Title:
TAPERED SHIRT WITH INCORPORATED SUPPORT SYSTEM AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A woman's shirt includes integrated outerwear and support undergarment. The support undergarment has cups, sized for accommodating the woman's breasts and particular bust size. The outerwear of the shirt includes a front portion and a back portion. The front portion is connected to the back portion, to form neck, arm and bottom openings. The support undergarment includes semi-rigid cups, such as foam or padded cups. The support undergarment includes a front panel and a back panel. The cups are included in the front panel. The front panel is connected to the front portion at extents of the front portion forming the neck and arm openings. The back panel is connected to the back portion at extents of the back portion forming the arm openings. The shirt is sized by characteristics of measures of breast cup size and of length from just under the woman's breasts to a preferred ride location on the woman's torso for the bottom of the shirt when worn by the woman. Measurement tools assist to size the shirt per these measures.



Inventors:
Fons, Brandy (Austin, TX, US)
Humphrey, Lori (Austin, TX, US)
Application Number:
12/053973
Publication Date:
09/25/2008
Filing Date:
03/24/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
33/17R, 450/31, 450/57
International Classes:
A41B9/06; A41C3/10; A41H3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
H. DALE LANGLEY, JR. (AUSTIN, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shirt, comprising: an outerwear; and a support undergarment having cups, connected to the outerwear.

2. The shirt of claim 1, wherein the cups are a semi-rigid material.

3. The shirt of claim 2, wherein the outerwear includes a front portion and a back portion, each formed with a neckline; wherein the support undergarment includes a front panel connected to the cups and a back panel connected to the front panel; and wherein the support undergarment is connected to the outerwear only at the neckline of the front portion and the back portion.

4. The shirt of claim 3, wherein the cups are foam padding; and wherein the outerwear is slim-fitting in wear.

5. The shirt of claim 4, wherein the front portion of the outerwear is formed to terminate in a lower extent in wear of the shirt, the lower extent dictated according to (i) a bust cup size value and (ii) a length value, measured from below the cups to preferred lower extent for the shirt in wear.

6. A method of sizing a shirt of a woman, comprising the steps of: measuring a first value of a distance from the breasts of the woman to a preferred bottom ride location of the woman; measuring a second value of cup size of the breasts; forming a front portion of an outerwear of the shirt in accord with the steps of measuring the first value and measuring the second value; forming a back portion of the outerwear of the shirt to conform to the front portion and provide neck and arm holes and a bottom of the shirt; forming cups of the size of the second value; forming a support undergarment having cups from the step of forming cups of the second value; and connecting the support undergarment to the front portion and the back portion at the neck and arm holes.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the cups from the step of forming cups are semi-rigid.

8. The method of claim 6, further comprising: wherein the cups from the step of forming cups are foam.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein the step of forming the support undergarment comprises the steps of: forming a front panel connected to the cups; forming a back panel connected to the front panel; connecting the front panel to the neck and arm holes of the front portion; and connecting the back panel to the arm holes of the front portion.

10. A method of sizing a shirt for a woman, comprising the steps of: measuring a bust cup size of the woman; and measuring a length of the woman extending from beneath breasts of the woman to a preferred ride point of the shirt; and correlating dimensions for the shirt based on the step of measuring the bust cup size and measuring the length.

11. A system for sizing a shirt of a woman, comprising: a ruler; and a bust cup range correlated to the ruler.

12. The product shirt of the method of claim 6.

13. The product shirt of the method of claim 7.

14. The product shirt of the method of claim 8.

15. The product shirt of the method of claim 9.

16. The product shirt of the method of claim 10.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO PRIORITY U.S. PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATION

The present application is a conversion of, and is related to and incorporates by reference herein, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/896,622, titled “Tapered Shirt with Incorporated Support System and Method”, filed Mar. 23, 2007, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/896,641, titled “Integrated Shirt Outerwear and Underwear”, filed Mar. 23, 2007, each of the same inventors hereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to shirt clothing, and more particularly relates to women's outerwear providing integrated support cups with elegant, seamless appearance and customizable fitting and sizing thereof.

