Title:
Push-up sports bra
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An athletic sports bra adapted to provide support, shape and elevate the breasts during moderate to strenuous activity. A permanently attached push-up pad with or with out underwire is combined with the features of an athletic sports bra. The push-up pad of the invention when placed in a bra cup looks and feels more natural. The inner cup lining adjacent the skin can be a soft fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin. In an embodiment, a push-up sports bra includes an envelope between the front panel and the rear panel of the bra cups that receives a flexible pouch containing a liquid mixture.



Inventors:
Armstrong, Jeanette J. (Frisco, TX, US)
Crawford, Michele A. (Frisco, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/039035
Publication Date:
07/28/2005
Filing Date:
01/20/2005
Assignee:
ARMSTRONG JEANETTE J.
CRAWFORD MICHELE A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41C3/00; A41C3/10; A41C3/14; (IPC1-7): A41C3/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080125011Uplift BraMay, 2008Gleeson
20090075561Garment with Shielding PanelMarch, 2009Doellefeld
20100015887Brassiere cup and pad structureJanuary, 2010Huang
20060121826BrasserieJune, 2006Nazzaro
20070026767Brassiere having stretchable supportFebruary, 2007Scheininger et al.
20070270078Undergarment with security compartmentNovember, 2007Henry
20080009226Nipple profile suppression deviceJanuary, 2008Mouton
20080229474TAPERED SHIRT WITH INCORPORATED SUPPORT SYSTEM AND METHODSeptember, 2008Fons et al.



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARTIN & ASSOCIATES, LLC (CARTHAGE, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A sports bra comprising: a. a flexible material band; b. a plurality of breast push-up pads disposed on the flexible band.

2. The sports bra according to claim 1, wherein the flexible material band is shaped as a t-top.

3. The sports bra according to claim 1, wherein the flexible material band is integrated with the bra cups in a single bodice shape with straps.

4. The sports bra according to claim 2, wherein the push-up pad further comprises a curved metal stiffening rod placed under the molded cups for support.

5. The sports bra according to claim 1, wherein the push-up pad is permanently attached between an inner fabric layer and an outer fabric layer of the band.

6. The sports bra according to claim 1, wherein the push-up pad is shaped so as to enhance the shape and provide support to the breast.

7. The sports bra according to claim 1, wherein the push-up pad is for placement in a bra cup comprising a front fabric panel, a rear fabric panel, the edge of said panels being joined to form a pocket, a flexible, sealed envelope formed of two edge-sealed films of tough puncture-resistant synthetic resin received in the pocket and an odorless, organic liquid being present in the envelope.

8. The sports bra according to claim 1, further comprising a thin underwire disposed in a channel and biasing said cup upper outer portion inwardly, said underwires biasing said cup upper outer portion inwardly to provide push-up cleavage on the wearer's breasts.

9. The sports bra according to claim 1, further comprising wherein said first material layer comprises at least one element selected from the group consisting of Spandex, cotton, Lycra and nylon.

10. The sports bra according to claim 1, wherein the inner material layer further comprises means to ventilate skin during activity.

11. The sports bra according to claim 1, wherein the band provides support for the bra cups and is covered by a halter-top style covering with straps around the neck.

12. A sports bra comprising: a. a flexible material band; b. a plurality of breast push-up pads disposed inside the flexible band; and c. wherein a front foam layer of the push-up pads extend up beyond the breast area to at least mid-way to the shoulder of a wearer.

13. The sports bra according to claim 13, wherein the flexible material band is shaped as a t-top.

14. The sports bra according to claim 14, wherein the front foam panel extends to the top of the shoulder.

15. The sports bra according to claim 13, wherein the push-up pad further comprises an underwire under the molded cups for support and wherein the underwire is wrapped with at least one foam layer of the bra cups.

16. The sports bra according to claim 13, further comprising a gore between the bra cups to give further lifting support to the bra cups.

