Title:
Adjustable undergarment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable undergarment having a crotch panel of non-absorbent material for use of vaginal lotions.



Inventors:
Martz, Christine (North Bellmore, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/448177
Publication Date:
12/14/2006
Filing Date:
06/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41C1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALFRED M. WALKER (MELVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable undergarment comprising; a crotch panel having a non-absorbent material, a topically applied substance located on said crotch panel, a front portion fixedly attached to a first end of said crotch panel, a back portion fixedly attached to a second end of the crotch panel, and a body garment supporting said crotch panel.

2. An adjustable undergarment of claim 1, wherein the body garment is a waist band.

3. An adjustable undergarment of claim 2, wherein the waist band is selected from group consisting essentially of clear elastic bands, a clear plastic bands, and a mesh bands.

4. An adjustable undergarment of claim 3, wherein the front portion has Velcro on an upper end.

5. An adjustable undergarment of claim 3, wherein the front portion has fasteners on an upper end.

6. An adjustable undergarment of claim 5, wherein the front portion folds over the waist band.

7. An adjustable undergarment of claim 6, wherein the back portion folds over the waist band.

8. An adjustable undergarment of claim 7, wherein the crotch panel formed of TEFLA.

9. An adjustable undergarment of claim 7, wherein the crotch panel formed of wax-coated material.

10. An adjustable undergarment of claim 7, wherein the crotch panel formed of non-stick materials.

11. An adjustable undergarment of claim 10, wherein lotions are pre-applied to the crotch panel.

12. An adjustable undergarment as in claim 1 wherein said topically applied substance is manually applied by a user prior to use.

13. An adjustable undergarment as in claim 1 wherein said topically applied substance is pre-applied by a manufacturer of said crotch panel prior to assembly of the adjustable undergarment.

14. A method of retaining a user manually applied a substance on human skin and tissues comprising the steps of forming a non-absorbent crotch facing panel; manually applying the substance to said crotch facing panel, fastening said crotch facing panel to a body garment, wherein said retaining article is dimensioned to conform to the contours of the location of the skin to which the substance is manually applied.

15. The method as in claim 14 wherein said substance is selected from the group consisting of lotions, creams, medicaments, moisturizers cosmetics, botanicals and fragrances.

16. The method as in claim 14 wherein said body garment is an undergarment.

17. The method as in claim 14 wherein said body garment is a waistband.

18. The method as in claim 14 wherein said body garment is at least one skin adherable adhesive patch.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application incorporates by reference and claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) from provisional application No. 60/687,960 of Jun. 7, 2005. This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 11/348,614 filed Feb. 7, 2006, which application is incorporated by reference herein and which application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of US Provisional Application No. 60/650,702, filed Feb. 7, 2005, which is also hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This disclosure relates to undergarments which may be adjusted to the wearer's comfort and choice of clothing.

BACKGROUND

Conventional women's panty underwear with waistbands and seams around the leg openings is unsuitable for women who wear tight pants, or low waist pants (such as “hip huggers”), which openly reveal waist bands and seams of panty underwear, or expose underwear waist bands. These bands and seams form unsightly lines that are easily seen through clothing. Conventional underwear may not be modestly used with evening wear or special occasion wear since the underwear would show through soft fabrics and low cut backs.

A number of undergarments are known in the art to have various sizes and modifications. Some are known to employ disposable materials, such as, for example, Glaug, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,307,120 B1 which describes a cloth-like, breathable disposable brief, with refastening means, for controlling incontinence.

Davis, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,832,535 discloses a genital covering garment that is a minimum temporary covering generally useful for surgical procedures or examinations not requiring visual or tactile access to these regions.

Marbach, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,339,208 relates to a minimal covering for the lower part of the anatomy consisting of a spring-supported patch that fits between the user's legs and engages the pubic bone and the sacrum. The intended use is as a bathing brief.

Crawford, II, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,467,482 describes a self-supporting side less and waistless tanning brief. This is a malleable wire frame with a cloth covering extending to the rear with a spring member which fits between the buttocks of the wearer.

Vargason, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,903,922 discloses a removable undergarment that is designed for quick wearing. A variety of attachment patches are used to attach the undergarment around the user in a comfortable fashion.

Lampman, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,905,323 describes a disposable undergarment held by a partially encircling belt, wherein the undergarment covers the pubic area and central buttocks of the user. It can be used by women while trying on bathing suits or the like in stores.

The prior art does not describe an undergarment that can be adjusted according to the outer garments worn by the user. An adjustable undergarment would be advantageously worn with any outer garments without immodest, unsightly lines or allowing the undergarment to be seen through the outer garment or areas not covered by the outer garment.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an non-absorbent undergarment having a crotch facing panel for applying substances, such as lotions, creams, medicaments, moisturizers cosmetics, botanicals and fragrances, to the human skin or tissues, such as a vaginal area.

Other objects which become apparent from the following description of the present invention.

