Title:
Self-tucking shirt mechanism
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for keeping a shirt tucked-in to a pair of pants involving a special nap which when mounted in place between the shirt and pants dynamically urges the shirt into the pants as a result of some of the same movements that ordinarily causes a shirt to become untucked.



Inventors:
Hamlet, Richard A. (Stroudsburg, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/154758
Publication Date:
01/19/2006
Filing Date:
06/16/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B1/00; A41F17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SOLD, JENA A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wilkinson Law Office (Bethlehem, PA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A system for maintaining a shirt in a tucked-in mode comprising: (a) a base adapted for affixation to a garment; (b) a plurality of fibers affixed to the base; (c) said fibers extending outwardly from the base and being uniformly angled to extend at other than a right angle from the base for maintaining the position of an upper garment with respect to a lower garment worn in overlapping fashion with the upper garment in a self-tucking action; and (d) said base being attached to one of said upper garment and said lower garment for clothing the human body in a position between the normal overlap of the garments to effect a dynamic resulting self-tucking action as fibers upon the from the interaction of the fibers upon the garments when worn.

2. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein the base and angled fibers extending from said base are mounted upon the outside of an upper garment in the area of overlap with the upper garment with the lower garment with the free ends of the fibers angled upwardly against the inside of the lower garment.

3. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein the base and angled fibers extending from said base are mounted upon the inside of the lower garment in the area of overlap of the lower garment with the upper garment with the free ends of the fibers angled downwardly against the outside of the upper garment.

4. A system in accordance with claim 2 wherein the angle of a majority of the fibers is uniform with the other fibers and is at an angle with the effective surface of the base of between 45 and 60 degrees from perpendicular to the base plus or minus 10 degrees.

5. A system in accordance with claim 3 wherein the angle of a majority of the fibers is uniform with the other fibers and is at angle with the effective surface of the base of between 45 and 60 degrees from perpendicular plus or minus 10 degrees.

6. A system in accordance with claim 4 wherein the angle of the fibers is 50 to 55 degrees with respect to the effective surface of the base.

7. A system in accordance with claim 5 wherein the angle of the fibers is 50 to 55 degrees with respect to the effective surface of the base.

8. A tuck maintenance facilitator for attachment to one of the lower outside of an upper garment and the upper inside of a lower garment to inhibit untucking of one garment from the other comprising: (a) a base having a generally rectangular conformation with a greater and lesser lateral dimension; (b) a series of uniform fibers attached to a greater lateral surface of the base; (c) the fibers being angled at an angle of between 45 and 60 degrees plus or minus 10 degrees of the effective surface of the greater lateral surfaces to which they are attached.

9. A facilitator in accordance with claim 8 wherein the angle of the fibers with the effective surface is of the base is 50 to 55 degrees.

10. A facilitator in accordance with claim 9 wherein the bottom of the base is provided with a self-adherent means.

11. A facilitator in accordance with claim 9 wherein the fibers have a length of from 120 to 60 millimeters.

12. A method of inhibiting untucking of upper garments in the general nature of shirts from lower garments in the general nature of trousers comprising: (a) identifying a portion of one of the garments normally within the beltline of the lower garment; (b) positioning within the surface of one of the upper and lower garments in the portion identified a facilitator having a plurality of short stiff and resilient fibers angled to the side from one surface; (c) orienting the facilitator such that the angle of the fibers will be such that the free end of such fibers is oriented to impinge one of the inside of the lower garment and the outside of the upper garment so that a stroke or effective extension of the fibers will tend to forcibly urge the lower end of the upper garment downwardly with respect to the lower garment; and (d) securing the side of the facilitator opposite the fibers extending therefrom to one of the garments.

13. A method of inhibiting untucking of garments in accordance with claim 12 wherein the surface of the facilitator opposite the fibers is secured to the outside of the upper garment within the normal beltline of the lower garment with free ends of the fibers adjacent to and oriented toward the inside of the lower garment.

14. A method of inhibiting untucking of garments in accordance with claim 12 wherein the surface of the facilitator opposite the fibers is secured to the inside of the lower garment within the area of the beltline of such garment with the free side of the fibers adjacent to and oriented towards the surface of the lower portion of the upper garment.

