Title:
Collar-ring to improve comfort and tie position on a shirt
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A specialty stiffening element is added to the circumference of a shirt collar so as to provide a neat appearance to a shirt that employs a tie. In addition to making this neat appearance, this device permits a looser wearing of the shirt and tie thus providing more comfort for the user.



Inventors:
Kozlarek, Norman A. (Oak Lawn, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/868018
Publication Date:
03/31/2005
Filing Date:
06/16/2004
Assignee:
KOZLAREK NORMAN A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B1/14; (IPC1-7): A41D27/06; A41C1/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUTTON, ANDREW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephen W. White (Sunapee, NH, US)
Claims:
1. A shirt having a body section and a neck section, said neck section comprising a collar, said collar having an outer surface and a neck-contacting inner surface, said outer surface comprising a foldable band connected to a pair of pointed ends and a closing means to close said collar and neck section around a neck of a user so that when said foldable band is folded down, and said closing means are closed, said pointed ends point down said body section of said shirt and said neck-containing inner surface fits snugly about said neck, the improvement comprising providing a slot between said outer surface and said inner surface under one of said pointed ends and a stiffening element inserted into said slot.

2. The shirt of claim 1 wherein said stiffening element is plastic.

3. The shirt of claim 2 wherein said stiffening element is about ⅛th to ½ inches in width and is inserted in a slot located on one side of said closing means and ending on the other end thereof.

4. The shirt of claim 1 wherein a slot is provided inside the neck section of said shirt and said stiffening element is inserted therein.

5. The shirt of claim 1 wherein in a tie is added thereto.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to shirts and more specifically to men's dress shirts. Still more specifically, this invention relates to the collars of such shirts and to a method for improvement in the comfort and tie positioning thereon when a tie is employed. Even more specifically, this invention relates to an easy method for achieving such comfort and tie position and one that can either be installed within existing shirts or manufactured directly into new shirts. Additionally, this invention relates to such a method that when present within new shirts will serve to amplify and properly present the shirt to the prospective buyer thereof. Still more specifically, this invention relates to a shirt-tie system that can be used for extreme comfort in that one can buy a shirt one size larger than normal and still employ a tie neatly displayed.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Shirts, particularly men's dress shirts, are designed to hold a dress tie around the collar and down the front of the shirt. For this purpose, one normally desires that the collar feel comfortable after the tie is tied and that the tie knot fit firmly between the two collar ends. Since the neck of the user is not perfectly round, the collar, having been manufactured in a perfect circle, does not always fit quite right. Additionally, if the tie is pulled up too tightly, unsightly wrinkles can occur and there can be more discomfort for the user.

Prior art elements have been designed to assist the user in having a perfect fit and to hold the collar ends in good alignment. For example, Millican et al. in U.S. Pat. No. 5,274,853 describes a method for improving collar fit by offering a series of buttons and button holes so that the user can adjust the fit for their perfect neck size. Their so-called size-adjustable shirt collar can be used for persons who have shirt collar sizes intermediate to the normally offered commercial sizes. However, this invention does not address the way the collar sits around the neck nor to any problems associated with the use of a tie therewith.

There are a plethora of inventions relating to the holding of the collar ends in good alignment with the shirt as worn. These so-called “collar stays” are usually inserted within the collar ends via small slits and sleeves attached to the underside of each collar end. The “stays” are usually made from a plastic such as celluloid and the like and will hold the collar ends down. They are generally removed during the washing of the shirt and do nothing to address the matter of the tie adjustment and possible bunching around the neck when wearing a tie. Typical references describing such collar-stays are Wendell et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,169,753 and Gilson, U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,422 among many others.

Other shape retaining collar elements are fully described in Malouf. Jr., U.S. Pat. No. 4,286,337 and much older elements wherein the collar was removable are described in Lohnes, et al., U.S. Pat No. 798,890.

Still other shirt-tie elements employ the so-called “clip-on tie” that is pre-tied and can be clipped on after the shirt is buttoned up. This element does nothing to improve the fit or feel of the collar itself.

Since none of these prior art elements can particularly solve the problems of neck comfort and tie placement and fit there is a pressing need to provide an element that will perform all of these functions easily and comfortably and can be used either as an add-on after the shirt is manufactured or made into the shirt collar itself during manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of this invention to provide an element that can be used around the inside of a collar of a shirt and will assist the wearer in achieving the utmost comfort during the wearing thereof, especially when a tie is used in conjunction thereto. It is yet another object to provide such an easily used element that can be manufactured within the shirt and thus provide collar stiffness during the sale thereof or can be added later on an existing shirt.

These an yet other objects are achieved in a shirt having a body section and a neck section, said neck section comprising a collar, said collar having an outer surface and a neck-contacting inner surface, said outer surface comprising a foldable band connected to a pair of pointed ends and a closing means to close said collar and neck section around a neck of a user so that when said foldable band is folded down, and said closing means are closed, said pointed ends point down said body section of said shirt and said neck-containing inner surface fits snugly about said neck, the improvement comprising providing a slot between said outer surface and said inner surface and a stiffening element inserted into said slot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The figures attached hereto are designed to show particularly preferred embodiments of this invention and this invention but we are not limited to the showings contained therein.

FIG. 1 is a detailed showing of a collar of a dress shirt wherein the slot designed to hold the stiffening element around the inside of the shirt collar and against the neck is described.

FIG. 2 is a detailed showing of the collar from FIG. 2 closed down as it might be worn or displayed.

FIG. 3 is another showing similar to FIG. 2 but with a tie used with the closed collar of this invention.

FIG. 4 is yet another embodiment of FIG. 1 showing another inner, neck-connecting surface.

FIG. 5 is still another embodiment wherein the slot into which the stiffening element is inserted is contained at the rear of the inner portion of the collar arrangement.

DETAILS OF THE INVENTION

Looking now specifically at the drawings, FIG. 1 is a showing of a collar from a men's dress shirt, for example, where the entire collar is shown open and exposed as 1. The two pointed ends of the collar are shown as 2 and 3 and the inside of the collar, the portion that fits around the neck of the wearer, as 4. A closure device to close the collar around the neck is shown as a button 5 and a button hole 6. A slot opening 7 is designed to hold a stiffening agent 8 shown by dotted lines as inserted with the slot via slot opening 7. Vertically sewn in stops are shown by dotted lines 9 and 10. Conventionally, the spacing between stops 9 and 10 and the ends of the neck-contacting surface of the collar is about 1¼ to 2 inches. The stiffening agent 8 is conventionally about ⅛th to ½ inches in width. When this collar is folded down, the pointed ends 2 and 3 will point in a downward position against the body of the shirt (not shown in this drawing).

FIG. 2 shows in more detail the collar from FIG. 1. In this particular showing all of the elements from FIG. 1 can be seen but in the closed position. The slot 7 leading to a pocket within which the stiffening agent 8 is inserted can be seen holding the collar neatly around the wearer's neck (not shown herein). The closure device is shown with the button 5 put within the button hole 6 so as to close the collar around the neck. An information (size, manufacturer's info) label is shown as 11.

FIG. 3 is similar to FIG. 2 except for the addition of a tie. In this particular drawing all of the elements from the previous drawings are shown. In addition a tie 12 is shown with the knot 13 drawn up into the neck closure. Other elements 14 of the tie are around the neck. When the knot is closed up into the closure device the stiffening element serves to keep the collar neat and without bunches thus giving cultured look with the tie firmly ensconced in the “V” portion of the collar formed by the closure device. Since the stiffening device holds the collar in this circular manner the appearance and comfort to the user are apparent.

FIG. 4 is another embodiment of the drawing from FIG. 1. In this particular drawing, the neck-contacting inner surface of the collar is somewhat different than that shown in FIG. 1 and thus a “pocket” 15 is sewn on the inner surface to hold the stiffening element 8. All else remains the same.

In yet another embodiment of the collar ring element useful within the ambit of this invention, FIG. 5 shows the stiffening element 8 insertable within the back portion of the inner surface of the collar 16 through a slot 17. In this figure, the stiffening element 8 enters slot 17 along the dotted lines 18 and 18a. The stiffening element can be inserted in order to surround the entire neck area 19 and will be stopped at 20 and 20a. The collar itself is shown ending at collar points 3 and 4 with the collar button shown as 5 and button hole as 6. In this particular embodiment the collar ring can easily be inserted prior to use and provides a neat, comfortable use for the wearer.

As one can clearly see from the drawings and as exemplified by this specification, the stiffening device of this invention permits the user to have the collar sit snugly and circumferentially around the user's neck even when a tie is employed. In point of fact, the tie can be snugly fitted to the user's neck without discomfort that may occur without the device of this invention. It prevents over-tightening the knot and thus possibly bunching up of the collar. Additionally, the device of this invention can be used with new shirts in order to display them neatly within the store. Most new shirts are folded in a manner such that the collar is displayed so one can view not only the color but also how the collar looks. The correct sizing of the shirt is normally displayed within the interior of the collar and this is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 as number 11. These shirts offered for sale employ a plurality of elements to stiffen and display the collar suitably. These normally include a plethora of pins, cardboard and plastic pieces among others. By utilizing the stiffening element of my invention, most of this other material, which normally gets thrown away when the shirt is opened up for use the first time, is not required thus offering the manufacturer of the shirt a savings in time and materials. They only need insert the requisite stiffening member and fold up the shirt for display and the collar will stay in a proper display.

The stiffening member inserted within the slot in order to stiffen up the collar that sits circumferentially around the neck may be made of any of the normal materials used in the prior art including plastics and colloids, etc. Since it is inserted within the slot it can be removed to wash and iron the shirt in a manner similar to that used to stiffen collar ends (e.g. collar-stays). If one owns a shirt that was not manufactured with such an element present, it is easy enough to simply add the slot on an existing shirt and to then purchase the requisite stiffening element.

I envision that a number of stiffening elements might be used within the ambit of my invention depending on the size of the user's neck. Thus, a larger neck might employ a longer stiffening element therein and a shorter one would then be used for a smaller neck.

Thus, the device of my invention can be used to easily and neatly insure that the collar of a dress shirt sits down comfortably around the neck of the user. The device of my invention can be used both for the comfort of the user and the display of the tie but also can be used by the manufacturer to insure that the shirt is properly opened for display in the store.