Title:
Hosiery garment with open-sole structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An open-sole pantyhose garment for wearing with exercise and dancing covers the lower body of a wearer. The garment has a top section with two leg portions wherein each leg portion includes a vertical seam along the leg portion. Each leg portion includes a foot portion that encircles the wearer's foot and defines an opening on the sole through which the wearer's foot can protrude.



Inventors:
Abboud, Margaret (Worcester, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/037612
Publication Date:
08/15/2002
Filing Date:
01/04/2002
Assignee:
Maglon's, Inc. (Worcester, MA)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/409
International Classes:
A41B11/14; (IPC1-7): A41B11/00
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Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAMILTON, BROOK, SMITH & REYNOLDS, P.C. (CONCORD, MA, US)
Claims:
1. An open-sole pantyhose garment for wearing with exercise and dancing that covers the lower body of a wearer having a top section with two leg portions wherein each leg portion includes a vertical seam along the leg portion and includes a foot portion that encircles the wearer's foot and defines an opening on the sole through which the wearer's foot can protrude.

2. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 1 wherein a stretchable band is secured around said foot portion.

3. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 1 wherein the vertical seam is located along a rear portion of the leg portion.

4. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 3 wherein the vertical seam extends from said leg portion to said opening.

5. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 3 wherein the vertical seams on said garment include a single fabric with two ends of a single sheet attached to each end forming a tubular leg portion.

6. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 3 wherein the vertical seams are formed from a bunched seamless fabric.

7. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 1 wherein said seam includes a fabric bunched into an amount that is about two millimeters in diameter running the length of the leg.

8. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 1 wherein the said seam extends from the leg portion to the opening on the sole.

9. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 1 wherein said garment includes cotton.

10. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 1 wherein said garment includes nylon.

11. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 1 wherein said garment includes a polyurethane fiber.

12. The open-sole pantyhose garment according to claim 1 wherein said opening includes an elastic band around the perimeter.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/259,899, filed on Jan. 5, 2001. The entire teachings of the above application are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Pantyhose type garments have become increasingly popular because pantyhose eliminates the need for stocking supporters, such as garter belts, garter fasteners and girdles. Therefore, pantyhose have become very popular for wear with tight fitting clothing, such as slacks, since there are no garter fasteners to form objectionable bulges in clothing. However, because of the tightness or close fitting of the garment, there is a difficulty of removing the pantyhose when it is necessary to dance with bare feet during dance practice and then to change back to covered feet when shoes are worn.

[0003] Therefore, a need exists for a new type of hosiery garment for dancers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] An open-sole pantyhose garment for wearing with exercise and dancing covers the lower body of a wearer. The garment has a top section with two leg portions wherein each leg portion includes a vertical seam along the leg portion. Each leg portion includes a foot portion that encircles the wearer's foot and defines an opening on the sole through which the wearer's foot can protrude.

[0005] The foregoing disadvantages are overcome by providing a comfortable hosiery garment having an open-sole, unobtrusive foot structure which not only allows the wearer greater freedom while dancing, but maintains the pantyhose taut. The open-sole design is beneficial when using this garment for exercise. People who are dancers for example, and who wish to wear a pantyhose garment for dancing can wear this product because the toes are not constricted as they would be if wearing conventional pantyhose.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the pantyhose of the present invention.

[0007] FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the pantyhose of the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 3 is an enlargement view of the bottom of the leg (ankle) portion with the foot portion covered.

[0009] FIG. 4 is an enlargement view of the bottom of the leg (ankle) portion with the foot uncovered.

[0010] The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to the same parts throughout the different views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0011] A description of preferred embodiments follows. Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a front perspective view and FIG. 2 shows a rear perspective view of the pantyhose garment 10 of the present invention positioned on the legs and feet of a wearer. A novel foot portion of pantyhose 10 maintains the tautness in the foot and leg portions of the natural and more comfortable foot design than can be obtained with prior art and further permits the user to wear a wide variety of shoe styles. Pantyhose 10 is particularly suited for use when worn with dance costumes by women.

