Title:
Compartmentalized vanity handbag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A handbag includes at least one interior compartment formed by a transparent side wall joined to a surface of a panel of the handbag. The surface may be formed by an anti-tarnish cloth or by a non-absorbent material.



Inventors:
Greiner, Lori (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/440943
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
05/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C3/06; A45C1/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20060249234Card holding caseNovember, 2006Lin
20100043913APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR ICE AND SNOW REMOVALFebruary, 2010Othman
20030183313Secure travel walletOctober, 2003Rushlow
20030168879Ladder rack coverSeptember, 2003Grudek
20100032065Comprehensive Handbag ProtectionFebruary, 2010Kelly et al.
20030150537Racket cover with means for holding itemAugust, 2003Hauptman et al.
20090205758CARRYING BAGAugust, 2009Mankelow
20100012238HANDBAG STRUCTUREJanuary, 2010Lee
20060151077Flexible wallet assembly with plicated card holderJuly, 2006Milford



Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FREDRIKSON & BYRON, P.A. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A handbag, comprising: a base; at least one opaque panel permanently joined to the base, the at least one panel including a surface; and an interior compartment formed by a portion of the surface and a sidewall joined to the surface; the interior compartment including a securable opening, the securable opening allowing access to the compartment, when opened, and completely enclosing items within the compartment, when closed.

2. The handbag of claim 1, wherein the at least one opaque panel comprises a first panel and a second panel, the panels disposed on opposing sides of the base.

3. The handbag of claim 1, further comprising: a first panel; and a second panel; wherein the base extends between the first and second panels; and the at least one opaque panel is reversibly joined to the first panel such that the surface faces the first panel.

4. The handbag of claim 3, wherein the at least one opaque panel is reversibly joined to the first panel about an entire perimeter of the at least one panel, excluding that portion permanently joined to the base

5. The handbag of claim 3, wherein the at least one opaque panel is reversibly joined to the first panel such that the at least one panel may be opened away from the first panel to rest along a plane approximately perpendicular to the first panel.

6. The handbag of claim 3, wherein the at least one opaque panel is reversibly joined to the first panel such that the at least one panel may be opened away from the first panel to rest along a plane at an acute angle with respect to the first panel.

7. The handbag of claim 3, wherein the at least one opaque panel comprises a plurality of panels.

8. The handbag of claim 3, wherein the first panel includes an outer surface adjacent the interior compartment and further comprising at least one other interior compartment formed by a portion of the outer surface of the first panel and another transparent sidewall joined to the outer surface.

9. The handbag of claim 8, wherein the at least one other interior compartment includes a securable opening, the securable opening allowing access to the other interior compartment, when opened, and completely enclosing items within the other interior compartment, when closed.

10. The handbag of claim 8, wherein the at least one other interior compartment is divided into sub-compartments.

11. The handbag of claim 8, wherein the at least one other interior compartment includes a plurality of other interior compartments.

12. The handbag of claim 1, further comprising: a first panel; and a second panel; wherein the base extends between the first and second panels; and the at least one opaque panel comprises a first outer panel reversibly joined to the first panel such that the surface of the first outer panel faces the first panel, and a second outer panel permanently joined to the base and reversibly joined to the second panel such that the surface of the second outer panel faces the second panel.

13. The handbag of claim 12, wherein the first and second outer panels are reversibly joined to the first and second panels, respectively, about an entire perimeter of the first and second outer panels, excluding those portions of each of the first and second outer panels which are permanently joined to the base

14. The handbag of claim 12, wherein the first and second outer panels are reversibly joined to the first and second panels, respectively, such that each of the first and second outer panels may be opened away from the respective panel of the first and second panels, to rest along a plane approximately perpendicular to the respective panel.

15. The handbag of claim 12, wherein the first and second outer panels are reversibly joined to the first and second panels, respectively, such that each of the first and second outer panels may be opened away from the respective panel of the first and second panels, to rest along a plane at an acute angle with respect to the respective panel.

16. The handbag of claim 12, wherein each of the first and second panels include an outer surface adjacent the interior compartment of the respective outer panel of the first and second outer panels; and further comprising at least one other interior compartment formed by portion of the outer surface of one of the first and second panels and another transparent sidewall joined to the outer surface.

