Title:
Wearable protective changing garment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment allows a wearer to change clothes in privacy and can be comfortably worn for protection before, during, and after changing. The garment can include two layers of water-absorbent or water-wicking material separated by a water resistant layer. Alternatively, the garment can include an absorbent or wicking interior layer and a water resistant exterior layer. The garment can include a hood, sleeves, and two apertures that allow a wearer to reach underneath the garment to change clothes.



Inventors:
Issel, Cynthia Ardith (Encininitas, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/879335
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
07/17/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/69
International Classes:
A41D3/08; A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROGITZ & ASSOCIATES (SAN DIEGO, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A garment that can be worn before, during, and after the changing of clothes underneath the garment comprising: a body portion including a polyester fleece layer and at least a second layer flush therewith, the second layer including at least one water resistant surface made of one or more of neoprene, nylon, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane, the body portion defining a bottom edge and two side edges that are not attached to each other to establish a garment opening for the purpose of facilitating the placement of the garment on a wearer; at least two arm apertures formed within the body portion and configured to facilitate the placement of a wearer's hands and arms therethrough; and whereby, while the wearer places her hands through the arm apertures to access and remove wet clothing and change into dry clothing, the polyester fleece layer can wick water and the second layer remains substantially dry, thereby allowing the wearer, after changing has occurred, to reverse the garment and wear the garment for protection, warmth, or leisure without dampening clothing underneath the garment.

2. The garment of claim 1, wherein the second layer includes one and only one layer made of water resistant material.

3. The garment of claim 1, wherein the second layer includes a sublayer layer made of polyester fleece and a water resistant layer flush against the sublayer and establishing the water resistant surface, the surface being sandwiched between the sublayer and the polyester fleece layer.

4. The garment of claim 1, wherein the body portion includes at least two sleeves to cover at least the upper arm portion of the wearer.

5. The garment of claim 1, wherein the body portion includes at least one set of pockets.

6. The garment of claim 1, comprising means for attaching the garment engaged on the garment for allowing the garment to be hung or attached to a surface for drying or storage.

7. The garment of claim 1, further comprising a hood attached to the body portion.

8. The garment of claim 1, further comprising a storage sack attached to the body portion.

9. The garment of claim 1, comprising a substrate bearing instructions to don the garment with the polyester fleece layer facing the wearer's body to change into clothing under the garment and to reverse the garment after changing clothes with the second layer facing the wearer's body.

10. The garment of claim 9, wherein the substrate is a tag sewn on the garment.

11. The garment of claim 9, wherein the substrate is a tag engaged with a container associated with the garment.

12. A method comprising: providing a garment wearable by a person and having an inner water absorbent or water-wicking layer and an outer layer conforming to the inner layer, the garment including two arm apertures configured for providing a wearer access to clothing underneath the garment, the garment also being formed with an opening configured for facilitating the placement of the garment on the wearer; providing instructions to don the garment with the inner layer facing the wearer's body to access and remove wet clothing and change into dry clothing under the garment; and providing instructions to reverse the garment after changing clothes with the outer layer facing the wearer's body.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the inner layer is made of one or more of cotton, terry cloth, polyester fleece.

14. The method of claim 13, comprising a water resistant intermediate layer between the inner layer and outer layer, the outer layer being made of one or more of cotton, terry cloth, polyester fleece.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the water resistant intermediate layer is made of one or more of neoprene, nylon, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein no layer is interposed between the inner and outer layers and the outer layer is made of one or more of neoprene, nylon, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane.

17. A garment comprising: an inner water absorbent or water-wicking layer wearable by a person; an outer layer conforming to the inner layer; two arm apertures in the layers and configured for providing a wearer access to clothing underneath the garment; an opening in the garment and configured for facilitating the placement of the garment on the wearer; and a substrate bearing instructions to don the garment with the inner layer facing the wearer's body to access and remove wet clothing and change into dry clothing under the garment and to reverse the garment after changing clothes with the outer layer facing the wearer's body.

