Title:
Convectively ventilated garments having protective shield layers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ventilated garment including a selectively openable air inlet section adaptable to facilitate the entry of ambient air into an interior space of the ventilated garment to thereby cool the body by natural convection, a selectively openable air outlet section adaptable to facilitate the removal of warm air from the interior space of the ventilated garment, and a protective shield layer positioned adjacent to at least one of the air inlet section and the air outlet section for protecting exposed areas of the wearer's skin against sunlight, wind, snow and rain.



Inventors:
Rudman, Frank (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/864517
Publication Date:
12/15/2005
Filing Date:
06/10/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B1/00; A41B1/08; A41D27/28; (IPC1-7): A41B1/00
View Patent Images:
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20090126072Attachable/detachable swimwear garmentMay, 2009Allen
20050193462Disposable front opening garment with selected pad shapes and locationsSeptember, 2005Niedermeyer
20060143781Necktie, shirt, button and napkinJuly, 2006Sato



Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TODD A. VAUGHN (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A ventilated garment adapted to form an interior space which receives and covers the body of a wearer, said ventilated garment comprising: (a) an air inlet section positioned at a lower region of said ventilated garment, said air inlet section being configured to facilitate the circulation of a flow of ambient air into the interior space of said ventilated garment to facilitate the cooling of the body of the wearer by natural convection; (b) an air outlet section positioned at a point higher than the air inlet section at an upper region of the ventilated garment, said air outlet section being configured to facilitate the exit of essentially warm air from the interior space of said ventilated garment; and (c) a protective shield layer positioned adjacent to said air outlet section for shielding exposed areas of the body of the wearer against various weather conditions.

2. The ventilated garment of claim 1, wherein said air inlet section and said air outlet section each comprise a seamed opening.

3. The ventilated garment of claim 2, further comprising a fastening mechanism for selectively opening and closing the seamed opening at said air inlet section and said air outlet section.

4. The ventilated garment of claim 3, wherein said fastening mechanism is one selected from the group consisting of a zipper arrangement, a loop and button arrangement, a hook and loop arrangement (VELCRO™), a snap arrangement, a clasp arrangement, and a brooch and hook arrangement.

5. The ventilated garment of claim 4, wherein the selective opening of said seamed opening at said air inlet section and said air outlet section permits the convective flow of air within said ventilated garment.

6. The ventilated garment of claim 5, further comprising a panel of mesh fabric disposed at seamed opening of said air outlet section for permitting a flow of air into said ventilated garment at said air inlet section and out of said ventilated garment at said air outlet section.

7. The ventilated garment of claim 6, wherein said panel of mesh fabric comprises a pleated material.

8. The ventilated garment of claim 7, wherein said pleated material has a plurality of bends to provide an adequate cross-sectional flow area for the convective movement of air currents.

9. The ventilated garment of claim 8, wherein said protective shield layer is positioned underneath said seamed opening to reduce the wearer's exposure to the various weather conditions when said seamed opening is selectively placed in the open position.

10. The ventilated garment of claim 8, wherein said seamed opening is positioned underneath said protective shield layer to reduce the wearer's exposure to the various weather conditions when said seamed opening is selectively placed in the open position.

11. The ventilated garment of claim 1, wherein said ventilated garment is one selected from the group consisting of shirts, sweaters, jackets, short pants, dresses, skirts and trousers.

12. The ventilated garment of claim 1, wherein said various weather conditions is one selected from the group consisting of ultraviolet radiation, snow, wind and rain.

13. A ventilated garment adapted to form an interior space which receives and covers the body of a wearer, said ventilated garment comprising: a pair of lower air inlets for permitting an entry of a stream of ambient air into said interior space layer and a pair of upper air outlets for permitting the exit of a stream of essentially warm air from said interior space, each one of said air outlets positioned vertically above said air inlets at an uppermost region of said ventilated garment such that the body of the wearer is continuously cooled by way of natural convective cooling of the body as a result of the ambient air received from said lower air inlets contacting the body of the wearer to absorb heat therefrom, the air thereby increasing in temperature and rising upwardly within the interior space to absorb additional heat as it becomes less dense, the essentially warm air being replaced by the entry of fresh, ambient air at said lower air inlets; and a protective shield layer positioned above said upper air outlets for shielding exposed areas of the wearer's body against various weather conditions.