Women typically wear support bras, i.e., brassieres, under outerwear shirt tops. Conventionally, these bras are separate underwear garments, worn as under-apparel lingerie. Bras have been variously sized to accommodate fit requirements of the specific wearer. Sizing and variation for desirable fit can include rib cage and torso measurement, cup size, band and strap, style features, and variable adjustments, widths, and materials. Additionally, bra designs, materials and parts vary for comfort, feel, appearance, and bust support.

Slim fitting outerwear shirt tops are often favored for wear on occasion. Conventionally, slim fitting women's shirts, including those with slim straps, lower necklines, and sleeveless features, are most desirable in certain fabrics, such as stretchable cotton and other materials, that somewhat conform to the wearer's body torso. Conventional bras are often undesirably exposed at straps, bands, and through sheer and silhouette lines of the bra, particularly when worn with slim fitting outer shirts but also in other instances. With certain types of available bras, such as those which do not have formed cups or that do not provide cushioned support cups (e.g., such as foam cups), a so-called “uni-boob” effect occurs when wearing slim-fit tops. This effect obscures aspects of cleavage between the breasts, appearing to the third-party observer as a laterally traversing single protruding contour across the torso. The “uni-boob” effect is undesired for at least certain fashion styles.

Certain conventional bra types include foam cups to support the wearer's breasts. Foam cups are often preferred when wearing slim fitting, as well as other types of, shirts and tops. These foam cups can provide greater bust support and better conceal body lines and contours than with other undergarments. Alternatives and variations to foam cups, such as soft or “natural” cups, underwires, fiber fill cups, demi-mode cups, sport-type spandex materials, and others, are often more sheer, thin, less-molded, and loose in wear as compared to foam cups.

When wearing elegant outer wear, and also many casual and everyday styles, the wearer often wants the shirt to generally conceal underwear, such as the bra and its various parts. Because of movement of the wearer or loose fit of the shirt, the bra, or portions of it, can be exposed rather than concealed under the outer shirt. Also, typical bras may slip in fit to the wearer's body at straps and other features, thereby exposing the bra. This can be undesirable and distracting to the wearer.

Thus, in general, the wearer desires that the bra remain unexposed under the outer garment, and that the bra provide support, have appropriate fit, and be comfortable in wear. Conventional bra underwear worn with outerwear shirts does not, and cannot, fulfill the wearer's wishes in these and other respects. Moreover, in wear of at least certain types of bras and cup designs, the wearer typically will experience unwanted exposure of bra portions, creases, lines, and certain bodily contours, such as breast features. Foam cups are often particularly desirable for comfort, support and external appearance; however, these cups and sizing of the cups in conventional bra wear is selected according to bra undergarment sizing and options. Shirts and other outerwear are not similarly sized or selected.

Because of wide variation in wearer body styles, contours, breast size, and desired fashionable “look”, shirts worn with certain bras can externally appear quite different from the look with other bras. Bust size, for example, can impact the extent to which shirt fronts may/may not be of desired length. Also, in many slim and body-conforming shirts, the waist size, breast size and the body torso, in general, may cause unwanted stretch, crease, sheer appearance and the like during wear of the shirt.

Conventional shirt sizing has not allowed adequate selection for the varied bodies of wearers. For example, even though the same conventional size may generally most closely provide appropriate fit for multiple different wearers as to upper torso, the lower belly portion of the torsos of the various wearers can be shorter or longer. Likewise, wearers differ in size of the upper bust portion of the torso. In effect, a shirt that fits in a particular size may extend long or short in front, may be tight or loose in width, and otherwise can significantly vary depending on the wearer's unique size and shape.