15. A method of countering untucking of a first garment in the general nature of a shirt worn with the lower portion within a second garment in the general nature of a pair of trousers, one of said first and second garments having preattached to it a tuck maintenance facilitator comprised of a base with a plurality of fine filaments extending form one side at a uniform angle, comprising: (a) donning the first and second garments with the second garment partially overlapping the first garment and with the tuck maintenance facilitator between the first and second garments the free ends of the fine filaments adjacent and intersecting with the one of the garments not having the tuck maintenance facilitator attached; (b) wearing the first and second garments in partially overlapping arrangement with the tuck maintenance facilitator in position between them whereby upon changes of pressure between the garments due to movements of the wearer the fine filaments respectively move with a stroke dependent on the angle of the fibers providing a ratcheting like action tending to progressively pull the end of the first garment downwardly under the second garment thereby counteracting the untucking tendency associated with such movements.

16. A method of counteracting untucking in accordance with claim 15 wherein the tuck maintenance facilitator is attached to the outside of the lower portion of the first garment and the stroke of the filaments is directed against a more elevated portion of the second garment.

17. A method of counteracting untucking in accordance with claim 15 wherein the tuck maintenance facilitator is attached to the inside of the second garment in the upper portion thereof and the stroke of the filaments is directed against a less elevated lower portion of the first garment.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application takes priority from U.S. Provisional Application 60/580,344 filed Jun. 16, 2004 in the name of Richard A. Hamlet.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to improvements in clothes and more particularly to maintaining several items of clothing arranged properly with respect to each other during wearing of such items and more particularly still to maintaining shirts and blouses and the like “tucked in” or otherwise correctly or conventionally arranged with respect to trousers, slacks, skirts or the like.

2. Preliminary Discussion

When shirts, shirtwaists and the like are worn with their bottom or lower portions extending under, or tucked under, or inside a pair of trousers, slacks or a skirt, such shirt or the like will frequently as the wearer moves tend to work out of its tucked position until there is more than enough of the material of the shirt or shirtwaist above the top of the trousers or the like to allow full movement of the persons body without placing any tension on the lower end of the shirt. By the time this equilibrium is reached, however, the lower portion of the upper garment, or shirt, will be loose above the lower garment, or trousers, almost in the form of a ruffle around the top or in the form of a bulge or half deflated balloon around the top or even in a loose downward fold. While ruffles around the middle have been stylish at certain periods in history and are still worn sometimes in formal wear or about the waist of character actors and clowns, having one's shirt protruding loosely from one's trousers or pants is today considered to look unkept, particularly in the dress of professional or managerial personnel. The aversion to such a look is so extreme among many persons that seeing a protruding shirt almost makes such persons imagine they smell perspiration on the person having an untucked shirt while some other persons may even affect the look in an attempt to look busier than they are. The average man, however, spends a significant time trying to surreptitiously tuck his shirt back into his trousers, particularly if he is a little overweight, as men frequently feel that having their shirt pulled out of their trousers tends to make them appear heavier, an opinion which is probably correct, as the extra extension around the middle increases the perception of bulk. Women have similar concerns with respect to blouses that pull out of slacks or skirts and generally dislike seeing men's shirts pulled out of their pants or trousers. One of the constant refrains many men become more or less oblivious to, or else annoyed or even enraged by, is constant reminders of “push your shirt in” or “tuck your shirt in!” Not only does the public spend considerable aggregate energy trying to keep their “shirt in,” but because of widespread recognition of the problem, a considerable amount of effort has been devoted to attempts to solve such problem by inventors. Prior art solutions have ranged from placing weights in the lower hem of shirts to hold them down, attaching removable weights to shirts by fastenings of various types, using hold down straps and other arrangements between the wearers legs or attached to the wearer's body somewhat like garter holdups for socks and attaching the lower portion of a shirt to the inside of trousers by various conventional fasteners and hold fast means such as buttons and snaps and the like, the latest examples of which are the application of the more modern hook and loop fasteners commonly identified as to source by the trademark “Velcro” to attach any upper garment to a lower garment. In general, any sort of permanent attachment to a special harness or the like about the body is uncomfortable for the wearer, weighting the lower end of a garment is not only extra weight to carry, but may not be sufficient to hold down the shirt, particularly for a portly person, any sort of hooking together or attachment of upper and lower clothes items is inconvenient to effect and to uncouple in undressing, although frequently used in the case of young children, and the use of the modern hook and loop attachment means, although fairly easily detached, is usually difficult in this particular use environment to secure. All these means for holding shirt ends down except the use of extra and variable weight and consequently reliance thereby upon gravity, suffer from the disadvantage of not allowing for adjustment for differing conditions.

