Title:
WAIST CUFF
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A waist cuff comprising a main body including first and second terminal ends. The main body may be at least partially comprised of a resistive material and present a semi-circular orientation such that a gap is formed between the terminal ends. The main body is operable to be at least partially positioned around a wearer's waist to position a garment thereon.



Inventors:
Wyrick, Amina (Kansas City, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/767117
Publication Date:
12/27/2007
Filing Date:
06/22/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AMINA WYRICK (KANSAS CITY, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A waist cuff comprising: a main body including first and second terminal ends, the main body presenting a semi-circular orientation such that a gap is formed between the terminal ends, the main body being at least partially comprised of a resistive material, and the main body being operable to be at least partially positioned around a wearer's waist to position a garment thereon.

2. The waist cuff of claim 1, wherein the main body and gap present a combined length of approximately between twenty-four inches and fifty inches.

3. The waist cuff of claim 1, wherein the resistive material includes a thermoplastic polymer.

4. The waist cuff of claim 1, wherein the main body presents a width of about between three and ten inches.

5. The waist cuff of claim 1, wherein the main body presents a width of about between one-quarter inch and three inches.

6. The waist cuff of claim 1, further including a decorative element coupled with the main body.

7. The waist cuff of claim 6, wherein the decorative element includes a fabric sleeve operable to at least partially envelop the main body.

8. The waist cuff of claim 1, wherein the main body includes a recess formed thereon to correspond to a dip in the wearer's back.

9. A waist cuff comprising: a main body including first and second terminal ends, the main body presenting a semi-circular orientation such that a gap is formed between the terminal ends, the main body and gap presenting a combined length of approximately between twenty-four inches and fifty inches, the main body being at least partially comprised of a resistive material including a thermoplastic polymer, and the main body being operable to be at least partially positioned around a wearer's waist to position a garment thereon.

10. The waist cuff of claim 9, wherein the main body presents a width of about between three and ten inches.

11. The waist cuff of claim 9, wherein the main body presents a width of about between one-quarter inch and three inches.

12. The waist cuff of claim 9, further including a decorative element coupled with the main body.

13. The waist cuff of claim 12, wherein the decorative element includes a fabric sleeve operable to at least partially envelop the main body.

14. The waist cuff of claim 9, wherein the main body includes a recess formed thereon to correspond to a dip in the wearer's back.

15. A method of positioning a garment on a wearer's waist, the method comprising: (a) placing the garment in proximity to the wearer's waist; and (b) positioning a resistive waist cuff at least partially around the wearer's waist to position the garment on the wearer's waist, the resistive waist cuff including a main body having first and second terminal ends and presenting a semi-circular orientation such that a gap is formed between the terminal ends, the positioning of (b) including inserting at least a portion of the wearer's waist through the gap.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the waist cuff is positioned above the wearer's hip on the upper portions of the wearer's waist.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein the waist cuff is positioned at the wearer's hip.

18. The method of claim 15, wherein the garment includes a plurality of belt loops and the positioning of (b) includes insert the waist cuff through at least some of the belt loops.

19. The method of claim 15, wherein the positioning of (b) includes deforming the waist cuff to increase the size of the gap to a dimension greater than at least one of the dimension's of the wearer's waist to enable at least a portion of the wearer's waist to be inserted through the gap.

20. The method of claim 15, wherein the positioning of (b) includes positioning the gap at a desired location on the wearer's waist.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

The present non-provisional application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/816,520, entitled “WAIST CUFF,” filed Jun. 26, 2006, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

1. Field

Embodiments of the present invention relate to devices for positioning clothing on a wearer's body. More particularly, various embodiments of the invention provide a resistive waist cuff operable to be at least partially positioned around a wearer's waist to position clothing thereon.

2. Description of the Related Art

Belts have long been used to suspend or position clothing on wearers' bodies. Typically, belts entirely surround and envelop wearers' waists through the use of buckles or other latching elements. Although belts may adequately support wearers' clothing, they often are time consuming to configure, require manual dexterity to use, interfere with wearer movement, fail to properly fit garments to wearers, and obstruct or damage supported clothing. Consequently, conventional belts suffer from a number of disadvantages.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of the present invention provide a distinct advance in the art of clothing positioning devices. More particularly, various embodiments of the invention provide a resistive waist cuff operable to be at least partially positioned around a wearer's waist to position clothing thereon.

For example, in some embodiments, the present invention provides a waist cuff comprising a main body including first and second terminal ends. The main body may be at least partially comprised of a resistive material and present a semi-circular orientation such that a gap is formed between the terminal ends. The main body is operable to be at least partially positioned around a wearer's waist to position a garment thereon.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not necessarily restrictive of the invention claimed. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the general description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

Various embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the attached drawing figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a waist cuff configured in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the waist cuff of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is front view of the waist cuff of FIGS. 1-2;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the waist cuff of FIGS. 1-3;

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the waist cuff of FIGS. 1-4;

FIG. 6 is an environmental view showing the waist cuff of FIGS. 1-5 coupled with a wearer's waist at a first position;

FIG. 7 is an environmental view showing the waist cuff of FIGS. 1-5 coupled with the wearer's waist at a second position;

FIG. 8 is a rear perspective view of a waist cuff configured in accordance with various other embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a front perspective view of the waist cuff of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 10 is a side view of the waist cuff of FIGS. 1-5 coupled with a decorative element.