17. The handbag of claim 16, wherein the at least one other interior compartment includes a securable opening, the securable opening allowing access to the other interior compartment, when opened, and completely enclosing items within the other interior compartment, when closed.

18. The handbag of claim 16, wherein the at least one other interior compartment is divided into sub-compartments.

19. The handbag of claim 1, wherein the interior compartment is divided into sub-compartments.

20. The handbag of claim 1, further comprising another interior compartment formed by another portion of the surface and another transparent sidewall.

21. The handbag of claim 1, wherein the portion of the surface comprises an anti-tarnish cloth.

22. The handbag of claim 1, wherein the portion of the surface comprises a non-absorbent material.

23. The handbag of claim 1, further comprising an element on which rings may be mounted, the element held within the interior compartment.

24. The handbag of claim 23, wherein the element is reversibly secured within the interior compartment.

25. A handbag, comprising: a main section including a first panel, a second panel opposing the first panel, and a base extending between the first and second panels; and an outer section reversibly joined to the first panel of the main section such that the outer section may be detached from the main section; the outer section including at least one outer panel and at least one interior compartment; the at least one outer panel having an interior surface; and the at least one interior compartment formed by a portion of the interior surface of the at least one outer panel and a transparent side wall joined to the interior surface.

26. The handbag of claim 25, wherein the at least one outer panel includes two opposing panels.

27. The handbag of claim 25, wherein the at least one interior compartment comprises a plurality of compartments.

28. The handbag of claim 25, wherein the at least one interior compartment is divided into sub-compartments.

29. The handbag of claim 25, wherein the portion of the interior surface comprises an anti-tarnish cloth.

30. The handbag of claim 25, wherein the portion of the interior surface comprises a non-absorbent material.

31. The handbag of claim 25, wherein the at least one outer panel includes a first outer panel and a second outer panel opposing the first outer panel; and the at least one interior compartment includes a first interior compartment joined to the interior surface of the first outer panel and a second interior compartment joined to the interior surface of the second outer panel.

32. A handbag, comprising: at least one panel including a surface formed, at least in part, by an anti-tarnish cloth; and at least one interior compartment formed by the anti-tarnish cloth and a transparent sidewall, the transparent sidewall being joined to the surface of the panel.

33. The handbag of claim 32, wherein the at least one interior compartment includes a plurality of compartments.

34. The handbag of claim 32, wherein the at least one interior compartment is divided into sub-compartments.

35. The handbag of claim 32, further comprising an element on which rings may be mounted, the element held within the interior compartment.

36. The handbag of claim 35, wherein the element is reversibly secured within the interior compartment.

37. A handbag, comprising: at least one panel including a surface formed, at least in part, by a non-absorbent material; and at least one interior compartment formed by the non-absorbent material and a transparent sidewall, the transparent sidewall being joined to the surface of the panel.

38. The handbag of claim 37, wherein the at least one interior compartment includes a plurality of compartments.

39. The handbag of claim 37, wherein the at least one interior compartment is divided into sub-compartments.

40. A handbag, comprising: a main section including a first panel, a second panel opposing the first panel, and a base extending between the first and second panels; a first outer section formed by a first outer panel, the first outer panel permanently joined to the main section and reversibly joined to the first panel to provide access into the first outer section; the first outer section including at least one interior compartment formed by a transparent side wall joined to one of an interior surface of the first outer panel and an outer surface of the first panel; and a second outer section formed by a second outer panel, the second outer panel permanently joined to the main section and reversibly joined to the second panel to provide access into the second outer section; the second outer section including at least one interior compartment formed by another transparent side wall joined to one of an interior surface of the second outer panel and an outer surface of the second panel.

41. The handbag of claim 40, wherein the at least one interior compartment of the first outer section comprises a plurality of interior compartments of the first outer section.

42. The handbag of claim 41, wherein the at least one interior compartment of the second outer section comprises a plurality of interior compartments of the second outer section.

43. The handbag of claim 40, wherein the at least one interior compartment of the first outer section is divided into sub-compartments.

44. The handbag of claim 43, wherein the at least one interior compartment of the second outer section is divided into sub-compartments.

45. The handbag of claim 40, wherein the main section further includes at least one interior compartment formed by yet another transparent side wall and an inner surface of one of the first and second panels.

46. The handbag of claim 45, wherein the at least one interior compartment of the main section comprises a plurality of interior compartments of the main section.

