shirt or top such as T-shirt 105. It will be appreciated that sleeve accessories according to embodiments of the invention may be of any suitable style and color, for example a color, print, and style matching the garment worn over them, coordinating with the garment worn over them, or even contrasting with the garment worn over them. Different colors and styles of sleeve accessories may be used with different garments in a “mix and match” manner, so that a wide variety of looks and styles can be achieved with a small number of garments and sleeve accessories.

Sleeve accessories according to embodiments of the invention may also be used for purposes of modesty. For example, a wearer may feel comfortable wearing a short sleeved garment in private, but may wish to cover his or her arms before going out in public or receiving visitors, for example to cover scars or tattoos, or simply to be more completely covered.

In some embodiments, sleeve accessories may be removable and replaceable without removing the outer garment, allowing the user to quickly and conveniently adapt to changing environments or social situations. One advantage of sleeve accessories embodying the invention is that they are washable separately from the garments with which they may be worn. A user may prefer to wear the sleeve accessories while gardening, for example, because they can be washed without having to wash the shirt with which they were worn. The shirt may continue to be worn after gardening, without the sleeve accessories or with different sleeve accessories. This may be an advantage in other situations where frequent cleaning may be needed, for example with medical scrubs and the like.

Another advantage of sleeve accessories according to embodiments of the invention may be that they can be independent of other clothing, and usable with existing clothing without requiring modification of the other clothing. For example, no fasteners need be provided on the other clothing. A single sleeve accessory or set of sleeve accessories may be used with different items in a user's wardrobe, providing an economical way to achieve a variety of different looks or to provide other benefits of the sleeve accessories with a variety of clothing.

A sleeve accessory in accordance with embodiments of the invention may be made of any suitable material. In many embodiments, the sleeve accessory will be made of a fabric such a fabric made of cotton, polyester, or another fiber material or a combination of fiber materials. In other embodiments, sleeve accessories may be made primarily (other than fasteners, thread, and the like) of paper or other low-cost materials, so that the sleeve accessories can be disposable after use. Disposable sleeve accessories may be especially attractive for applications in which cleaning of the sleeve accessories is difficult, for example in medical, food service, or outdoor uses. In another example, sleeve accessories could be made of thin plastic sheet, making them waterproof. Other materials may also be used, for example. Tyvek®, Gore-tex®, or other natural or synthetic materials.

In some embodiments, a sleeve accessory may be impregnated, coated, or otherwise treated with an insect repellant or insecticide. Any of a wide variety of treatments may be used. For example, sleeve accessories according to embodiments may be coated or impregnated with citronella, neem oil, permethrin, or another insect-repellant substance or a combination of insect repellant substances.

FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a pattern 200 for a sleeve accessory in accordance with embodiments of the invention. For example, pattern 200 may be used to make sleeve accessories 103a and 103b. Pattern 200 may be in the form of a typical sewing pattern, made of thin paper with an outline 201 of a flat precursor of a sleeve accessory, and also indicating seam and hem allowances 202 and the like. Example pattern 200 also indicates the locations 203 for patches of hook and loop fastening material such as Velcro® to be applied for fastening the resulting sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of another clothing item. Patch locations 203 are on a protruding tab 204 formed by the pattern.

In a typical process, pattern 200 would be traced onto a piece of fabric or other material from which a sleeve accessory is to be made. The traced area would then be cut out and assembled into the shell of the sleeve accessory. Fasteners such as hook and loop fastener material patches would be added to complete the sleeve accessory. Decorative touches such as embroidery, iron-on patches, buttons, sequins, spangles, or other decorative items could be added as desired.

While pattern 200 is shown for making a sleeve accessory of a particular size, other patterns may include markings for making sleeves of many different sizes. Preferably, each user selects a size of sleeve accessory commensurate with his or her body size. Sleeve accessories according to embodiments of the invention may be of any desired length. For example, pattern 200 is adapted for making a full length sleeve, but other embodiments may include short sleeves, half sleeves, three-quarter sleeves, or sleeves of another suitable length.

FIG. 3 illustrates completed sleeve accessory 103b, indicating some example construction details. Sleeve accessory 103b is closed at a bottom seam 301, which is preferably sewn with the sleeve accessory in an “inside out” state. The edges 302 at the upper (shoulder) end of the sleeve accessory may be finished in any suitable manner, for example using an overlock stitch as shown. Other kinds of edge finishes may be used if desired, for example a blanket stitch, a full hem, or another kind of finish depending on the material used to make the sleeve accessory, durability requirements, and the like. The edges could be left unfinished if desired. Patches 303 of a hook and loop fastener are added to tab 204 and are affixed using stitching, an adhesive, or another suitable method.

In the example of FIG. 3, the lower (wrist) end of sleeve accessory 103a is finished with a hem 304, but it will be recognized that many other kinds and styles of finishes may be used, for example cuffs. In some embodiments, no finish at all may be used.

FIGS. 4A-4D illustrate the process of attaching a sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of another garment in accordance with embodiments of the invention. In this example as shown in FIG. 4A, person 100 may wish to add sleeve accessory 103b to an ensemble including shirt 401, by attaching sleeve accessory 103b to a shoulder strap 402 of a brassiere. In FIG. 4A, shirt 401 is shown as partially cutaway to show the attachment. It will be recognized that embodiments of the invention may be used with many different kinds of garments having shoulder straps, for example, in addition the sleeveless top and brassiere illustrated, camisoles and other kinds of garments.

