Title:
General purpose unisex protective garment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new protective garment for preventing one's clothes from being soiled and protecting one from injury while mowing or weed-eating. The invention provides a unitary garment that comprises a lower body and an upper body portion. The lower body portion includes two legs with each leg having three straps adapted for fastening around each of the user's legs. The upper body portion also includes a strap for fastening the garment around the user's waist. A “T” shaped slit forms the legs of the garment and provides the necessary coverage area while providing for simple manufacturing and limited material waste.



Inventors:
Westcott, Edwin T. (Havana, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/959735
Publication Date:
05/25/2006
Filing Date:
10/06/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pennington, Moore, Wilkinson, (Tallahassee, FL, US)
Claims:
Having described my invention, I claim:

1. A unitary protective garment that can be worn by a user having legs, a shoulder, and a waist, comprising: a. an upper portion; b. a lower portion, wherein said upper portion and said lower portion together are composed of a unitary piece of fabric material and said lower portion includes a first leg guard and a second leg guard, said first leg guard and said second leg guard each being generally rectangular in shape and having an interior portion and an exterior portion; c. wherein each of said leg guards has a top section, a knee section, and a bottom section; and wherein each of said top sections, said knee sections, and said bottom sections has a strap adapted to fasten around one of said user's legs.

2. The unitary protective garment of claim 1 wherein said upper portion further comprises a waist strap adapted to fasten around said waist of said user, and said lower portion further comprises a protective flap located between said first leg guard and said second leg guard and adapted to fasten to said waist strap of said upper portion when said waist strap is fastened around said waist of said user.

3. The unitary protective garment of claim 1, wherein said upper portion of said garment further comprises a strap adapted to cross over said shoulder of said user.

4. The unitary protective garment of claim 2, wherein said upper portion of said garment further comprises a strap adapted to cross over said shoulder of said user.

5. The unitary protective garment of claim 1, wherein said upper portion further comprises a waist strap, and said leg guard further comprising a support strap, said support strap adapted to fasten said top section of said interior portion of said leg guard to said waist strap.

6. The unitary protective garment of claim 2, wherein said leg guard further comprises a support strap, said support strap adapted to fasten said top section of said interior portion of said leg guard to said waist strap.

7. The unitary protective garment of claim 3, wherein said upper portion further comprises a waist strap, and said leg guard further comprising a support strap, said support strap adapted to fasten said top section of said interior portion of said leg guard to said waist strap.

8. The unitary protective garment of claim 4, wherein said leg guard further comprising a support strap, said support strap adapted to fasten said top section of said interior portion of said leg guard to said waist strap.

9. A unitary protective garment that can be worn by a user having legs, a shoulder, and a waist, comprising: a. a unitary piece of fabric material, substantially rectangular in shape and having a length component, a width component, a top and a bottom, wherein said width component is adapted to partially encircle said user's waist at said top of said unitary piece of fabric material; b. a vertical slit, dividing said bottom of said unitary piece of fabric material into two substantially equal leg guards, wherein said vertical slit extends from said bottom of said unitary piece of fabric material to a termination point below said top of said unitary piece of fabric material, with the distance between said termination point and said bottom of said unitary piece of fabric material being substantially equal to said user's inseam; c. a horizontal slit, said horizontal slit being connected to said termination point of said vertical slit, and said horizontal slit being substantially perpendicular to said vertical slit; and d. a plurality of straps, said straps adapted to attach said protective garment to said user.

10. The unitary protective garment of claim 9, further comprising an upper portion, wherein said upper portion of said garment further comprises a shoulder strap adapted to run over said shoulder of said user.

11. The unitary protective garment of claim 9, further comprising: a. an upper portion, wherein said upper portion of said garment further comprises a waist strap adapted to wrap around said waist of said user; b. wherein said leg guards have an interior portion, an exterior portion, a top section, a knee section, and a bottom section; and c. a support strap, said support strap adapted to fasten said top section of said interior portion of said leg guard to said waist strap

12. The unitary protective garment of claim 10, wherein said upper portion of said garment further comprises a waist strap adapted to wrap around said waist of said user; and wherein said leg guards have an interior portion, an exterior portion, a top section, a knee section, and a bottom section; and wherein said leg guards further comprise a support strap, said support strap adapted to fasten said top section of said interior portion of said leg guard to said waist strap.