18. The garment of claim 17, wherein the inner layer is made of one or more of cotton, terry cloth, polyester fleece.

19. The garment of claim 18, comprising a water resistant intermediate layer between the inner layer and outer layer, the outer layer being made of one or more of cotton, terry cloth, polyester fleece and the water resistant intermediate layer being made of one or more of neoprene, nylon, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane.

20. The garment of claim 18, wherein no layer is interposed between the inner and outer layers and the outer layer is made of one or more of neoprene, nylon, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/358,656, filed Feb. 21, 2006, from which priority is claimed.

I. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to reversible garments with a water absorbent or water wicking layer and a water resistant layer, particularly for the purpose of changing wet clothes.

II. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many outdoor activities generally require the use of special clothing to participate. For example, it is typically recommended that surfers and divers wear a wetsuit to keep the body protected from wind and cold water temperatures. After participating in such activities, one must often change clothing in a public facility or near other people to stay warm, drive home, or engage in other activities such as going to a restaurant or shopping. In many instances however, public facilities or private changing quarters are not available due to the remoteness of the location or the circumstances of the activity. For example, surfers may park on the side of a road far from a designated beach area with changing facilities, and hike down to the water to surf the biggest waves. Similarly, a diver on a crowded boat may be forced to wear a wet wetsuit for a prolonged period due to a limited availability of suitable changing facilities or if they are in between dives. Even in locations where changing facilities are available, such as designated beach areas, if the parking, surfing, and public facility locations are spaced far apart or in different directions, a person may be forced to walk considerable distances and spend valuable time to change clothes in a public facility. Thus, either in a location with or without suitable changing facilities, safely changing clothes in public can be difficult.

As understood herein, if no adequate facilities are available, changing clothes without accidentally exposing oneself can be a burdensome task. This task frequently involves one person holding a towel around another person to enable that person to change without exposing themselves. If no facilities and a second person are not available however, the options for changing clothes without public exposure are rather limited. A first option is for a person change in their car. However this can be awkward and carries a heightened possibility of public exposure. Another option is to try to find a secluded place to change. However, this option might require walking a long distance and can present safety issues if a person is all alone in a remote area. A final option is to forego changing until reasonable changing facilities can be reached. This option, while not always available, often requires burdensome and repetitive travel, may involve getting in their vehicles with a wet wetsuit, is time consuming, and does not allow a person to change clothes to be immediately prepared to engage in other activities that are occurring in the same location or close by.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A garment that can be worn before, during, and after the changing of clothes underneath the garment includes a body portion with a polyester fleece layer and a second layer flush therewith. The second layer includes a water resistant surface made of one or more of neoprene, nylon, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane. The body portion defines a bottom edge and two side edges that are not attached to each other to establish a garment opening for the purpose of facilitating the placement of the garment on a wearer. Two arm apertures are formed within the body portion and are configured to facilitate the placement of a wearer's hands and arms therethrough. With this structure, while the wearer places her hands through the arm apertures to access and remove wet clothing and change into dry clothing with the polyester fleece layer facing the body, the polyester fleece layer can wick water and the second layer remains substantially dry, thereby allowing the wearer, after changing has occurred, to reverse the garment and wear the garment for protection, warmth, or leisure without dampening clothing underneath the garment.

The second layer may include one and only one layer made of water resistant material. Or, the second layer can include an outer sublayer layer made of water absorbent or water-wicking material and a water resistant layer flush against the sublayer and establishing the water resistant surface, with the surface being sandwiched between the sublayer and the polyester fleece layer.

In non-limiting embodiments the body portion can include two sleeves to cover the upper arms of the wearer, one or more sets of pockets, and means for attaching the garment for allowing the garment to be hung or attached to a surface for drying or storage. A hood may be attached to the body portion as can be a storage sack.

Furthermore, a substrate can be provided that bears instructions to don the garment with the polyester fleece layer facing the wearer's body to change into clothing under the garment and to reverse the garment after changing clothes with the second layer facing the wearer's body. The substrate may be a tag sewn on the garment or engaged with a container associated with the garment, such as the sack.

