Title:
Apparatus and method for sizing and fitting garments
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sample garment is provided for fitting an individual interested in selecting a garment. The garment includes an inner surface, an outer surface, a slit defining a left panel and a right panel, and a fitting panel extending from the inner surface of one of the left and right panels. The fitting panel includes rows of a first fitting attachment, and at least one row of a second fitting attachment, whereby a single garment is readily adaptable for providing a proper fit for individuals of different sizes.



Inventors:
Yin, Kyle (South Barrington, IL, US)
Ling, Chuang Shu (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
11/063933
Publication Date:
06/30/2005
Filing Date:
02/23/2005
Assignee:
Jasmine Enterprises, Inc., a corporation of the State of Illinois
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/22; A41H1/10; (IPC1-7): A41D1/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030061650Garment for controlling body temperature during physical activitiesApril, 2003Emanuel
20070192926Rapid intervention rescue harnessAugust, 2007Fee et al.
20060253955Perspiration absorbing deviceNovember, 2006Kratsa et al.
20090113598CYCLIST TROUSERS WITH PROTECTION PADMay, 2009Maier
20090229035Glove with memory foam insertsSeptember, 2009Van Hale
20070266477Hat with retractable accessory attachmentsNovember, 2007Cunliffe
20080289089Drag harness with multiple gripping locationsNovember, 2008Grilliot et al.
20100095423MAGNETIC FLIP OPERABLE BIBApril, 2010Lucas
20070226882Sports eye protectorOctober, 2007Ryan
20050108803Clothing for alzheimer's patientsMay, 2005Ballard
20050273906Visor using soft and hard materialsDecember, 2005Kim



Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Micah R. Onixt (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
1. 1-18. (canceled)

19. A method of fitting and sizing a sample dress to an individual, the method comprising the steps of: providing a sample dress to be adorned by the individual, the sample having a slit forming a first panel and a second panel; adjusting the position of the second panel with respect to a fitting panel extending from the inner surface of the first panel, until the sample dress provides a proper fit and size for the individual; releasably securing the fitting panel to the second panel by means of selecting one of a row of first fitting attachments located on the first panel, for being releasably coupled to a row of second fitting attachments located on the second panel, wherein the row selection is judged to provide a sufficient taughtness in the fitting panel so as to provide a proper fit and size for the individual.

20. The method of claim 21 further comprising the step of fastening the slit closed.

21. A method of making a sample dress for fitting individuals of various sizes, the method comprising the steps of: cutting and sewing material to provide a sample dress having a slit defining a first panel and a second panel; preparing a fitting panel which includes elastic material and includes a proximate edge and a distal edge; securing a first fitting attachment to the fitting panel the first fitting attachment having multiple rows of connectors; securing the proximate edge of the fitting panel to an inner surface of the first panel; securing at least one row of connectors of a second fitting attachment to the second panel, whereby a single sample dress is readily adaptable for providing a proper fit and size for individuals of different sizes by removably fastening one row of connectors of the first fitting attachment with one row of connectors of the second fitting attachment.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The invention relates generally to garments and, in particular, to an apparatus and method to size and fit formal dresses.

BACKGROUND

People often purchase garments or dresses for special occasions such as weddings, formal events, high school proms and other, similar engagements. Purchasing a formal dress can be a difficult, time consuming and, sometimes, embarrassing process for the customer. Specifically, many such customers find the process of trying on dresses, while being measured and fitted, possibly in front of a room full of other dress customers, humiliating. In addition, these formal dresses are often very expensive. As such, customers ultimately demand that the dress fit to perfection.

For the seller of a dress, the process of dress fitting also is very time consuming. To fit the dress properly, the person selling the dress often must size the wearer, tailor the garment, verify the tailoring and then, if necessary, repeat the process. Moreover, because of the difference in peoples' size and shapes, the dress seller often has to carry multiple sizes of the same dress, which increases the seller's cost and need for storage space.

