Title:
Open collar keeper and decorative neck cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An open collar keeper and decorative neck cover of generally triangular shape having an internal template with a ‘V’-shaped portion at the top thereof and decorative material that substantially covers the internal template. The ‘V’-shaped portion is internally padded and permits deformation of the decorative material under pressure of the wearer's neck, wherein the decorative material crumples and relieves into the ‘V’-shaped portion. An adjustable strap secures the open collar keeper and decorative neck cover around the wearer's neck either under or over the collar. The open collar keeper and decorative neck cover may also include a magnet for removably securing an insignia thereon.



Inventors:
Mangham, James (Snellville, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/585504
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
10/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILLIAMSON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW, LLC (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An open collar keeper comprising: an internal template having a ‘V’-shaped portion disposed at the top thereof.

2. The open collar keeper of claim 1, further comprising decorative material, wherein said decorative material substantially covers said internal template.

3. The open collar keeper of claim 2, wherein said ‘V’-shaped portion permits deformation of said decorative material thereinto.

4. The open collar keeper of claim 1, wherein said ‘V’-shaped portion comprises an internal padding.

5. The open collar keeper of claim 1, wherein said open collar keeper is generally triangular.

6. The open collar keeper of claim 5, wherein said generally triangular open collar keeper comprises an isosceles triangle.

7. The open collar keeper of claim 6, further comprising a means for securing an insignia thereon.

8. The open collar keeper of claim 7, wherein said means for securing is disposed proximate an apex between two equal sides of said generally triangular open collar keeper.

9. The open collar keeper of claim 6, further comprising an insignia removably secured thereto.

10. The open collar keeper of claim 1, further comprising a strap.

11. The open collar keeper of claim 10, wherein said strap secures said open collar keeper around a wearer's neck.

12. The open collar keeper of claim 10, wherein said strap further comprises a means for adjusting the length thereof.

13. A method of decoratively covering a wearer's neck at an open collar portion thereof, said method comprising the steps of: obtaining an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover wherein said open collar keeper and decorative neck cover comprises a template having a ‘V’-shaped portion disposed at a top portion thereof; and securing said open collar keeper and decorative neck cover around the neck of a wearer.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein said step of securing further comprises the step of: securing said open collar keeper and decorative neck cover via a strap, wherein said strap passes around the neck of the wearer.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein said step of securing via a strap comprises the step of: passing said strap under a collar.

16. The method of claim 13, further comprising the step of: covering said template with a decorative material.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising the step of: deforming said decorative material within said ‘V’-shaped portion.

18. A decorative neck cover comprising: a magnet disposed on a lower portion thereof.

19. The decorative neck cover of claim 18, wherein said magnet is disposed within a decorative covering material of said decorative neck cover.

20. The decorative neck cover of claim 19, wherein said magnet is disposed on a template within said decorative covering material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to neckwear, and more specifically to an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover comprising a generally triangular decorative section and a strap for securing the generally triangular section about the neck of the wearer.

2. Description of Related Art

Existing neckwear devices generally consist of knotted devices, such as neckties or bowties, or alternatively, loose material, such as Ascots and foulards. Neckties and bowties both comprise material that passes around the wearer's neck, and additionally, in their original form, both require manipulation of their material to form a securing knot that retains the necktie/bowtie in position around the wearer's neck.

As demands for convenience have increased, neckties and bowties have often been fashioned in an already-tied form, with a clipping mechanism to secure the device to a shirt collar of the wearer. Alternately, the material that passes around the neck has been replaced by a securing strap passing around the back of the neck that may be quickly attached by means of a hook and eye, hook and loop material, or the like. The securing strap is attached to an already-knotted tie, thereby obviating the need for the wearer to have knowledge of how to form the knot.

Neckties, while providing a pleasing appearance, are somewhat hazardous or disadvantageous in nature due to the fact that they have long loose ends that can become engaged in mechanical apparatuses, soiled through contact while eating, or displaced from their normal straight up-and-down positioning in an unkempt fashion. Additionally, neckties require restraining devices, such as tie clips, to maintain their lower portions in position centered on the wearer's chest.

Bowties lack the extensive length of a necktie, and thus are safer and less susceptible to soiling, but they provide an appearance that is not generally desired by a majority of neckwear users for everyday wear, and are typically worn by the everyday neckwear user only for celebratory events.

Both bowties and neckties typically require that the wearer be familiar with the formation of special knot-forming procedures. However, clip-on bowties and neckties have been produced as noted above, but such suffer the disadvantage of occasionally inconveniently coming loose and falling off of the neck area of the wearer.

Ascots and foulards, by their very nature of comprising loose folded or bunched material, have not been readily adapted to convenient forms that can be readily placed about the neck and secured without a great deal of positioning to meet the specific requirements of the wearer.

Thus, the aforementioned devices require complicated knot-forming, positioning, and/or are insecure in their attachment to the neck area of a wearer. Further, none of the above neckwear devices provides a wearer with the ability to display a removable insignia.

Previous attempts to overcome the aforementioned disadvantages have included devices that go around the neck and fasten utilizing means such as hook and loop fasteners. However, such devices appear to be made of rigid material, lacking accommodation for the contour of the wearer's neck. Another device requires the wearer to form the neckwear garment via folding of existing material, a similar requirement to the need for preparation of a standard Ascot or foulard.

Yet another device has addressed the attachment of insignia via providing a fixture to cover a neckwear knot with a holder to accommodate display objects attached magnetically. Unfortunately, such a holder may be considered unsightly by the wearer and is readily visible even when no display object is desired.

Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover that is simple and easy to put in place about the neck, wherein the decorative neck cover provides an appearance generally similar to that of a combination of a necktie and/or of an ascot/foulard, while at the same time overcoming the afore-mentioned disadvantages.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such a device by providing an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover of generally inverse isosceles triangular shape having a decorative material disposed over an internal template. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the open collar keeper and decorative neck cover of the present invention may be made in any desirable shape to provide decoration and covering for a wearer's neck.

The internal template has a relieved ‘V’-shaped portion at the top thereof (i.e., the portion that will be uppermost when in contact with the neck of the wearer). The relieved ‘V’-shaped portion permits deformation of the decorative material and thereby provides comfort to the wearer by permitting the decorative material to generally take the contour of the wearer's neck.

The internal template is generally flexible but firm and provides structure to the open collar keeper and decorative neck cover. The internal template is made from a suitable material such as, for exemplary purposes only, leather, cardboard, thick cloth, or the like. The V-shaped portion has internal padding that provides bulk, wherein the padding provides an overall thickness to the open collar keeper and decorative neck cover of up to approximately one quarter of one inch.

An adjustable strap extends from one side of the internal template as it exits at a top side from under the decorative material. The strap is utilized to secure the present invention around the neck of the wearer. The adjustable strap has a fastener, such as, for exemplary purposes only, a hook and eye fastener, for securing the present invention in place.

In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, a magnet may be disposed on the open collar keeper and decorative neck cover and a selected insignia may be removably secured thereon.

Thus, the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of previous devices by providing ease of placement and securing around the neck of a wearer, accommodating the contour of the wearer's neck, and providing a means for display of insignia should the wearer so desire.

According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention in its preferred form is an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover comprising a decorative material covering a flexible template, wherein the flexible template comprises padding to provide bulk to the neckwear device. The template is of inverted generally isosceles triangular shape with tab extensions at the top sides for accommodation of attachment of an adjustable strap, wherein the strap secures the present invention about the wearer's neck. At the top portion of the template there is a ‘V’-shaped relief that permits the decorative material to deform thereinto, accommodating the contour of the wearer's neck, thereby to provide comfort to the wearer.

The present invention is readily secured in place about the wearer's neck and provides an overall pleasing appearance similar to other neckwear devices, and further provides for the installation of a removable insignia.

More specifically, the present invention is an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover comprising a flexible padded template, of an inverse isosceles triangular shape, having a ‘V’-shaped indentation in the top portion thereof, wherein the ‘V’-shaped indentation permits deformation of decorative material that is disposed over the template. The decorative material covers the triangular portion of the template, while permitting the tab ends of the template to exit from the side edges of the top of the template-covering material. An adjustable securing strap or band is attached to the tabs and is utilized to retain the decorative material covered template about the neck of a wearer.

The present invention is placed about the collar of the wearer, typically underneath the collar of the wearer's shirt, wherein the strap, having a male hook fastener thereattached, passes around the neck of the wearer, and wherein the male hook fastener engages a female eye fastener to secure the present invention about the neck of the wearer. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the present invention may be worn over or under the collar and that any suitable fastener may be substituted for the hook-and-eye fastener.

Should the wearer so choose, an insignia may be engaged via a magnet, wherein the magnet is disposed on the template within the covering material at the lower apex of the sides of the inverse triangular template. In such fashion, the wearer can selectively display insignia to meet any mood or occasion.

Accordingly, a feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to protect the neck of the wearer.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is that it provides a selective decorative appearance to the wearer.

Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to be rapidly placed and secured about the wearer's neck.

Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to retain an open collar in a generally closed position without the need for buttoning the collar.

Yet still another feature and advantage of the present invention is that it does not require knowledge of neckwear knot forming.

A further feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to secure and display insignia thereon.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Selected Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an open sectional front view showing an internal pad component of an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a neckwear user attired in an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND SELECTED ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

In describing the preferred and selected alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, the present invention in a preferred embodiment is an open collar keeper and decorative neck cover, wherein collar keeper/neck cover 10 generally comprises an isosceles triangle in shape and preferably comprises decorative portion 20 and strap 80. Decorative portion 20 preferably comprises decorative material 25 preferably disposed over template 30, wherein decorative portion 20 further preferably comprises first end 170 and second end 180.

Template 30 is made of a material, such as, for exemplary purposes only, leather, cardboard and/or thick cloth and preferably comprises padding 40 therewithin. Padding 40 preferably serves to provide body and thickness to template 30 and is of appropriate thickness selected to provide an overall pleasing appearance to collar keeper/neck cover 10, such as, for exemplary purposes only, up to approximately one-quarter of one inch thick. Template 30 further preferably comprises first end 50, second end 60 and ‘V’-shaped portion 70, wherein ‘V’-shaped portion 70 is preferably disposed at top 160 of template 30. First end 50 of template 30 preferably exits decorative portion 20 via first end 170 of decorative portion 20, wherein second end 60 of template 30 preferably exits decorative portion 20 via second end 180 of decorative portion 20.

Strap 80 may be either rigid or elastic and preferably comprises female fastener 90, male fastener 100 and adjusting mechanism 110, wherein strap 80 is preferably secured at second end 60 of template 30 via securing ring 120 and male fastener 100 is preferably disposed at first end 50 of template 30. Adjusting mechanism 110 comprises any such mechanism as is known to those skilled in the art for adjusting the length of a rigid or elastic strap. Male fastener 100 and female fastener 90 comprise a hook and eye fastener as such is known in the art, wherein male fastener 100 cooperatively engages female fastener 90 to enclose an object via strap 80.

In use, person P preferably secures collar keeper/neck cover 10 around his/her neck by preferably placing collar keeper/neck cover 10 within collar C of shirt S and preferably subsequently passing strap 80 behind and around neck N under collar C. When installed around neck N, decorative material 25 in the vicinity of top 160 is preferably deformed by neck N, thereby preferably forming relieved comfort area 190. ‘V’-shaped portion 70 of template 30 preferably facilitates crumpling decorative material 25 into relieved comfort area 190, thereby providing a desirable visual and comfortable appearance.

Collar keeper/neck cover 10 of the present invention may be simply and rapidly removed and/or replaced for a different decorative appearance according to the desires of the wearer by substitution with different open collar keeper/neck cover 10 comprising different decorative material 25.

In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, magnet 130 is disposed on template 30 within decorative portion 20 at point 150 of collar keeper/neck cover 10. Insignia 140 is removably secured to point 150 via magnet 130, wherein insignia 140 augments the decorative nature of collar keeper/neck cover 10. Magnet 130, being disposed on template 30 within decorative material 25 is not visible when insignia 140 is removed, thereby permitting a clean appearance when insignia 140 is not disposed on collar keeper/neck cover 10.

In use, insignia 140 is placed over magnet 130, wherein attraction of magnet 130 secures insignia 140 to collar keeper/neck cover 10. In such fashion, a variety of insignia 140 can be selectively substituted by person P, according to the occasion at hand.

The foregoing description and drawings comprise illustrative embodiments of the present invention. Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Merely listing or numbering the steps of a method in a certain order does not constitute any limitation on the order of the steps of that method. Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which this invention pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Although specific terms may be employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.





 
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