The present inventor, on the other hand, has developed a completely new and improved method and means to maintain clothes items tucked together which method and means is dynamic in nature, completely effective in most instances as well as easy to implement and which effectively counteracts the dynamic forces engendered in clothes by constant movement of the body and resulting normally in shirttails gradually riding up and over the top of a pair of trousers. The invention introduces a countervailing dynamic mechanism acting in the opposite direction to draw the two items of clothing into a continuously tucked condition. The operating principle and mechanism of the invention counteracts the normal dynamics of a clothed human body tending to extract tucked in clothing and as a result of dependence upon the same dynamic movement of the wearer, which usually results in clothing becoming untucked, by the countervailing mechanism of the invention tends to pull the two garments more closely together. Such countervailing mechanism, moreover provides such a gentle but continuous operating mechanism that the wearer of the clothing is unaware of such countervailing force, feels nothing and will notice nothing except that his or her upper garments are not pulling out of lower garments into which they have been tucked, or, in the case of sudden movements in which such garments are pulled somewhat apart will gradually, with the usual movements which most persons are continuously making, be pulled gently together again into a neatly tucked condition.

The present inventor has discovered that the untucking of shirts, blouses, shirtwaists and the like can be dynamically counteracted by the use of a special nap or fibrous construction in which all or at least most of the fibers of the nap extend in the same direction at an angle with the base of the nap which base is positioned such that the fibers extend at an angle oblique to but generally toward the direction it is desired for the lower end of the shirt, blouse or the like to move if the nap base is connected to the lower garment, or, if such nap or fiber base is attached to or mounted upon the upper garment or shirt obliquely in the opposite direction to impinge upon the inside of the lower garment or pants. In other words, the angled fibers of the nap are arranged so as to tend to move the shirt end downwardly counter to the movement which causes untucking of the bottom of such shirt. If the nap is attached to the lower portion of the shirt, the individual fibers will be angled from the base of the nap upwardly against the adjacent trousers. On the other hand, if the nap is attached to the inside of trousers the nap will be attached to the trousers with the free ends of the nap fibers angling down against the lower portion of the shirt. In either case, movement of the wearer of the clothing, which movement would normally over a period tend to move the lower ends of the shirt upwardly, will be opposed by the stiff fibers angled in the opposite direction, but movement downwardly of the shirt or blouse end will not be hindered and in fact will tend to be facilitated by the angle and smoothness of the ends o the plastic fiber nap. It is not inappropriate to refer to the fiber nap as a tuck maintenance “facilitator,” since it in fact serves to facilitate movement of an adjacent section of cloth in only one direction and is arranged to exert such facilitation in a direction opposite to the normal slippage of shirts and the like from trousers into which they have been tucked.

3. Discussion of the Prior Art

An embarrassing problem is faced when a shirt rides up out of one's trousers or slacks or becomes un-tucked. This situation leaves the wearer looking unkempt and messy. Such situation can arise with men, women and children. Most people desire to have their shirts maintained with a pressed, tucked-in look. However, the longer a person engages in activity, such as physical activity or even merely fidgeting in ones seat or getting up and down, the more such persons shirt or the like tend to become un-tucked.