SUMMARY

The adjustable undergarment or panty may be formed in a variety of styles to be easily used with outer garments of any style, particularly styles which may be move revealing and require more discreet undergarments. The adjustable undergarments may be disposable or reusable, and either form may be in any style of undergarment. The waistband and/or upper portion of the undergarment may include encapsulated fragrance to provide a slight scent. The undergarment may also include encapsulated moisturizing skin lotions.

A crotch panel in both the reusable and disposable embodiments is formed of non- absorbent materials, such as, for example, Telfa® pad materials. The panel may also include a protective layer furthest from the skin to prevent staining. These non-absorbent panels allow the user of the undergarment to safely apply vaginal lotions, medicaments and the like, as necessary without loss of lotions that otherwise would have been absorbed by surrounding materials, or embarrassing stains. In the reusable embodiment, the non-absorbent panel may be securely inserted into fasteners, loops, with tapes and the like to maintain its place.

In one embodiment, a disposable undergarment may be conveniently pre-packaged to include vaginal lotions and the like, to treat or avoid vaginal irritation or dryness. Women of any age experience chaffing, or abrasion as a result underwear, thongs, panty hose, tight clothing and irritation from sanitary pads. The adjustable undergarment having a non-absorbent panel would provide the benefit of lubricants as needed, and allow sooth discomfort in hemorrhoidal tissues as well.

The present invention also encompasses a method of retaining a user manually applied topical substance, such as lotions, creams, medicaments, moisturizers cosmetics, botanicals and fragrances, on human skin and tissues, such as the vaginal area, which includes the steps of forming a non-absorbent crotch facing panel; manually applying the substance to the crotch facing panel, fastening the crotch facing panel to a body garment, such as a undergarment, a separate waistband or one or more skin adherable adhesive patches. The crotch panel is dimensioned to conform to the contours of the location of the skin and tissues to which the substance is to be manually applied. Alternatively, in an alternate embodiment, the topically applied substance can be pre-applied by a manufacturer to the crotch panel during assembly of the adjustable undergarment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The present invention can best be understood in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is noted that the invention is not limited to the precise embodiments shown in drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side crossectional diagrammatic view of the undergarment in silhouette, showing the layers thereof, as well as the front and rear attachment straps and an body garment, such as a waistband;

FIG. 1A is a front view of one embodiment of the adjustable undergarment;

FIG. 1B is a back view of one embodiment of the adjustable undergarment;

FIG. 2 is a frontal view of an embodiment of low rise bikini showing a front portion of the non-absorbent panel;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a full reusable brief showing the front portion of the non-absorbent panel; and,

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of an embodiment of the non-absorbent crotch panel showing security loops and adhesive tape strips.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

This disclosure relates to undergarments 10 which may be adjusted to accommodate a wearer or user according to both individual comfort and style of dress, as desired. The adjustable undergarment 10 may be formed of disposable or reusable materials or some combination thereof. The adjustable undergarment 10 includes a non-absorbent crotch panel 14 as an integral portion of the adjustable undergarment 10 or alternatively the panel 14 may be removable to allow further use of the undergarment. The non-absorbent crotch panel 14 may optionally have a center panel 14a as a central subset portion thereof. Therefore either the entire crotch panel 14 or the center panel 14a may allow the user to apply, as necessary or desired, substances 15 such as, for example, creams, lotions, lubricants and/or botanicals as moisturizer or healing therapy for the vaginal area, sensitive tissues irritations and/or soothing hemorrhoidal tissues. In an alternate embodiment, the topically applied substance 15 can be pre-applied by a manufacturer to the crotch panel 14 or to the center portion 14a thereof, during assembly of the adjustable undergarment 10.

The non-absorbent crotch panel 14, and optional center panel 14a thereof, may be particularly useful for women who suffer from atrophic vaginitis, which can occur as a result of estrogen deficiency during menopause. The crotch panel 14 may be removably, securely attached to a reusable undergarment with tapes, self-adhesive strips, glues and the like. The undergarment 10 provides moisture to the skin and promotes healing of irritated tissues.

The adjustable undergarment 10 may also include encapsulated or micro-encapsulated moisturizer to benefit the user's skin and avoid abrasion or rubbing of materials. Women at any age can experience chaffing, and abrasion as a results of thongs, panty hose, tight clothing and irritation from sanitary pads. The moisturizer is typically activated by movement and/or warmth, to provide a light, discrete lubricant on the user's abdomen and buttock areas, which would not be visible or stain through the user's clothing. The adjustable undergarment 10 may also include an encapsulated or micro-encapsulated fragrance in the undergarment material, in addition to the moisturizer or instead of the moisturizer. The micro-encapsulated fragrance may also be included in the waist band materials, for example, the band may be formed of an elastic material having fragrance therein. Alternatively, a fragrance may be included within the moisturizer, which is itself encapsulated on or into the material(s) of the undergarment 10.