14. The ventilated garment of claim 13, further comprising a second pair of lower air inlets configured to facilitate the entry of a flow of ambient air into said ventilated garment and a second pair of upper air outlets positioned at a point higher than said first and second pairs of lower air inlets for facilitating an additional point of exit of the flow of essentially warm air from the interior space of said ventilated garment.

15. The ventilated garment of claim 14, wherein said first pair of lower air inlets are located at a rear region of said ventilated garment and said second pair of lower air inlets are located at side regions of said ventilated garment.

16. The ventilated garment of claim 15, wherein said first and second pairs of lower air inlets are oriented in at least one of vertical, horizontal and diagonal directions relative to said ventilated garment.

17. The ventilated garment of claim 14, wherein said first and second pairs of air inlets comprise a seamed opening having panel of mesh fabric therein and an overlying panel of fabric which covers said mesh panel to form a cape-type configuration.

18. The ventilated garment of claim 14, wherein said first pair of upper air outlets are located at the front region of said ventilated garment and said second pair of upper air outlets are located at the rear region of said ventilated garment.

19. The ventilated garment of claim 18, wherein said first and second pairs of upper air outlets are oriented in at least one of vertical, horizontal and diagonal directions relative to said ventilated garment.

20. A ventilated garment adapted to form an interior space for receiving and covering the body of a wearer, said ventilated garment comprising: a plurality of air inlets and a plurality of air outlets, at least one of said plurality of air outlets having a protective shield layer for shielding exposed areas of the wearer's body against various weather conditions, wherein said plurality of air inlets are positioned relative to said air outlets to create a natural convective cooling effect within the interior space of said ventilated garment.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to ventilated garments adapted to be worn as an article of clothing on the upper and/or lower body of a wearer, and particularly relates to such garments having a protective shield layer therein for protecting exposed areas of the wearer's body against inclement weather conditions while also permitting the cooling of the body by natural convection.

2. Review of the Related Art

Those whom enjoy the outdoors are becoming increasingly concerned about the damaging effects of exposure to excess heat and ultraviolet radiation, i.e., sunlight upon human skin. It has been found that overexposing the skin to solar rays to the extent of causing sunburn increases the likelihood of developing skin cancer, especially deadly melanoma. In fact, subjecting the skin to even one blistering sunburn before the age of twenty can double a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life.

Not only does overexposure to sunlight increase the likelihood of skin cancer, it also causes premature aging of the skin. Years of even moderate exposure to the sun take their toll on the skin in the form of premature wrinkling and dry, leathery skin.

Recently, people have become more conscious of the deleterious effects of overexposure to solar rays and have begun to apply various protective preparations, especially sun block lotions containing para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), to their skins before exposure to the sun. As an alternative, many people customarily wear eyewear such as sunshades or wide brimmed hats or swathe their bodies in protective clothing.

Moreover, discomfort in hot weather is caused at least as much by high humidity as by high temperatures. For example, since human beings are warm-blooded, our bodies maintain an essentially constant internal temperature, even when exposed to extreme temperatures. To keep the body temperature within its naturally safe zone, it must be able to cool itself when it becomes too hot. The brain accomplishes this by varying the rate and the amount of blood circulated throughout the body, which causes blood circulation closer to the skin to facilitate excess heat to evaporate. If the body's heat loss is not sufficient, the brain activates the sweat glands to produce perspiration on the skin. The body is caused to cool down by evaporation of the sweat. However, if the outside temperature reaches or exceeds the normal skin temperature, it becomes more difficult for the perspiration on the skin to evaporate, and thus, for the body to effectively cool itself. The same process occurs during high levels of humidity. If the body cannot cool itself sufficiently, serious heat illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, etc. can occur.

Nevertheless, due to an increased concern over exposure to ultraviolet radiation, more people are wearing garments that cover a majority of the body. However, in order for the apparel to adequately protect the wearer's skin, it must be made of more tightly woven fabrics than are usually worn in hot weather. While garments such as long-sleeve, half-sleeve or short-sleeve shirts, in addition to sweaters, jackets, short pants, trousers and the like adequately protect the skin if tightly woven, the clothing cuts back on the breathing ability of the fabric and thereby prevents the entry of cool ambient air. Furthermore, such garments tend to constrict movement of the wearer and is consequently unsuitable while engaging in outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, fishing, climbing, running, skating, golfing, etc.