A number of patents have issued directed to keeping clothing and particularly shirts down and tucked in ones pants or slacks. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,175,993 issued to A. S. Gilman et al. on Jan. 23, 2001, entitled “Shirt-Locking Device,” provides a pin type means for fastening a sliding weight upon the lower portions of a shirt or the side of an undergarment to retain the shirt from becoming un-tucked by a double or two part fastening means.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,276,923 issued to A. Cohen on Jan. 11, 1994, entitled “Shirt Hold-Down Device,” discloses a central elastomeric web or harness arrangement, having concave sides to accommodate an individual's groin area, with a plurality of tethers extending longitudinally and laterally upwardly from the central web, with each tether including a clip-type fastener for securing to a perimeter portion of an individual's shirt to prevent it from riding upwardly.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,313,669 issued to M. Rasdell et al. on May 24, 1994, entitled “Clothing Anchor Apparatus,” discloses a clothing anchor apparatus, especially useful for anchoring the front and back tails of shirts, in the form of a garter type apparatus for securing in the crotch area and attached to the lower edge of a shirt to retain the shirt in position.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,397,393 issued to F. Alger on Jun. 4, 2002, entitled “Clothing Combination Comprising A Self-Releasing Bonding Means,” discloses an arrangement for maintaining a shirts and pants or as shown a shorts and shirt combination together by means of hook and loop material which is said to provide a self releasing arrangement.

U.S. published application 2004/0154069 published to D. B. Johnson et al. on Aug. 12, 2004, entitled “Adjustable Shirt-Tapering System,” discloses the use of hook and loop fastenings for forming custom fitted as it were shirttails to prevent the shirt from becoming untucked and presenting a messy and untidy appearance. The application contains an excellent discussion of the prior art respecting keeping shirts and the like in place, such prior art being divided in such discussion into seven (7) categories.

While there have been previous developments or technologies, therefore, for keeping shirts tucked and neat, most of the prior art technologies have required mechanical modifications or adjuncts which have interfered in one way or another with the normal use and comfort of the clothing. The present invention, however, requires only a simple addition which counteracts the forces normally causing untucking of shirts and is driven by the same movements that normally cause shirts and the like to become untucked to prevent such untucking or to pull shirts down again.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is the object of the present invention to provide a system which keeps a shirt tucked-in without the need for mechanical connectors, straps or other prior systems and which is a single component system rather than a multiple component system.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a shirt tucking system which makes use of the interplay of fabric fibers to keep the shirt tucked-in.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide an addition to the lower portion of a shirt or else adjacent to the shirt which counteracts the usual working of the bottom of the shirt out of lower body garments which are worn over the shirt.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a method of keeping shirts and the like from pulling out of, or becoming “untucked,” from trousers or slacks or the like.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a method of preventing shirts from becoming untucked comprising attaching between a fabric section that is desired to be maintained substantially in position with respect to another fabric section when the two are pressed together a collection of angled fibers between the two sections.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description which follows together with the appended drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a system for keeping a shirt tucked-in. The invention makes use of a nap composed of a plurality of angled fibers affixed to a base or backer and in turn affixed to a shirt or the inside of a pair of trousers below the belt and extending outward with the fibers angled for maintaining the position of the shirt relative to the pants and which, in interaction with the shirt or trousers opposite the fibers, initiate and drive a self-tucking action. A method is also provided for keeping a shirt tucked-in comprising the steps of providing a plurality of fibers angled toward one side of a base, positioning the base with the fibers angled in the direction it is desired to urge the shirt to prevent untucking and affixing the base to one of the lower end of a shirt or the upper inside of pant. A tuck maintenance facilitator comprising a base or back with a plurality of fibers angled to the side is provided for attachment between two garments is also provided.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a shirt to the lower portion of which the nap of the present invention is attached.

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic side or end view of a proper arrangement of a nap section with angled fiber in accordance with the invention between the cloth of a pair of trousers or other lower garment with a belt line and the cloth of a simultaneously worn shirt.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the present invention similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the dynamics of action of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the invention illustrating the dynamics of action when the nap section with angled fibers is connected to a pair of pants rather than a shirt.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a tuck maintenance facilitator in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 6 is a cross section of the tuck maintenance facilitator of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Having ones shirt or blouse gradually, or in some case relatively rapidly, pull out of ones trousers, slacks, skirt or kilts is a common experience. The rapidity of movement of such upper garment out of close or snug engagement with the lower garment depends to a large extent upon how much movement is made by the wearer of the garments. Thus, if one is engaged in athletics or is doing a lot of getting in and out of vehicles such as engaged in by deliverymen or policemen and, especially if one is frequently reaching upwardly placing tension on the upper portions of ones shirt or blouse the movement of ones shirt or blouse or the like upwardly out of a tucked position in ones lower garment may be relatively rapid or, indeed, in some cases, essentially instantaneous. However, if one sits or stands quietly with very little movement, the gradual movement upward of ones shirt may be relatively slow and, as a result, relatively little retucking of one's upper garment into ones lower garment may be necessary. The bodily shape of the wearer of the garments also has an effect in that more stout persons usually have more difficulty in maintaining a neat, tidy look without continuously tucking their shirts back into their lower belted or tighter lower body garments.