Other attempts have, at times, sought to include various breast support designs as part of shirts and other clothing, these have nevertheless been only loosely fitting and lacking of any significant bust support. In particular, some shirts include secondary inner binding layers or other “soft” features around the bust portions. These attempts have not provided support such as desired by many women. Further, these attempts have not addressed the problem presented because of differing body sizes and styles, such as bust measurements and belly torso lengths.

It would, therefore, be a significant improvement in the art and technology to provide clothing, such as women's shirts and tops, having incorporated undergarment features for support, and that provides desired appearance and fit in view of body sizing and style variation to accommodate such support and wear. It would also be significant in the art and technology to provide such clothing that allows a desirable external appearance and comfortable feel to the wearer, including by better concealing the undergarment inside the outerwear and without compromising sleek and line-less look in relatively slim fitting tops and others.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the invention is a shirt. The shirt includes an outerwear and a support undergarment having cups, connected to the outerwear.

In certain embodiments, the cups are a semi-rigid material.

In further embodiments, the outerwear includes a front portion and a back portion, each formed with a neckline, the support undergarment includes a front panel connected to the cups and a back panel connected to the front panel, and the support undergarment is connected to the outerwear only at the neckline of the front portion and the back portion.

In other embodiments, the front portion of the outerwear is formed to terminate in a lower extent in wear of the shirt, the lower extent dictated according to (i) a bust cup size value and (ii) a length value, measured from below the cups to preferred lower extent for the shirt in wear.

Another embodiment of the invention is a method of sizing a shirt of a woman. The method includes measuring a first value of a distance from the breasts of the woman to a preferred bottom ride location of the woman, measuring a second value of cup size of the breasts, forming a front portion of an outerwear of the shirt in accord with the steps of measuring the first value and measuring the second value, forming a back portion of the outerwear of the shirt to conform to the front portion and provide neck and arm holes and a bottom of the shirt, forming cups of the size of the second value, forming a support undergarment having cups from the step of forming cups of the second value, and connecting the support undergarment to the front portion and the back portion at the neck and arm holes.

In other embodiments, the cups from the step of forming cups are semi-rigid.

In yet other embodiments, forming the support undergarment includes forming a front panel connected to the cups, forming a back panel connected to the front panel, connecting the front panel to the neck and arm holes of the front portion, and connecting the back panel to the arm holes of the front portion.

Yet another embodiment of the invention is a method of sizing a shirt for a woman. The method includes measuring a bust cup size of the woman, measuring a length of the woman extending from beneath breasts of the woman to a preferred ride point of the shirt, and correlating dimensions for the shirt based on the step of measuring the bust cup size and measuring the length.

Another embodiment of the invention is a system for sizing a shirt of a woman. The system includes a ruler and a bust cup range correlated to the ruler.

Other embodiments of the invention include the product shirt of the respective methods.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the accompanying figures, in which like references indicate similar elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a shirt incorporated with a support undergarment, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a back view of the shirt of FIG. 1, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a front-right side perspective view of the shirt of FIGS. 1 and 2 (including a wearer's upper body torso, in phantom), as worn, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a front-right side perspective view of the support undergarment of FIG. 3, and the outerwear of the shirt in phantom, as worn, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a front perspective view of the shirt of FIG. 3, as worn, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates a back perspective view of the shirt of FIG. 3, as worn, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 7 illustrates a side perspective view of the shirt of FIG. 3, as worn, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 8 illustrates a front-right side perspective view of the shirt of FIG. 3, with the outerwear of the shirt in part lifted, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates a sizing device for fitting the shirt incorporated with the support garment of FIGS. 1-8, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 10 illustrates a front-right side perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a shirt having a support undergarment, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 11 illustrates a front-right side perspective view of the alternative embodiment of the shirt having support undergarment of FIG. 10 (including a wearer's upper body torso, in phantom), as worn according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 12 illustrates a front-right side perspective view of the shirt of FIGS. 10 and 11, with the outerwear of the shirt in part lifted, as worn, according to certain embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 13 illustrates a front-right side perspective exploded view of the shirt of FIGS. 10-12, having the support undergarment, a thin layer covering the support undergarment to hide lines of cups of the support undergarment, and the outerwear of the shirt, according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 14 illustrates a rear perspective view of an embodiment of the shirt, in wear;

