Title:
Swimsuit with elastic zones
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A full-cut swimsuit of the shorts-type, particularly of the type having a waistband and legs, and in which at least one rear elastic zone is arranged in correspondence with the user's buttocks.



Inventors:
Ragot, Jean-marc (Annecy, FR)
Nevejans, Laurent (Donostia - San Sebastian, ES)
Application Number:
10/411107
Publication Date:
11/13/2003
Filing Date:
04/11/2003
Assignee:
SALOMON S.A. (Metz-Tessy, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D7/00; (IPC1-7): A41D5/00
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A full cut swimsuit of the shorts-type, said swimsuit comprising: a waistband and legs, wherein the swimsuit comprises at least one rear elastic zone arranged in correspondence with a user's buttocks.

2. A swimsuit according to claim 1, comprising an elastic crotch zone.

3. A swimsuit according to claim 2, wherein the elastic crotch zone is an extension of the rear elastic zone.

4. A swimsuit according to claim 1, comprising an upper annular elastic zone arranged along an entire periphery of the swimsuit, below the waistband.

5. A swimsuit according to claim 1, wherein the swimsuit comprises two lateral elastic zones that extend downwardly from the waistband along sides of the swimsuit.

6. A swimsuit according to claim 5, wherein the lateral elastic zones extend down to a lower edge of the legs.

7. A swimsuit according to claim 6, wherein the lateral elastic zones have a maximum width at a level of the lower edge of the legs.

8. A swimsuit according to claim 1, further comprising non-elastic zones.

9. A swimsuit according to claim 1, wherein the waistband is inextensible.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is based upon French Patent Application No. 02.04832, filed Apr. 12, 2002, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference thereto in its entirety, and the priority of which is hereby claimed under 35 U.S.C. §119.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The invention relates to the field of swimsuits, particularly swimsuits adapted for surfing.

[0004] 2. Description of Background and Relevant Information

[0005] There are two categories of swimsuits. The first is that of form-fitting swimsuits that are generally made completely or mostly from extensible materials. These form-fitting suits are therefore constantly tight around the user's body.

[0006] The second category is that of full-cut swimsuits in which the suit is not tight around the user, except at the waistband. For surfing, one generally uses full-cut swimsuits, of the shorts-type (sometimes called “board shorts”), which have a waistband, a portion corresponding to the user's pelvis, and two pant legs that are adapted to extend along the user's legs, for instance, down to a level above or below the user's knees. These swimsuits are made from inextensible materials, such as cotton, polyester or polyamide fabrics. The full cut of these suits provides the freedom of movement required for surfing.

[0007] Nevertheless, the full cut is not always sufficient in providing all of the freedom of movement that could be desired since, when the swimsuit is wet, the fabrics from which it is made do not slide as well over the user's skin and tend to get stuck, which usually creates a certain hindrance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] An object of the invention is therefore to propose a full-cut swimsuit that does not interfere with the user's movements.

[0009] To this end, the invention proposes a full-cut swimsuit, of the shorts-type, characterized in that it has at least one elastic zone other than the waistband.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Other characteristics and advantages of the invention will become apparent from reading the following detailed description, with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a schematic front view of a swimsuit according to the invention;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a schematic rear view of the swimsuit according to the invention; and

[0013] FIG. 3 is a schematic side view of the swimsuit according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0014] In FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 the invention is schematically shown in the form of a garment 10 that, in this particular embodiment, is a shorts- or bermuda-type swimsuit. This garment 10 has a waistband 12, a portion 14 corresponding to the user's pelvis, and two legs 16 that are adapted to extend along the user's legs, for example, down to a position above or below the user's knees.

[0015] Preferably, the waistband 12 is substantially inextensible, i.e., it is made from any of a plurality of conventional fabrics, for instance. The waistband 12 is preferably provided with an adjustment system allowing the waistband to be better adjusted to the user's waist in order to guarantee a good hold of the suit, even when the user gets caught in a wave. According to an alternative construction, the waistband can be made of one or more elastic materials, but an inextensible tightening string is provided, however, to reduce the reliance upon such elasticity alone to secure the waistband to the user's waist.