47. The handbag of claim 45, wherein the at least one interior compartment of the main section is divided into sub-compartments.

48. The handbag of claim 40, wherein the at least one interior compartment of each of the first and second outer sections includes a securable opening allowing access to the compartment, when opened, and completely enclosing items within the compartment, when closed.

49. The handbag of claim 40, wherein: the interior surface of the first outer panel comprises an anti-tarnish cloth; and the transparent side wall is joined to the interior surface of the first outer panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the first outer section.

50. The handbag of claim 40, wherein: the interior surface of the first outer panel comprises an non-absorbent material; and the transparent side wall is joined to the interior surface of the first outer panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the first outer section.

51. The handbag of claim 40, wherein: the outer surface of the first panel comprises an anti-tarnish cloth; and the transparent side wall is joined to the outer surface of the first panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the first outer section.

52. The handbag of claim 40, wherein: the outer surface of the first panel comprises a non-absorbent material; and the transparent side wall is joined to the outer surface of the first panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the first outer section.

53. The handbag of claim 40, wherein the interior surface of the second outer panel comprises an anti-tarnish cloth; and the other transparent side wall is joined to the interior surface of the second outer panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the second outer section.

54. The handbag of claim 40, wherein: the interior surface of the second outer panel comprises an non-absorbent material; and the other transparent side wall is joined to the interior surface of the second outer panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the second outer section.

55. The handbag of claim 40, wherein: the outer surface of the second panel comprises an anti-tarnish cloth; and the other transparent side wall is joined to the outer surface of the second panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the second outer section.

56. The handbag of claim 40, wherein: the outer surface of the second panel comprises a non-absorbent material; and the other transparent side wall is joined to the outer surface of the second panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the second outer section.

57. The handbag of claim 45, wherein: the inner surface of the first panel comprises an anti-tarnish cloth; and the yet another transparent side wall is joined to the inner surface of the first panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the main section.

58. The handbag of claim 45, wherein: the inner surface of the first panel comprises a non-absorbent material; and the yet another transparent side wall is joined to the inner surface of the first panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the main section.

59. The handbag of claim 45, wherein: the inner surface of the second panel comprises an anti-tarnish cloth; and the yet another transparent side wall is joined to the inner surface of the second panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the main section.

60. The handbag of claim 45, wherein: the inner surface of the second panel comprises a non-absorbent material; and the yet another transparent side wall is joined to the inner surface of the second panel to form the at least one interior compartment of the main section.

61. The handbag of claim 1 where the sidewall is transparent.

62. The handbag of claim 61 wherein the sidewall is composed of a vinyl material.

63. The handbag of claim 25 where the sidewall is transparent.

64. The handbag of claim 63 wherein the sidewall is composed of a vinyl material.

65. The handbag of claim 40 where the sidewall is transparent.

66. The handbag of claim 65 wherein the sidewall is composed of a vinyl material.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to provisional application No. 60/797,589 filed on May 4, 2006, which is hereby incorporated, in its entirety, by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention pertains to handbags and more particularly to compartmentalized handbags suited for storing vanity items.

BACKGROUND

Handbags or purses typically provide an attractive receptacle, which people may use to carry about a number of personal items from one place to another. Many handbags include various compartments, which are sometimes customized, in size and shape, to hold specific items. However, there is still a need for a compartmentalized handbag suited for storage of vanity items such as jewelry and/or cosmetics in an organized and easily viewable manner.

BRIEF SUMMARY

A handbag, according to embodiments of the present invention, includes a main section formed by first and second panels; preferably, the panels are joined by a base extending between and along bottom edges of the panels. According to some embodiments of the present invention, one or both of the first and second panels of the handbag includes an interior compartment attached thereto, which is formed by an interior surface of the corresponding panel and a sidewall, preferably transparent, joined to that interior surface. If the sidewall is transparent this facilitates viewing of items stored within the compartment. According to some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the interior surface that forms each interior compartment comprises an anti-tarnish cloth to make the compartment suitable for storage of jewelry items; according to other preferred embodiments, the interior surface comprises a material which may be readily wiped clean, for example a plastic such as vinyl, making the compartment suitable for the storage of cosmetics or other toiletry items. Further embodiments of the present invention include a first interior compartment attached to the first panel, which is suitable for the storage of jewelry items, as described above, and a second interior compartment attached to the second panel, which is suitable for the storage of cosmetic items, as described above.