Accordingly, there is a need for garments such as shirts, sweaters, jackets, short pants, trousers and the like, that are adaptable to shield the body of the wearer from inclement weather conditions, i.e., ultraviolet radiation, wind, rain, snow, etc. Such garments may also be comfortable to wear when exposed to sunlight and even while engaging in outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, fishing, climbing, running, skating, golfing, etc. There is particularly a need for such garments to also incorporate a system of convective air circulation that offers the wearer protection against excessive heat and/or moisture buildup.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,727,256 to Rudman, the present inventor, discloses ventilated garments that enable convective air movements to occur close to the wearer's skin, for removing body heat and moisture and for introducing cooler and drier air inside the garments. Such garments are sufficiently woven so as to block harmful sunlight, but are also ventilated to remove heat from the body of the wearer by way of convection.

However, due to the inability of the mesh fabric to block ultraviolet radiation, wearers of such garments are susceptible to extreme sunburn as a result of excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation to exposed areas of the body that are unprotected, such as the opening at the top portion of the shoulders. The wearer may also be exposed to other undesirable inclement weather conditions such as wind, rain, snow, etc.

Accordingly, there is presently a need to provide shield-like protection within carefully situated seamed openings of garments such as shirts, sweaters, jackets, short pants, trousers and the like while also permitting a system of cooling the body of a wearer by way of convection.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide garments such as shirts, sweaters, jackets, short pants, dresses, skirts, trousers and the like that offer with adequate protection against excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation, wind, rain, snow, etc.

It is another object of the invention to offer such garments that are adaptable to cool the body of the wearer by way of natural convection.

In accordance with these objects and the principles of the invention, provided herein is a ventilated garment adapted to form an interior space which receives and covers the body of a wearer, the ventilated garment including (a) an air inlet section positioned at a lower region of the ventilated garment, the air inlet section being configured to facilitate the circulation of a flow of ambient air into the interior space of the ventilated garment to facilitate the cooling of the body of the wearer by natural convection; (b) an air outlet section positioned at a point higher than the air inlet section at an upper region of the ventilated garment, the air outlet section being configured to facilitate the exit of essentially warm air from the interior space of the ventilated garment; and (c) a protective shield layer for placement adjacent to at least one of the air inlet section and the air outlet section for shielding exposed areas of the body of the wearer against various weather conditions.

Another aspect of the invention includes a ventilated garment adapted to form an interior space which receives and covers the body of a wearer, the ventilated garment having a pair of lower air inlets configured to facilitate the entry of a stream of ambient air into the interior space layer; a pair of upper air outlets positioned at a point higher than the lower air inlets for facilitating the exit of a stream of essentially warm air from the interior space; and a protective shield layer for placement adjacent to the upper air outlets for shielding exposed areas of the wearer's body from ultraviolet radiation, snow, wind and rain.

In accordance with each aspect of the invention, the body is continuously cooled by way of natural convective air currents cooling the body as a result of the ambient air received from the lower air inlets contacting the body to absorb heat therefrom, the air thereby increasing in temperature and rising upwardly within the interior space to absorb additional heat as it becomes less dense, the essentially warm air being replaced by an entry of fresh, ambient air at the lower air inlets.

In yet another aspect of the invention is a ventilated garment adapted to form an interior space for receiving and covering the body of a wearer, the ventilated garment including a plurality of lower air inlets and a plurality of upper air outlets, at least one of the upper air outlets having a protective shield layer for shielding exposed areas of the wearer's body against various weather conditions. In accordance with this aspect of the invention, the air inlets are positioned relative to the air outlets to create a natural convective cooling effect within the interior space of the ventilated garment.

Each seamed opening has attached thereto a panel of mesh fabric. The panel of mesh fabric is preferably composed of a tightly woven fabric having a pair of pleats formed therein which result in a plurality of bends when the ventilated sections are selectively placed in an open position. These bends, straddling the protective shield, create an enhanced distance between the skin of the wearer and the doubled-back portion and between the skin of the wearer and the fastener tape on each side of the protective shield, whereby additional cross-sectional area is available for convective air circulation.