In another aspect, a method includes providing a garment wearable by a person and having an inner water absorbent or water-wicking layer and an outer layer conforming to the inner layer. The garment includes two arm apertures configured for providing a wearer access to clothing underneath the garment. The garment is also formed with an opening configured for facilitating the placement of the garment on the wearer, with a closure being provided on the garment and juxtaposed with the opening. Instructions are provided to don the garment with the inner layer facing the wearer's body to access and remove wet clothing and change into dry clothing under the garment. Also, instructions are provided to reverse the garment after changing clothes with the outer layer facing the wearer's body.

In still another aspect, a garment has an inner water absorbent or water wicking layer wearable by a person and an outer layer conforming to the inner layer. Two arm apertures are formed in the layers and are configured for providing a wearer access to clothing underneath the garment. An opening is also formed in the garment and is configured for facilitating the placement of the garment on the wearer. A closure may be provided on the garment and juxtaposed with the opening. A substrate bears instructions to don the garment with the inner layer facing the wearer's body to access and remove wet clothing and change into dry clothing under the garment and to reverse the garment after changing clothes with the outer layer facing the wearer's body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principals of this invention.

FIG. 1 depicts a front view of the wearable protective changing garment, partially exposing the interior portion, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 depicts a front perspective view of a person wearing the wearable protective changing garment, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 depicts a back view of the wearable protective changing garment, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4A depicts a cross-section of the preferred embodiment of the fabric material, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4B depicts a cross-section of an alternate embodiment of the fabric material, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 depicts a front view of an alternate embodiment of the wearable protective changing garment, partially exposing the interior portion to illustrate the garment storage sack, constructed in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 6 depicts a partially cut away perspective view of the wearable protective changing garment contained within the closed garment enclosure, constructed in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, wherein similar parts are identified by like reference numerals, there is seen in FIG. 1 a front view of a wearable protective changing garment 10, with a partially exposed interior region. In a non-limiting embodiment, the wearable protective changing garment 10 contains an interior layer 12 and a surrounding exterior layer 14. The interior layer 12 and exterior layer 14 can be separated by a dividing layer 16 (see FIG. 4A). The interior layer 12, exterior layer 14, and dividing layer 16 can all be contained within one type of fabric or material having three separate layers, or can each be separate layers of fabric sewn or otherwise combined together to form a continuous piece of material.

In the first embodiment, the interior layer 12 and exterior layer 14 can be made of a substantially water absorbent biocompatible material such as terry cloth, cotton, or other water absorbent material as would be deemed suitable by one with ordinary skill in the art, or a material that is partially water absorbent, or a material that is water wicking, such as polyester fleece. On the other hand, the dividing layer 16 is preferably made of a substantially water-resistant material such as neoprene, nylon, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane, or other substantially water repellent material as would be deemed suitable by one with ordinary skill in the art. The layers 12, 14, 16 may be bonded together with a suitable adhesive such that the final product appears to the eye as a single piece of material.

In an alternative embodiment, the wearable protective changing garment 10 can include an interior layer 12 and a surrounding exterior layer 14 (see FIG. 4B), wherein the interior layer 12 is made of a partially or substantially water absorbent or water wicking material and the exterior layer 14 is made of a substantially water resistant material, thereby eliminating a need for a dividing layer 16 discussed above.

As shown in the figures, the interior layer 12 and exterior layer 14 are shaped to form a body portion 18. The body portion 18 is generally defined by end seams 20 and a bottom seam 22 and is configured to cover the body of a wearer extending from the torso region down to the knees. The body portion 18 does not fit tightly against the body of a wearer, but rather is sufficiently sized so as to allow a wearer enough space underneath to maneuver hands and arms around to comfortably change clothes.

