Title:
Open top fully adjustable disposable chef's hat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An open top fully adjustable chef's hat preferably made of paper or paper equivalent. The hat comprises an upright preferably pleated sidewall adapted to be formed into a closed generally curvilinear shape. An adjustable headband is attached to the lower part of the pleated sidewall and adapted to adjustably fit a range of head sizes. A stiffening strip is attached to the upper part of the sidewall with at least part of the strip positioned in the interior of the hat when it is assembled. The free ends of the flap are adapted for overlapping telescoping fit of one end of the flap within the other. A foldable flap is provided on the headband to facilitate sliding assembly of one end of the headband inside the other.



Inventors:
Ranzer, Norman W. (Jamison, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/193438
Publication Date:
01/15/2004
Filing Date:
07/11/2002
Assignee:
Keystone Adjustable Cap Co.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/04; (IPC1-7): A42B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:

I/we claim:



1. An open top fully adjustable disposable chef's hat comprising: a. an upright sidewall adapted to be formed into a closed generally curvilinear shape, b. an adjustable headband attached to the lower part of the sidewall and adapted to adjustably fit a range of head sizes by overlapping engagement of the free ends of the headband, c. a stiffening flap fixed to the upper part of the sidewall, said flap being adapted to extend into the interior of the hat, the free ends of the flap being adapted for overlapping telescoping fit of one end of the flap within the other whereby the top of the sidewall is open and can be formed into a closed, generally curvilinear shape of adjustable circumference.

2. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 1, wherein the stiffening flap is fixed to the outside surface of the sidewall and folded over the top margin of the sidewall into the interior of the sidewall when it is formed into a closed shape.

3. An open top disposable chef's hat in accordance with claim 1, wherein the stiffening flap is affixed to the sidewall so as to reinforce it.

4. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 1 wherein the hat is made entirely of paper.

5. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 1 wherein the headband includes a foldable flap at one end thereof, said flap being adapted to fold over the top margin of the overlapping opposing ends of the headband to facilitate sliding assembly of the free ends of the headband.

6. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 5 wherein the foldable flap extends from the top margin of the headband and is adapted to fold over the top margin of the opposing ends of the headband.

7. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 5 wherein the headband includes a longitudinally extending folded section at the top thereof and the foldable flap is formed by a transverse slit through the folded section.

8. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 1 wherein the sidewall is pleated.

9. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 2 wherein the headband includes a foldable flap at one end thereof, said flap being adapted to fold over the top margin of the overlapping opposing ends of the headband to facilitate sliding assembly of the free ends of the headband.

10. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 1 wherein the top of the hat is held in a closed shape by a device for holding overlapping parts of the hat together.

11. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 10 wherein said device is an adhesive.

12. An open top fully adjustable disposable chef's hat comprising: a. an upright sidewall adapted to be formed into a closed generally curvilinear shape, b. an adjustable headband attached to the lower part of the sidewall and adapted to adjustably fit a range of head sizes by telescopically engaging the free ends of the headband, c. a foldable stiffening flap fixed to the upper part of the sidewall, said flap being fixed to the outside surface of the sidewall and folded over the top margin of the sidewall to lay against the interior surface of the sidewall when it is formed into a closed shape, and said sidewall being folded along a line extending parallel to the top margin of the sidewall, said fold line being proximate said top margin of the sidewall, whereby the flap is entirely positioned within the interior of the hat when the sidewall is formed into said curvilinear shape.

13. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 12 wherein the headband includes a foldable flap at one end thereof, said flap being adapted to fold over the top margin of the overlapping opposing ends of the headband to facilitate telescoping assembly of the free ends of the headband.

14. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 13 wherein the foldable flap extends from the top margin of the headband and is adapted to fold over the top margin of the opposing end of the headband.

15. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 12 wherein the sidewall is pleated.

16. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 13 wherein the headband includes a longitudinally extending folded section at the top thereof and the foldable flap is formed by a transverse slit through the folded section.

17. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 12 wherein the top of the hat is held in a closed shape by a device for holding overlapping parts of the hat together.

18. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 17 wherein said device is an adhesive.

19. An open top fully adjustable disposable chef's hat comprising: a. an upright sidewall adapted to be formed into a closed generally curvilinear shape, b. an adjustable headband attached to the lower part of the sidewall and adapted to adjustably fit a range of head sizes by overlapping engagement of the free ends of the headband, c. a stiffening flap fixed to the upper part of the sidewall and projecting above the top margin of the sidewall, d. a fold line in said sidewall extending generally parallel to the top margin of the sidewall, said fold line being proximate the top margin of the sidewall, and said sidewall being foldable along said fold line to cause the stiffening flap to project into the interior of the hat when the sidewall is formed into a curvilinear shape.

20. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 19 wherein the headband includes a foldable flap at one end thereof, said flap being adapted to fold over the top margin of the overlapping opposing ends of the headband to facilitate telescoping assembly of the free ends of the headband.

21. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 20 wherein the foldable flap extends from the top margin of the headband and is adapted to fold over the top margin of the opposing end of the headband.

22. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 19 wherein the sidewall is pleated.

23. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 21 wherein the headband includes a longitudinally extending folded section at the top thereof and the foldable flap is formed by a transverse slit through the folded section.

24. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 19 wherein the top of the hat is held in a closed shape by a device for holding overlapping parts of the hat together.

25. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 24 wherein said device is an adhesive.

26. An open top fully adjustable disposable chef's hat comprising: a. an upright sidewall adapted to be formed into a closed generally curvilinear shape, b. an adjustable headband attached to the lower part of the sidewall and adapted to adjustably fit a range of head sizes by telescopically engaging the free ends of the headband, c. a stiffening flap affixed to the interior side of the upper part of the sidewall, d. a fold line extending parallel to the top margin of the sidewall, said fold line being proximate the top margin of the sidewall, whereby a top portion of the sidewall is foldable into the interior of the hat to bring the flap adjacent the interior side of the sidewall when the sidewall is formed into a closed curvilinear shape.

27. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 26 wherein the headband includes a foldable flap at one end thereof, said flap being adapted to fold over the top margin of the overlapping opposing ends of the headband to facilitate telescoping assembly of the free ends of the headband.

28. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 27 wherein the foldable flap extends from the top margin of the headband and is adapted to fold over the top margin of the opposing end of the headband.

29. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 26 wherein the sidewall is pleated.

30. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 27 wherein the headband includes a longitudinally extending folded section at the top thereof and the foldable flap is formed by a transverse slit through the folded section.

31. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 26 wherein the top of the hat is held in a closed shape by a device for holding overlapping parts of the hat together.

32. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 31 wherein said device is an adhesive.

33. An open top fully adjustable disposable chef's hat comprising: a. an upright sidewall adapted to be formed into a closed generally curvilinear shape, b. an adjustable headband attached to the lower part of the sidewall and adapted to adjustably fit a range of head sizes by telescopically engaging the free ends of the headband, c. at least one fold line extending parallel to the top margin of the sidewall, said fold line being proximate the top margin of the sidewall, whereby a top section of the sidewall is folded into the interior of the hat adjacent the interior sidewall of the hat when the hat is formed into a closed curvilinear shape thereby stiffening the top portion of the hat.

34. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 33 wherein the headband includes a foldable flap at one end thereof, said flap being adapted to fold over the top margin of the overlapping opposing ends of the headband to facilitate telescoping assembly of the free ends of the headband.

35. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 34 wherein the foldable flap extends from the top margin of the headband and is adapted to fold over the top margin of the opposing end of the headband.

36. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 33 wherein the sidewall is pleated.

37. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 33 wherein the headband includes a longitudinally extending folded section at the top thereof and a foldable flap is formed by a transverse slit through the folded section.

38. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 33 wherein the top of the hat is held in a closed shape by an adhesive.

39. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 33 wherein there are two spaced apart fold lines extending parallel to the top margin of the sidewall both proximate the top margin to define two sections foldable into the interior of the hat and to lie against the inside surface of the sidewall with the top most section being folded to lie between the two sections and directly against the surface of the sidewall.