The protective shield layer may be positioned beneath each air inlet section and/or the air outlet section to protect exposed areas of the skin of the wearer against inclement weather conditions, e.g., ultraviolet radiation, wind, rain, snow, etc., when the air inlet section and/or the air outlet section is placed in the open position. Alternatively or additionally, a protective shield layer may be positioned vertically above the air inlet section and/or the air outlet section to reduce exposure of exposed areas of the wearer's skin to inclement weather conditions when each one of the air inlet and outlet sections is placed in its respective open position.

The mesh fabric has a plurality of small openings, apertures or holes to facilitate the free flow of air into and out of the ventilated garment. Moreover, the relative location of the air inlet sections and the air outlet sections enables convective air currents to rise upwardly within the interior space of the garment to escape therefrom at the upper air outlet(s), thereby carrying away heat, while fresh cool air enters the garment at the lower air inlet sections.

Both the lower air inlet sections and the upper air outlet sections may be selectively opened and closed using any suitable fastener known in the art, such as a zipper arrangement, a loop and button arrangement, a hook and loop arrangement (VELCRO™), snaps, clasps, and a brooch and hooks arrangement. Selective use of any one of the fasteners enables selected amounts of cooler air to enter the air inlet sections and form convective currents within the garment that exit from the air outlet sections. When the fasteners are completely closed, the ventilated garment appears to be a conventionally styled garment.

The ventilated garments in accordance with the invention are preferably oversized so that movement of the garment slides the openings over the skin of the wearer. The stretch in the mesh fabric is mainly between the fasteners but also exists between the ends of the fasteners. For example, a preferred mesh fabric has 35% stretch between the openings and 10% stretch from end to end of the openings.

Each air outlet section of a respective garment in accordance with the invention should preferably include a protective shield layer disposed adjacent to the skin of the wearer, and a substantially larger width of mesh fabric connecting each side of the protective shield with the garment so that the mesh fabric is necessarily folded a plurality of times on each side of the shield. This results in displacing the garment fabric a sufficient distance away from the skin of the wearer to provide greater cross-sectional area for the released air.

The ventilated garment in accordance with the invention operates on the principle of natural convection. The process of natural convection occurs when a layer or stream of cool air contacts the warm skin of the body to pick up or absorb heat, and as the temperature of the air increases its density will fall. The lighter air now rises up away from the body, taking heat with it, and is replaced by fresh, cool air, which continues the process.

Selective manipulation of the seamed opening of the air inlet(s) in an open position permits the entry of ambient air into the ventilation/interior space of the garment between the garment and the skin of the wearer while selective manipulation of the seamed opening of the air outlet(s) in an closed position results in the exit of essentially warm air from the ventilation/interior space. Because of the pressure differential between the warm interior space of the garment and the cooler outside environment, a partial vacuum is created within the interior space, thereby causing a continuous flow of ambient air into the interior space at the air inlet(s) and a continuous convective cooling effect.

The air inlet and outlet sections may be disposed horizontally, vertically or diagonally or any combination thereof. The seamed openings at the air inlet and outlet sections may appear to be merely a slit when closed with a faster such as a pair of engaged zippers. Alternatively, when taking the form of a shirt or sweater, air inlet sections provided at the rear of the garment may cover the entire back of the wearer and be covered by a downwardly extending flap, so that the back of the garment looks like a cape, without fasteners.

The lower air inlets may be provided without either fasteners or protective shield layers because protection from sunlight is not usually needed for them. Such low-level openings may employ any conventional fastener and mesh fabric covering the space between the fasters.

While there is a need for maximum protection from direct sunlight and other inclement weather conditions, many people use half sleeves or short sleeves because they are accustomed to sunlight and such half or short sleeves are cooler than long sleeves. Accordingly, the convective ventilation system of the invention is advantageous in being effective and useful for garments having long, half, or short sleeves. Garments constructed according to the principles of this invention are especially useful for outdoors sports activities because of the very significant body heat buildup that develops during such activities. Moreover, indoors sports activities can generate enough body heat that the convective ventilated garments of the present invention can also provide useful relief.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a ventilated garment in the form of a short-sleeved open collared shirt;

FIG. 2 is an inside view of a section of mesh fabric for the air inlet and outlet sections;

FIG. 3 is a schematic front view of an air inlet section in a selectively closed position;