There has in the past been considerable thought and experimentation expended upon the problem of keeping ones shirt tucked in and a number of hoped for solutions have been tried, including connecting the upper garment to the lower garment by snaps, buttons and hook and loop attachments, tying the ends of the upper garment down by various reversed versions of suspenders passing between one's legs instead of over ones shoulders and other arrangements and improvisations noted in the above prior art discussion, none of which attempts at solution have been notably successful, at least on a practical day to day basis. In other cases an attempt to disguise an untucked condition has been attempted such as by the addition of ruffles to shirts and blouses at the location where such garments tend to slip from a lower garment or the wearing of a vest which may or may not flatten down the untucked portion.

The problem of the slippage of one section of a fabric from confinement by a second section of fabric is alleviated in accordance with the present invention by providing between the two and attached to one of a collection of stiff fibers in the form essentially of a directional nap angled away from the direction it is not desired for the cloth to move. In other words, the nap fibers will be angled against the direction in which a shirt will tend to pull out of a restricting pair of trousers or slacks as well as the direction it is wished the shirttail to move to rectify any untucking. The fibers, therefore, extend at an angle between these two opposite directions. Such angle of fibers may be obtained in several manners, but is most practically attained by attaching thin flocked fibers to a base while orienting the fibers at a more or less uniform angle to one side. Such fibers may then be mounted upon a shirt or pair of trousers or the like with the angle correctly oriented. In the case of a shirt and a pair of trousers or slacks this direction will be downwardly at an angle of about 45 to 60 degrees. The consistency or rigidity of the nap fibers upon its backing or attachment to the garment item must be such that it cannot easily be turned in the opposite direction. Continuous often subliminal movements of the body which would otherwise facilitate slippage of the two clothing items past each other and result in a gradual or even rapid movement of the one item of clothing, in this case a shirt or blouse, upward or toward the upper portion of the body, since this is the direction of least resistance because the opposite end of the garment is free, will be resisted, because the fibers of the nap, like the curved canine teeth of a predator resist movement in one direction, i.e. in the case of a predator outwardly from the predators mouth, while movement in the opposite direction is not resisted, but actually even facilitated by the smoothness of the fibers and their inclination in the same direction in a manner analogous to food slipping with movement of a predators jaws toward the throat with each change of position rather than outwardly away from the throat. Thus, each movement of the wearer of the clothing either tends to move the two superimposed sections of fabric in one direction or the other with the nap or inclined fibers of the invention facilitating movement in one direction, but resisting it in the other direction, with the end result that the cloth tends to move overall in the direction away from the major resistance to movement, i.e. away from the attachment downwardly into a tucked condition. In addition, as the fibers are compressed between the two sections of cloth when mounted in the tight section of the lower garment, or pants, at the beltline, the fibers in effect extend or “stroke” outwardly tending to press against the cloth at the free end and push the shirt toward its tucked position. As a result of the use of the invention the movements of the body which normally lead to progressive slippage of a shirt from a tucked position in trousers, slacks or the like now on the whole or on the average tend progressively to bias the shirt into the trousers or slacks provided these are coupled reasonably securely, rather than out of the trousers or slacks. While every movement may not have this result by the use of the tuck facilitator of the invention, the average movement is in the direction desired so that the wearers shirt remains neatly tucked into the wearers pants or slacks.