40. An open top fully adjustable disposable chef's hat comprising: a. an upright pleated sidewall adapted to formed into a closed generally curvilinear shape, b. an adjustable headband attached to the lower part of the sidewall and adapted to adjustably fit a range of head sizes by overlapping engagement of the free ends of the headband, and c. a stiffening strip fixed to the upper part of the sidewall.

41. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 40 wherein the headband includes a foldable flap at one end thereof, said flap being adapted to fold over the top margin of the overlapping opposing ends of the headband to facilitate telescoping assembly of the free ends of the headband.

42. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 41 wherein the foldable flap extends from the top margin of the headband and is adapted to fold over the top margin of the opposing end of the headband.

43. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 41 wherein the headband includes a longitudinally extending folded section at the top thereof and the foldable flap is formed by a transverse slit through the folded section.

44. An open top chef's hat in accordance with claim 40 wherein at least one adhesive strip is provided proximate the top margin of the hat to hold overlapped ends of the top margin of the hat in an assembled condition.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a disposable chef's hat, and more particularly to an open top fully adjustable paper chef's hat. The classic chef's hat includes a headband, a pleated sidewall and is closed at the top. Disposable paper chef's hats are principally made of paper or paper equivalents. Reusable chef's hats are principally made of cloth. The present invention is directed to a disposable chefs hat that can be shipped flat but readily assembled into a neat looking hat that is fully adjustable top and bottom.

[0002] A problem with current disposable paper or paper equivalent chef's hat is that it is best assembled into its primary shape before being shipped to the user. The circular top or crown of the hat is fixed to the top edge of the generally cylindrical sidewall, and the adjustable headband is fixed to the bottom edge of the sidewall. The crown serves to reinforce the sidewall which, without structure at the top edge, presents an unsightly wavy appearance. However, an assembled disposable chef's hat occupies a significant volume when packed for shipping even if the hats are nested one partly inside the other. Since shipping costs are generally determined by volume, the cost of the classic chefs hat to the user is increased as compared to other kinds of disposable hats that are shipped flat. Flat pack chef's hats have heretofore been proposed but they generally are overly difficult for the user to assemble or do not present a neat appearance. Therefore it is desirable to provide a construction for a disposable chef's hat that can be shipped flat and yet be readily assembled by the user into a neat looking hat when it is to be worn.

[0003] In a closed chef's hat, that is one made with crown, only the headband is adjustable. A disposable chef's hat that is fully adjustable from the top of the hat to the adjustable headband can be desirable. Such a construction, however, implies omission of the crown from the hat. But, as noted above, a chef's hat has a relatively tall sidewall with an unsightly wavy look if the top edge is not reinforced by a crown piece. In addition, forming the sidewall into a neat looking chef's hat can be difficult because the pleats or corrugations in the sidewall tend to catch as they slide past each other during formation of the sidewall into a closed curvilinear, preferably oval or cylindrical, shape. Moreover, the absence of a structure at the top edge of the sidewall potentially presents an unsightly appearance by leaving the opposed ends of the sidewall separated in part. Still another problem is the difficulty of readily fitting the ends of the headband into a telescoping relationship for adjustable fit of the hat to a user's head. It is to be noted that the people who wear chef's hats for the most part do not want to spend more than the absolute minimum amount of time assembling them. Therefore ready assembly into a neat chef's hat structure is to be desired.

[0004] These and other problems are resolved by the disposable chef's hat described herein.

[0005] The problems associated with providing a disposable chef's hat that can be shipped flat have been addressed by others. U.S. Pat. No. 4,068,319 discloses a disposable high-walled chef's hat with an integral crown that can be folded into a substantially flat compact form for convenient space-saving storage and shipment. The hat sidewall structure is folded upon itself along the fold lines 27 and 28 for shipment as a flat compact unit.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 4,398,305 discloses a chef's hat with a headband attached to the lower edge of a corrugated sidewall and a shape-sustaining crown piece at the upper edge. The chef's hat is shipped flat as shown in FIG. 4 of the patent. The crown piece is fitted into the top upon assembly by the user.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is directed to an open top fully adjustable chef's hat preferably made of paper or a paper equivalent. The hat comprises an upright sidewall, preferably pleated, adapted to be formed into a closed generally curvilinear shape. An adjustable headband is attached to the lower part of the sidewall and adapted to adjustably fit a range of head sizes. A reinforcing flap is attached to the upper part of the sidewall with the free marginal edge of the flap adapted to be folded over into the interior of the hat. The free ends of the flap are adapted for overlapping telescoping fit of one end of the flap within the other. A flap is provided on the headband to facilitate assembly of one end of the headband inside the other.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings embodiments which are presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