[0016] In the illustrated example of the invention, and as shown in each of the figures, the suit has, just below the waistband 12, a first upper annular elastic zone 18 (made of one or more panels) that surrounds the user's waist and forms an elastic ring positioned between the waistband 12 and the remainder of the swimsuit. This upper annular zone has a height of several centimeters, for example, such as between 1 and 10 centimeters, or between about I and about 10 centimeters. The height of this zone 18 can be determined, for instance, as a function of the degree of elasticity of the material, and it can vary along the periphery of the suit. The annular zone 18 allows for a separation between the movements of the waistband 12 of the suit, which is tightened around the user's body, and those of the lower portion 14 of the suit, which follows the movement of the user's hips and legs. This separation occurs during a flexion of the trunk with respect to the lower limbs (for example, when the user bends forward or crouches down) as well as during a torsional movement of the trunk.

[0017] As shown in each of the figures, the swimsuit 10 shown has a second zone in which elastic panels are arranged, whereby the two lateral sides 20 extend downwardly from the waistband 12 to the lower edge 22 of the legs 16. These lateral elastic panels allow for a separation between the front and rear portions of the swimsuit 20, and their function is particularly useful during strong flexional movements. In the example shown, these lateral panels 20 have a widened lower portion 24 so as to provide more elasticity in the lower portion of the legs 16 than in the higher portion.

[0018] As an example, each of the lateral panels 20 of the design shown has, in its upper portion, a width of approximately 9 centimeters, and can extend up to a width of approximately 15 centimeters. In its lower portion, these values are approximately 17 and 25 centimeters, respectively.

[0019] Likewise, in the example shown, each of the lateral panels 20 has been selected to be made in one single piece with a corresponding half of the upper annular elastic zone 18. However, this constructional arrangement is not mandatory, given that these two zones fulfill complementary yet different functions.

[0020] According to another aspect of the invention, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a third zone of the suit is provided that has elastic panels, viz., a rear zone 26 that corresponds to the user's buttocks. In the example shown, this rear zone 26 is directly bordered by the lateral elastic panels 20 on the sides and by the upper annular elastic zone 18 toward the top. Nevertheless, one could provide that this rear elastic zone be separated from the other zones by inextensible or slightly extensible zones. The rear zone 26 can be divided into several panels, for instance, into two left and right panels.

[0021] This rear elastic zone 26 applies a force to draw in the protuberance of the user's buttocks when he bends forward or when he crouches down.

[0022] Lastly, as shown in FIGS. I and 2, the suit has a fourth elastic zone, viz., the crotch zone 28. The crotch zone 28 can be designed, for instance, as a downward and upward extension of the rear zone 26. The elasticity of the crotch zone 28 is more particularly useful when the user spreads his legs apart.

[0023] According to the invention, the swimsuit 10 furthermore has zones in which the panel(s) is(are) not elastic. In the example shown, it relates primarily to the waistband 12, panels 30 located on the front surface of the suit, and panels 32 arranged at the lower end of the rear surface of the legs 16. For the panels of the front surface 30, in particular, it is advantageous to select a material that is not necessarily elastic, but that resists abrasion. Indeed, these are the panels that are the most exposed to abrasion when the swimsuit is used by a surfer, who spends a substantial amount of time stretched out on the board on his stomach. Other criteria, such as lightness and drying speed, can be taken into account when selecting this material.

[0024] In order to make elastic zones, one skilled in the art can select various types of materials, particularly fabrics incorporating at least a portion of elastic fibers, such as elastane fibers. The degree of elasticity of the material can be adjusted by selecting the quantity of elastic fibers present in the fabric. Likewise, one can provide for the material to have elasticity that varies along the direction of stretching considered. One can also provide for the elastic material to be an elastic film.

[0025] When the suit has several elastic zones, the elastic materials may be different from one zone to the other, and may have different elasticity properties from one zone to the other.

[0026] Each of the zones described above can be made in one single panel or in several panels. Likewise, it is possible for a suit according to the invention not to have all of the elastic zones described above. Nevertheless, in all cases, one can thus obtain a swimsuit that, due to its full cut, will not have the drawbacks nor the lack of comfort and aesthetics of form-fitting swimsuits but, furthermore, contrary to conventional suits with a full cut made from inextensible materials, will allow all of the freedom of movement that is desired for sporting activities, particularly surfing.