FIG. 15 illustrates a front perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the shirt, in wear;

FIG. 16 illustrates a front perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the shirt, in wear;

FIG. 17 illustrates a front perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the shirt, in wear; and

FIG. 18 illustrates a front perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the shirt, in wear.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a shirt 100 includes an outerwear 102 and a support undergarment 104 (shown in phantom in FIG. 1). The shirt 100 includes a front portion 102a and a back portion 102b. At upward extents 102c of the front portion 102a (towards the top of the page in FIG. 1), the shirt 100 is formed with front straps 106 on each side of a front neckline 108 and with back straps 112 (located behind the front straps 106 of the front portion 102a in FIG. 1) on each side of a back neckline 116. A lower extent 102d (towards the bottom of the page in FIG. 1) of the shirt 100 is formed with a tail edge, as is common. For reference purposes herein, the upper part of the front portion 102a and the back portion 102b are indicated by reference numeral 120, and the lower part of the front portion 102a and the back portion 102b are indicated by reference number 130. It is to be understood, however, that each of the upper part and lower part are connected substantially as shown in FIG. 1, whether by joining seams of separate pieces/materials or as formed of a single unitary piece/material for each of the front portion 102a and the back portion 102b, respectively.

The front portion 102a is connected to the back portion 102b in manner to form arm holes 110a, 110b, neck hole 118, and open tail 102d. For example, the front portion 102a and the back portion 102b are sewed, stitched or otherwise joined together along the respective corresponding periphery of the portions 102a, 102b at the upward extents 102c of the straps 106,112 and along the lower part 130 to the arm holes 110a, 110b. Seamed edges are formed in the front portion 102a and the back portion 102b where these portions 102a, 102b are not connected, such as to prevent material fray.

The support undergarment 104 (in phantom in FIG. 1) is disposed between the front portion 102a and the back portion 102b as so connected. The support undergarment 104 is connected to the front portion 102a at the front neckline 108 and the arm holes 110a, 110b, and is connected to the back portion 102b at the arm holes 110a, 110b. The support undergarment 104 is otherwise not attached to or connected with the outerwear 102 formed by the front portion 102a and the back portion 102b.

The support undergarment 104 includes attached cups 122 to provide breast support in wear of the shirt 100. The support undergarment 104, including the cups 122, is formed of fabrics and materials suitable and as desired for bust support, wear and comfort. Further details are later described in regards to sizing of the support undergarment 104, particularly the cups 122 thereof, and the lower part 130 of the shirt 100, and overall fit and size measurements and design with respect to these elements.

The outerwear 102 of the shirt 100 is formed of flexible clothing material, such as fabric or other. This material can include any of a wide variety of conventional or new fabrics or alternatives. Selection of materials will vary according to desired fashion styles, fit, comfort, wear and other characteristics as will be understood, such as for wear for everyday, casual, elegant or other. For example, the fabric or other material is any natural, man-made or combination of tweeds, weaves, and the like, all as will be understood, for example, cotton, wool, silk, polyester, spandex, and any others. Mechanisms of connection, joining and attachment of pieces of materials to form the shirt 100 include any of a wide variety of possibilities now or in the future known, for example, stitched, sewed, glued, snapped, or other. In particular, the support undergarment 104 and the cups 122 can be selected from among desirable options that will be understood, including those that are and were mentioned in other sections herein. The support undergarment 104 and the cups 122 thereof are, in any event, as required and available to provide desired bust support in wear, together with concealment, sleekness, and fit. Conventional, as well as hereafter developed or instituted, manufacturing techniques are employable.