[0009] In the drawings:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled open top adjustable paper chef's hat embodying the present invention;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a prospective view of a partly assembled hat;

[0012] FIG. 3 is an elevation view of the assembled hat as observed from one side;

[0013] FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the exterior side of the hat structure;

[0014] FIG. 5 is an elevation view of the interior side of the hat structure;

[0015] FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the pleated sidewall of the hat taken along the line of 6-6 in FIG. 5;

[0016] FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the hat taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 3;

[0017] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the hat;

[0018] FIG. 8a is a partial sectional view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 8 showing the stiffening flap in its assembled position;

[0019] FIG. 9 is a partial sectional view of the top portion of the hat showing still another embodiment of the invention;

[0020] FIG. 10 is a partial sectional view of the top portion of the hat showing yet another embodiment of the invention;

[0021] FIG. 11 is a partial perspective view of the top portion of the hat showing a fourth embodiment of the invention;

[0022] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the hat shown in FIG. 11;

[0023] FIG. 13 is a partial perspective view of another embodiment of the chef's hat; and

[0024] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the assembled chef's hat shown in FIG. 13.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0025] Certain terminology may be used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The words “top,” “bottom,” “upper” and “lower” designate directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words “inwardly” and “outwardly” refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the hat and designated parts thereof. The terminology includes the words above specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import.

[0026] Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is shown in FIG. 1 a perspective view of an open top adjustable disposable paper chef's hat in accordance with the present invention indicated generally as 10. The hat includes an adjustable headband 12, an upright sidewall 14, and a folded stiffening top flap 16 to be explained in more detail below.

[0027] The wall 14 is preferably made from paper folded into pleats 18 as shown in FIG. 6. Each pleat may, for example be 1¼ inch wide with a {fraction (3/16)} inch overlap. The exposed part of the pleat is approximately {fraction (5/16)} inch wide. The wall 14 may be of different heights as aesthetically desired; for example but not limitation, 15 inch, 10 inch, 9 inch, and 7 inch. As shown in FIG. 5, the pleats are preferably held in a flattened state by top and bottom tapes 20 and 22 adhesively attached to what will become the inner surface 24 of the pleated wall 14 when the hat is assembled. Tape 22 is preferably located at the bottom marginal edge of the wall 14 to provide a smooth surface so that the pleated surface will not irritate the head of a wearer. As constructed, the wall 14 is adopted to be formed upon assembly into a generally closed, curvilinear configuration such as for example a cylinder or oval shape that will conform to the shape of the head of a human user.

[0028] Although a pleated construction is preferred, the sidewall 14 can be corrugated or even a smooth uninterrupted surface with simulated pleats imprinted thereon.

[0029] The adjustable headband 12 is adhesively affixed to the outer or exterior surface 26 of the wall 14 adjacent to its bottom marginal edge 44. Headband 12 is preferably a unitary piece of paper comprised of three sections. Headband 12 is divided into three sections 28, 30 and 32 by fold lines 34 and 36. Section 28 is affixed to the wall 14 and depends downwardly below the lower edge 44 of the wall 14. The upper free edge 29 of section 28 extends well above the lower marginal edge 44 of sidewall 14, for example about 1½ inch, and is not attached to the outer surface 26 of wall 14. This is accomplished by applying a narrow band of adhesive (not shown) adjacent to the lower edge of wall 14 so that an upper portion of section 28 extends freely above the lower edge 44 of the sidewall 14. In practice this free part of section 28 will lie against wall 14 but can be pulled away from it during assembly of the hat 10 as explained below. Section 30 of headband 12 is formed by a fold line 34 that extends longitudinally parallel to the bottom edge 44 of wall 14. Section 32 is formed by longitudinal fold line 36 that extends parallel to fold line 34. Sections 28 and 30 are of equal width, for example 3 inch, although section 30 may be slightly wider than section 28 so as to fully cover section 28 when the headband 12 is folded to form the same. Section 32 is divided into two parts by cut line 40 so as to form the flap 42. Flap 42 is about 3¼ inch in length and serves the purpose described below.