[0012] The pantyhose is generally designated by numeral 10 and includes leg encompassing stockings or stocking tubes 13 with upper portions 14 defining a panty garment and lower portions 15 to the toes. The stocking tubes 13 can be constructed in a conventional manner and of conventional knitted elastic fabric material with an elastic waistband being provided on the upper end of the pantyhose. The two stocking tubes can be connected together in a conventional manner. Such pantyhose structures can be conventional and can be constructed in a conventional manner and are associated with the wearer in a conventional manner. In one embodiment, the pantyhose includes a seam 16 that runs vertically down the back of each leg. The pantyhose includes waistband 17.

[0013] The seam can be a sewn seam that joins two ends of a single fabric to each other into a tubular leg portion. Alternatively, the seam can also be formed from a seamless hosiery by bunching a portion of the fabric and sewing through the bunch to form an appearance of a seam. The fabric can be bunched into an amount that is about two millimeters in diameter running the length of the leg.

[0014] In order to provide the wearer with the option to wear the pantyhose with the foot portion 18 on or off, a portion of the sole of the pantyhose has an aperture 20 or opening on each foot that is sufficiently sized to allow the foot portion 18 of the pantyhose 10 to slide over the toes and foot of the wearer and be slid up to the ankles of the wearer. The aperture 20 can have a diameter of about three or four centimeters in an unstretched state. This allows the wearer to be barefoot while not having to remove the pantyhose. When desired, the wearer can then put the foot portion 18 back on the wearer's feet. The aperture can be constructed of conventional knitted elastic fabric material with an elastic band 26 around the aperture. The aperture is sufficiently finished to prevent runs under normal use. The elastic band 26, being provided at the bottom of the sole portion for holding the foot portion about ankle of the pantyhose wearer, is illustrated in FIG. 3. The seam can extend from aperture 20 to waistband 17 or merely a portion of that distance. FIG. 4 shows the foot uncovered and the foot portion 18 bunched about the ankle of a wearer.

[0015] The seam on the stocking allows a person, such as a dance instructor, to better evaluate whether the dancer's legs are properly performing a dance step. Such an evaluation is difficult with a seamless stocking. For example, the seam allows one to view a dancer's turnout. In other words, to determine if her legs, when she does a plie (bends down so that her knees are to her right and left) to determine if she has perfect turnout. Perfect turnout is for someone who can bend and have her knees go out to the side as oppose to in front of her. Perfect turnout is an important characteristic for one who achieves success as a professional dancer. If one does not have a good turnout, one usually cannot progress to a high level of dance, such as a professional.

[0016] Wearing the seamed convertible stocking allows the dancer to participate in a variety of dance classes, such as ballet and modern or jazz, in series without having to change her clothes and tights between sessions. Also, the seamed convertible tight can make a dance teacher's work easier. The teacher can view turnout during a ballet session. After the ballet class, a modern or jazz dance session can begin immediately allowing for a more efficient use of the dance teacher's time. The dancer can take off her ballet shoes, pull her feet through the apertures and begin the jazz or modern dance session with bare feet.

[0017] The hosiery garment can be made by conventional methods of manufacture, such as the methods disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,047,571, issued to Juniman, U.S. Pat. No. 3,449,932, issued to Fillmore et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 3,711,866, issued to Vorberg; U.S. Pat. No. 3,777,681 to Horita; and U.S. Pat. No. 3,808,842 to Fisher et al., the teachings of which are incorporated herein by reference.

[0018] While there may be other variations and combinations, this hosiery garment can be composed of double knit fabric consisting of 24.3 percent elastic polyurethane fiber, such as Lycra, and 25.7 percent nylon. It is 20 denier covered with 15/7. This durable, yet sheer support garment is knit on an Alta Veloce knitting machine using #402 needle. In another embodiment, this hosiery garment can be composed of 80 percent cotton and 20 percent elastic polyurethane fiber, such as a Lycra material.

[0019] The pantyhose of the present invention is comprised of sheer, relatively unnoticeable fabric and has seamless leg engaging portions. If desired, however, a pattern which coordinates with the wearer's exercise/dance costumes, can be incorporated into the fabric for purposes of style and aesthetics without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.