FIG. 4 is a schematic front view of the air inlet section of FIG. 3 in a selectively open position;

FIG. 5 is a rear view of the ventilated garment of FIG. 1 with a first pair of vertically extending air inlet sections at the back of the shirt and a second pair of vertically extending air inlet openings at sides thereof;

FIG. 6 is a schematic sectional view of an air outlet section in a selectively closed position;

FIG. 6A is a schematic sectional view of an air outlet section in a selectively open position;

FIG. 7 is a rear view of the ventilated garment of FIG. 1 with a horizontally extending air inlet section located slightly above the waist of the wearer at the rear of the garment;

FIG. 8 is a rear view of a ventilated garment in the form of a long-sleeved shirt having an air inlet section with a panel of mesh fabric at the rear of the shirt;

FIG. 9 is a rear view of the ventilated garment of FIG. 8 with a pair of horizontally extending air inlet openings in a selectively closed position;

FIG. 10 is a frontal view of a ventilated garment in the form of a sweater;

FIG. 11 is a side view of a ventilated garment in the form of trousers or pants;

FIG. 12 is a front view of a ventilated garment in the form of a “button-down” shirt having a first pair of air outlet sections at a front region of the shirt;

FIG. 13 is a rear view of the ventilated garment of FIG. 12 with a second pair of air outlet sections at a rear region of the shirt; and

FIG. 14 is a side view of a ventilated garment in the form of pants/trousers.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In FIGS. 1 and 5, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, a ventilated garment to be worn by a wearer is shown in the form of a short-sleeved, open collar shirt 10, the shirt 10 having a collar 11, front section 13, rear section 14, a pair of horizontally disposed upper air outlet sections 15, sleeves 17, first and second pairs of vertically extending lower air inlet sections 16, 18 and front opening 19. The front 13, back 14, sleeves 17 may be composed of a lightweight material such as a woven fabric which is capable of effectively blocking or otherwise reducing ultraviolet radiation from exposed areas of the skin of the wearer.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the first pair of lower air inlet sections 16 are located adjacent to a middle region at the rear of the shirt 10, with the second pair of lower air inlet sections 18 being located at the side of the shirt 10 from below the armpit region to slightly above the waistline of the wearer. The lower air inlet sections 16, 18 are configured to facilitate the entry of a flow or stream of cool, i.e., ambient air 31 into a ventilation/interior space located between the ventilated garment and the skin of the wearer. Cool or ambient air is defined here as having a temperature that is lower than the wearer's skin temperature.

The upper air outlet sections 15 are preferably located at an upper region of the shirt 10, such as adjacent to the shoulder region for garments worn on the upper torso such as shirts, jackets, sweaters and the like. Each upper air outlet section 15 is configured to facilitate by way of natural convection the exit of a flow or stream of essentially warm air 35 from the ventilated garment—the air 35 being warmed as a result of the ambient air 31 received from the air inlet sections 16, 18 absorbing heat from the skin of the wearer. As the ambient air 31 increases temperature, it becomes less dense, and flows upwardly while removing additional heat and/or moisture from the wearer's body as it eventually exits the shirt 10 as warm air 35 through the upper air outlet sections 15. Warm or hot air is defined here as having a temperature that is greater than the wearer's skin temperature.

The air inlet sections 16, 18 and the air outlet sections 15 are constructed as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, as a seamed opening having therein a mesh fabric 21 material. The mesh fabric 21 is preferably characterized as being hydrophilic, soft, and flexible. The fabric 21 should also be undirectionally stretchable, i.e., have the ability to stretch essentially in a single direction. Particularly, the fabric 21 should stretch approximately 35% in one direction and approximately 10% at 90° thereto. Preferably, such fabric 21 is used having the ability to stretch about 35% between the teeth 25 of zipper 25, in the direction extending from the front to rear of the wearer, and about 10% stretch from end to end of zipper teeth 25 in the direction. The zipper 25 is provided for the selective opening (at least partially) and closing of the opening created at the air outlet sections 15 and the second pair of air inlet sections 18.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 6A, the air outlet sections 15, and/or the air inlet sections 16, 18 are provided with a protective shield layer 26 that reduces exposure of the body underneath the air inlets 16, 18 and air outlets 15 to various weather conditions such as ultraviolet radiation, wind, rain, snow, etc. when the air outlet sections 15 are manipulated in an open position. The protective shield layer 26 is preferably a piece of tightly woven fabric attached to the mesh fabric 21 of the shirt 10 so that it lies directly beneath and aligned with the seamed opening at the air outlet sections 15 and/or air inlet sections 16, 18. The air outlet sections 15 are preferably configured so as to open no wider than the width of shield 26. Note that an additional and/or separate protective shield layer may also be placed above the seamed opening of the air inlet sections and/or the air outlet sections to enhance the shielding effect.

