Title:
Modified pantyhose and/or tights
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Three new ways to make pantyhose easier to use (especially for handicapped persons) have been shown. The single piece Pantyhose and Tights have been converted to 2-piece garments. With regular Pantyhose or Tights the user must maneuver both feet at the same time into the two pantyhose-legs. With the two-part Pantyhose or Tights, this takes place one step (foot) at a time, which is much easier to do.



Inventors:
Wojeski, Edith (Framingham, MA, US)
Brack, Karl (Worcester, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/895441
Publication Date:
04/27/2006
Filing Date:
10/22/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B11/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KARL BRACK (WORCESTER, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. We claim a pantyhose comprising two or more parts where the first part and second part are essentially mirror images of each other. Each of these two parts comprises a panty with one stocking attached [eg the first part comprises the right side of the pantyhose and has the right side stocking attached (right-sided pantyhose-panty) and the second part (the left side of the pantyhose) has a left stocking attached (left-sided pantyhose-panty)]. The leg openings on the panty-parts are regular elastic panty leg-openings. The top of the pantyhose-panty also comprises an elastic waistband.

2. We also claim a pantyhose comprising two or more parts where the first part is either a left-sided pantyhose-panty or a right-sided pantyhose-panty. The seond part comprises one or several stockings that match the first part in size, color, weave and appearance. These stockings are simila to regular stockings with an elastic opening at the top that will prevent the top of the stocking from sliding down when worn.

3. We claim a pantyhose that comes in two or more parts. The first part comprises a pantyhose-panty (either left-sided or right sided; either can be used) The outside of the leg-opening on the pantyhose-panty being equipped with means of attaching the additional parts comprising at least one matching stocking (matching in size, color, weave, etc).

4. The pantyhose of claim 3 wherein the means for attaching is a Velcro closure.

5. The pantyhose of claim 3 wherein the means of closure are snaps

6. The pantyhose of claim 3 wherein the means of closure are hooks and eyelets

7. The pantyhose of claim 3 wherein the means of closure are buttons and buttonholes.

8. The pantyhose of claim 3 wherein the means of closure are a strip or strips of pressure sensitive adhesive.

9. The pantyhose of claim 3 wherein the means of closure is a Zipper.

10. We furthermore claim a pantyhose comprising two or more parts where both parts are mirror images of each other with respect to the shape (A left-sided pantyhose-panty and a right-sided pantyhose-panty). However in this case the panty-parts have been slit from the waistband to the leg-opening and both sides of the slits comprise a means of closing the panties.

11. The pantyhose of claim 10 wherein the means of closure is a Velcro closure.

12. The pantyhose of claim 10 wherein the means of closure are hooks and loops.

13. The pantyhose of claim 10 wherein the means of closure are hooks and loops.

14. The pantyhose of claim 10 wherein the means of closure are buttons and buttonholes.

15. The pantyhose of claim 10 wherein the means of closure is a reusable pressure sensitive adhesive.

16. The pantyhose of claim 10 wherein the means of closure is a zipper.

Description:

1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Pantyhose has been worn by most women for aesthetic appearance or comfort during the last 40 years. However older women, suffering from arthritis, limited mobility or loss of equilibrium, often have problems getting both feet into a pair of pantyhose.

2. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The term ‘pantyhose’ is exclusively American, referring to the combination of ‘panties’ (undergarment) with hosiery. The one-piece pantyhose was a substantial improvement that appeared in the 1960s because it provided a convenient alternative to separate underwear and hosiery. In the USA the term tights is used to describe a garment similar to pantyhose, but which is thicker and more commonly worn in wintertime for warmth or by girls, dancers, and other athletes.

Pantyhose are worn for a number of reasons. Sheer pantyhose that match the skin color of the legs can enhance the appearance of the legs, making them look smoother. Darker Pantyhose can enhance the legs by outlining the shape. Pantyhose also has practical use, as it can provide warmth in colder weather (especially tights) and let women go ‘bare-legged’ even in the winter. Pantyhose can even enhance blood circulation by applying even pressure on the legs throughout the day.

Pantyhose are available in a wide range of styles. The sheerness of the garment, expressed as a numerical ‘denier’, ranges from 3 (extremely rare, very thin, barely visible) to 20 (standard sheer) up to 30 (semi opaque). The term denier refers to the weight of the yarn in grams at a standard length of 9000 meters. Thus 9000 meters of yarn of 1 denier weigh 1.0 gram.

Pantyhose also comes in a variety of colors, from gray/black or skin tone common in business wear to brightly colored styles fashionable among young women.

Most pantyhose are composed of nylon and spandex, which supplies the elasticity and form fitting that is characteristic of modern pantyhose. Unfortunately, the nylon fabric is somewhat prone to tearing and it is common for very sheer hose to ‘run’ soon after snagging on something sharp.

Pantyhose worn for fashion have a standard construction. The top of the waist is a strong elastic. The part covering the hips (boxer/brief area) is composed of a thicker material than the legs. The gusset or crotch is also a stronger material, sometimes made of cotton. The legs of the pantyhose are made of the thinnest material which has a consistent construction down to the toes, which may be reinforced to guard against wear. Interestingly hose for the legs were a male fashion (for example among European and American aristocrats during the 16th century), while women hid their legs from public view. This trend reversed, however, with men wearing pants and women exposing their legs. In the 20th century, pantyhose have been marketed to women exclusively. However in recent years some versions for men have appeared in the marketplace, touted for warmth as well as for appearance, blood circulation, and comfort. We may yet see a reversal again, or perhaps a unisex approach to this unique garment.