Referring to FIG. 2, the shirt 100 of FIG. 1 (in back side orientation 200 in FIG. 2) includes the outerwear 102 and the support undergarment 104 (in phantom in FIG. 2). The upward extents 102c (towards the top of the page in FIG. 2) of the back portion 102b are formed with the back straps 112 on each side of the back neckline 116. The lower extent 102d (towards the bottom of the page in FIG. 2) of the back portion 102b of the shirt 100 is formed with the tail edge. The support undergarment 104 (in phantom in FIG. 2) is disposed in the outerwear 102, between the back portion 102b and the front portion 102a.

The back portion 102b is connected to the front portion 102a as previously described with respect to FIG. 1, except that the back neckline 116 is not connected to the support undergarment 104. In effect, the back portion 102b and the support undergarment 104 are not attached other than at the arm holes 110a, 110b formed of the back portion 102b. As previously discussed, the back portion 102b is connected at peripheral edges to the front portion 102a other than at the back neckline 116, the arm holes 110a, 110b and the lower extent 102d.

Referring to FIG. 3, in conjunction with FIGS. 1 and 2, the shirt 100 is in wear 300 by a person 302 (shown in phantom in FIG. 3). The shirt 100 includes the outerwear 102 and the support undergarment 104 (shown in phantom in FIG. 3). The support undergarment 104 includes the cups 122 (shown in phantom in FIG. 3).

The front portion 102a and the back portion 102b of the outerwear 102 are shown as connected, for example, by stitching, at peripheral edges except at the front neckline 108, the arm holes 110a, 110b and the lower extent 102d. At edges of the outerwear 102 that are not so peripherally connected, the outwear 102 includes hemmed or otherwise finished edges (although certain fashion styles could include rough or unfinished edges, and these and all other styles and finishes are included). As shown by the shirt 100 in wear 300 by the person 302, the front neckline 108 is swooping towards the person's bust and the arm holes 110a, 110b are sleeveless. These features in FIG. 3 are substantially stylized choices and so subject to wide variation and option; however, the various elements and components providing those features, as herein described, are highly desirable in such styles (although not limited to these styles) in order to achieve the objectives and advantages here.

Referring to FIG. 4, in conjunction with FIGS. 1-3, the support undergarment 104 of the shirt 100 is in wear 400 by the person 302 (shown in phantom in FIG. 4). The outerwear 102 (shown in phantom in FIG. 4) covers and conceals the support undergarment 104 during wear 400. The support undergarment 104 includes the attached cups 122 in location for supporting and containing breasts of the person 302.

The support undergarment 104 includes a front panel 404a thereof connected to the cups 122. The front panel 404a includes straps 404 on each side of a neckline 408. The neckline 408 at the front panel 404a conforms to the edges of the front neckline 108 (not shown because congruent with the neckline 408) and connected thereto, such as by sewed stitching or the like as discussed. The front panel 404a is formed with arm holes 410a, 410b to accommodate arms of the person 302. The arm holes 410a, 410b are congruent with and attached to the edges of the arm holes 110a, 110b of the outerwear 102 as previously described. The front panel 404a extends to just below the cups 122 (i.e., to fit at the torso under the breasts of the person 302), and is formed with a bottom edge 406. The bottom edge 406, as well as other portions of the support undergarment 104 not fixed at the neckline 108 or the arm holes 410a, 410b to the outerwear 102, are not connected to the outerwear 102 and can move freely, but as retained, therewithin, in wear by the person. Side seams 408 (i.e., at both sides, left and right of the torso, of the person 302) and shoulder seams 402 connect the front panel 404a to a back panel 404b of the support undergarment 104.