The air outlet section 15 as shown in FIG. 6 is in a selectively closed position while the air outlet section 15 as shown in FIG. 6A is in a selectively opened position that facilitates ventilation of the shirt 10 by way of a convective flow of air therein. Free edges 26 of fabric 24 form each air outlet section 15 when adjacent each other. The teeth of zipper 25 are selectively joined by zipper slide 27. The teeth of zipper 25 are attached to zipper tapes 29 on either side of seam 15, and tapes 29 are sewn to both doubled-back fabric 28 and fabric 24 a short distance from free edges 26.

The mesh fabric 21 is attached at each side thereof, to doubled-back fabric 28 along welts 22 and is also sewn to both fabric 28 and each zipper tape 29 at the lower ends of tapes 29. When the Mesh fabric 21 is disposed beneath zipper 25 as a pleat having a series of bends 23 so that a wide expanse of mesh fabric 21 is exposed for facilitating proper air circulation, as shown in FIG. 4, when zipper slide 27 is moved to open zipper 25. Multiple bends 23 of fabric 21, disposed on either side of protective shield 26, serve to maintain an adequate distance 23a between the wearer's shoulder 12 and the zipper tape 28, thereby ensuring an adequate cross-sectional flow area for the convective movement of air.

Accordingly, when the air inlet sections 16, 18 and air outlet sections 15 are each in respective open positions, convective circulation of air and/or moisture occurs when a current of ambient air 31 approaches and enters the air inlet sections 16, 18, absorbing heat and/or moisture from the body of the wearer. The absorption of body heat and/or moisture causes the air 31 to increase in temperature, whereby the now heated air 33 moves convectively upwardly inside the shirt 10 to exit as an air current 35 through the air outlet sections 15.

While the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 5 are shown with a pair of air outlet sections 15, the number of air outlet sections 15 may vary from a single opening or a plurality of openings, depending on the requirements. Plurality is defined here as constituting more than two openings. While the first pair of air inlet sections 16 are shown to be approximately the same length as the second pair of air inlet sections 18 and extend slightly above the wearer's waistline, alternatively, the length of seam 16 may differ from the length of seam 18 in a configuration that facilitates the entry of a stream or flow of ambient air 31 into the shirt 10.

In FIG. 7, an alternative embodiment of a ventilated garment in the form of a shirt 10 having a single selectively openable and horizontally extending air inlet section is shown. The air inlet section 38 is horizontally disposed at the rear of the shirt 10 and is preferably slightly above the wearer's waistline. The air inlet section 38 is constructed similarly to the air inlet sections 18 of FIG. 1. The air inlet section 38 may be provided with an underlying panel of mesh fabric 21 or may instead lack any underlying mesh fabric. The inlet air section 38 is configured to facilitate the entry of a flow of ambient air and/or moisture 32 therein to form convective air currents beneath the garment as they move upwardly toward air outlet sections 15, thereby exiting as warm air and/or moisture currents 35.

As shown in FIG. 7, alternatively or in combination with either or both embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, a single air inlet section 38 may be provided, the air inlet section 38 extending horizontally at the rear of the shirt 10 and slightly above the waistline of the wearer. It would apparent to one skilled in the art that the air outlet sections 15 and the air inlet sections 16, 18 and 38 may be positioned in other areas of the shirt 10 provided they facilitate the convective airflow required within the interior spaces of the shirt 10.

In FIG. 8, another alternative embodiment of a ventilated garment 10 is shown having an air inlet section that does not utilize a seam configuration. The air inlet section of this embodiment instead utilizes a wide back opening extending over the entire upper part of the rear region of the garment 10. A co-extensive and pleated panel of stretchable mesh fabric 41 may cover this opening. Overlying the panel of mesh fabric 41 is preferably a second panel 43 that covers the mesh fabric to form a cape-type configuration. Accordingly, streams of ambient air and/or moisture 32 are shown approaching the bottom and side of the air inlet section to pass beneath the cape and form convective air currents that exit as warm air and/or moisture 35 through the air outlet sections 15.