Despite the popularity of today's pantyhose, there are some problems associated with their use. Older women which may suffer from arthritic joints, stiff joints, and/or stiff backs, may find it difficult to reach below their feet in order to slip into the pantyhose. Their fingernails may get caught in the pantyhose or stocking fabric and cause runs.

3. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It has been found that this problem can be solved by using a 2-part pantyhose. One part consists of a pantyhose with only one leg (pantyhose-panty (see FIG. 2). The other part being a matching stocking (color, size, weave, etc). When worn, the stocking may be attached to the pantyhose-panty by a suitable closure (e.g. velcro). or it may remain on its own as a stocking.

A left-sided pantyhose-panty may be combined with a right-sided pantyhose-panty (see FIG. 1) and together they will make up the equivalent of a regular pantyhose (one panty will be worn over the other one). (See FIG. 2).

A further modification involves a combination of a left-sided pantyhose and a right-sided pantyhose where the panty part of each has been slit from the waistband to the leg-opening and with a closure attached to the slit (eg Velcro). (See FIG. 3).

4. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Conventional materials/fabrics and manufacturing/sewing methods may be employed. Conventional colors, sheerness and fabrics may be used as well as other suitable/appropriate ones. As described earlier, these properties/characteristics may be selected based on the intended application. For example, colored, sheer Pantyhose for fashion purposes and semi-opaque for warmth or medical purposes.

The use of the word pantyhose is also intended to cover related garments such as tights etc.

The manufacture of pantyhose and tights is well known in the art and described for example in a number of U.S. patents including U.S. Pat. Nos. 20020104334, 20040031293, 200400031293, 20040145717, 20040123368, 20040111781, 20030110551 and 20040171765.

The following type of closures can be used: Velcro closures, snaps, hooks and eyelets, buttons and buttonholes, reusable pressure sensitive adhesives, etc.

5. EXAMPLES

Example 1

The Pantyhose (Tights) of this invention (FIG. 1a and FIG. 1b) consist of 2 parts; a right sided pantyhose-panty (part a) (FIG. 1 a) and and a left sided pantihose-panty (part b) (FIG. 1 b). Each of these 2 parts comprises a panty with one stocking attached [eg a right stocking on part (a) (FIG. 1a) and a left stocking on part (b) (FIG. 1 b). Each part has an elastic waistband and an elastic leg-opening.

The person using this pantyhose will first slip the right foot through panty (a) into the right stocking followed by slipping the left foot through the panty, After pulling part a of the pantyhose up tight, the person will slip the left foot into the stocking of part (b) followed by slipping the right foot through panty (b) and then pulling part (b) up tightly over part (a).

Example 2

The Pantyhose of this invention (FIG. 2 a and 2 b) comprises two or more parts. The main part is what we call a Pantyhose-panty. It is a panty with one stocking attached and the other leg-opening left open. Two types of pantyhose-panties exist; left-sided with the left stocking attached (FIG. 2 b) and right-sided with the right stocking attached (FIG. 2 a). Additionally there is one or several stockings included, matched to the pantyhose-panty in size, color, txture and appearance.

The pantyhose-panties have elastic waistbands and elastic leg-openings. The stockings also have elastic openings to keep the stockings from slipping down when used. (See FIG. 2 a and FIG. 2 b).

The person using this pantyhose will first slip the appropriate foot through the panty into the stocking, followed by slipping the other foot through the panty, Then the user will pull up the pantyhose tightly. Lastly the user will slip the other foot into the stocking and pull it up tightly.

Example 3

The problems that were mentioned earlier can be alleviated in a fourth way yet by using a pair of modified Pantyhose-panties; one with a left foot and one with a right foot (see FIG. 3 a and FIG. 3 b).

The Pantyhose-panty has an elastic waist just like a regular pantyhose or panty. The leg-opening on the pantyhose-panties is elastic just the same as on regular panties. Furthermore the panty part is cut on the side from waist to the leg-opening. Both sides of this slit have parts of a closure affixed in order to be able to close the panty after the pantyhose has been put on.

When using these Pantyhose-panties the user first opens the panty-closures and then slides the left leg into the left Pantyhose-stocking. Then the 2 panty-wings are draped over the hip, tightened and then the slit is closed. Now the left pantyhose-section is in place and the same process is repeated with the right foot section. The panty-part is pulled up over the left side panty that is already in place. Now the panty-wings of the right foot section are also pulled tight and the slit is closed. The person is now completely dressed in the pantyhose.

Example 4

The problems that were mentioned at the beginning can be alleviated in another way yet by using a Pantyhose-panty (either left-sided or right sided) with the panty-part cut from the waistband to the leg opening. Each side of the slit has one part of the closure mechanism affixed in order to be able to close the panty-part again once the garment is in place and after draping the 2 panty-wings over the exposed hip and thereby effecting closure.

Another part of the modified pantyhose consists of one or several well matched stockings (well matched with regard to the Pantyhose-panty part with respect to color, size, appearance and weave, etc.) (FIG. 4).

The user will first put on the Pantyhose-panty by slipping the correct foot through the panty-part into the panty-stocking and then pull the pantyhose-panty up over the hips and drape the 2 panty-wings over the corresponding hip and effect closure of the pantyhose-panty.

Then the user will put on the matching stocking on the bare leg and pull it up into place. The stockong can be worn as is since it will stay in place because of its elastic top opening. Another choice is to attach the top of the stocking to the pantyhose-panty by means of a Velcro closure or other means.