[0030] Headband 12 is formed in the following manner. Section 32 and flap 42 are folded along fold line 36 so as to lie against section 30. Section 30 is folded along fold line 34 so as to bring sections 30 and 32 into opposing juxtaposition with section 28. Section 32 is therefore positioned between sections 28 and 30. See FIG. 2.

[0031] As shown in FIG. 4, top flap 16 is a paper stiffening strip comprised of two sections, 46 and 48, divided by longitudinal fold line 50. Fold line 50 is preferably a perforated fold line for ease of folding during assembly. Section 48 is substantially wider than section 46. For example, section 48 is about 1⅛ inch wide and section 46 is about ¾ inch wide. Section 46 is adhesively attached to the top of the outer surface 26 of sidewall 14 so that the fold line 50 is above (e.g. ¼″) the top edge of wall 14. Section 48 is folded to lie against the inner surface 24 of wall 14.

[0032] Hat 10 is assembled for use in the following manner. The hat 10 is preferably shipped flat with the headband 12 and top flap folded as described above. The hat is removed from its container and is formed into a curvilinear shape by bringing the two free ends 51 and 52 of the sidewall 14 and attached top flap 16 and headband 12 into overlapping juxtaposition. See FIGS. 2, 1 and 7. The end of headband that is not provided with the flap 42 overlies the outer surface 26 of pleated sidewall 14 with the headband being positioned to lie between sections 28 and 30 which is pulled slightly apart to make the connection. The amount of overlap of the two free ends is preferably greater than the length of flap 42. To complete the assembly of hat 10, flap 42, which folds independently of section 32 on account of cut 40, is simply lifted and folded over the opposing free end of headband 12 so as to overlie the other end of section 32 and lie between section 32 and section 28 of the headband. See FIG. 7. Pressure on the headband from the wearer locks the headband in position.

[0033] Next the overlapping part of section 48 is folded over the opposing end of section 48 to lock the top of sidewall 14 in place. Now the two overlapping ends of the wall 14 can slide with respect to each other to provide for adjustment of the hat to fit different head sizes. A unique attribute of the hat 10 is that it is fully and easily adjustable to just about any head size from the smallest woman's head to the largest man's head including accommodation for thick hair styles.

[0034] The chef's hat construction described above has several advantages some of which have been previously mentioned. The hat can be shipped flat and readily assembled by the user. It is estimated that 200 hats can be shipped in the same size container that would carry only 100 assembled and stacked chef's hats. The hat is fully adjustable top and bottom. The presence of top flap 16 which folds over the overlapped opposing end of the pleated sidewall serves multiple functions. The top flap 16 reinforces the top of the sidewall to prevent an undesirable wavy look that would be present in a paper chefs hat that has only a sidewall. Moreover, the fold over flap construction of the top flap holds the hat in a desired closed, curvilinear shape. The flap 42 on the headband facilitates ready assembly by the user because there is no need to slide two telescoping parts together. Instead they can be readily hooked or telescoped together and then locked in a sliding relationship by the flap 42 for adjustable head size fit. The overlapping pleats do not interfere with the ability of the headband to be adjusted for proper fit. The construction described herein provides a wider headband extending above the hairline. The use of a wider headband reduces the amount of pleated paper that must be used. The absence of a top or crown makes the hat cooler to wear in a kitchen or bakery.