13. A unitary protective garment that can be worn by a user having legs, a shoulder, and a waist, comprising: a. a unitary piece of fabric material, substantially rectangular in shape and having a length component, a width component, a top and a bottom, wherein said width component is adapted to partially encircle the user's waist at said top of said unitary piece of fabric material; b. a vertical slit, dividing said bottom of said unitary piece of fabric material into two substantially equal leg guards, wherein said vertical slit extends from said bottom of said unitary piece of fabric material to a termination point below said top of said unitary piece of fabric material, with the distance between said termination point and said bottom of said unitary piece of fabric material being less than said user's inseam; c. a first diagonal slit and a second diagonal slit, wherein said first diagonal slit and said second diagonal slit each begin at said termination point of said vertical slit and bears substantially toward said top of said unitary piece of fabric material so that said vertical slit, said first diagonal slit, and said second diagonal slit together create a Y-shaped junction; and d. a plurality of straps adapted to attach said protective garment to said user.

14. The unitary protective garment of claim 13, further comprising an upper portion, wherein said upper portion of the garment further comprises a strap adapted to run over said shoulder of said user.

15. The unitary protective garment of claim 13, further comprising: a. an upper portion, wherein said upper portion of said garment further comprises a waist strap adapted to wrap around said waist of said user; b. wherein said leg guards have an interior portion, an exterior portion, a top section, a knee section, and a bottom section; and c. a support strap, said support strap adapted to fasten said top section of said interior portion of said leg guard to said waist strap

16. The unitary protective garment of claim 14, wherein said upper portion of said garment further comprises a waist strap adapted to wrap around said waist of said user; and wherein said leg guards have an interior portion, an exterior portion, a top section, a knee section, and a bottom section; and wherein said leg guards further comprise a support strap, said support strap adapted to fasten said top section of said interior portion of said leg guard to said waist strap.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the field of protective garments that are worn over clothing. More specifically, the invention comprises a garment that can be worn over clothing to protect one's body from injury and prevent one's clothing from being soiled.

2. Description of the Related Art

Protective garments are widely used for various applications. Examples of commonly used protective garments include coveralls, aprons, and protective chaps. Each of these protective garments can be effective in certain applications.

Coveralls are particularly effective for comprehensive protection of a person's front, back, arms and legs. Prior art coveralls are made of various materials. They may or may not include insulation, depending on the intended use. Coveralls are commonly a unitary garment which provides coverage of the body equivalent to that of pants and a long sleeve shirt. Generally, donning coveralls requires a user to step into the leg portions like pants, put their arms through the sleeves, and then fasten the coveralls shut in the front or back.

Aprons and protective chaps, on the other hand, provide protection that is generally limited to the front side of a person's body. Aprons are used in fields as disparate as cooking, welding, and laboratory research. An apron is generally the preferred garment in applications where one is at risk of objects splashing or spraying against the upper body. The most common aprons feature a loop that is worn around the neck and tie strings or fasteners that wrap around one's back.

Chaps are commonly used by chainsaw operators, rodeo participants and others engaged in activities in which their legs are especially susceptible to injury. Chaps are generally made of a sturdy material like leather or special weaves of fabric that are designed to prevent penetration of the material and injury to the wearer's legs. Protective chaps are commonly held in place by a belt that is worn around the waist and fasteners that wrap around the back of the legs.

Traditional protective garments, however, are poorly suited for use in conventional lawn and yard maintenance activities such as mowing and “weed-eating.” Mowers and weed-eaters can kick back debris that can soil and stain the operator's clothes and even cause injury. Wearing coveralls is not a practical solution for those who do lawn maintenance work in hot conditions, because the coveralls act as a barrier to heat transfer and can cause the wearer to become unbearably hot while working. Furthermore, aprons and chaps provide ineffective coverage for preventing debris from striking the body or are otherwise cumbersome to wear for one who is operating a mower or weed-eater.

It is therefore desirable to provide a protective garment that both provides the necessary protection for mowing and weed-eating and is comfortable to wear.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a unitary garment that comprises a lower body and an upper body portion for preventing one's clothes from being soiled and protecting one from injury while mowing or weed-eating. The lower body portion includes two leg guards with each leg guard having straps adapted for fastening around each of the user's legs. The upper body portion also includes a strap for fastening the garment around the user's waist.

In one embodiment, the garment also includes a groin flap between the two leg guards that can be drawn between the user's legs and fastened to the waist strap behind the user to provide additional security.

Another embodiment provides for an extended upper body portion and neck loop for providing additional protection for the user's torso.