The drawing figures do not limit the present invention to the specific embodiments disclosed and described herein. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating various embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following detailed description of various embodiments of the invention references the accompanying drawings which illustrate specific embodiments in which the invention can be practiced. The embodiments are intended to describe aspects of the invention in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Other embodiments can be utilized and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense. The scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled.

Various embodiments of the present invention provide a waist cuff 10 operable to position clothing on a wearer's body. The waist cuff 10 is preferably comprised of an integrated main body 12 that presents a semi-circular configuration to partially surround a wearer's waist. The main body 12 has a first terminal end 14 and a second terminal end 16. Due to the semi-circular orientation of the main body 12, the ends 14, 16 are positioned such that a gap 18 is formed therebetween. As is discussed in more detail below, the main body 12 does not necessarily present a perfect semi-circular orientation as in some embodiments the semi-circular orientation of the main body 12 may include elliptical and non-elliptical configurations that do not conform to standard geometrical shapes. Thus, “semi-circular,” as utilized herein, refers to any orientation of the main body 12 that partially encloses an area and which provides the gap 18 between the terminal ends 14, 16.

The main body 12 is formed of a resistive material. “Resistive material,” as utilized herein, refers to any material that resists deformation and generally returns to its formed shape after application of a deforming force. In some embodiments, the resistive material may comprise thermoplastic polymers such as one or more polycarbonates. Polycarbonates may be easily molded and/or thermoformed and resist deformation as discussed above. Polycarbonates are also generally temperature and impact resistant and thus provide durability to the waist cuff 10.

In other embodiments, the resistive material may comprise tenite cellulosic. As is known in the art, tenite cellulosic plastics are noted for their toughness, hardness, strength, surface gloss, clarity, and warmness. The mechanical properties of tenite cellulosic plastics differ with varying plasticizer levels. Lower plasticizer content yields a harder surface, higher heat resistance, greater rigidity, higher tensile strength, and better dimensional stability. Higher plasticizer content increases impact strength. Tenite cellulose plastics are available in any color, including natural, clear, selected ambers, or smoke transparents and black translucents, from a wide range of distributors.

As should be appreciated, the main body 12 may be formed from any material that resists deformation and generally returns to its formed shape after application of a deforming force. For instance, the main body 12 may be formed from various types of plastics instead of or in addition to the various materials discussed above. For example, the resistive material may comprise materials such as copolyesters, pet polyesters, ABS, lucite, polypropylene, polyethylene, combinations thereof, and the like. Further, the main body 12 may be formed from non-plastic materials, such as wood, metals, fabric, combinations thereof, and the like.

In some embodiments, the main body 12 is formed by plastic injection molding utilizing a plastic injection mold. Such a configuration enables the main body 12 to be easily and quickly formed into a single integrated body utilizing thermoplastic polymers or other similar or related plastics. The main body 12 may additionally or alternatively be formed utilizing other methods, such as vacuum forming, hot form molding, any conventional plastic manufacturing process, or any other method of forming resistive materials. The main body 12 may also be provided with any desirable color during formation through the utilization of dyes or other conventional methods.

The main body 12 may be formed from a combination of materials. For example, encapsulated image layer technology may be utilized to combine fabric with copolyester plastic to form the main body 12 or potions of the main body 12. In various embodiments the main body 12 may also include holes or apertures to facilitate coupling with clothing elements and positioning by the wearer.

The combined length of the main body 12 and gap 18 generally corresponds to the circumference of a portion of the wearer's waist. “Waist,” as utilized herein, refers to the portion of the wearer's body between the wearer's ribs and hips, including the wearer's hips.

In some embodiments, the combined length of the main body 12 and gap 18 may be generally similar to that of a conventional belt. As should be appreciated, different embodiments of the waist cuff 10 may include main bodies of different lengths to accommodate varying body types and waist sizes. For instance, various embodiments of the waist cuff 10 may provide mens and womens sizes including small, medium, large, and extra large, and/or specific main body 12 or combined main body 12 and gap 18 lengths in the range of approximately twenty-four inches through fifty inches.

Further, different embodiments of the waist cuff 10 may include main bodies of different widths and thicknesses to accommodate varying clothing styles. For instance, in some embodiments the main body 12 may have a width between three and ten inches to present a wide configuration, as illustrated in FIGS. 8-9, while in other embodiments the main body 12 may have a width between one-quarter inch and three inches to present a thin configuration, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-4. Utilization of waist cuffs having different widths enables the present invention to be aesthetically and functionally coupled with varying styles of clothing.