The adjustable undergarment 10 may be formed in a variety of styles to provide comfort for the user. In one embodiment, the undergarment 10 may be formed of a unitary piece of material. In another embodiment, the undergarment 10 may be formed of several portions and fixedly attached by any conventional means. The material, or combination of materials, may be woven or non-woven, natural or synthetic fabric or fibers. For example, disposable undergarments may be fabricated of polyacrylates, polyamides, polyesters, polyolefins, such as polypropylene or polyethylene, other thermoset and/or thermoplastic polymers, their derivatives, and combinations thereof.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the undergarment material portion 10, can be generally “U”-shaped in silhouette to form a front portion 12, a crotch panel portion 14, i.e. a flexible pad, which may include a center panel 14a in the vaginal area for manually applying a substance 15, such as a lotion, a cream, a medicament, a moisturizer and/or a fragrance thereto, and a back portion 16. In FIG. 1, front and rear Front and rear portions 12 and 16 may be short adhesive flaps or strips, extending briefly from opposite ends of the lotion-holding crotch panel 14, whereby the short flaps pr strips have adhesive or fasteners which attach either to the user's skin, or to the inside of a conventional panty undergarment. Likewise, alternatively, the front and rear flap or strip portions can be longer, and reach all the way up to either a waistband of a conventional panty undergarment, or, if no panty undergarment is worn, to a flexible discrete integral waistband, whereby the front and rear portions are attached by adhesive or fasteners to the to discrete integral waistband, or, are draped and wrapped over front and rear portions of the waistband. In that case, the user can adjust the fit of the front and rear flap portions, and therefore the position of crotch panel itself. This may be desirable for changes in posture, such as going from sitting positions to standing positions or vice versa.

The front portion 12 is fixedly attached to a first end of the crotch panel portion 14 and the back portion 16 is fixedly attached to second end of the crotch panel portion 14. A liquid impermeable reverse side panel 14b may be provided to insure against outward penetration of the substance away from the human skin or tissues, such as the vaginal area. In an alternative embodiment, the undergarment may be formed several pieces of affixed materials. Security strips 18 may be provided to insure placement of center panel 14a in place. The upper most ends (away from the crotch panel 14) of both the front and back portions removably contact a body garment 20, which may be either a waist band, a conventional undergarment to which the crotch panel is attached, or may be a skin adherable adhesive patch.

If the body garment 20 is a waistband, the waist band 20 can be formed of clear elastic band, a clear plastic band, a mesh band, or any unobtrusive material which can securely hold the undergarment material portion in a desired location. The upper ends of the front and back portions 12 and 16 can be alternately folded over the waist band 20 so that the flap now formed can be folded away from the user's skin or folded towards and placed next to the user's skin, as desired to the user. The flap crotch portion 14 may also be secured in place to a conventional undergarment with the use of fine-gauge Velcro®, small snaps, adhesive tape and the like or directly to the user's skin with skin adherable adhesive. The user of the undergarment may thereby adjust the undergarment 10 to a height, width and/or location as desired for the individual's comfort and style.

Waist bands 20 and the material portion(s) of the undergarment may be interchangeably used in a “mix-and-match” fashion according the desired fit of the user, since these portions are initially entirely separate. The waist band 20 may be formed of any material that provides a secure fit and it may be formed in any pattern, color or design. The waist bands 20 may be vary in sizes and circumferences to fit any user. The material portion of the undergarment may be formed in a variety of sizes, widths and lengths as may be comfortable to a variety of different women. The top and/or rear portions 14a and 14b may be more wide or narrow, as may be desired and chosen by a user. The length of the material portion from the upper end of the front portion 12 to the upper end of the back may vary according to a user's comfort and style. The material portion may also be formed in any pattern, color or design as may be attractive to a variety of users.

The crotch panel 14, and/or the center panel 14a, may be formed of a non-absorbent, non-irritating material such as, for example, materials used for non-stick medical bandages, i.e. Telfa®, wax coated materials, and the like. This crotch panel 14 and/or the center panel 14a provide a non-abrasive, smooth, contact area for the user's comfort and relief from further irritation. In addition, the user may apply substances 15, such as moisturizing lotions, cremes, medicaments, lubricants, and/or botanicals as desired or prescribed. As shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the center crotch 14 panel may be formed as a part of a disposable undergarment 100 which is discarded after a single use. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 3, the crotch panel 14 may be formed as a removable portion of reusable undergarment 200 where the crotch panel 14 is attached to the undergarment in any conventional manner and formed to fit comfortably within the center panel area 14 of the adjustable undergarment. In yet another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, the non-absorbent center panel may be applied to any undergarment 400 where the user may require application of vaginal moisturizing agents.

It will be appreciated that the adjustable undergarment may be fashioned and adjusted to wear with any style of clothing. For example, the adjustable undergarment provides line-less use with evening gowns, dresses and silky or soft materials. In particular, the undergarments may be adjusted for low or side cut clothing, such as evening or summer dresses, or clothing having cut-outs, such as pants with see-through or braided side portions.

In the foregoing description, certain terms and visual depictions are used to illustrate the preferred embodiment. However, no unnecessary limitations are to be construed by the terms used or illustrations depicted, beyond what is shown in the prior art, since the terms and illustrations are exemplary only, and are not meant to limit the scope of the present invention.

It is further known that other modifications may be made to the present invention, without departing the scope of the invention, as noted in the appended Claims.





 
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