Title:
Stay for changing designs of wearable items
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A stay comprising a first layer and a second layer with a plurality of wires disposed between them. The first layer and the second layer are connected or joined using stitching or any other suitable means. The plurality of wires are aligned substantially parallel to one another and engagedly secured between the first layer and the second layer such that the combination of the layers restrict the movement of the plurality of wires between them thereby forming a unitary stay. The unitary stay is embedded into any wearable item such as clothing and is sufficiently malleable to form the wearable item into various designs and then retain the wearable item in that design.



Inventors:
Koepp, Kyong S. (Lincolnshire, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/442895
Publication Date:
12/06/2007
Filing Date:
05/30/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KNECHTEL, DEMEUR & SAMLAN (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A stay for changing the design of any wearable item, comprising: a first layer having an interior side and an exterior side; a second layer having an interior side and an exterior side; at least one elongated flexible wire situated between the interior side of the first layer and the interior side of the second layer; means for attaching the first layer to the second layer; means for securing the at least one elongated wire between the first layer and the second layer; whereby, upon embedding the stay within a portion of the wearable item and exerting pressure upon the stay for forming a desired shape, the stay conforming to and maintaining the desired shape thereby creating a new design in the wearable item.

2. The stay of claim 1 wherein the first layer is made of substantially the same material as the second layer.

3. The stay of claim 1 wherein the at least one elongated wire is made of a copper material.

4. The stay of claim 1 wherein the at least one elongated wire is made of a stainless steel material.

5. The stay of claim 1 wherein the at least one elongated wire is completely enclosed between the first layer and the second layer.

6. The stay of claim 1 wherein the means for attaching the first layer to the second layer is the same as the means for securing the at least one elongated wire between the first layer and the second layer.

7. The stay of claim 1 wherein the means for attaching the first layer to the second layer consists of stitches, glue, fusion, or bonding.

8. The stay of claim 1 wherein the means for securing the at least one elongated wire between the first layer and the second layer restricts the movement of the at least one wire between them.

9. The stay of claim 1 wherein the stay is attached to the wearable item by means of stitching.

10. The stay of claim 1 and further comprising a second elongated flexible wire situated between the first and second layers.

11. A stay for changing the design of any wearable item, comprising: an elongated layer having a top, a bottom, opposed sides, opposed ends and further defining a thickness between them; a plurality of wires engagedly secured between the top, bottom, and opposed sides, each of the plurality of wires aligned adjacent to one another and extending from one opposed end of the elongated layer to the other; means for embedding the stay within a portion of the wearable item; whereby upon exerting a force on that portion of the wearable item for creating a new design, the stay bending to the force and assuming a new position, with the stay retaining the wearable item in the new position.

12. The stay of claim 11 wherein the number of the plurality of wires is at least two.

13. The stay of claim 11 wherein the plurality of wires are made of a copper material.

14. The stay of claim 11 wherein the plurality of wires are made of a stainless steel material.

15. The stay of claim 11 wherein the plurality of wires are positioned substantially parallel to one another.

16. The stay of claim 11 wherein the plurality of wires are flexible.

17. The stay of claim 11 wherein the means for embedding the stay within a portion of the wearable item is by stitching.

18. A method for changing the design of any wearable item, comprising the steps of: providing a stay having a first layer having an interior side and an exterior side, a second layer having an interior side and an exterior side, at least one elongated wire situated between the interior side of the first layer and the interior side of the second layer, and means for attaching the first layer to the second layer; and means for securing the at least one elongated wire between the first layer and the second layer; embedding the stay within a portion of the wearable item, the stay assuming the original design of the wearable item; and applying a force to the portion of the wearable item for creating a new design, the wearable item changing from an original design to the new design with the stay retaining the wearable item in the new design.

19. The method of claim 18 and further comprising the step of applying a subsequent force to the portion of the wearable item for creating a subsequent design, the wearable item changing from the new design to the subsequent design with the stay retaining the wearable item in the subsequent design.

20. A method for changing the design of any wearable item, comprising the steps of: providing a stay having an elongated layer having a top, a bottom, opposed sides, opposed ends, a plurality of wires engagedly secured between the top, bottom, and opposed sides, each of the plurality of wires aligned adjacent to one another and extending from one opposed end of the elongated layer to the other; embedding the stay within a portion of the wearable item, the stay assuming the original design of the wearable item; and applying a force to the portion of the wearable item for creating a new design, the wearable item changing from an original design to the new design with the stay retaining the wearable item in the new design.

Description:

I. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to clothing or garments and, more particularly, to an apparatus and method for changing the shape or contour of clothing or garments for creating any unique fashion design or statement.

II. DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

In today's world, clothing or garments are used by the persons that wear them to provide a fashion statement and/or exude the person's sense of style or personality. Fashion designers, for example, are readily available to assist celebrities for this very purpose and also create various clothing lines that provide a broad spectrum of designs from which a person may choose to fit their desired purpose or occasion.