To address some of these problems, sellers of such garments or dresses, changed the method of dress purchasing by carrying only size sample for fitting purposes and using “extenders” and “clips” to expand or tighten the dress to meet the shape of the customer. The extenders consist of elastic material that attaches to the opening in the back (in place of the zipper or other fastening mechanism) of the dress and allows the tailor or the person fitting the dress to open the dress wider as necessary. The clips also attach to the opening in the back of the dress, but the clips gather or bunch the material so that the tailor can tighten the dress as necessary. In this manner, the tailor attempts to fit the dress by carrying only the one fitting dress, which will substantially reduce the costs and space capacity issues.

Unfortunately, this prior art did not solve all of the existing problems. For example, the normal dress used for the fitting process,.even with the addition of clips and extenders, generally fits people-only four sizes above the dress size and two sizes below. Clearly, this limitation can alienate a large segment of the purchasing public without an option for dress fitting or, to meet this demand, dress sellers are forced to increase their costs and purchase additional fitting dresses—thereby eliminating some of the benefit of the prior art. In addition, for the prior art, the dress seller necessarily has to purchase the extenders and clips, which decreases the overall cost savings.

The prior art also created new problems. By extending the dress or pinching the excess material, the dress gathers and bunches in awkward manners. Specifically, when using the extenders or clips during the fitting process, the front of the dress may fold over itself or the mid-drift may be too snug. In addition, the back of the dress, because of the very nature of the clips and the extenders, will be completely contorted. As such, these devices provide both the tailor and the customer an inaccurate picture of how the dress will fit after tailoring.

Accordingly, it is the object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method to size and fit garments.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an apparatus and method so as to size and fit formal dresses in particular.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method to size and fit formal dresses so that the tailor and customer will have an accurate picture of how the dress will fit after the tailoring process.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method to size and fit formal dresses that is easy and quick to use for the dress seller and reduces the amount of wasted space and inventory.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method to size and fit formal dresses the provides the customer with a greater degree of privacy and modesty during the fitting and tailoring process.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method to size and fit formal dresses that is economical to manufacture.

It is still a further object of the invention to provide an apparatus and method to size and fit formal dresses that is durable and can be used easily by businesses.

Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the remaining portion of the specification.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the apparatus affixes to any garment but, preferably, a dress and, more preferably, a formal dress. The dress has a top, bottom, front and back side and also an inside surface and an outside surface. In the preferred embodiment, the dress will have a slit in the back side and include a fastening mechanism, such as a zipper, buttons or other equivalent device, attached to the slit, which opens or closes the garment; however, in other embodiments, the fastening mechanism can be located in the front or the side of the dress. When the fastening mechanism is in the open position, the back side of the dress will be split into two halves or panels.

On the inside of the panels, the garment will include an adjustable fitting device. In the preferred embodiment, the adjustable fitting device consists of two separate sections of material sewn to the inside of each panel (although other methods to fashion the adjustable device are anticipated).

Each section is made of an elastic type of material (such as lycra or an equivalent). Ideally, the adjustable fitting device includes a fitting attaching means. In the preferred embodiment, the fitting attaching means consists of one row of hooks (on one section of the adjustable device) and opposing rows of matching latches or clasps (on the other section of the adjustable device) of which any one row is capable of engaging the hooks.

Essentially, after a customer puts on the dress, the tailor or the person fitting the customer manipulates the adjustable device so that the dress fits the customer. In other words, the tailor will take each section of the adjustable device and move each section with respect to one another and the customer's body so as to fit the garment on the customer and maneuver the adjustable device to orient the hooks to align with the closed row of clasps. Once the hooks engage the clasps, the tailor can either close or leave open the fastening mechanism.