The present invention is directed to a system for keeping a shirt or upper garment or the like tucked into an outer lower garment. For purposes of this disclosure, an outer lower garment comprises one of a plurality of possible garments including slacks, skirts, kilts, shorts and trousers. The upper garment may comprise a shirt such as shown in FIG. 1 or similar garment such as a blouse, shirtwaist or other like garment which is normally tucked into the top of lower garment. The present invention is specifically directed to any garment which has a waist section or belt line and which may be worn with a shirt which needs to remain in a tucked-in condition with a neat appearance. A shirt 11 provided with the self tucking system, or nap, of the invention is shown in FIG. 1 with the system of the invention applied as a strip of the special nap or facilitator strip 14 comprising a base 12 and angled fibers as shown in FIG. 2 which will when inserted within a lower garment such as a pair of pants or slacks such that the facilitator tends to progressively press the shirt downwardly as the wearer moves. The system comprises as shown in FIG. 2 a base material 12 having attached to one side thereof a plurality of rigid fibers 14 extending outwardly from the base and angled in a uniform direction from the base 12. The fibers are preferably constructed from a stiff synthetic or natural material. When pressure is applied between the shirt 11 and lower garment, the fibers as they are pressed down thrust in whatever direction they are angled from the base and if the base is positioned between the garments will tend to lock the shirt and the outer lower garment from movement past each other in one direction while simultaneously pulling or pushing or stroking the garments past each other in a self-tucking manner in the other direction.

The combination of pressure between the shirt and lower garment maintains the relative position of the shirt and lower garment plus the holding action of the fibers in one direction combined with the thrusting motion of the fibers as compression is applied at right angles, creates the self-tucking or a “ratcheting” effect of the invention upon the lower portion of the shirt. The fibers 14 lock the shirt against the inside of the garment. When the shirt is pulled upwardly, the fibers 14 tend to pull along the inside of the trousers maintaining a rigid relative position. It is to be appreciated that the present invention is equally applicable to situations where the facilitator of the invention is on the lower garment in which case the free end of the angled fibers will be directed downwardly against the lower end of the shirt. The combination of opposition of the fibers impinging upon the outer garment when the shirt tends with movement of the body of the wearer to move upwardly towards an untucked condition plus the fibers tendency to thrust the cloth of the shirt downwardly when pressure is applied between the two garment sections at the belt or waistline results in an overall downward urging of the lower portion of the shirt tending to draw it tighter into the outer garment and counteracting the usual tendency for the inner garment to move out of the outer garment and to be held out by the inward force at the belt or waistline.

As noted, while the present invention is being described in the context of pair of trousers used with a shirt, the teaching of the present invention are applicable to any lower garment including a pair of trousers, skirts, shorts, coulots, or even a kilt. The teachings of the invention are applicable to any wardrobe situation where it is necessary to keep a shirt neat and tucked-in.

The combination of pressure between the shirt and trousers with the action of the fibers maintaining the relative position of the shirt and lower garment is diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 3. The fibers 14 lock the shirt against the inside of the garment. When the shirt is pulled upwardly, the fibers 14 tend to pull along the inside of the trousers to oppose the direction of movement of the shirt. With a compressing action moreover the fibers are straightened out into an angle more nearly vertical tending to push the shirt downwardly the pants being held in position by their construction about the waist. It is to be appreciated that the present invention is equally applicable to situations where the base is on the lower garment rather than the shirt.

Another potential embodiment comprises the direct application of fiber to the shirt or trousers without the backing material. The fibers may be woven or otherwise attached directly to the material of the shirt or trousers provided they are maintained sufficiently rigid and at the proper angle.

FIG. 3, as noted above, illustrates the dynamics of the action of the present invention to provide a dynamic self-tucking of a shirt into a pair of trousers, slacks, shorts or the like. In such figure, it will be understood that the lower pants or the like garment will be held in place or up primarily by being cinched more or less securely about the middle or waist of the human body and the lower portion of the upper body garment will be tucked under or into the top of the outer garment. The force of a belt against the outside of the pants acting against the surface of the body of the individual will tend to partially lock in place a shirt extending between the two (usually over an undershirt between the body of the wearer and the shirt itself). However, since the top of the shirt is held in place by the shoulders of the wearer, downward movement is restricted or limited while any movement which tends to lift the shirt will without use of the invention be resisted only by the compression between the waistband and/or the belt of the lower garment against the body through the fabric of the shirt. The result is that downward motion or slippage past the belt line, will tend to be resisted by tensional forces from the top of the shirt in addition to compression forces between the pants and the body while upward forces are resisted only by compressed forces. As a result, there tends, without use of the invention or some other tuck maintenance system, to be a slippage upward when sufficient force is exerted from the top and a steady slippage from a tucked in position results.