A handbag, according to any of the embodiments described above, may further include an outer panel secured, preferably, in proximity to the base, alongside one of the first and second panels of the main section, or may include two outer panels, each secured, preferably, in proximity to the base, opposite one another and alongside a corresponding panel of the first and second panels. Each outer panel in conjunction with the corresponding main section panel forms an outer section of the handbag. Each outer panel may be opened outward, away from the main section to provide access to the corresponding outer section, while the main section remains upright. According to some embodiments of the present invention, each outer section includes one or more compartments, wherein each compartment is formed by a sidewall, preferably transparent joined to an outer surface of one of the first and second main section panels, or joined to an inner surface of one of the outer panels. According to preferred embodiments of the present invention, each outer section includes at least one compartment attached to the outer surface of one of the first and second panels of the main section, and at least another compartment attached to the inner surface of the corresponding outer panel. One or both of the first and second outer compartments may be suited for storing jewelry, wherein the outer surface of the main section panel and the inner surface of the corresponding outer panel comprise an anti-tarnish cloth, or one or both of the outer compartments may be suited for storing cosmetics, wherein the outer surface of the first panel and the inner surface of the corresponding outer panel comprises a material that is readily wiped clean.

According to alternate embodiments, each outer section may be completely detachable from the main section. Each detachable outer section includes one or more panels having a interior surface along which a compartment is formed by a transparent sidewall.

One or more compartments of the handbag, according to any of the embodiments may further include sub-compartments and/or additional elements contained therein, which are tailored to further facilitate the storage of particular types of jewelry or cosmetic items. The scope of the present invention is not limited by any particular combination of jewelry and cosmetic storage compartments. Thus, it should be appreciated that any conceivable combination of the jewelry and cosmetic storage compartments, as described herein, may be incorporated by handbags of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following drawings are illustrative of particular embodiments of the present invention and therefore do not limit the scope of the invention. The drawings are not to scale (unless so stated) and are intended for use in conjunction with the explanations in the following detailed description. Embodiments of the present invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the appended drawings, wherein like numerals denote like elements.

FIGS. 1A-C are side, end and bottom plan views of a handbag, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the handbag shown in FIGS. 1A-C.

FIG. 3A is a top view of the handbag shown in FIGS. 1A-C having outer panels opened out from a main section, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 3B is a side plan view of the handbag shown in FIG. 3A, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 3C is a side plan view of the handbag shown in FIG. 3A, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 3D is a side plan view of the handbag shown in FIG. 3A, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 4A-B are a side plan view and an end view, respectively, of a handbag, according to alternate embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 4C is an end perspective view of a handbag, according to additional embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 5A is an exploded perspective view of a handbag, according to yet further embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 5B is a plan view of a portion of the handbag shown in FIG. 5A, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 5C is a perspective view of the portion of the handbag of FIG. 5A, according to some alternate embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following detailed description is exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the following description provides practical illustrations for implementing exemplary embodiments of the present invention. Examples of constructions, materials, dimensions, and manufacturing processes are provided for selected elements, and all other elements employ that which is known to those of skill in the field of the invention. Those skilled in the art will recognize that many of the examples provided have suitable alternatives that can be utilized.

FIGS. 1A-C are side, end and bottom plan views of a handbag 10 according to some embodiments of the present invention. FIGS. 1A-C illustrate handbag 10 including outer panels 11 and 13 disposed on either side of a main section 14; main section 14 is shown being formed in part by a base 15 and a perimeter sidewall 12, which extends upward from ends of base 15, generally following a contour of perimeter edges of outer panels 11 and 13, and to which panels 11 and 13 are reversibly secured by zippers 101 and 103, respectively. Although FIG. 1C shows both of zippers 101 and 103 opening from the same end of handbag 10, it should be noted that zippers 101 and 103 may, alternately, open from opposite ends of handbag 10. FIG. 1B further illustrates upper perimeter sidewall 12 including a securable opening 102, for example, via a zipper, for access into main section 14. FIGS. 1A-B further illustrate a first handle 16 coupled to outer panel 11 and a second handle 18 coupled to outer panel 13. With reference to FIGS. 1A-C, it may be appreciated that handbag 10 can stand upright on base 15 without external support; however, alternate embodiments of the present invention need not include such a base.