In some implementations the body portion 18 can include left and right sleeves 24 that are preferably designed to extend from the shoulder region of a wearer to cover the entire arm area. However, in alternative embodiments, the sleeves 24 can be configured to extend from the shoulder region midway down the arm to substantially cover only the upper arm area.

Furthermore, if desired the body portion 18 can also include a hood 26, preferably incorporated seamlessly into the body portion 18. However, the hood 26 can also be removably attached to body portion 18 by snaps, buttons, Velcro, zippers, or other means that provide removable attachment as would be recognized by one with ordinary skill in the art.

As also shown in the figures, the body portion 18 may also include a set of exterior pockets 28 and can include a set of interior pockets 30. The exterior pockets 28 can be attached to the exterior layer 14 while the interior pockets 30 can be attached to the interior layer 12. Thus, the exterior pockets 28 can be made of material that is the same or similar to that of the exterior layer 14, while interior pockets 30 may be made of material that is the same or similar to that of the interior layer 12.

It is to be appreciated that the exterior pockets 28 and interior pockets 30 serve to provide protection for the hands of a wearer against wind, cold, and rain, and also can provide storage areas for personal items such as wallets, keys, and cell phones. The exterior pockets 28 and interior pockets 30 are preferably positioned opposite one another on the wearable protective changing garment 10. However, the exterior pockets 28 can be positioned anywhere on the outer layer 14 within hands' reach of the wearer and the interior pockets 30 can similarly be positioned anywhere on the interior layer 12 within hands reach of the wearer. The positioning of the interior pockets 30 directly opposite the exterior pockets 28 allows convenient protection for the wearer's hands and storage capabilities for personal items once the wearable protective changing garment 10 has been reversed after the changing of clothes has occurred. In the preferred embodiment, the exterior pockets 28 and interior pockets 30 are of similar style and dimension. However, in alternate embodiments, the exterior pockets 28 and interior pockets 30 can either be larger or smaller in dimension and can embody different styles of pockets.

The body portion 18 of the garment 10 can also include a set of arm apertures 32 to establish an opening for the arms of a wearer to enable the wearer to remove a swimsuit, wetsuit, or other clothing apparel located underneath the garment 10 and change into other clothing apparel. Arm apertures 32 are preferably situated opposite one another within body portion 18, substantially adjacent to the openings of exterior pockets 28 and interior pockets 30. However, arm apertures 32 can be also positioned within the immediate opening region of exterior pockets 28 and interior pockets 30, thereby being substantially covered by the outer portion of both exterior pockets 28 and interior pockets 30. An alternate embodiment of the garment 10 can exclude interior pockets 30 to enable the positioning of arm apertures 32 more substantially within the opening of exterior pockets 28, providing more privacy and helping to prevent wind or rain from entering the interior region of the garment. Arm apertures 32 can range from a length of about 4″ to 8″ to enable arms of various sizes to fit within, while minimizing the risk that a wearer will inadvertently expose themselves to the public while changing.

In some embodiments the body portion 18 may include a closure means 34 to allow a wearer to change clothes underneath in privacy and maintain warmth and protection from the elements after changing has occurred. The closure means 34 may be located on or extending from each of the end seams 20, extending from bottom seam 20 to the lower boundary of the hood 26. The closure means 34 can include buttons, snaps, hooks and fasteners, zippers, Velcro, or any other elements used for closing two ends of material as recognized by one with ordinary skill in the art. In the preferred embodiment, the closure means 34 is established by snaps that can be used to close body portion 18 when the garment is either in a normal position, with the exterior pockets 28 exterior to the interior pockets 30, or in a reversed position, with the exterior pockets 28 interior to the interior pockets 30.

FIG. 2 best shows a typical wearer 36 of the garment 10. Particularly shown are non-limiting spatial relationships and arrangements of the body portion 18, sleeves 24, hood 26, exterior pockets 28, arm apertures 32, and closure means 34 to each other and to the wearer 36.