As mentioned, the cups 122 are connected to or formed in the front panel 404a. The cups 122 are foam cups of padded foam or fabric, as many women prefer as discussed in the background herein. The cups 122 are connected along the respective edges thereof to the front panel 404a, in locations of breasts of the person 302, for example, at cutout portions of the front panel 404a formed to accommodate the cups 122 at such locations. The cups 122 are sized according to bust size and desired fit of the person 302. Alternatives to foam or padded cups are also included; however, foam or padded cups, and the applicable support provided thereby, are particularly desirable in the support undergarment 104 for the reasons previously mentioned herein and in other respects. For example, added support, relatively seamless lines, concealment and the like are all provided with these types of cups, and the designs, styles and elements obtaining the objects and advantages hereof.

Although not in detail in FIG. 4, but shown in FIGS. 2 and 6 (and certain other figures) in greater detail, the back panel 404b of the support undergarment 104 extends across the torso back of the person 302 in wear, such that back straps thereof connect to or join the straps 402 and the side seams 408 for the front panel 404a. The back panel 404b is concealed within the outerwear 102 at the back neckline 116 (shown in FIG. 2) thereof. The support undergarment 104 can be connected to, such as via seam, the back neckline 116 or, alternately, it can be unconnected to the outerwear 102, according to design preference and choice.

Referring to FIG. 5, in conjunction with FIGS. 1-4, the front portion 102a of the outerwear 102 during wear by the person 302 includes the upper part 120 and the lower part 130. As mentioned, the upper part 120 and the lower part 130 of the outerwear 102 can be unitary or, as applicable, formed of two or more joined pieces. The upper part 120 and the lower part 130 of the outerwear 102 are each sized in order to accommodate respective portions of the body torso of the person, i.e., the upper part 120 is sized for the bust and upper body and the lower part 130 is sized for the stomach extending to desired length from underside of the breasts of the person 302. The support undergarment 104 (shown in phantom in FIG. 5) is connected to the outerwear 102 at the front neckline 108 and the arm holes 110a, 110b, and retains and supports the breasts of the person 302 as so concealed within the outerwear 102. Further details of sizing of the outerwear 102 and the support undergarment 104 are hereafter provided.

Referring to FIG. 6, in conjunction with FIGS. 1-5, the back portion 102b of the outerwear 102 during wear by the person includes the upper part 120 and the lower part 130. As with the front portion 102a, the upper part 120 and the lower part 130 of the back portion 102b of the outerwear 102 can be unitary or formed of pieced and connected segments. The upper part 120 and the lower part 130 of the back portion 102b conform to appropriate size in order to appear as desired in connection to the front portion 102a, and as is applicable for the less contoured back of the person 302. In particular, the bust measurement is not particularly significant to size of the back portion 102b as to where on the person 302 the lower extent 102d of the back portion 102b will ride during wear, but the lower torso stomach of the person 302 is taken into account in conforming the back portion 102b to the respective front portion 102a of the outerwear 102 per sizing of the shirt 100 (as such sizing is hereafter further detailed).

The back portion 404b (shown in phantom in FIG. 6) of the support undergarment 104 (shown in phantom in FIG. 6) extends from connection to the back neckline 116 of the outerwear 102 (although, in certain alternatives, the support undergarment 104 is not so connected, as previously mentioned and shown). The back portion 404b is connected to the arm holes 110a, 110b of the outerwear 102. The bottom edge 406 of the support undergarment 104 is fitted to accommodate, in a comfortable and suitably supporting manner with respect to the cups and bust, the upper back of the person 302. The bottom edge 406 generally (vertically with the torso in wear) conforms to the bottom edge 406 of the support undergarment 104 at the front panel 104 (e.g., in similar lateral location at the back of the person 302 to the location at the front of the person 302).