[0035] It should be noted that the hat is shown in a cylindrical configuration but it need not be restricted to that configuration. Because that hat 10 is fully adjustable top to bottom it can be assembled into any one of various configurations as desired. For example, the top of the hat can be formed with a smaller diameter than the headband. In this case the hat will have a frusto-conical look. Alternatively, the top of the hat can be assembled into a larger diameter than the headband in which case the hat will have an inverted frusto-conical look. An adhesive, adhesive tape or other joining device is best used to retain the hat in these non-regular shapes. For example, the top flap 16 can be provided with an adhesive tape 54 with a removable backer for selective use. Selection of shape is achieved because the hat 10 is fully adjustable. Hats that are fixed at the top because of the presence of a crown tend to distort in shape especially when worn by a person having a large head size or a great deal of hair. That problem is not present in the hat 10.

[0036] As noted above, the hat 10 is preferably shipped flat; that is with the headband 12 and flap 16 formed but not shaped into a cylindrical hat structure as shown in FIG. 1. Yet because the hat 10 has no crown, it can also be fully assembled and then folded flat with a crease at diametrically opposite sides. When worn the hat will have a front and rear crease in it. But all of the other advantages of the hat will remain including top to bottom adjustability.

[0037] FIGS. 8 and 8a show an alternative and preferred construction for the flap 16. Since the headband 12 and the sidewall 14 remain unchanged, only the flap construction is shown and discussed. As shown, wall 14 is provided with a folded section 60 adjacent its top marginal edge 62. Section 60 is defined by fold line 64 which preferably is a line of microperforations extending parallel to the top edge 62 about 1 inch below the edge. Flap 66 is a strip of stiffening paper about 1 inch wide attached to the outer surface 26 of section 60 by glue or equivalent adhesive material. Flap 66 preferably extends the full length of wall 14 along its top marginal edge 62. Flap 66 is provided with a fold line 68 defined by a line of microperforations extending intermediate and parallel to longitudinal edges of the flap. Fold line 68 is positioned parallel to and at or slightly above the top marginal edge 62 of sidewall 14.

[0038] Assembly of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8 and 8a is effected as follows. The flap 66 is folded along fold line 68 toward the interior of wall 14 so as to divide it into two sections 70 and 72. Section 72 is brought against the inner surface 24 of the wall thus covering at least part of the inner surface of section 60. Section 60 is then folded along fold line 64 toward the inner surface of wall 14 so as to bring section 72 of flap 66 flush against the inner surface of wall 14. The flap 66 can be adhesively or otherwise fixed in position. However, it is not necessary to fix flap 66 in position since when the hat is assembled the coverature of the wall 14 will hold the flap in illustrated folded position. The top portion of the hat is assembled by hooking one end of the flap 66 and section 60 over the other end of the flap and section when they are brought together. By this construction the flap 66 is hidden from view when the assembled hat is worn. Thus only the pleats or simulated pleats can be seen. Of course, the headband is assembled as described above.

[0039] FIG. 9 shows still another embodiment of the hat 10. In this embodiment, the flap 66′ is a plain strip of stiffening paper without the fold line 68. It is attached to the outer surface 26 of wall 14 within section 60. Section 60 is folded to bring flap 66′ flush against inner surface 24 of wall 14. While this structure is effective to stiffen the top of the hat, it is not as strong as the structure shown in FIGS. 8 and 8a because the stiffening strip is not folded over to effectively double its thickness thereby enhancing its stiffening capability. Headband 12 and wall 14 are not shown because they are the same as the structures shown in FIGS. 1-7.

[0040] FIG. 10 shows yet another embodiment of the hat where the flap 66″ is a stiffening strip attached preferably by glue or equivalent adhesive to the inner surface 24 of section 60. The flap 66″ preferably extends the full length of the wall 14 on the inner surface of section 60. Section 60 is defined by the fold line 64 about which the section is folded when the hat is assembled. Flap 66″ acts as a stiffener for the top wall 14 in the same manner as flap 66′ but is not as strong as flap 66 which is folded to provide a double thickness for the same weight paper. In each embodiment, the flap 16, 66, 66′ and 66″ is preferably rigid paper but plainly other inexpensive materials can be used to stiffen the top of the wall 14 without departing from the spirit of the invention. Headband 12 and wall 14 are not shown because they are the same as the structures shown in FIGS. 1-7.