FIG. 3 shows a back view an alternate embodiment of the garment 10 showing an attachment means 38 which extends from the exterior layer 14 below the lower most boundary of the hood 26 and which can be made of a similar material as the exterior layer 14. As shown, the attachment means 38 can be established by two short and narrow attachment sections 40 that can be joined together by a connection means 42 located on each attachment section 40. However, the size and shape of the attachment sections 40 can vary as would be recognized by one with ordinary skill in the art. The connection means 42 may be, e.g., a snap, but can be a more than one snap, a button, Velcro, a hook and loop, or other means used for attachment of fabric as would be recognized by one with ordinary skill in the art. In any case, the attachment means 38 allows a user to hang the garment 10 for storage or to aid in drying the garment when it is wet and not being used. Also, the attachment means 38 allows a user to attach wearable protective garment 10 to a pole on a boat or other vessel, to prevent the garment from blowing away or falling to the ground while the boat or other vessel is in motion.

As best shown in FIG. 4A, the garment 10 may be made of three layers, i.e., the above-discussed interior layer 12, surrounding exterior layer 14, and between these two layers 12, 14, a dividing layer 16 to ensure that water absorbed by the interior layer 12 does not penetrate and significantly dampen the exterior layer 14. This configuration of the fabric material allows a wearer to use the interior layer 12 to help dry off after changing out of a wetsuit or damp swimsuit. After a wearer has finished changing into dry clothes, the wearer can then reverse the garment 10 so that the dry exterior layer 14 contacts the body of the wearer and the damp interior layer 12 is exposed to the environment. This helps the interior layer 12 dry faster and allows the wearer to be protected from wind, rain, and cold after changing. Because the exterior layer 14 can be made of water absorbent or water wicking material, which can also be material that provides more warmth than water repellant material, a wearer is more likely to remain warm and comfortable with the fabric configuration of the preferred embodiment.

On the other hand, as illustrated in FIG. 4B the garment 10 may have only two layers, namely, a water-absorbent or water-wicking interior layer 12 and a water-resistant surrounding exterior layer 14. In this embodiment, a wearer can also use interior layer 12 to help dry off after changing out of a wetsuit or damp swimsuit. After a wearer has finished changing into dry clothes with the interior layer 12 facing the body, the wearer can then reverse the garment 10 so that the dry exterior layer 14 contacts the body of the wearer and the damp interior layer 12 is exposed to the environment. Or, the wearer may elect to change clothes first with the garment turned inside out, i.e., with the water repellant layer 14 against the skin, reversing the garment after changing into dry clothes so that the water-absorbing or water-wicking layer 12 is against the skin.

FIG. 5 shows a garment enclosure sack 44 attached, e.g., by sewing, to the interior layer 12 in such a fashion as to allow the garment 10 to be fully folded within and enclosed within the garment enclosure 44. The top edge 46 of one side of the garment enclosure 44 may be sewn to the interior layer 12, so that the remaining edges of the garment enclosure 44 remain free relative to interior layer 12 to allow the sides of the garment 10 to be folded inward and the bottom portion of the garment 10 to be folded upward and into garment enclosure 44. The garment enclosure 44 can be made of water repellent material such as neoprene, nylon, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane, or other suitable water resistant material as would be recognized by one with ordinary skill in the art. A drawstring 48 can be coupled to the opening of the enclosure 44 to enable a wearer to close the garment enclosure 44 so that the garment 10 is protected during transport or storage.

FIG. 6 shows that a substrate 100 such as a tag or instruction sheet can be provided on a container associated with the garment 10, such as the sack 44. Or, as shown in FIG. 2 a substrate 102 such as a tag may be sewn onto the garment 10 itself. In either case, the substrate 100, 102 bears instructions to don the garment with the water-absorbent or water-wicking inner layer 12 facing the wearer's body to access and remove wet clothing and change into dry clothing under the garment and to reverse the garment after changing clothes with the outer layer 16 facing the wearer's body.

While the particular WEARABLE PROTECTIVE CHANGING GARMENT is herein shown and described in detail, it is to be understood that the subject matter which is encompassed by the present invention is limited only by the claims.