17. The sports bra according to claim 13, wherein the push-up pad is for placement in a bra cup comprising a front fabric panel, a rear fabric panel, the edge of said panels being joined to form a pocket, a flexible, sealed envelope formed of two edge-sealed films of tough puncture-resistant synthetic resin received in the pocket and an odorless, organic liquid being present in the envelope.

18. The sports bra according to claim 13, further comprising wherein said first material layer comprises at least one element selected from the group consisting of Spandex, cotton, Lycra and nylon.

19. The sports bra according to claim 13, wherein the inner material layer further comprises means to ventilate skin during activity.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent, Ser. No. 60/349,887, filed Jan. 24, 2004 entitled “A Push-up Sports Bra”, the teachings of which are incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention generally relates to women's active apparel and brassieres. More specifically, a sports bra is disclosed having a unique construction that provides push-up support and style while also providing comfort for moderate to strenuous activity.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Brassieres are worn not only to provide support for women's breasts, but also to enhance the shape of the breasts within the brassieres, including the upper portion of the breasts and the cleavage between the breasts.

Push-up bras are designed to shape and elevate the breasts. Push-up bras usually contain a rubber pad received in a pocket in the lower front panels of the bra cups. The pad is formed by molding into a complex arcuate shape. Rubber pads are both stiff and uncomfortable. Rubber pads also caused insecurity due to straying of the pads. Other push-up bras use a more yielding silicone foam and some use Nylon (polyamide) padding to shape and lift.

Push-up bras with liquid filled envelopes have recently appeared on the market. Push-up bras with liquid filled envelopes have been limited to conventional bras.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Breast support garments include general purpose bras for everyday use, swimsuits and athletic sports bras specifically engineered for support during exercise. Despite the wide variety of bras in the prior art, the need remains for a sports bra which is lightweight, comfortable for strenuous activity and designed to provide a push-in effect which accentuates cleavage. Known athletic sports bras flatten and take away from the natural shape of a women's breast due to the tight supported fit of the bras. This is especially true for small breasted women who like the support of a sports bra, but do not like the flattened appearance. Sports bras differ from conventional bras in that they are designed to be worn as an outer garment—not under other clothing. The style and fabrics used in a conventional bra are significantly different such that using a conventional bra for a sports bra is not socially acceptable.

The present invention introduces athletic sports bras that are adapted to provide support, shape and elevate the breasts during moderate to strenuous activity. The combination of the push-up pad and underwire in a sports bra will help the natural shape and confidence of a smaller breasted woman. As used herein, the term sports bra also means an outer top garment or sports top that includes the features and push-up pads described herein.

In an embodiment of the present invention, a permanently attached push-up pad is combined with the features of an athletic sports bra intended to be worn as an outer garment. The push-up pad of the invention when placed in a bra cup looks and feels more natural. The bra pad eliminates discomfort and insecurity caused by stiff, sharp edged or straying inner pads. The inner cup lining adjacent the skin can be a soft fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin. The push-up pad of the sports bra can be combined with an underwire similar to prior art underwire bras.

In an embodiment of the invention, the push-up pad contains a flexible envelope filled with a mixture of water and an odorless, organic hygroscopic agent in specified proportions providing no unpleasant aroma and little evaporation of water through the film of the envelope.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the preferred embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which the like elements use like reference numerals, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a user wearing a sports bra with a permanently attached push-up pad and underwire according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 2 is a back view of the sports bra according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a user wearing the sports bra with the outer layer transparent to show a permanently attached push-up pad and underwire according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 4 is a cut away view of the contoured shape push-up pad according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the contoured shape push-up pad according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 6 is a side cutaway view of a user wearing a sports bra with a permanently attached push-up pad and underwire according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 7 is a front and back of a user wearing a sports bra with a halter style strap according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 8 is a front and back of a user wearing a sports bra with a string style strap according to an embodiment herein; and

FIG. 9 is a front and back of a user wearing a sports bra with a cross style strap according to an embodiment herein.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an athletic sports bra with push-up pads that add fullness, lift, natural enhancement, and added support desired by small to medium breasted women when working out or in other strenuous activity.