FIGS. 9-14 illustrate different embodiments of the concept of convective ventilation of various types of garments, such as shirts (both long-sleeve and short-sleeve), sweaters, jackets/coats, pants/trousers and dresses/skirts.

For instance, FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of the invention, a ventilated garment in the form of a long-sleeved sweater 10, the sweater 10 having a collar 11, front section 13, rear section (not shown), a pair of selectively openable and horizontally extending upper air outlet sections 15, sleeves 17, and a pair of selectively openable and vertically extending lower air inlet sections 18. In such an embodiment, at least one of the upper air outlet sections 15 and the lower air inlet sections 18 should be provided with a protective shield (not shown) either above and/or below the seamed openings of the sections.

FIGS. 10 and 11 show frontal and rear views of a ventilated garment in the form of a jacket or coat 10, the jacket 10 having a collar 11, front section 13, rear panel section 14, a pair of selectively openable and horizontally extending upper air outlet sections 15, sleeves 17, first and second horizontally extending lower air inlet sections 16, 18 and front opening 19. The air inlet sections 16, 18 utilize a wide back opening extending over the entire upper part of the rear region of the jacket 10 and may be covered by a co-extensive and pleated panel of stretchable mesh fabric (not shown). Accordingly, streams of ambient air and/or moisture 32 are shown approaching the bottom of the air inlet sections 16, 18 to pass beneath the cape and form convective air currents that exit as warm air and/or moisture 35 through the air outlet sections 15. In such an embodiment, at least one of the upper air outlet sections 15 and the lower air inlet sections 16, 18 should be provided with a protective shield (not shown) either above or below the seamed openings of the sections.

FIGS. 12 and 13 show frontal and rear views of a ventilated garment in the form of a long-sleeved shirt 10, the shirt 10 having a collar 11, front section 13, rear section 14, a first pair of selectively openable and horizontally extending upper air outlet sections 15a at a front end of the shirt, a second pair of selectively openable and horizontally extending upper air outlet sections 15b at a rear end of the shirt, sleeves 17, a pair of selectively openable and vertically extending lower air inlet sections 18, front opening 19 and a plurality of pockets 20(a-d) and rear crease 21. In order to enhance the convective cooling effect on the body of the wearer, a plurality of air inlet sections may be provided at various locations at the front section 13 or rear section 14 of the shirt 10. Such sections should preferably be provided with mesh fabric (not shown) to facilitate the entry of ambient air and/or moisture into the interior space of the shirt 10. Moreover, at least one of the upper air outlet sections 15a, 15b should be provided with a protective shield layer (not shown) either above and/or below the seamed openings of the sections.

FIG. 14 shows a side view of a ventilated garment in the form of a pair of pants or trousers 10, the pants 10 having on the outseam of each pant leg thereof a selectively openable and vertically extending upper air outlet section 15 and a selectively openable and vertically extending lower air inlet section 16. At least one of the upper air outlet section 15 and the lower air inlet section 16 should be provided with a protective shield (not shown) either above and/or below the seamed openings of the sections.

In accordance with each aspect of the invention, the body is continuously cooled by way of natural convective cooling of the body as a result of the ambient air received from the lower air inlets contacting the body to absorb heat therefrom, the air thereby increasing in temperature and rising upwardly within the interior space to absorb additional heat as it becomes less dense, the essentially warm air being replaced by an entry of fresh, ambient air at the lower air inlets.

The protective shield layer is advantageous since it permits the ventilated garment to adequately protect the exposed areas of the body positioned directly underneath the air inlet and air outlets protected against exposure to the elements, i.e., sunlight, wind, rain, snow, etc.

In each of the above described embodiments of the invention, the garments should fit loosely to the body of the wearer in order enhance the convective cooling effect. Moreover, the upper air outlet sections and the lower air inlet sections may be oriented in at least one of vertical, horizontal and diagonal directions relative to the ventilated garment.

It is apparent that innumerable variations of the preferred embodiments described hereinbefore may be utilized. However, all such variations within the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the following claims.