FIG. 4B shows sleeve accessory 103b in position under shirt 401. Tab 204 is positioned over shoulder strap so that patches 303 of hook and loop fastener material straddle shoulder strap 402. Sleeve accessory 103b may be positioned before putting on shirt 401, or may be positioned after shirt 401 is already being worn. The end portion of tab 204 is then folded under shoulder strap 402, so that patches 303 of hook and loop fastener meet each other and attach shoulder accessory 103b securely to shoulder strap 402, as shown in FIG. 4C. FIG. 4D shows the installation without the cutaway view of shirt 401. A second sleeve accessory such as accessory 103a could be placed on the user's other arm in a similar way.

Example sleeve accessories 103a and 103b include hook and loop fastener materials on the inside of the sleeve accessory (toward the user's skin) so that tab 204 folds downward and under the shoulder strap of the clothing item to which the sleeve accessories are attached. It will be appreciated that many other arrangements are possible. For example in some embodiments, the hook and loop fastener materials could be placed on the outside of the sleeve accessory, so that tab 204 would be passed under the shoulder strap and would be folded over the shoulder strap to make the connection. In other embodiments, other kinds of fasteners could be used instead of hook and loop fasteners, for example snaps, buttons, zippers, or other suitable fasteners. In some embodiments, the fasteners may add a decorative touch, as is explained in more detail below. The example fastening system shown in the figures, in which hook and loop fasteners are used and tab 204 folds under the shoulder strap, may have the advantages that it can be conveniently engaged using only one hand, and is relatively smooth and thin so that the attachment need not be obvious under the user's other clothing.

While the illustrated embodiments show relatively casual clothing, if will be recognized that the invention is not limited to use with casual clothing, and that embodiments may be used with clothing of many styles. For example, a wedding dress having a sleeveless bodice may be offered with sleeve accessories of different styles, so that a bride may customize the look of her wedding dress without the expense of extensive alterations to the dress. Such an arrangement may provide additional flexibility in the wear of the dress as well. For example, the sleeve accessories may be worn during the wedding ceremony for a more formal look, and might be removed during a wedding dance later in the day for comfort and freedom of movement.

Many other stylistic details may be included as well. For example, a sleeve accessory in accordance with an embodiment of the invention may extend past the user's wrist and may include an opening of a size and shape to receive the user's thumb. FIG. 5 illustrates a partial view of a sleeve accessory 501 having a hole 502 for receiving the user's thumb 503. Only the lower (wrist) end of sleeve accessory 501 is shown, but it will be understood that the upper end includes a fastening system for attaching sleeve accessory to a shoulder strap of another clothing item. The inclusion of a thumb hole may facilitate the wearing of gloves or mittens, as the thumb can pull the sleeve accessory into a glove or mitten.

In other embodiments, sleeve accessories may include a decorative pattern. For example, FIG. 6 shows a sleeve accessory 601 in accordance with other embodiments. Sleeve accessory 601 may be made of a form-fitting material such as elastane (Spandex®), and may be decorated with one or more simulated tattoos 602. Such a sleeve accessory may be generally flesh-toned, to enhance the effect of the simulated tattoo, and it may not be immediately noticeable that tattoos 602 are simulated but for the exposed end 603 of sleeve accessory 601.

In other embodiments, sleeve accessories embodying the invention may be adorned with one or more sports team logos, company logos, or a similar designs that identify the wearer as being affiliated with a particular organization. Such accessories may be officially licensed, and may represent a revenue opportunity for the organization owning the logo.

FIGS. 7A-7C illustrate the use of a decorative snap for fastening a sleeve accessory to another garment, in accordance with embodiments of the invention. FIG. 7A is a partial upper view of a sleeve accessory 700 that includes a decorative snap 701. In this example, decorative snap 701 has the shape of butterfly wings, but it will be appreciated that other shapes may be used, for example heart shapes, diamond shapes, flower shapes, geometric shapes, or other workable shapes. The shapes may be selected to reflect a brand or trademark of the sleeve accessories. The snap may be colored to coordinate with the color of the sleeve accessory, in accordance with a brand or trademark, or for other purposes. For example, butterfly-shaped snap 701 could be painted or otherwise colored to realistically look like a particular butterfly species.

A receiving portion 702 of snap 701 is placed near the protruding end of tab 703, such that when tab 703 is folded under a strap of another garment, receiving portion 702 meets snap 701 to attach sleeve accessory 701 to the strap. FIG. 7B is a partial underside view of sleeve accessory 700, showing that snap 701 may include a protruding stud 704 and receiving portion 702 may include a complementary socket 705, into which stud 704 can engage to snap the portions together. It will be recognized that the locations of stud 704 and socket 705 may be reversed, if desired. FIG. 7C illustrates a pair of sleeve accessory 700 in use, before an outer garment is placed over sleeve accessories 700. Decorative snaps 700 are visible as epaulets on sleeve accessories 700, at least until they may be covered by another garment. The snaps may be made of metal, plastic, or another suitable material, and may be of any suitable size. For example, the “wingspan” of butterfly-shaped snap 701 could be about ⅜ inch, about ½ inch, about ¾ inch, or another suitable size.

The invention has now been described in detail for the purposes of clarity and understanding. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that certain changes and modifications may be practiced within the scope of the appended claims.