FIG. 1 shows a front view of a sports bra 10 according to the present invention. In this view, the push-up pads are not clearly visible since they are embedded between layers of fabric in the top or attached to the underside of the top. The sports bra 10 has a flexible band 12 formed in the shape of a t-top as is commonly known for a prior art sports bra. The flexible band can be as described in U.S. patent application Publication 2002/0022433 by Yeung et al., incorporated herein by reference. The materials used for the band are those commonly used for prior art sports bras. These materials are usually chosen for their flexibility and breathability to provide comfortable active wear. Typical materials include Spandex, nylon, Lycra and cotton. The materials for the band are also chosen for their aesthetic qualities to coordinate with other workout attire.

Similarly, FIG. 2 shows a back view of a sports bra according to an embodiment. The back view may be identical with prior art sports bras.

FIG. 3 shows a front view of a sports bra according to the present invention. In this view, the push-up pads are shown exposed, but would normally be embedded between the band layers of fabric in the top or attached to the underside of the top. The sports bra 10 has a flexible band 12 formed in the shape of a t-top as is commonly known for a prior art sports bra. The band can take different forms as shown by the various embodiments. The band is a portion of the sports bra that surrounds the chest in the area of the breasts and sometimes substantially above and below the breasts. In contrast to traditional bras, sports bras include a band made of apparel like fabrics meant to be worn as an exterior garment and has more fabric coverage of the body than the typical bra.

As shown in FIG. 3, the push-up pad 14 has a contoured shaped and follows the shape of the underwire 16 extending to the edge of the sports bra, to lift and shape a women's breast. The use of an underwire bra, as opposed to a non-underwire bra, ensures that a woman will receive adequate breast support. The underwire conforms and clings to the skin of the wearer to preclude “lifting” of the bottom or band of the bra (which passes about the torso of the wearer), thereby ensuring that a bottom portion of the wearer's breast cannot fall between the wearer and the band. The underwire additionally helps to support the breast within the cup.

Typically, an underwire is generally U-shaped in configuration, although the length of the legs of the U may vary. As the conventional function of the underwire is to push the breast upwardly and thereby provide cleavage between the breasts, the underwire typically extends about the base of the breast with the bight of the U at the bottom of the base, a lateral or an outer leg of the U extending substantially towards the top of the cup, and a medial or inner leg of the U extending at least an appreciable length (and typically a substantial length) towards the top of the cup. As a result, the underwire bra is typically of a “push-up” type which attempts to raise the wearer's breast in a more or less vertical direction.

A conventional underwire bra is often designed for women of substantial breast proportions, and in such cases it is typically substantially unpadded, although in various instances it may be provided with an either integral or detachable pad adjacent the bottom of the cup in order to assist in the push-up function and thereby achieve additional cleavage. In the illustrated embodiments, the underwire is used to achieve additional cleavage, and in combination with a pad, additional volume for women of smaller breast proportions.

The cups of the typical underwire bra are connected by a gore, a relatively high strength, small strip of material connecting the bras cups at the bottom of the cups and for some appreciable distance thereabove. In preferred embodiments, the connection of the cups is provided by the t-top or band of the sports bra. The cups can be attached to the flexible band or t-top material between an inner layer and an outer layer. Alternatively, the cups are attached inside the t-top on the inside. Attachment can be accomplished by sewing, gluing or other techniques. In other embodiments, a gore (not shown) is used in combination with the band of the sports bra to provide connection between the cups. The more may be implemented with a binding material between the cups that also provides a binding of the fabric edge used for the band. The gore may be located at the top, middle or bottom of the cups.