According to the illustrated embodiments, outer panels 11, 13 are opaque, so FIG. 2 is a perspective view of handbag 10 wherein outer panels 11, 13 are opened out from main section 14, to reveal outer sections, and wherein main section 14 is opened along zippered opening 102 to reveal an interior space 24 of main section 14. FIG. 2 illustrates interior space 24 accessible through upper perimeter sidewall 12 via zippered opening 102 and being bounded by a first panel 21 and a second panel 23 extending up from either side of base 15. FIG. 2 further illustrates a first interior compartment 201 attached to first panel 21 and a second interior compartment 203 attached to second panel 23. According to the illustrated embodiment, each panel 21, 23 is opaque, each compartment 201, 203 is formed by a sidewall, preferably transparent, for example, such as a clear vinyl, joined to an inner surface of each panel 21, 23, for example by sewing or bonding, and each compartment 21,23 includes a securable opening 210, 230, for example, via a zipper. According to some embodiments of the present invention, the inner surfaces of each panel 21, 23 within compartments 201, 203 comprise anti-tarnish cloth, so that compartments 201, 203 may be suitable for storing jewelry therein. Many varieties of suitable anti-tarnish cloth are commercially available, examples of which include, without limitation, Pacific Silver Cloth, Atlantic Anti-Tarnish cloth, and Corrosion Intercept™ available from Intercept Silver and Jewelry Care Co. of Millburn, N.J. According to alternate embodiments, the inner surfaces of panels 21, 23, within compartments 201, 203, comprise a non-absorbent material that may be easily wiped clean, for example a plastic such as vinyl, so that compartments 201, 203 are suitable for storage of cosmetics and/or other toiletry items therein. According to additional embodiments, the inner surface of panel 21, within compartment 201, comprises the anti-tarnish cloth, and the inner surface of panel 23, within compartment 203, comprises the material that may easily be wiped clean, or visa versa. Although FIG. 2 illustrates two interior compartments 201, 203 of main section 14, it should be appreciated that the scope of the present invention encompasses any number of either type of interior compartments. In addition, each compartment 201, 203 may itself have multiple sub-compartments.

FIG. 3A is a top view of handbag 10 having outer panels 11, 13 opened out from main section 14. According to the illustrated embodiment, panels 11 and 13 may be opened to lie in a generally horizontal plane while main section 14 remains upright; however, the invention is not so limited, and, according to alternate embodiments, outer panels are constrained such that the panels, when fully opened, form an acute angle with respect to the main section panels, for example, as illustrated in FIG. 4B. FIG. 3A illustrates outer panel 11 including a first compartment 31 extending across a width of panel 11 and including a securable opening 301, for example, via a zipper, providing access into compartment 31. FIG. 3A further illustrates compartment 31 being formed of by a transparent sidewall, which is joined to edges of an inner surface of panel 11, for example, by sewing or bonding, and compartment 31 including bracelet jewelry items stored therein. According to the illustrated embodiment, an inner surface of anti-tarnish cloth extends along the inner surface of panel 11 and compartment 31 further includes a stitched seam 310 joining the transparent side wall to the inner surface in order to divide compartment 31 into two sub-compartments, which are each sized to hold several jewelry items, for example, the bracelets, as shown. Outer panel 11 may further include a second compartment residing behind first compartment 31, and FIG. 3A shows a zippered opening 302 providing access into the second compartment.

FIG. 3A further illustrates outer panel 13 including a compartment 33 extending across a width of panel 13 and including a securable opening 303, for example, via a zipper, providing access into compartment 33. According to the illustrated embodiment, compartment 33 is formed by a transparent sidewall, which is joined to edges of an inner surface of panel 13, for example, by sewing or bonding, and compartment 33 includes an inner surface formed of a non-absorbent material that may be readily be wiped clean; compartment 33 further includes a stitched seam 330 joining the transparent side wall to the inner surface in order to divide compartment 33 into two sub-compartments, which are each sized to hold several cosmetic items, for example, compacts, as shown. Although compartment 33 is described as being suitable for cosmetic storage, it should be recognized that an anti-tarnish cloth may alternately form the inner surface of compartment 33, making it suitable for jewelry storage.

