Title:
NURSING TANK TOP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A nursing garment includes a shoulder strap having front and back ends. An elastic chest band has front and back sections. An inner bra layer is fixedly attached at its top to the shoulder strap and at its bottom to the front end of the chest band. The inner bra section has an opening to permit nursing. A front flap has a fastener at its top. The flap is coupled to the front section of the chest band. The fastener of the flap is detachably connectable to the front end of the shoulder strap. The flap is movable to a position in which the opening of the inner bra layer is exposed. A tank portion is coupled to the back end of the shoulder strap. The tank portion is coupled to the fastener of the flap. The tank portion floats freely with respect to the chest band.



Inventors:
Adelman, Richard (Greensboro, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/767213
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
06/22/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
450/36
International Classes:
A41D1/20; A41C3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DUANE MORRIS LLP - Philadelphia (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A nursing garment, comprising: a shoulder strap having front and back ends; an elastic chest band having front and back sections; an inner bra layer fixedly attached at a top thereof to the shoulder strap and at a bottom thereof to the front end of the elastic chest band, the inner bra layer having an opening therein adapted to permit nursing therethrough; a front flap having a fastener at a top thereof, the front flap coupled to the front section of the elastic chest band, the fastener of the front flap being detachably connectable to the front end of the shoulder strap, the front flap being movable to a position in which the opening of the inner bra layer is exposed; and a tank top portion coupled to the back end of the shoulder strap, the tank top portion coupled to the fastener of the front flap, the tank top portion floating freely with respect to the elastic chest band.

2. The nursing garment of claim 1, wherein the inner bra layer has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the tank top portion.

3. The nursing garment of claim 2, wherein the inner bra layer has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the front flap.

4. The nursing garment of claim 1, wherein the back section of the chest band has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the flap.

5. The nursing garment of claim 1, wherein the chest band is fixedly attached to the front flap.

6. The nursing garment of claim 1, wherein the back section of the chest band is not connected directly to the shoulder strap.

7. The nursing garment of claim 1, wherein the front flap includes an outer bra layer and a part of the tank top portion.

8. The nursing garment of claim 1, wherein the garment includes a layer that serves as an outer layer of a nursing bra and as an inner layer of the front flap.

9. A nursing garment, comprising: a shoulder strap having front and back ends; an elastic chest band having front and back sections; an inner bra layer fixedly attached at a top thereof to the shoulder strap and at a bottom thereof to the front end of the elastic chest band, the inner bra layer having an opening therein adapted to permit nursing therethrough; an outer bra layer having a fastener at a top thereof, the outer bra layer coupled to the front section of the elastic chest band, the fastener of the outer bra layer being detachably connectable to the front end of the shoulder strap, the outer bra layer being movable to a position in which the opening of the inner bra layer is exposed; and a tank top portion coupled to the back end of the shoulder strap, the tank top portion coupled to the fastener of the outer bra layer, the tank top portion floating freely with respect to the elastic chest band.

10. The nursing garment of claim 9, wherein the inner bra layer has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the tank top portion.

11. The nursing garment of claim 10, wherein the inner bra layer has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the front flap.

12. The nursing garment of claim 9, wherein the back section of the chest band has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the outer bra layer.

13. The nursing garment of claim 9, wherein the chest band is fixedly attached to the outer bra layer.

14. The nursing garment of claim 9, wherein the back section of the chest band is not connected directly to the shoulder strap

15. The nursing garment of claim 1, wherein the outer bra layer and a part of the tank top portion form a front flap.

Description:

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/806,334 filed Jun. 30, 2006, which is incorporated herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to clothing, and more specifically to garments for nursing women.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A variety of garments have been developed especially to meet the needs of women who are nursing. The most common of these garments is a nursing bra, which typically has a detachable flap or opening for providing access during nursing. The nursing bra is worn beneath a blouse.

Because the nursing bra is underneath a blouse, to prepare for nursing, the woman must either raise or unbutton the blouse, and either lower the flap (if present) or move the garment so that the opening provides access to the breast. These preparations often must be performed with one hand, while at the same time holding an anxious infant. Therefore, in practice, the use of a nursing bra may be clumsy and time consuming.

