Title:
Breast clothing
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An article of clothing (10) for use in covering and/or supporting a woman's breast comprising a hollow cup shaped body (11) formed of a lightweight flexible material and having a substantially smooth outer surface (13) and an inner hollow chamber (15) for receipt of the breast of a wearer. Articles of clothing (10) are worn in conjunction with an article of outer clothing such as a top, dress, or sweater which assists in maintaining the articles of clothing (10) in position covering the breasts.



Inventors:
Westall, Carolyn Diane (Qld, AU)
Application Number:
10/941798
Publication Date:
10/13/2005
Filing Date:
09/14/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B9/00; A41C3/00; A41C3/06; A41C3/08; A41C3/12; A41C3/14; (IPC1-7): A41C3/00
View Patent Images:
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20080146118System and device for supporting a breast shieldJune, 2008Solberg et al.
20090325463Brassiere cup comprising a rib-protecting padDecember, 2009Vidal et al.
20020022433Dual-layered seamless sports bra and camisoleFebruary, 2002Yeung et al.
20080254712BELLY AND BOTTOM ADJUSTABLE SUPPORT SYSTEMOctober, 2008Christensen
20050075046Protective undergarment for a football playerApril, 2005Williams
20080248718Portable Liquid Dispensing BrassiereOctober, 2008Henke et al.
20070270079Two piece brassiereNovember, 2007Redmond



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIFF PLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. An article of clothing for use in covering and/or supporting a woman's breast, said article of clothing comprising a hollow cup shaped body, said body being formed of a lightweight flexible material and having a substantially smooth outer surface and an inner hollow chamber for receipt of the breast of a wearer, said body being configured such as to maintain coverage of the wearer's breasts without means for attachment to the wearer.

2. The article of clothing of claim 1 wherein said cup shaped body has a leading end and a trailing end and wherein an opening into the inner hollow chamber is defined at said trailing end.

3. The article of clothing of claim 2 wherein said cup shaped body is formed by a wall and wherein said wall at least at said trailing end is tapered to provide a substantially smooth transition between the body and the skin of the wearer.

4. The article of clothing of claim 3 wherein wall at said trailing end tapers into a thin web around the opening.

5. The article of clothing according to anyone of the preceding claims wherein said body is of substantially domed shape configuration.

6. The article of clothing according to claim 5 wherein said body is symmetrical about a central axis through said body extending from the leading end to the trailing end.

7. The article of clothing of claim 6 wherein said body in cross-section in a direction normal to a central axis through the body has an external circular form.

8. The article of clothing of claim 7 wherein said body is of an external substantially part-spherical configuration.

9. The article of clothing of claim 1 wherein said hollow chamber is of hollow substantially part-spherical internal configuration.

10. The article of clothing of claim 1 wherein said lightweight material comprises a foam plastics material.

11. The article of clothing of claim 10 wherein said foam plastics material comprises polyurethane.

12. In combination an article of breast clothing for use in covering and/or supporting a woman's breast and an outer garment, said article of breast clothing comprising a hollow cup shaped body, said body being formed of a lightweight flexible material and having a substantially smooth outer surface and an inner hollow chamber for receipt of said breast, said body being configured such as to maintain coverage of said breast and said outer garment maintaining said article of breast clothing in position at least partially accommodating and covering said breast.

13. A method of providing covering and/or support to the breasts of a woman, the method comprising the steps of providing a pair of breast covering articles, each said article comprising a hollow cup shaped body, said body being formed of a lightweight flexible material and having a substantially smooth outer surface and an inner hollow chamber, locating said breast covering articles in position relative to said breasts such that respective said breasts are received within a hollow chamber of a respective said article, and providing an outer garment over said breast covering articles to maintain said articles in position at least partially accommodating and covering said breasts.

Description:

This application is based on PCT application PCT/AU2004/000-0454.

This invention relates to articles of clothing and in particular to articles of clothing for use in covering and/or supporting women's breasts.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many different forms of brassieres are available for supporting and covering a woman's breasts. Often the known brassieres are uncomfortable to the wearer or are not suitable for use with certain types of outer garments. This is particularly the case where the outer garments are strapless or have a low-cut neckline. In such circumstances, women to have sufficient support to their breasts often wear strapless brassieres. This form of breast support however can place considerable strain on the back of the wearer.