FIG. 3B is a side plan view of handbag 10 having outer panel 11 opened out from main section 14. FIG. 3B illustrates first panel 21 of main section 14 including a first compartment 35 and a second compartment 37, wherein each compartment 35, 37 extends across a width of panel 21 and includes a securable opening 305, 307, for example, via a zipper, providing access into compartment 35, 37. According to the illustrated embodiment, compartments 35, 37 are each formed of by a transparent sidewall, which are joined to an outer surface of panel 21, for example, by sewing or bonding, and each compartment 35, 37 includes an inner surface of anti-tarnish cloth extending along the outer surface of panel 21. Compartment 35 is shown including several stitched seams 350 joining the transparent side wall to the inner surface in order to divide compartment 35 into four sub-compartments, which are each sized to hold jewelry items, for example, rings and earrings, as shown. Compartment 37 is shown including a single stitched seam 370, which divides compartment 37 into two sub-compartments, which are each sized to hold jewelry items, for example, necklaces and rings, as shown. According to an alternate embodiment, the location of compartment 35 is reversed with that of compartment 37, such that compartment 35, including seams 350, is disposed below compartment 37, including the single stitched seam 370.

FIG. 3C is a side plan view, of the side opposite to that shown in FIG. 3B, of handbag 10 having outer panel 13 opened out from main section 14. FIG. 3C illustrates second panel 23 of main section 14 including a first compartment 36 and a second compartment 38, wherein each compartment 36, 38 extends across a width of panel 23 and includes a securable opening 306, 308, for example, via a zipper, providing access into each compartment 36, 38. According to the illustrated embodiment, compartments 36, 38 are each formed by a transparent sidewall, which is joined to an outer surface of panel 23, for example, by sewing or bonding, and each compartment 36, 38 has an inner surface of non-absorbent material that may be readily wiped clean, for example, a plastic such as vinyl, to accommodate the storage of cosmetic items, for example, a makeup brush and pencil, as shown in compartment 36, and lipsticks, mascara, pencils and compacts, as shown in compartment 38.

According to alternate embodiments, for example as illustrated in FIG. 3D, compartments 36 and 38 are suited for storing jewelry items, having inner surfaces formed by anti-tarnish cloth, and compartment 36 further includes an elongate member 360 adapted for holding rings. FIG. 3D illustrates member 360 having a form to accommodate the mounting of rings thereon and including a first connector end 361 and a second connector end 362 to reversibly mate with corresponding connectors, for example snap-type, mounted on the inner surface of compartment 36. Thus, either one or both ends of member 360 may be separated from the inner surface of compartment 36 in order to assemble rings onto member 360.

FIGS. 4A-B are a side plan view and an end view, respectively, of a handbag 40 according to alternate embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 4A illustrates handbag 40 including a main section 44 being formed by a base 45, by first and second main section panels 410 and 430, which extend upward from either side of base 45, and by a perimeter sidewall 42, which extends upward from either end of base 45 and between panels 410 and 430; perimeter sidewall 42 includes a zippered opening 402 to provide access to an interior space of main section 44, which is similar to interior space 24 of main section 14 of handbag 10. FIGS. 4A-B further illustrates an outer panel 41 attached to panel 410, and an outer panel 43 attached to panel 430, each panel 41, 43 being attached in proximity to base 45 and further secured by gussets 413 (which, it should be understood, are present on either end of panels 41, 43); each panel 41, 43 is reversibly joined to the corresponding panel 410, 430, for example, by snaps 401, as shown or by hook-and-loop type fasteners, buttons, hooks or any other reversible coupling means known to those skilled in the art. It should be noted that panels 41 and 43 may be of any size and shape within the perimeter of panels 410 and 430, respectively, and, as an example, dashed lines in FIG. 4A indicate two smaller outer panels, as an alternative to the shape and extent of panel 41, to illustrate that the scope of the present invention is not limited to one panel on each side of main section 44.