A nursing garment is desired which is comfortable to wear, attractive in appearance, and provides quick and easy access for nursing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a nursing tank top garment according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the nursing tank top garment of FIG. 1, with one side of the front flap in a nursing position.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the nursing tank top garment of FIG. 1, with the internal built-in bra shown in phantom.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the nursing tank top garment of FIG. 1, with the internal built-in bra shown in phantom.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

This description of the exemplary embodiments is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description. In the description, relative terms such as “lower,” “upper,” “horizontal,” “vertical,”, “above,” “below,” “up,” “down,” “top” and “bottom” as well as derivative thereof (e.g., “horizontally,” “downwardly,” “upwardly,” etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description and do not require that the apparatus be constructed or operated in a particular orientation. Terms concerning attachments, coupling and the like, such as “connected” and “interconnected,” refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise.

FIGS. 1-4 show an exemplary embodiment of a nursing tank top 100 according to one embodiment of the invention. The exemplary nursing tank top 100 has a built in nursing shelf bra 110, 114. The fitted nursing tank top 100 may be comprised of knit stretch fabric such as cotton and/or spandex. The bra 110, 114 is set inside the tank top portion 101 and has a plurality of layers 110a, 110b and includes both internal and external components.

FIG. 1 is an external front elevation view of an exemplary nursing tank top 100 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention with the nursing flaps 106 of the nursing tank 101/shelf bra 110, 114 closed. In this position, only the outer tank top 101, straps 102 and fastener clips 104, 118 are visible, and the bra 110 is concealed, except for the straps 102 and clip 118.

FIG. 2 is an external front elevation view of the nursing tank top 100 with the wearer's right side nursing flap 106 of the nursing tank/shelf bra open. FIG. 2 shows the second (inner) layer 110b of the internal shelf bra 110 and the first (outer) layer 110a of the bra 110, which also forms the internal surface of the nursing flap 106. Thus, first layer 110a functions as both the outer layer of the nursing bra 110 and the inner layer of the nursing flap 106. The nursing flap 106 attaches to the inner plastic clip fastener 118, and the outer plastic clip fastener 104 attaches to the inner plastic clip 118.

The nursing tank 100 is shown in FIG. 2 in an open position, exposing the inner nursing bra layer 110b with slit 111, the first shelf bra layer 110a, the outer plastic clip fastener 104, the straps 102, and the inner plastic clip fastener 118. When the nursing tank 101/shelf bra 110 and nursing flap 106 are closed, the outer clip fastener 104 couples with the inner clip fastener 118. The shelf bra band 114 is set just below the internal shelf bra layer 110b and nursing flap layer 110a for support.

As is apparent from FIG. 2, the garment 100 allows the nursing woman to easily provide access to the breast by releasing one clip, and lowering a portion of the flap 106. There is no need to lift up the tank portion 101. The slit design of the inner nursing bra layer 110b allows the woman to discretely expose only as much of the breast as is necessary for nursing.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the nursing tank top 100 of FIG. 1, with the internal construction details shown in phantom. The internal shelf bra 110 is built into the tank top 101. The inner layer 110b of the shelf bra 110 is attached to the tank top 101 at armhole 110ah, side seam 101ss (FIG. 4), bottom band 114 and inner strap joining point 118. In addition the nursing flap 106 is attached to the shelf bra 110 at side seam, bottom band 114 and at the outer strap joining point 104.

FIG. 4 is a left side elevation view of the nursing tank top 100. FIG. 4 shows the back shelf bra portion 120 is attached to the tank top 101 at side seams 101ss only. In some embodiments, the back shelf bra portion 120 has a silicone & elastic band 122 at top edge for stability. The bottom band 114 is attached to the back shelf bra portion 120 and the front shelf bra 110 at the inside. The straps 102 have back adjustable sections 112.

As best seen in FIG. 4, the tank top portion 101 floats freely from the bottom band 114. The tank top portion 101 is preferably only directly connected to the bra 110 along a side seam 101ss between the bottom band 114 and the armhole, and along the side and top seams of the flap 106, where the tank top joins the outer bra layer 110a to form the front flap.

The external portion of the nursing bra 110 comprises the right and left shoulder straps 102 that unfasten via clips 104, 118 to expose the internal portion 110 of the nursing bra. The exemplary clips are made of plastic, but the clips may be made from a variety of other materials, such as metal. The external portion of the nursing bra 110 are visible at all times, including when the flap 106 is closed during normal wear.