As shown in FIG. 10, the waist cuff 10 may additionally include various decorative elements 20 coupled with or integrated with the main body 12. For instance, the decorative elements 20 may couple with the main body 12 or be embedded within or as part of the main body 12 during formation. Further, the decorative elements 20 may be inserted or otherwise coupled with holes or apertures formed within the main body 12.

The decorative elements 20 may include a fabric sleeve operable to envelop the main body 12, photos or images embedded within the main body 12, decorative pieces such as copper, silver, gold, wood, straw, gems, jewels, fabrics, leather, lace, suede, and any other textile materials or objects. In various embodiments, the decorative elements 20 may be interchangeable such that the wearer may configure the waist cuff 10 in any desired configuration. In some embodiments, the fabric sleeve may present a length substantially longer than the length of the main body 12 to enable portions of the fabric sleeve to be tied together by the wearer. Thus, the fabric sleeve may envelope the wearer's waist even though the main body 12 does not.

In some embodiments, the main body 12 may include reinforced portions 24 to increase the resistance applied by the main body 12 when deformed. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the reinforced portions 24 may comprise portions, such as rear and side portions, of the main body 12 to increase the rigidity and limit the flexibility of specific portions of the main body 12. Such a configuration enables the main body 12 to properly deform when worn by the wearer, as discussed in more detail below, while also enabling the main body 12 to present a sufficient amount of force to securely position a garment on the wearer.

The reinforced portions 24 may be formed by increasing the width and/or density of various portions of the main body 12, by including additional materials within or over the main body 12, by utilizing varying material compositions to form the main body 12, combinations thereof, and the like. Thus, portions of the main body 12 may be easily deformed while other portions of the main body 12, such as the reinforced portions 24, may be difficult or impossible to deform. As such, the main body 12 does not necessarily present a uniform configuration and/or resistance to deformation.

In use, the waist cuff 10 may be utilized in a similar manner to that of a belt to retain or position clothing on the wearer's body. To utilize the waist cuff 10 to position a garment on the wearer, the garment may be positioned in proximity to the wearer's waist. In some embodiments, such as where the garment is a dress or pair of jeans, the garment may be supported by both the waist cuff 10 and the wearer. In other embodiments, such as where the garment is a scarf or length of fabric, the garment may be positioned on the wearer by utilizing the waist cuff and then tying the garment in a desired configuration.

The waist cuff 10 may be at least partially positioned around the wearer's waist to position the garment on the wearer's waist. The waist cuff 10 may be positioned at least partially around the wearer's waist by inserting a portion of the wearer's waist through the gap 18. Depending on the size of the wearer, it may be desirable to deform the waist cuff 10, such as by applying force thereto, to increase the size of the gap 18 to a dimension greater than at least one of the dimensions of the wearer's waist to enable at least a portion of the wearer's waist to be inserted through the gap 18.

After the waist cuff 10 is at least partially positioned around the wearer's waist, the wearer my stop applying force to the waist cuff 10 and the main body 12 will attempt to at least partially return to its original configuration due to its resistive configuration. The resistive configuration of the main body 12 also continues to apply force against the wearer's waist to suspend or position clothing thereon.

The wearer may position the gap 18 towards his or her front, rear, or sides to create a desired aesthetic or supportive effect. Positioning of the gap 18 on different portions of the wearer's body enables the waist cuff 10 to functionally couple with garments in several different configurations to present varying appearances. For example, by positioning the gap 18 towards the wearer's back, the main body 12 presents a generally continuous appearance across the wearer's front.

As shown in FIGS. 8-9, some embodiments of the waist cuff 10 are intended to be worn at the wearer's waist level above the wearer's hips and include a recess 22 to correspond to a dip in the wearer's back. However, in such embodiments the waist cuff 10 may be worn by the wearer such that the recess 22 is positioned at the wearer's front or side to accommodate a particular clothing style.

As shown in FIG. 6, in some embodiments the waist cuff 10 is intended to be worn at the wearer's hip level and is operable to be worn with a low-slung jean utilizing or not utilizing the jean's belt loops. In such embodiments, the waist cuff 10 may lack the recess 22 discussed above and present a generally cylindrical or tubular configuration. Further, in such embodiments, the width of the waist cuff 10 is preferably minimized to allow portions of the waist cuff 10 to fit within a conventional belt loop.

As shown in FIG. 7, in some embodiments the waist cuff 10 is operable to be worn above the wearer's hip on the upper portions of the wearer's waist. Such a configuration enables the waist cuff 10 to aesthetically and functionally position a garment such as a dress on the wearer. Preferably, in such embodiments the waist cuff 10 presents a wide configuration. However, in any embodiment, the waist cuff 10 may present a width of any size and include or not include the recess 22 discussed above, and be positioned on any portions of the wearer's body.

It is believed that embodiments of the present invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood by the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the components thereof without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention or without sacrificing all of its material advantages. The form herein before described being merely an explanatory embodiment thereof, it is the intention of the following claims to encompass and include such changes.