The invention provides all of these features, advantages, and objects along with others that will become apparent with reference to the following description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a frontal perspective view, showing the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view, showing the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view, showing the present invention adapted with support fasteners.

FIG. 4 is a frontal perspective view, showing an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view, showing an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a frontal perspective view, showing an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN THE DRAWINGS

10 protective garment 12 upper portion

14 lower portion 16 pocket

18 fastener 20 support fastener

22 adjustable hook fastener 24 groin flap

26 neck strap 28 leg guard

30 T-shaped slit 32 interior flap

34 Y-shaped slit 36 top section

38 knee section 40 bottom section

42 groin-flap fastener 44 support-positioning strap

46 positioning loop

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The component parts of the protective garment are shown in FIG. 1. Protective garment 10 has upper portion 12 and lower portion 14 composed of a unitary piece of fabric material generally rectangular in shape. Upper portion 12 has pocket 16 which can hold small tools or supplies. Upper portion 12 also has fastener 18 which is adapted to be fastened around the user's waist. Fastener 18 is a basic tie-type fastener in this illustration, but can be any fastener known in the art. Lower portion 14 has two leg guards 28 which can be produced by making T-shaped slit 30 in lower portion 14 of protective garment 10.

Leg guards 28 each have fasteners 18 which are adapted to run around the user's leg at the thigh, knee, and ankle. In FIG. 1, fasteners 18 are attached to top section 36, knee section 38, and bottom section 40. This arrangement maintains leg guards 28 in the desired position without unnecessarily restricting the user's range of motion.

FIG. 2 shows a rear perspective view of the protective garment and one way the garment can be fastened to the user. Adjustable, hook fasteners 22 are used in this illustration, but can be any fastener known in the art including the aforementioned tie-type fasteners. Other fasteners that can be used include: belt-type fasteners, hook-and-loop fasteners, and clip-in fasteners. Adjustable hook fasteners 22 are secured around the user's waist and each leg, preferably at the thigh, knee, and ankle.

A preferred embodiment of the protective garment includes a fastener that is fastened around the knee of the user as shown in FIG. 2. This feature provides enhanced protection to the knee region. A garment that lacks this feature generally leaves the sides of the user's knee exposed when the leg is bent at the knee, as is common when one performs lawn maintenance activities. A fastener placed at the knee, however, helps maintain the protective garment in place and avoids exposing the sides of the user's knee to back-flying debris.

An alternate means of fastening the protective garment to the user is shown in FIG. 3. Support fasteners 20 are added to help maintain interior flap 32 of leg guards 28 in the desired location. Support fastener 20 passes through positioning loop 46 of support-positioning strap 44 so that positioning loop 46 is free to slide up and down support fastener 20. Support fasteners 20 can then be attached to the user's belt or to adjustable, hook fastener 22 that runs around the user's waist thereby preventing interior flaps 32 from falling out of position. Obviously support fastener 20 could also operate in the reverse (support-position strap 44 can be attached to interior flap 32 of leg guard 28 and support fastener 20 can be attached to the exterior portion of leg guard 28).

An alternate embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 4. Protective garment 10 has groin flap 24 which is located between leg guards 28. Leg guards 28 and groin flap 24 can be produced by making Y-shaped slit 34 as shown in FIG. 4. Groin flap 24 also has groin-flap fastener 42 which enables groin flap 24 to be positioned in the desired location as shown in the subsequent illustration.

FIG. 5 shows a rear perspective view of the alternate embodiment and one way the garment can be fastened to the user. The fasteners are adjustable, hook fasteners 22 in this illustration, but can be any fastener known in the art. Adjustable, hook fasteners 22 are fastened around the user's waist and each leg at the thigh, knee, and ankle. Groin-flap fastener 42 can be attached to the user's belt or to the fastener that runs around the user's waist thereby maintaining groin flap 24 in the desired position.

Another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 6. Protective garment 10 has an adapted upper portion 12 which provides additional protection for the user's torso. In this embodiment, upper portion 12 also has neck strap 26 that wraps around the user's neck thereby maintaining upper portion 12 of protective garment 10 in the desired position.

The preceding description contains significant detail regarding the novel aspects of the present invention. It should not be construed, however, as limiting the scope of the invention but rather as providing illustrations of the preferred embodiments of the invention. As an example, many types of fasteners can be used for fastener 18, support fastener 20, adjustable, hook fastener 22, or neck loop 26. Such a variation would not alter the function of the invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should be fixed by the following claims, rather than by the examples given.