While the garment 100 is being worn, the internal portion of the knit bra 110 is normally only visible when the flap 106 is in the nursing position. The internal portion may include two layers 110a, 110b of knit fabric. The first (outer) layer 110a is set closest to the tank 101 and is attached to the tank 101 at the neck seam 100ns and at the plastic front bottom clip joining point 104 that is attachable to the clip 118 of the front shoulder strap 102. The first layer 110a of the shelf bra is joined permanently to the tank 101 at right and left side seams 101ss thereof. (FIG. 4 shows the left side seam 101ss. The right side seam (not shown) is the mirror image thereof.) The second (inner) layer 110b of the bra 110 is set closest to the body and is attached as a separate layer to the plastic front top clip 118. The second layer 110b of the bra has slit openings 111 at front right and left sides which may be angled. The slots 111 allow easy access when nursing. The second layer 110b has elastic 110e (which may be 0.25 inch wide, for example) at neck edges and along armholes 110ah to create stability. The second layer 110b is attached permanently at right and left side seam. In some embodiments, the second layer 110b, the first layer 110a and the tank layer 101 are all attached together at the side seams 101ss.

The bottoms of both of the nursing layers 110a, 110b are joined to a wide elastic band 114 for comfort. The back of the shelf bra is a separate piece made of the same knit fabric with a silicone and elastic band 122 at a top edge thereof to maintain comfortable placement at the upper back when worn. The back straps have adjustable length sections 112 at right and left sides. The tank portion 101 of the body is a continuous stretch knit body that attaches at front and back straps and gives a single piece appearance.

This nursing bra tank can be worn alone or layered with other shirts/tees. The nursing openings 111 are hidden in the bra tank construction. The wearer can simply unclasp and release the fastener clip 104 from the clip 118 open the flap 106 and find the drop cup.

SUMMARY OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

In some embodiments, a nursing garment comprises:

a shoulder strap having front and back ends;

an elastic chest band having front and back sections;

an inner bra layer fixedly attached at a top thereof to the shoulder strap and at a bottom thereof to the front end of the elastic chest band, the inner bra layer having an opening therein adapted to permit nursing therethrough;

a front flap having a fastener at a top thereof, the front flap coupled to the front section of the elastic chest band, the fastener of the front flap being detachably connectable to the front end of the shoulder strap, the front flap being movable to a position in which the opening of the inner bra layer is exposed; and

a tank top portion coupled to the back end of the shoulder strap, the tank top portion coupled to the fastener of the front flap, the tank top portion floating freely with respect to the elastic chest band.

In some embodiments, the inner bra layer has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the tank top portion.

In some embodiments, the inner bra layer has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the front flap.

In some embodiments, the back section of the chest band has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the flap.

In some embodiments, the chest band is fixedly attached to the front flap.

In some embodiments, the back section of the chest band is not connected directly to the shoulder strap.

In some embodiments, the front flap includes an outer bra layer and a part of the tank top portion.

In some embodiments, the garment includes a layer that serves as an outer layer of a nursing bra and as an inner layer of the front flap.

In some embodiments, a nursing garment, comprises:

a shoulder strap having front and back ends;

an elastic chest band having front and back sections;

an inner bra layer fixedly attached at a top thereof to the shoulder strap and at a bottom thereof to the front end of the elastic chest band, the inner bra layer having an opening therein adapted to permit nursing therethrough;

an outer bra layer having a fastener at a top thereof, the outer bra layer coupled to the front section of the elastic chest band, the fastener of the outer bra layer being detachably connectable to the front end of the shoulder strap, the outer bra layer being movable to a position in which the opening of the inner bra layer is exposed; and

a tank top portion coupled to the back end of the shoulder strap, the tank top portion coupled to the fastener of the outer bra layer, the tank top portion floating freely with respect to the elastic chest band.

In some embodiments, the inner bra layer has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the tank top portion.

In some embodiments, the inner bra layer has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the front flap.

In some embodiments, the back section of the chest band has two ends fixedly attached to left and right sides of the outer bra layer.

In some embodiments, the chest band is fixedly attached to the outer bra layer.

In some embodiments, the back section of the chest band is not connected directly to the shoulder strap.

In some embodiments, the outer bra layer and a part of the tank top portion form a front flap.

Although the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments, it is not limited thereto. Rather, the invention should be construed broadly, to include other variants and embodiments of the invention, which may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and range of equivalents of the invention.