[0041] An advantage of the embodiments of the invention shown in FIGS. 8, 8a and 9 is that ease of manufacturing is enhanced by attaching the stiffening flap to the outer surface 26 because the headband 12 is attached to that same surface. In this way both the headband and the flap can be attached to wall 14 simultaneously or, if attached sequentially, without the need to reverse the wall 14 during the manufacturing process. Another advantage of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 8, 8a and 9 is the hat exhibits less distortion after assembly.

[0042] FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate yet another embodiment of the chef's hat. In this embodiment no separate stiffening strip is used. Rather, the sidewall 14 of the hat (preferably pleated) is provided with fold lines 66 and 68 which, preferably, take the form of lines of micro-perforations of the wall material, preferably paper. The fold lines 66 and 68 extend parallel to the top margin 62 of the wall 14 thus defining two sections 70 and 72 proximate the top of the sidewall. To assemble the hat, section 72 is folded over at fold line 68 to lay against the interior surface of section 70. Section 70 is folded toward the interior surface 24 of the wall 12 thus bringing section 72 to a position flush with the wall and creating a three layer thick stiffening section at the top of the wall. In this manner the structure of the wall 14 is tripled in thickness to thus provide the requisite stiffening at the top of the hat when the wall is assembled into its curvilinear shape. See FIG. 12.

[0043] It should be noted that in some circumstances only section 70 need be used. This will provide a double thickness of the wall material, which may be sufficient if the paper or other material from which the wall is made is sufficiently thick to stiffen the top of the hat. As shown in FIG. 12, the opposed ends of sections 70 and 72 can be hooked one over the other or telescopically fitted together to bring the top of the hat into the desired diameter position. Adhesive can be used to fix the two ends of sections 70 or 72 together when they are held in the desired position. However, because sections 70 and 72 are folded into the interior of the curvilinear shape, they will ordinarily stay in position without the need for use of an adhesive or other device to fix them in position. Section 70 is preferably about 1 to 1½ inches wide. Section 72 is slightly narrower so it can be folded under section 70. Headband 12 is the same as the headband used with the other embodiments of this invention.

[0044] Referring again to the drawings, FIGS. 13 and 14 illustrate an embodiment of the invention wherein the top of the sidewall 14 is reinforced by a strip of stiffening material 80 attached by glue or other adhesive material to the inside surface 24 of the sidewall. Strip 80 is preferably made of paper but could be made of equivalent material such as plastic, and is from about 1 inch to 1½ inches wide. Stiffening strip 80 extends the entire length of sidewall 14 from one to the other end. As shown, a headband 12 is attached to the bottom of the sidewall 14. Headband 12 preferably has the same construction as headband 12 illustrated and described in FIGS. 1-7. Sidewall 14 is preferably pleated.

[0045] The absence of a folded over structure at the top of sidewall 14 as shown in the other embodiments of the chef's hat described herein leaves the top margin 82 of the sidewall 14 exposed and therefore presents a rough looking edge. While the appearance of the rough looking edge is not particularly desirable, it may be acceptable to those willing to accept a lower cost alternative to the other embodiments of the hat.

[0046] The chef's hat shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 is provided with short lengths of spaced apart adhesive tape 84 and 86 proximate the top portion of the hat. Adhesive tapes 84 and 86 hold the overlapped ends of strip 80 together. Adhesive tapes 84, 86 or equivalent are desirable since there is no interlocking or telescoping of the folded portion of the hat to hold the ends together such as is provided in the other embodiments of the chef's hat described herein. A piece of tape 88 is provided on the interior surface of one end of the headband 12 to hold the ends of the headband in position and further enhance controlled contour of the sidewall 14, especially at the top. Each of the short lengths of tape 84, 86 and 88 is preferably provided with a releasable protective cover for removal and exposure of the adhesive when the hat is assembled. It is intended that the hat be shipped flat in its packaging for assembly by the user.

[0047] It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.