When the tuck maintenance facilitator of the invention is used, however, with dynamic movement of the body tending to urge the lower portion of the shirt upward such upward movement tends to be resisted by the plastic or other fibers of the nap or facilitator and downward movement is encouraged by the action of the short fibers of the facilitation upon their being forced downwardly or straightened out and then retracted as tension between the outer garment and the surface of the body varies including the movements of breathing. There is, therefore, a steady pushing or stroking of the downwardly angled fibers or filaments of the nap or facilitator tending to push or move the shirt end downwardly as the fibers are moved from whatever angled position or angle they have naturally to a more vertical orientation. The maximum elongation in a vertical direction of the fibers from the least lateral force applied to vertical flattening out is referred to as the “stroke” and is the maximum that the shirt end can be pushed or impelled downwardly by a single application of compressive force as the body moves including, for example, simple breathing. It may take a series of strokes to make up for a single external tug upwardly upon the shirt, but there will be a consistent movement downwardly that provides over a period an automatic tucking or tightening action with respect to the shirt. Different strokes or maximum downward movements of the fibers may be desirable for different users. For example, a greater stroke or maximum lengthening of a fiber may be desirable for clothing worn during athletics than for clothing worn to the office.

In FIG. 3 is, as noted above, a diagrammatic representation of a shirt and pants combination is shown similar to that shown in FIG. 2 but including in addition arrows 20 and 22 showing or illustrating compressive action from the pants side 22 due mainly to the constriction of a waistband and/or belt and the body side 20 caused by continuous movement whether from gross movement or from fidgeting or mere breathing, all tending to force the fibers of the facilitator or nap into an orientation approaching more or less closely to vertical. The result is that a vertical force 16 is applied to the shirt upon the lower portion of which the facilitator or nap is mounted.

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic figure similar to FIG. 3 but in which the facilitator or nap is mounted on the inside of pants rather than on an upper garment or the shirt, in which case the stroke is made by the free ends of the fibers against the outside of the shirt rather than the trousers or pants, although the result is essentially the same, i.e. to push down the lower portion of the shirt by a series of “strokes” more or less straightening the fibers into a more vertical orientation.

FIG. 5 shows from the side a section of a typical facilitator or nap and FIG. 6 shows a cross section thereof. As can be seen this is formed of a base 12 from which there extend a series of preferably straight more or less rigid fibers at an angle which can vary along with the length of the fibers depending upon the use. The base will usually be supplied on the side opposite the fibers with an adhesion strip of some sort to adhere to the base to a clothing item at a suitable location such as shown in FIG. 1. The adhesion layer referred to as a backing can be of any sort that will provide a secure interengagement or adhesion or connection with the cloth of a garment.

The optimum effectiveness of the “self-tucking” action and the “holding” properties of the fabric are determined by several variables as follows:

Length of Fibers

The length of the fibers being used at the present time as a preferred arrangement for self-tucking shirts is 120 thousandths of an inch in length and the fibers are 18 denier in thickness, which is actually a designation of the amount of material in a fiber of a standard length, but serves conventionally to designate thickness or fineness. (A denier is a weight of 50 milligrams of yarn in 450 meters of length, a rather thin individual fiber.) The length of the fibers affects the “self-tucking” and “holding” performance properties by extending or withdrawing the “reach” between the shirt and the trousers. A longer “reach” prevents the shirt from disengaging from the trousers, thus releasing the “hold.”

The length of the fibers also determines, as noted above the length of the “stroke” of the self-tucking action. As trousers are compressed against a shirt, the uniformly angled fibers that are positioned to direct the shirt downward, force the shirt further down and farther past the trouser belt line with each pressing action. The fibers hold the new position after being pushed. This action is similar to a “ratcheting” effect and is therefore sometimes referred to as “ratcheting.”

The “stroke” length is variable and will be determined by the application of the garment. Uniform, athletic and vigorous use apparel may require longer lengths of fibers whereas finer garment fabrics and less vigorous activity garments will require shorter length fibers.