FIG. 4 shows a cross-sectional view of a push-up pad (cut laterally, from side-to-side of the pad shown in FIG. 2) according embodiments of the present invention. In some embodiments, the push-up pads for the sports bra include an envelope 20 between the front foam panel 22 and the rear foam panel 24 of the bra cups. The front and rear foam panels are enclosed in a fabric shell 28. The fabric shell 28 covering the rear foam panel forms an inner cup lining. The inner cup lining adjacent the skin can be a soft fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin. In other embodiments, the area shown in FIG. 4 by item 20 and 26 is another layer of foam.

The envelope 20 receives a flexible pouch 26 containing a fluid mixture (not shown). The envelope in a preferred embodiment is made of a film of a tough synthetic resin resistant to puncture, preferably a thermoplastic resin capable of being heat-sealed. The film has low transmission rate for water vapor. Unlike a prosthesis which has a volume and shape equal to a breast, the push-up pad of the invention typically has a volume less than that of a breast, usually from 10% to 40% of the volume of a breast. In a preferred embodiment the fluid mixture is a hygroscopic agent such as 70% glycerine-30% water, or other suitable hygroscopic mixture. The hygroscopic agent will draw moisture into the envelope preventing the volume of liquid from decreasing.

FIG. 5 shows a closer view of the push-up pad 14 shown in FIG. 2. The push-up pad 14 has an underwire 30 embedded under the outer layer of the cup, and held in place with stitching 32. The edges of the foam layers and the liquid pouch are tapered at the outer edges to provide a smooth transition from the cup to the chest and breast. In other embodiments, the underwire 30 is embedded in the push-up pad (an example is shown in FIG. 6).

FIG. 6 shows a side cut away view of a push-up bra according to another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the push-up pads for the sports bra include an envelope 20 having a flexible pouch 26 containing a fluid mixture between the front foam panel 22 and the rear foam panel 24 of the bra cups. The front and rear foam panels are enclosed in a fabric shell 28. The outer fabric 32 and the inner layer of fabric 34 of the band 12 (shown in FIG. 1) is also shown in FIG. 6.

Further, in the illustrated preferred embodiment of FIG. 6, the front foam panel 22 may continue up the front of the sports bra to the shoulder area. The front foam panel may continue up towards the shoulder to provide a smooth appearance on the front of the bra. The outer fabric 32 of the band 12 is typically a thin flexible fabric. When the foam panel is continuous on the face of the push-up bra, the outer fabric 32 can be smooth and not show lines or discontinuities in the underlying layers. In the preferred embodiments, the front foam panel stops at the shoulder or lower depending on style considerations, such as where the bra is connected to a thinner strap to go over the shoulder (see FIG. 8 and FIG. 9). The back foam panel 24 may also continue up as described for the front foam panel.

In some embodiments, a foam layer is wrapped around the underwire 30 as shown in FIG. 6 to provide additional protection from the stiff underwire during strenuous activity. The foam layer wrapped around the underwire may be one of the front 22 or rear 24 foam panels of the bra cups.

FIG. 7 is a front and back of a user wearing a sports bra in a halter style according to another embodiment. The sports bra of FIG. 7 includes a lower band 12a below the bra cups. The lower band 12a provides support for the bra cups in combination with the halter-top style of the upper band 12b. The outer fabric shell covering the bra cups in the upper band have a halter-top style cut. The halter-top style straps 40 go around the neck as shown in the rear view.

FIG. 8 is a front and back of a user wearing a sports bra with a string style strap 42 with a single bodice design 44 such that the band and the bra cups appear seamless and in one piece using the features described with reference to FIG. 6. FIG. 9 is a front and back of a user wearing a sports bra according to yet another embodiment. In this embodiment, the sports bra is similar in construction with the sports bras shown in FIG. 7 or FIG. 8 but with a cross style strap 46.

The embodiments described herein provide important improvements over the prior art. One skilled in the art will appreciate that many variations are possible within the scope of the present invention. Thus, while the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that these and other changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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