Referring to FIG. 7, in conjunction with FIGS. 1-6, a right side 700 of the person 302 (shown in phantom in FIG. 7) during wear of the shirt 100 includes the upper part 120 and the lower part 130. The front portion 102a of the outerwear 102 is fitted to wear by riding on the person 302 at the desired lower extent 102d. The particular ride of the lower extent 102d in wear by the person 302 is dependent on the applicable measures of the upper part 120 (i.e., to account for the bust) and the lower part 130 (i.e., to account for the torso stomach). The particular ride, and the applicable measures of the upper part 120 and the lower part 120, are also dependent on preferences of the person 302 (e.g., as to the desired fit, style, type of shirt, and others). In measurements to size the front portion 102a, the bust and the torso stomach area are determinative and dictate the particular front portion 102a in each shirt.

The back portion 102b of the outerwear 102 is fitted to wear by riding on the person 302 also at the desired lower extent 102d. The particular ride of the lower extent 102d during wear of the shirt by the person 302 is dependent on the applicable measure for the front part 102a and take into account measures of the upper part 120 (i.e., to discount the bust) and the lower part 130 (i.e., to account for the torso stomach). As with the preferences in the case of the front portion 102a, the ride of the back portion 102b includes consideration of personal preference. However, in general, the back portion 102b is fitted to conform generally in ride during wear to the ride of the front portion 102a during wear.

The support undergarment 104 (shown in phantom in FIG. 7) is contained within the outerwear 102 in wear by the person 302. The support undergarment 104 is worn adjacent the person 302, and the outerwear 102 covers the support undergarment 104. The support undergarment 104 is connected to the outerwear 102 at the front neckline 108 and back neckline 116 (not shown in detail in FIG. 7) and at the arm holes 110a and 110b (left side arm hole 110b not shown in FIG. 7). The bottom edge 406 of the support undergarment 104 rides under the breasts of the person 302. The cups 122, incorporated in or connected to the front panel 404a, contain the breasts and provide desirable support.

Referring to FIG. 8, in conjunction with FIGS. 1-7, the support undergarment 104 in wear by the person 302 is revealed by upwardly lifting movement of the outerwear 102 on the body of the person 302. The support undergarment 104 includes the front panel 404a, the back panel 404b, and the cups 122 of the front panel 404a. The bottom edge 406 rides under the bust of the person 302. The front neckline 108 of the outerwear 102 is connected to the neckline 408 of the support undergarment 104 (necklines 108, 408 shown in phantom in FIG. 8). The arm holes 110a (shown in phantom) and 110b (not shown in FIG. 8) of the outerwear 102 are also connected to corresponding arm holes 410a (shown in phantom) and 410b (not shown) of the support undergarment 104.

Sizing and Fit:

Referring to FIG. 9, in conjunction with FIGS. 1-8, a shirt sizer 900 (i.e., the T-Size™ fitting device for the shirt 100) includes a ruler 902 and a size indicator 904. The shirt 100 is fitted by measurement of both the wearer's bust (i.e., cup) size and the wearer's desired ride length for the lower extent 102d of the shirt 100 on the wearer's torso. The particular relative positioning of an applicable one of the cup size indicator 904 and length measure on the ruler 902 yields sizing specifics for the shirt 100.

In particular, the shirt 100 is formed and manufactured according to measurements for each of the cup size and the front wear length for the shirt 100 for the particular wearer. The front portion 102a of the outerwear 102 of the shirt 100 is configured by the wearer by a first measurement of distance from just below the wearer's breasts on the torso, downward (i.e., towards the feet) to a desired bottom ride extent on the torso for the lower extent 102d of the shirt 102 to ride. Once the first measurement is made, then the applicable measure value is located on the ruler 902. The location of the first measurement value on the ruler 902 gives a size indicator 904 from within the indicated ranges for “LONG”, “REGULAR”, and “SHORT” on the shirt sizer 900.

A second measurement (or, as is typical, a known measure) is made of the wearer's cup size. Cups conforming to the particular second measurement are included in the fitting the shirt 100 to the wearer. For example, if the wearer has determined a first range of “REGULAR” based on the first measured value, and a “C” cup size based on the second measured value, then the shirt 100 that fits the wearer according to the measurements and sizing of the shirt 100 is a “C REGULAR” size model. Conventional bust measures, and measurement techniques, are contemplated for the second measurement.