In addition, when wearing any of these clothing or garments, the person wearing them often adds their own personal touches to enhance the fashion statement or their sense of style or personality. One common enhancement relates to the collars of the clothing or garments. In a typical design, the collar is formed into two halves (i.e., an inside and an outside portion) such as in any standard shirt, jacket, or coat, etc. . . . having a collar. Persons wearing these items of apparel will occasionally flip the outside half of the collar in the opposite direction and into the air away from the clothing or garment such that the entire collar (i.e., both halves) is standing in a straight, upright, vertical orientation. As a result, the entire collar extends from the neckline to the base of the head of the person causing a change in the collar design. In this manner, by changing the position of the collar, the person is creating a fashion statement, sense of style, or personality into the clothing or garments that they are wearing. Likewise, variations of changes in clothing or garments have also been found with respect to cuffs for sleeves and/or pants.

A person who enjoys these types of changes in their clothing or garments, however, experiences several limitations. First, the altering of the shape or contour of the clothing or garment can only be accomplished using the characteristics inherent in the clothing or garment. For example, the collar can stand in the vertical orientation because the material that the collar is made of (i.e., denim, cotton, etc. . . . ) can support it or maybe there is enough starch in the collar to hold it in such a position. Absent these circumstances, such as for a silk type of material, this type of alteration or enhancement is not possible. Second, the shapes or contours of the collar or other aspects of the clothing or garments that can be created are limited. For example, in the current situation with respect to a collar, the two halves must always remain in a substantially straight line as only the orientation angle with respect to each can be changed. Third, upon repeatedly changing the clothing or garments from their original shapes or contours to the altered or enhanced fashion or other statements, the clothing or garments will become fatigued in these areas thereby limiting the person's continuing ability to recreate their desired fashion design or other statements.

Thus, there is a need and there has never been disclosed Applicant's unique apparatus and method for changing the shape or contour of clothing or garments for creating a unique fashion design or statement.

III. OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is the primary object of the present invention to provide a means for changing the shape or contour of clothing or garments. A related object of the present invention is to provide a means for creating an unlimited number of designs in various aspects of clothing or garments.

A related object of the present invention is to provide clothing or garments that can be altered enabling the person wearing the clothing or garment to make a statement or exude that person's sense of style or personality from the clothing or garment.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device that may often replace or eliminate the need for sewing or stitching in certain clothing or garments.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device that provides a desired design result for the user without incurring discomfort while wearing the clothing or garment.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device that can prevent stretching, rolling, or other similar or related problems that often occur in clothing or garments.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a means for changing the shape or contour of clothing that is affordable, safe, and easy to use.

Other objects of the present invention will become more apparent to persons having ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention pertains from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

IV. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention of the stay comprises a first layer and a second layer with a plurality of wires disposed between them. The first layer and the second layer are connected or joined using stitching or any other suitable means. The plurality of wires are aligned substantially parallel to one another and engagedly secured between the first layer and the second layer such that the combination of the layers restrict the movement of the plurality of wires between them thereby forming a unitary device. The unitary device is embedded into any wearable item such as clothing and is sufficiently malleable to form the wearable item into various designs and then retain the wearable item in that design.

V. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The Description of the Preferred Embodiment will be better understood with reference to the following figures:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a clothing or garment providing a unique fashion design using Applicant's inventive stay.

FIG. 2 is front view of a collar and lapelle of a clothing or garment using Applicant's inventive stay and, in particular, illustrating the position of Applicant's inventive stay in the clothing or garment to accomplish the intended fashion or other statement with respect to the collar or lapelle.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view, with portions separated, of Applicant's inventive stay.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a collar of a clothing or garment with portions removed and, in particular, illustrating the attachment of Applicant's inventive stay within the clothing or garment.

FIG. 5 is a side cross-sectional view, taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4, of Applicant's inventive stay.

FIG. 6 is an end cross-sectional view, taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 4, of Applicant's inventive stay.

VI. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Turning first to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a clothing or garment 10. In the preferred embodiment, Applicant's invention can apply to any clothing or garment 10 which includes but is not limited to any shirt, blouse, sweater, jacket, coat, shorts, pants, hat, and/or any other clothing or garment 10. Alternatively, it is contemplated that Applicant's invention can apply to any other wearable item or suitable material that is known to one skilled in the art.

As depicted, the clothing or garment 10 provides a collar 12, a lapelle 14, and sleeve cuffs 16, each containing Applicant's inventive stay 18. In the preferred embodiment, the stay 18 is embedded into the clothing or garment 10 and not visible to the human eye when the clothing or garment 10 is being worn. The stay 18 is meant to include any thin strip such as disclosed herein used for supporting a portion of the wearable item.