The present preferred 120 thousandths length fibers provide a certain length “stroke” or distance of travel upon compression. Sixty-thousandths length fibers provide approximately half that length of “stroke.” Development of different length and thickness of fibers is contemplated. In general it is believed that good results will be obtained with fibers varying in the length and thickness given by 20% may be generally satisfactory and as much as 50% variation on either side may be satisfactory in certain instances.

Properties of Fibers

The presently used fibers are made of Nylon or Polyester but other types of fibers may be utilized so long as they possess the necessary performance properties required. A Nylon fiber has a softer feel and is more pliable, but has a lesser performance than the more rigid Polyester fibers, which feel more coarse.

A more pliable fiber is more suitable for normal activity garments whereas a more coarse fiber is more suitable for more vigorous activity garments.

Angle of Fibers

The angle at which the fibers extend out from the base material presents a performance variable. The uniform directional fibers engage the opposing garment material in a “pole vault” fashion. The more upright that the fibers stand up from the base material, the further the travel of the base material upon compression. The less upright the fibers the less travel of the base material and also the greater the holding performance. There is a relative relationship of “self-tucking” performance versus “holding” performance properties determined by the angle of the fibers. An angle of 45 degrees plus or minus 10 degrees is preferred.

Width of Fabric

The greater the width of the fabric or base that is affixed to the garment the greater the surface area provided for the performance of the function of the tuck maintenance facilitator. A greater surface area generates increased effectiveness in performance and a lesser surface area generates a lesser performance. The more vigorous activity garments require a greater surface are of the fabric, whereas, less vigorous activity garments require less surface area. Frequently a strip of facilitator material will extend completely around the garment to which it is attached as shown in FIG. 1. However, discontinuous strips or swatches may be used and the width of the facilitator strip may vary depending upon need. However, the width also will depend in many cases upon how wide the beltline of the lower garment or pants is.

Manufacturing of Fabric

Presently, the fabric is being manufactured through the process known as “flocking.” Because of the nature of this manufacturing process, there is the ability to control the variables of exact fiber length and angle of fiber directional set.

The flocking process begins by running a continuous woven or non-woven base material through machinery that applies adhesive to the surface of the base material. It then travels through a flocking stage that sprinkles the specified fibers known as “flock” into an airborne environment over the surface of the base material. This airborne environment is electro-statically charged so that the fibers become polarized and stand on end while attaching themselves to the adhesive-coated base material. The exact angle of the fibers being set is adjusted and determined by several possible processes. The exact angle of the fibers being set is adjusted and determined by a mechanical process. As the flocked material exits the flocking environment, the fibers are set in the upright position in the wet adhesive. The fabric continues to run through a so-called “beater bar” process that vibrates the fibers down into the adhesive. The fabric then passes under a roller that sweeps the top of the fibers, effectively “combing” them in a uniform direction at the exact height desired to achieve the optimum “lay” to accomplish the highest performance of the “holding” and “travel” properties of the fabric.

The use of air pressure to achieve the desired angle of “lay” may be an alternative means which may exist and variations of the electrostatic charge may have an effect. It needs to be emphasized that it is ordinarily not desired to have uniformly standing flock fibers because the usual desire is to have a soft nap structure. Nor is it customary to have the fibers angled to one side at a uniform angle.

Summation

At the present time variable of thickness, length, angle and type of fibers are being explored to achieve the maximum performance and thus the above disclosed specifications may not be the final best-use materials and engineering. Other woven methods of achieving the necessary properties may exist.

As will be readily recognized the present inventor has provided a new and effective dynamic way for preventing shirts from becoming untucked invention which has great utility and attractiveness for persons wearing combinations of shirts and trousers or blouses and slacks or skirts. The facilitators or nap sections can be sold separately for placement in or on shirts or slacks or the like or can be provided in clothing on either a costume or a ready wear basis and as explained can be mounted upon either shirts or upper garment pieces or lower garment pieces as explained or on any items that may tend to separate in a similar manner.

While the present invention has been described at some length and with some particularity with respect to the several described embodiments, it is not intended that it should be limited to any such particulars or embodiments or any particular embodiment, but it is to be construed with references to the appended claims so as to provide the broadest possible interpretation of such claims in view of the prior art and, therefore, to effectively encompass the intended scope of the invention.