In manufacture, the shirt 100 is incorporated in the front panel 404a of the support undergarment 104, with cups 122 conforming to the second measurement of the cups size of the particular wearer. The shirt 100 is also made, in front portion 102a dimension, to have length extending to the lower extent 102d of the shirt 102 at about the location of the measured first measurement for the applicable wearer. The back portion 102b dimensions are made to conform to the front portion 102a dimensions, such that the lower extent 102d of the back portion 102b is consistent and generally conforms with the lower extent 102d of the front portion 102a when the shirt 100 is worn.

Referring to FIG. 10, a shirt 1000 includes the support undergarment 104 with cups 122. The support undergarment 104 and cups 104 are covered by an outer layer 1002. The outer layer 1002 covers the entirety of the support undergarment 104 and cups 104. The outer layer 1002 connects to the support undergarment along the bottom edge 406, along the neckline 408, and along the shoulder seams 402 at the respective arm holes 410a, 410b. A shirt outerwear 102 covers the outer layer 1002, and is connected to the outer layer 1002 and the support undergarment 104 along the neckline 408 and the shoulder seams 402.

Referring to FIG. 11, the shirt 1000 of FIG. 10 is in wear by a person 1102 (shown in phantom). In wear, lines of the cups 122 existing in the support undergarment 104 are concealed by the outer layer 1002. Thus, the shirt outerwear 102 appears substantially seamless along the cups 122 and remaining portions of the support undergarment 104.

Referring to FIG. 12, the shirt 1000 of FIGS. 10 and 11 is raised, in part, to reveal the support undergarment 104 as covered by the outer layer 1002.

Referring to FIG. 13, the shirt 1000 of FIGS. 10-12 is shown in exploded view. The support undergarment 104 connects the cups 104 integral thereto. The support undergarment 104 is covered by the outer layer 1002, and the outer layer 1002 and the support undergarment are connected at the neckline 408, the bottom edge 406, and along seams at edge of the arm holes 410a,b. The outer layer 1002 is covered by the shirt outerwear 102. The shirt outerwear 102 is connected to the outer layer 1002 and the support undergarment 104 at seams along the arm holes 410a,b and the neckline 408.

Referring to FIGS. 14-18, alternative outerwear shirt designs are shown as implemented in use in the foregoing embodiments.

Other alternatives are possible in keeping with the foregoing and all such alternatives are included herein. A wide variety of materials, parts, styles, and configurations are possible. Attachment and connection of the shirt and its pieces, as well as mechanisms therefor, include all possibilities, as well as more traditional sewing, stitching, hemming and the like. Desirable fabrics and other materials are employed to form the shirt, including both the outerwear and the support undergarment aspects. For example, knits, weaves, tweeds and the like are variable. The outerwear and the support undergarment can be the same or different materials and manufacture and, in fact, each may themselves include variations and pluralities of materials and manufacture. The cups of the support undergarment are particularly desirable as so-called foam (or padded) cups, because of the distinct sizing that is possible and also because of the resultant look, feel, support and comfort of the wearer. In effect, the shirt provides desirable support such as would be provided by separate support bra or the like, yet is sized to accommodate length, comfort and third-party outward appearance preferences of the wearer. Moreover, the shirt aids in concealment of the undergarment and body contours and the like, because of the particular sizing variability, structure, configuration and otherwise.

In the foregoing specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments. However, one of ordinary skill in the art appreciates that various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention as set forth in the claims below. Accordingly, the specification and figures are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention.

Benefits, other advantages, and solutions to problems have been described above with regard to specific embodiments. However, the benefits, advantages, solutions to problems and any element(s) that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced are not to be construed as a critical, required, or essential feature or element of any or all the claims. As used herein, the terms “comprises, “comprising,” or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus.