Title:
FOLDABLE GARMENT WITH STOWAGE BAG
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foldable garment with stowage bag is disclosed. In an exemplary embodiment a foldable garment with stowage bag comprises a front side connected to a back side by a substantially straight seam. A top portion is connected to both the front side and the back side by a substantially straight seam. A stowage bag is formed on the back side. A user folds the front side over the back side along the substantially straight seam connecting the front side to the back side, and the user further folds the top portion over the front side along the substantially straight seam connecting the top portion to both the front side and the back side to neatly fold the garment into the stowage bag.



Inventors:
Kantor, Barbara C. (Boulder, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/567679
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
12/06/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/69, 224/577
International Classes:
A41D1/04; A41D1/00; A45F4/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090271907Leg handle comprising hollow cylindrical sectionNovember, 2009Roman
20070094763SAFETY OUTERWEAR WITH FIRE RESISTANT MESHMay, 2007Silver
20080086789Safety gearApril, 2008Dick
20090158488Surgical gown having a fluid guiding channelJune, 2009Zhu
20070250994Goggle having flexible headband attachment arms fixedly attached to a goggle frameNovember, 2007Mcneal et al.
20030009816H.I.P. roome sash wrapperJanuary, 2003Roome
20010039673Style-n-sleeveNovember, 2001Carraway
20070266479Lingerie-attached human arousal indicatorNovember, 2007Lanzo
20020116746Glove for pumping gasolineAugust, 2002Williams
20050246826COOLING GARMENT FOR USE WITH A BULLET PROOF VESTNovember, 2005Mccarter et al.
20080313793Protective garment with separate inner and outer shellsDecember, 2008Skottheim et al.



Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Trenner Law Firm, LLC (Golden, CO, US)
Claims:
1. A foldable garment with stowage bag comprising: a front side connected to a back side by a substantially straight seam; a top portion connected to both the front side and the back side by a substantially straight seam; and a stowage bag formed on the back side, wherein a user folds the front side over the back side along the substantially straight seam connecting the front side to the back side, and the user further folds the top portion over the front side along the substantially straight seam connecting the top portion to both the front side and the back side to neatly fold the garment into the stowage bag, the seams serving as a guide to the user for folding the garment within the stowage bag so that any reflective material on the garment is preserved as a flat plane and therefore serves as a better reflective surface when used as a safety vest.

2. The garment of claim 1 wherein a closure mechanism for the storage bag, the closure mechanism being only one of the following: Velcro® or other hook-and-loop closure, a single zipper, at least one button, at least one snap.

3. The garment of claim 1 wherein the garment is neatly folded into the stowage bag with minimal wrinkles when the garment is removed from the stowage bag.

4. The garment of claim 1 wherein the garment is a safety vest.

5. The garment of claim 4 wherein the garment is neatly folded into the stowage bag while preserving a flat reflective plane of the safety vest, wherein the flat reflective plane includes substantially rectangular surfaces which are parallel to at least one of the seams.

6. The garment of claim 1 wherein the garment stored in the stowage bag fits readily within an automobile glove compartment while still leaving space in the automobile glove compartment for other items to fit within the automobile glove compartment.

7. The garment of claim 1 wherein the stowage bag is sized to receive only the garment itself.

8. The garment of claim 1 wherein the stowage bag is free from any loose handles and straps.

9. A method comprising: storing a safety vest within a stowage bag formed in the safety vest itself; folding a front side of the safety vest over a back side of the safety vest along a substantially straight seam connecting the front side to the back side: folding a top portion of the safety vest over the front side along a substantially straight seam connecting the top portion to both the front side and the back side to neatly fold the safety vest into the stowage bag; and maintaining substantially flat surfaces of the safety vest and reflective material on the safety vest with minimal wrinkles during storing of the safety vest within the stowage bag, the seams indicating to a user a desired method for folding the safety vest.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising aligning at least one substantially straight seam between opposite sides of a safety vest when a user folds the safety vest.

11. The method of claim 9 further comprising aligning at least one substantially straight seam between a top portion of the safety vest and the opposite sides of the safety vest when the user folds the safety nest.

12. The method of claim 9 further comprising securing the stowage bag shut with only one closure mechanism.

13. The method of claim 9 further comprising sizing the stowage bag to fit readily within a standard automobile glove compartment.

14. The method of claim 9 further comprising sizing the stowage bag to receive only the safety vest itself.

15. The method of claim 9 further comprising providing the stowage bag without any handles or straps.

16. A garment system comprising: means for storing a garment within in the garment itself; and means for maintaining substantially flat surfaces of the garment with minimal wrinkles when the garment is stored within the garment itself, the means including: guide means for folding a front side of the garment over a back side of the garment along a substantially straight seam connecting the front side to the back side; and guide means for folding a top portion of the garment over the front side along a substantially straight seam connecting the top portion to both the front side and the back side to neatly fold the garment into the stowage bag; and wherein substantially flat surfaces of the garment and reflective material on the garment are maintained with minimal wrinkles during storing of the garment within the stowage bag, the seams indicating to a user a desired method for folding the garment.

17. The garment system of claim 16 further comprising means for aligning the garment for storage.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The described subject matter relates to garments, and more particularly to a foldable garment with stowage bag.

BACKGROUND

Garments are available which incorporate stowage means into the garment itself. However, these garments have one or more drawbacks, as discussed further below.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,700,409 to De Lott discloses a garment that requires inner and outer walls, and is therefore a large and bulky garment. Stowing the garment according to the methods described by De Lott would wrinkle it. In addition, the stowed garment would not readily fit in an automobile glove box, the back of a motor cycle, or other compartment.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,031,733 to Chang discloses a garment that has hard sides, making it difficult if not impossible to fit within an automobile glove box, the back of a motor cycle, or other compartment. In addition, the garment would not be comfortable to wear.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,278,998 to Book discloses a garment that is complicated and expensive to produce. By way of example, it requires a reverse action slide (zipper and reversible zipper pull) and cannot be readily implemented with other forms of closure (e.g., Velcro®, a single zipper, buttons, snaps, etc.). In addition, it requires two zippers and many other parts in order to function.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,475,251 to Hopkins and U.S. Pat. No. 4,637,076 to Tartt, et al. both disclose a garment that is intended to function as a purse or handbag for carrying other items. Accordingly, it has loose bag handles that could potentially get stuck to other items, e.g., when placed in an automobile glove box, the back of a motor cycle, or other compartment.

SUMMARY

An exemplary embodiment of a foldable garment with stowage bag may comprise a front side connected to a back side by a substantially straight seam. A top portion is connected to both the front side and the back side by a substantially straight seam. A stowage bag is formed on the back side. A user folds the front side over the back side along the substantially straight seam connecting the front side to the back side, and the user further folds the top portion over the front side along the substantially straight seam connecting the top portion to both the front side and the back side to neatly fold the garment into the stowage bag.

In another exemplary embodiment, a method may comprise storing a safety vest within a stowage bag formed in the safety vest itself, and maintaining substantially flat surfaces of the safety vest with minimal wrinkles during storing of the safety vest within the stowage bag.

Still other embodiments are contemplated, as set forth in more detail below with reference to the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary garment with stowage bag illustrated as it may be worn by a person.

FIG. 2 is a back view of the exemplary garment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the exemplary garment shown in FIG. 1 as the garment may be folded for storing in the stowage bag.

FIG. 4 is shows the exemplary garment stored in the stowage bag after it was folded as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Briefly, a foldable garment with a stowage bag may be incorporated into the garment itself to help ensure that the garment is available when it is needed. Although the stowage bag is very small, the seams of the garment enable it to be neatly folded and therefore it is not overly-wrinkled (or even not wrinkled at all) when removed from the stowage bag.

For purposes of illustration, when the garment is a safety vest that has been folded into integrated the stowage bag, it can readily fit into an automobile glove box, on the back of a motorcycle (bicycle, etc.), or other compartment (such as a purse or handbag, backpack, etc.) without taking up too much space. The safety vest can then be readily removed from the stowage bag and unfolded when needed by the user. Having been neatly folded within the stowage bag, any reflective material on the garment is preserved as a flat plane and will therefore serve as a better reflective surface when used as a safety vest.

Although various embodiments are described herein with reference to a safety vest, it is noted that the garment is not so limited. In other embodiments, the garment may be a shirt, a jacket, or any other garment, for use by people, animals, pets, etc., as will be readily appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art after becoming familiar with the teachings herein.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary garment 10 with stowage bag 12 illustrated as it may be worn by a person 14. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the garment 10 is a safety vest. Although not limited to any particular style, the safety vest may be made of a lightweight material (e.g., fabric, plastic, paper, etc.) that readily fits over clothes the person 14 is wearing.

In addition, the safety vest may include one or more reflective surfaces, such as the reflective surfaces 16a and 16b shown in FIG. 1. Reflective surfaces 16a and 16b may be attached to the garment 10 in any suitable manner, including but not limited to, being sewn or glued onto the front side 18a, back side 18b (FIG. 2), and/or top portion 18c of the garment 10. It is preferably that these reflective surfaces be maintained wrinkle-free (or at least substantially wrinkle-free) in order to better maintain the reflective properties of the reflective surface 16a and 16b. Reflective surfaces that can be attached to clothing are well-known and therefore further description is not needed herein.

In an exemplary embodiment, the stowage bag 12 is formed as part of the garment 10 itself. That is, the stowage bag 12 is formed on the garment 10 by adding a zipper 20 or other closure mechanism (e.g., button(s), snap(s), Velcro® or other hook-and-loop closure) directly to the garment 10 without the need to provide additional side walls for the stowage bag 12. As such, a portion of the garment 10 serves as the stowage bag 12, reducing manufacturing costs, and reducing the overall size and weight of the garment 10, along with increasing comfort when person 14 wears the garment 10.

It is noted that although the stowage bag 12 is shown as it may be formed in the back side 18a of the garment 10, in other embodiments, the stowage bag 12 may be provided elsewhere on the garment 10. It is also noted that in other embodiments, the stowage bag 12 may be manufactured as a separate piece and attached to the garment 10.

FIG. 2 is a back view of the exemplary garment 10 shown in FIG. 1. When the garment 10 is not being worn by person 14 (e.g., as shown in FIG. 1), the garment 10 may be folded to fit within the stowage bag 12 for storage and handling. For example, where the garment 10 is a safety vest, the safety vest may be folded into the stowage bag 12 and readily fit within a standard automobile glove compartment (or other storage compartment in an automobile, motorcycle, or other vehicle) without consuming all of the space within the compartment (i.e., other items may still be stored alongside the stowage bag 12).

Optionally, the stowage bag 12 may include a cover 21. In an exemplary embodiment, cover 21 may be provided as a flat (e.g., attached to one side of the garment 10) to hide the stowage bag 12 when the garment 10 is being worn by person 14 and/or serve as further protection to the garment 10 when the garment 10 is folded within the stowage bag 12. The closure mechanism may be sewn (or otherwise attached) to the cover 21 to cover the zipper tape or other closure to make it look more refined and finished. The cover 21 can then be attached (e.g., sewn, glued, etc.) to the garment 10. Alternatively, the closure mechanism may be permanently attached to the garment and then the cover 21 permanently attached to the closure mechanism.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the exemplary garment 10 shown in FIG. 1 as the garment 10 may be folded for storing in the stowage bag 12. In an exemplary embodiment, the front side 18b may be folded along a substantially straight seam 22a and 22b between the front side 18b and the back side 18a. In addition, the top portion 18c may be folded onto the front portion 18b, also along a substantially straight seam 22c.

Although not shown in FIG. 2, the lower portion of the garment 10 (illustrated generally by reference arrow 24) may be folded onto the upper portion of the garment 10 (illustrated generally by reference arrow 26). The stowage bag 12 may then be folded in half and the zipper 20 operated to close the stowage bag 12 around the folded garment 10.

It is noted that although the word “seam” is used herein to describe an interface between two surfaces (e.g., between the back side 18a and front side 18b, and between the top portion 18c and front side 18b), the term “seam” should not be strictly construed as only connecting separate surfaces. For example, the surfaces may be manufactured from a single piece of fabric, but include a natural fold line. In the exemplary embodiments described herein, the natural fold line may be straight so as to enhance folding of the garment 10 into the stowage bag 12.

Although not required, folding the garment 10 as just described preserves the flat planes of reflective surfaces 16a and 16b even when the garment is folded into the stowage bag 12. Accordingly, the garment 10 can be removed from the stowage bag 12 and unfolded such that the garment 10 and reflective surfaces 16a and 16b are wrinkle-free (or at least substantially wrinkle-free). Accordingly, the reflective surfaces 16a and 16b maintain a high level of their reflective properties even after multiple and/or long term storage in the stowage bag 12.

FIG. 4 is shows the exemplary garment 10 (e.g., as shown in FIG. 1) stored in the stowage bag 12 after it was folded as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. Although the garment 10 may optionally include additional pockets, straps, handles, and/or one or more hard sides, it is particularly advantageous that the stowage bag 12 is configured without any additional pockets, straps, or handles, has soft sides, and is substantially flat. These features enable the stowage bag 12 to comfortably remain a part of the garment 10 while being worn, and to fit readily in any of a wide variety of different enclosures. For example, the safety vest may also be configured to fit readily within a standard automobile glove compartment (or other storage compartment in an automobile, motorcycle, or other vehicle), purse, handbag, backpack, pocket, or other enclosure.

In addition to the specific embodiments explicitly set forth herein, other aspects and embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and illustrated embodiments be considered as examples only.