With reference to FIGS. 4A-B it should be noted that, in contrast to panels 11 and 13 of handbag 10, upper edges of panels 41, 43 are disposed below upper edges of main section panels 410, 430, and that panels 41, 43, being secured by gussets 413, do not open out to lie approximately flat alongside main section 44, but are held at an acute angle with respect to panels 410, 430. However, according to the alternate embodiments represented by FIGS. 4A-B, any or all of outer surfaces of panels 410, 430, which are disposed alongside panels 41 and 43, and inner surfaces of panels 41, 43 include a compartment, similar to the compartments previously described (FIGS. 3A-C), which is formed by a transparent sidewall joined to thereto; these compartments of handbag 40 further include an inner surface, which is either formed by a material that is readily wiped clean, for example a plastic such as vinyl, so that the compartments are suitable for the storage of cosmetics, or formed by an anti-tarnish cloth so that the compartments are suitable for storage of jewelry.

FIG. 4C is an end perspective view of a handbag 40′, according to additional embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 4C illustrates handbag 40′ including main section 44, similar to handbag 40, and outer panels 41′ and 43′ attached to panels 410 and 430 along base 45. According to the illustrated embodiment, panels 41 and 43′ are reversibly joined to panels 410 and 430 via zippers 401′ and 403′, respectively, such that panels 41′, 43′ may be opened out to lie in generally horizontal plane. FIG. 4C further illustrates panel 41 including a compartment 51 and panel 43′ including a compartment 53, wherein each compartment 51, 53 is formed by a preferably transparent sidewall, although it need not be transparent, joined to an inner surface of the corresponding panel 41′, 43′, for example, by sewing or bonding; compartments 51 and 53 each include a securable opening 501, 503, for example, via a zipper, and an inner surface extending alongside the inner surface of the corresponding panel 41′, 43′, which may be a material that is readily wiped cleaned, to be suitable for storage of cosmetics, or an anti-tarnish cloth, to be suitable for storage of jewelry. Although not shown, portions of outer surfaces of panels 410 and 430 that are disposed alongside closed panels 41′ and 43′ may each include compartments attached thereto similar to any of those previously described for handbag 10.

FIG. 5A is an exploded perspective view of a handbag 60, according to yet further embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 5A illustrates handbag 60 including a main section 64 and a completely detachable outer section 640; main section 64 includes opposing panels 610 and 630 joined by a base 65 and a perimeter sidewall 62, which includes a zippered opening 602. FIG. 5A further illustrates panel 630 including fastening elements 66, for reversibly joining outer section 640 to panel 630, and outer section 640 including at least one outer panel 63.

FIG. 5B is a plan view of an inner surface of outer panel 63 of outer section 640, according to some embodiments of the present invention; and FIG. 5C is a perspective view of outer section 640 according to some alternate embodiments. FIGS. 5B-C illustrate an interior compartment 73 formed by a portion of the interior surface of outer panel 63 and a transparent sidewall joined to the interior surface, for example by sewing or bonding. FIGS. 5B-C further illustrates compartment 73 including a securable opening 703, for example, via a zipper, which provides access to compartment 73, and a stitched seam 730 joining the transparent sidewall to the interior surface in order to divide compartment 73 into sub-compartments. The interior surface forming compartment 73 may comprise an anti-tarnish cloth or a non-absorbent material, as previously described for other embodiments of the invention.

According to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5B, the interior surface of panel 63 further includes a pair of reversible fasteners 606 for mating with fasteners 66 shown on panel 630 of main section 62 shown in FIG. 5A. According to alternate embodiments of outer section 640, for example, that illustrated in FIG. 5C, such fasteners for mating with fasteners 66 are disposed on an outer surface of another panel 67, which opposes panel 63; it should be understood that the outer surface of panel 67 is opposite an inner surface which is shown in FIG. 5C. Any suitable reversible fastener known to those skilled in the art may be used, and examples include, without limitation, hook-and-loop type, snap type, hook-and-eye type, and button type.

FIG. 5C further illustrates another pair of interior compartments 77, 78, which each include a securable opening 707, 708, for example, via a zipper, providing access into compartments 77,78. Each compartment 77, 78 is shown formed by a preferably a transparent sidewall although it need not be transparent, which is joined to the inner surface of panel 67, for example, by sewing or bonding, and compartment 77 is divided by a plurality of stitched seams 770 into sub-compartments. The interior surface forming compartments 77,78 may comprise an anti-tarnish cloth or a non-absorbent material, as previously described for other embodiments of the invention.

In the foregoing detailed description, the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments. However, it may be appreciated that various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.