In this manner, both the customer and the tailor receive an accurate view of how the dress fits because, for example, instead of distorting the dress with clips and extenders as previously done in the prior art, with the present invention, the adjustable device is maneuvered inside the garment around the customer's body. This provides the tailor an easier, faster method of obtaining an accurate fit for the dress. In addition, the customer is much more likely to find the experience pleasant since they also spend less time during the tailoring process and, if other customer's are simultaneously being fitted, the invention allows each customer a greater degree of privacy since the setting of the adjustable device is not obvious (especially in comparison to the prior art clips and extenders).

The following detailed description of embodiments of the invention, taken in conjunction with the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, provide a more complete understanding of the nature and scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a formal dress in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a back perspective view of a formal dress of the present invention, with the slit in the closed position.

FIG. 3 is a back perspective view of the formal dress with the slit in the open position, showing the adjustable fitting means of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a partial'sectional view of the adjustable device of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The garment 10 is illustrated generally in FIG. 1. The garment has a top side 12, a bottom side 14, an outside surface 16, an inside surface 18, a front side 20 and a back side 22. In the preferred embodiment, the garment 10 has a neckline 24, a waistline 26 and a hipline 28. Also in the preferred embodiment, the garment 10 is a formal gown such as a wedding dress. p As seen in FIG. 2, preferably, the garment 10 will have a slit 30 beginning at the neckline 24 down to the hipline 28 on the backside 22 of the garment 10; however, in other embodiments, the slit 30 may be on the front side 20, various other locations in the dress or the garment 10 may not have a slit 30 altogether. The slit 30 ideally will include a fastener portion seen generally at 32 that is preferably a zipper, but can be any similar device as known by one skilled in the art, including buttons. As shown in FIG. 2, the fastener portion 32 is in a closed position. As viewed in FIG. 3, the fastening portion 32 is shown in the open position and has a left fastener portion 38 and a right fastener portion 40.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the preferred embodiment of the garment 10 wherein the preferred embodiment includes a left panel 34 and a right panel 36 on the backside 22 of the garment 10. When the fastening portion 32 is shown in the open position, as seen in FIG. 3, it can be seen that the left panel 34 includes a left panel edge 42 and the right panel 36 includes a right panel edge 44.

As noted previously, the prior art utilize clips and extenders to maneuver the left panel 34 and right panel 36 to accommodate the customer so that the tailor could properly measure the customer's dress size. However, as shown in FIG. 3, the preferred embodiment of this garment 10 includes an adjustable fitting means seen generally at 46. The adjustable fitting means 46 has two sections 48a and 48b. The adjustable fitting means 46 sections 48a and 48b are preferably attached to the inside surface 18 of the left panel 34 and right panel 36, respectively. In the preferred embodiment, the adjustable fitting means 46 sections 48a and 48b will be made of elastic, lycra or some other type of stretchable material.

FIGS. 3 and 4 shows the adjustable fitting means 46 includes a row of hooks 50 on adjustable fitting means 46 section 48a and multiple rows of clasps 52 on adjustable fitting means 46 section 48b; however, the adjustable fitting means 46 can utilize a variety of different attaching mechanisms.

The hooks 50 and the clasps 52 are seen in greater detail in FIG. 4. Specifically, left panel 34 is folded over itself 54 to reveal the hooks 50. Likewise, the right panel 36 is folded over itself 56 to reveal the clasps 52. In this manner, FIG. 4 illustrates how the clasps 52 would engage the hooks 50 as the adjustable fitting means 46 section 48a and 48b are moved towards each other along line 4-4. Ideally, each row of clasps 52 corresponds to a differing garment 10 size. Specifically, the tailor fitting the garment 10 will engage the hooks 50 and the clasps 52, with respect to the customer's body, to determine the proper dress size. The adjustable fitting means 46 is on the inside surface 18 and thereby hidden within the garment 10 and will not distend the garment 10, but rather will provide accurate picture of both the back side 22 and the front side 20 of the garment 10. The invention, therefore, eliminates the malformations created by the prior art clips and extenders and creates a fast, easy to use apparatus to simplify dress tailoring.