The collar 12 extends from a proximal end 20 at a neckline 24 to a distal end 22 located a distance away from the neckline 24. Situated along opposing side edges 26 of the collar 12 between the proximal end 20 and the distal end 22 is the stay 18. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the stay 18 is embedded adjacent to a seam or stitching 28 in the collar 12. Preferably, the stay 18 is embedded into the collar 12 such that it does not interfere with the seam or stitching 28. Additionally, where the seam or stitching 28 of the collar 12 intersects with the stay 18, such as at intersection points 30 and 32, the seam or stitching 28 acts, in addition to that described later in the specification, to further secure the embedded stay 18 within the clothing or garment 10. In the preferred embodiment, the stay 18 is located or positioned adjacent to the seam or stitching 28 as Applicant has determined that this is the area where the stay 18 has the most practical and efficient use for changing the shape or the contour of the collar 12 of the clothing or garment 10. Alternatively, it is contemplated that the stay 18 may be located or positioned at any other location within the collar 12 where the contour or shape of the clothing is to be changed or maintained.

As depicted, the collar 12 is provided with two stays 18. In this manner, the two stays 18 can be used to create the same look or appearance on both sides of the collar 12. Alternatively, it is contemplated that as few as one or as many as the clothing or garment 10 can accommodate may be used.

As illustrated in FIGS. 4-6, an intermediate layer 42 can be used as a buffer between the clothing or garment 10 and the stay 18 to absorb any creases, bumps, or other protrusions that may be caused due to the inclusion or embedding of the stay 18 into the clothing or garment 10. In this way, the use of the stay 18 in the clothing or garment 10 will be transparent to the person wearing the clothing or garment 10 as the person will not be able to feel any difference or discomfort in the clothing or garment 10 from the stay 18.

Referring to FIG. 3, the stay 18 is more clearly illustrated. The stay 18 comprises a first layer 34, a second layer 36, and a plurality of wires 38 affixed between the first layer 34 and the second layer 36. In the preferred embodiment, the first layer 34 and the second layer 36 are made of the same material. Alternatively, it is contemplated that the first layer 34 and the second layer 36 may be made of any other of the same or different materials as is known to one skilled in the art. It is further contemplated that the first layer 34 and the second layer 36 may be replaced with a single layer that accommodates the plurality of wires 38.

Also, the plurality of wires 38 are preferably made of a copper or stainless steel material. The reason for this material is that copper or stainless steel will not rust when the clothing or garment 10 is washed or cleaned and both are sufficiently malleable to accommodate any shape or contour contemplated by the user. Alternatively, the plurality of wires 38 may be made of any other material provided the material is sufficient or provides like characteristics to be used in the clothing or garment 10 as disclosed herein.

The plurality of wires 38 are affixed between the first layer 34 and the second layer 36 using seams or stitching 40. In the preferred embodiment, the seam or stitching 40 is placed adjacent to each opposed side of the plurality of wires 38. Alternatively, it is contemplated that the first layer 34 and the second layer 36 may be fused together, such as by glue or some other form of bonding, thereby retaining the plurality of wires 38 between them. In this manner, each of the plurality of wires 38 is restricted from moving in any direction due to the combination of the placement of the seams or stitching 40 adjacent to the plurality of wires 38 and the pressure exerted upon each of the plurality of wires 38 due to securing the first layer 34 to the second layer 36. This is further illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6.

Additionally, while the plurality of wires 38 are depicted as being two in number, it is contemplated that the plurality of wires 38 may be as few as one or as many as desired. For the plurality of wires 38 greater than one, this may be accomplished by providing all of the plurality of wires 38 into a single stay 18 or providing the plurality of wires 38 into various groups contained in separate stays 18.

Alternatively, it is contemplated that any means known to one skilled in the art may be used to attach the first layer 34 to the second layer 36 and for restricting the movement of the plurality of wires 38.

When using the stay 18, the collar 12 can be continually shaped into various contours or appearances for creating varying fashion designs or statements. In a non-limiting example as depicted in FIG. 1, the collar 12 of the clothing or garment 10 is shaped into a smooth, symmetrical, concave arcing design. Alternatively, the collar 12 may be shaped into a symmetrical or asymmetrical design having several variations of concave, convex, arc, curve, twist, rotation, or combinations thereof for forming numerous contours or appearances in the collar 12 and thereby creating the desired fashion design or statement. The stay 18 can likewise be utilized in the exact same manner with respect to the lapelle 14, the sleeve cuffs 16, or any other desired area of the clothing or garment 10.

The manner in which the desired result can be achieved is through the interaction of the components of the stay 18 and the clothing or garment 10. Continuing with the non-limiting example of FIG. 1, any portion of the plurality of wires 38 can be forced or bent into the desired direction. When this occurs, each portion of the wire 38 subjected to the force will succumb to the pressure and form the desired shape. The seam or stitching 40 and the first layer 34 and second layer 36 coact to restrict the undesired movement of the wire 38 enabling the desired shape to be obtained when forced or bent by the user. Also, upon the plurality of wires 38 being shaped into the desired position, the first layer 34 and the second layer 36 also act to engagedly force the clothing or garment 10 to accommodate the new desired shape.

Thus, there has been provided a unique stay for changing the shape or contour of clothing or garments for creating any unique fashion design or statement. While the invention has been described in conjunction with a specific embodiment, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations as fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.