In some cases adhesive tapes are used either in place of brassieres or in conjunction with brassieres to hold the breast in position however tapes can be difficult to accurately apply to provide sufficient support to the breasts. In addition, tapes can cause skin irritation. Some breast supports or brassieres also incorporate an adhesive to enable them to be secured in position to the body. Again the adhesive used in these brassieres can cause irritation to the skin of the wearer and furthermore, such supports or brassieres have a limited life because the adhesive loses effectiveness after a relatively small number of uses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention aims to provide articles of clothing for use in covering and/or supporting the breasts which overcomes or at least alleviates one or more of the disadvantages of known brassieres or breast supports. In particular, the present invention aims to provide breast clothing which is comfortable to wear, which is of a relatively light weight construction and which is capable of being used with a broad range of different types of exterior clothing. Other objects and advantage of the invention will become apparent from the following description.

The present invention thus provides an article of clothing for use in covering and/or supporting a woman's breast, said article of clothing comprising a hollow cup shaped body, said body being formed of a lightweight flexible material and having a substantially smooth outer surface and an inner hollow chamber for receipt of the breast of a wearer, said body being configured such as to maintain coverage of the wearer's breasts without means for attachment to the wearer.

Preferably the cup shaped body is of substantially domed shape configuration and is symmetrical about an axis extending centrally through the body from the trailing end to the leading end. Most preferably the body is of a substantially part-spherical external configuration such that in cross-section in a direction normal to a central axis through the body, the body has an external circular form. Preferably also the hollow chamber is of a substantially hollow part-spherical internal configuration.

Preferably, the cup shaped body has a leading end and a trailing end at which an opening into the inner hollow chamber is formed. Preferably, the cup-shaped body is formed by a wall which at the trailing end of the body is tapered in thickness. This provides a substantially smooth transition to the skin of the wearer in the region on or around the breast. Most preferably the wall at the trailing end of the body tapers into a thin peripheral web which surrounds the opening.

The trailing end of the cup shaped body in cross section is suitably of a substantially annular form being of an externally circular configuration except at its extreme end where the wall of the body tapers to the thin peripheral web encircling the opening into the hollow chamber. The web is thus adapted for contact and juxtaposition with the skin of the wearer on or around the breast.

In use a pair of breast covering articles are provided for each breast of a wearer so that the breasts are covered and/or supported when worn under articles of outer clothing. The breast covering articles remain in position covering and/or supporting the breasts without the use of attachment means such as adhesive tape, straps or ties. The breast covering articles may be worn with any type of outer clothing such as tops including knitted tops, singlet tops and halter tops, sweaters, and dresses. Preferably, the lightweight material from which the articles are formed comprises a foam plastics material. The foam plastics material most preferably comprises polyurethane.

The present invention in a further aspect provides in combination an article of breast clothing for use in covering and/or supporting a woman's breast and an outer garment, said article of breast clothing comprising a hollow cup shaped body, said body being formed of a lightweight flexible material and having a substantially smooth outer surface and an inner hollow chamber for receipt of said breast, said body being configured such as to maintain coverage of said breast and said outer garment maintaining said article of breast clothing in position at least partially accommodating and covering said breast.

The present invention in yet a further aspect provides a method of providing covering and/or support to the breasts of a woman, the method comprising the steps of providing a pair of breast covering articles, each said article comprising a hollow cup shaped body, said body being formed of a lightweight flexible material and having a substantially smooth outer surface and an inner hollow chamber, locating said breast covering articles in position relative to said breasts such that respective said breasts are received within a hollow chamber of a respective said article, and providing an outer garment over said breast covering articles to maintain said articles in position at least partially 20 accommodating and covering said breasts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the invention may be more readily understood and put into practical effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention and wherein;

FIG. 1 is a perspective view from the rear of an article of breast clothing according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevation of the article of breast clothing of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the article of breast clothing along line A-A of FIG. 2; and

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrates schematically in front and side views the manner in which articles of breast clothing may be worn.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings and firstly to FIGS. 1 to 4, there is illustrated an article of breast clothing 10 according to an embodiment of the invention, the clothing article 10 comprising a hollow dome-shaped body 11 which in this embodiment is of a generally part-spherical form defined by a wall 12 having an outer convex surface 13 and an inner concave surface 14, the inner concave surface 14 defining the boundary of an inner hollow breast receiving chamber 15, The body 11 is symmetrical about a central axis X-X through the body 11 with the chamber 15 being of a hollow generally part-spherical form and centered on the axis X-X.

The body 11 has a leading end 16 and a trailing end 17 at which the entrance into the chamber 15 is formed, the trailing end 17 of the body normally contacting the skin of the wearer in the region around the breast or contacting the skin of the chest cavity around the base of the breast. The wall 12 of the body 11 which defines the inner and outer surfaces 13 and 14 tapers at least adjacent the trailing end 17 into a thin web 18 encircling the chamber 15 which when contacting the wearer's skin defines a smooth transition from the body 11 to the wearer's skin. The web 18 as illustrated flares radially outwardly from the outer surface 13 so that it may be juxtaposed with and sit on the wearer's skin on or around the breast. The web 18 also assists in maintaining the article of clothing to the wearer's body without additional fastenings such as adhesive tapes. The wall 12 may also taper from a maximum thickness at the leading end 16 of the body towards the trailing end 17.

Typically the wall 16 at the leading end 16 has a thickness of 8 mm whilst the webs 18 have a thickness of 1 mm or less.

The outer and inner surfaces 13 and 14 preferably are of a relatively smooth finish with the outer surface 13 providing a smooth appearance when the article 10 is worn and the inner surface providing comfort to the user.

The article of breast clothing 10 is preferably formed of a lightweight plastics material such as a foam plastics material. The preferred method of manufacture is by means of moulding to the desired shape as described. The article of breast clothing 10 may be provided in various sizes such as small, medium, large and extra large. The small size typically has a maximum diameter of 11 cm and a depth of 4.0 cm, the medium size a diameter of 12 cm and a depth of 4.05 cm, the large size a diameter of 13 cm and a depth of 5.0 cm and the extra large size a diameter of 15 cm and a depth of 6.0 cm, the depth being measured from the leading end 16 to the trailing end 15. Thus typically, the articles of breast clothing 10 have a maximum diameter of between 11 and 15 cm and a depth of between 4 and 6 cm. The above dimensions however may be considerably varied, Further whilst it is preferred that the body 11 be of a substantially part-spherical shape, it may be in other hollow shapes for example of broad elliptical shape in plan view.

In use and as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, a wearer 19 desiring to wear the articles of breast clothing 10 applies respective articles 10 to each breast 20 with each breast 20 being received and accommodated in a chamber 15 of a respective article 10. In addition, the size of the articles 10 is selected so that preferably the thin webs 18 contact the skin of the wearer surrounding the breasts 20. In other situations however, the web 18 may be spaced away from the chest cavity. An outer garment 21 such as a top, sweater or dress may then be put on by the wearer and the articles 10 because of their construction and form will be held in place by the outer garment 21 to cover and provide at least some support to the breasts 20. Alternatively, the wearer 19 can initially don the outer garment 21 and then position the articles 10 beneath the outer garment 21 and locate them over the breasts 20 so that when released they are held in position by the outer garment 21.

The outer garment 21 in the illustrated embodiment is in the form of a T-shirt however it may be any form of outer garment including a strapless outer-garment or a garment without sleeves. Usually however, the articles 10 are best worn under a relatively closely fitting outer garment.

It has been found that the breast clothing articles 10 of the invention provide considerable comfort and support to the user whilst being worn. The articles stay in position without the use of adhesive tape or any other retention devices other than clothing which may be worn over the articles 10. In addition, the articles 10 provide a smooth external appearance covering the nipples to provide a desired level of modesty to the wearer.

The terms “comprising” or “comprise” or derivatives thereof as used throughout the specification and claims are taken to specify the presence of the stated features, integers and components referred to but not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other feature/s, integer/s, component/s or group thereof.

Whilst the above has been given by way of illustrative embodiment of the invention, all such variations and modifications thereto as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit of the invention as herein defined in the appended claims.