Title:
Shoulder support for brassiere
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for use with a brassiere is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a shoulder pad having a concave shape and comprised of a padded material. The shoulder pad may be comprised of a foam material. The apparatus further comprises a first adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a first side of the shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to a brassiere. The apparatus further comprises a second adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a second side of the shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the brassiere. The first and second adjustable straps may include a buckle for adjusting the length of the straps. The coupler may comprise a detachable hook.



Inventors:
Karon, Hylton (Markham, CA)
Application Number:
11/825302
Publication Date:
01/08/2009
Filing Date:
07/06/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
450/86, 450/1
International Classes:
A41D27/26; A41C3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHARD S. ROSS, ESQ. (FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. An apparatus for use with a brassiere, comprising: a shoulder pad having a concave shape and comprised of a padded material; a first adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a first side of the shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to a brassiere; and a second adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a second side of the shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the brassiere.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the shoulder pad further comprises a foam rubber material.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the shoulder pad further comprises a stretch material covering the foam rubber material.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the shoulder pad has a semicircular shape.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first adjustable strap comprises a stretch material.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the first end of the first adjustable strap is attached to the first side of the shoulder pad via an adhesive.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the coupler of the second end of the first adjustable strap comprises a hook.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the first adjustable strap further comprises a buckle for adjusting a length of the first adjustable strap.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first adjustable strap comprises a stretch material.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the first end of the first adjustable strap is attached to the first side of the shoulder pad via an adhesive.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the coupler of the second end of the first adjustable strap comprises a hook.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the first adjustable strap further comprises a buckle for adjusting a length of the first adjustable strap.

13. A brassiere, comprising: a first and second breast cup; a center panel connecting the first and second breast cup; a back strap coupled to the first and second breast cup; a first shoulder pad having a concave shape and comprised of a padded material; a first adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a first side of the first shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the first breast cup; and a second adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a second side of the first shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the back strap.

14. The brassiere of claim 13, wherein the first shoulder pad further comprises a foam rubber material.

15. The brassiere of claim 14, wherein the first and second adjustable straps comprise a stretch material.

16. The brassiere of claim 15, wherein the coupler of the first and second adjustable straps comprise a hook.

17. The brassiere of claim 13, further comprising: a second shoulder pad having a concave shape and comprised of a padded material; a third adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a first side of the second shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the second breast cup; and a fourth adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a second side of the second shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the back strap.

18. The brassiere of claim 17, wherein the second shoulder pad further comprises a foam rubber material.

19. The brassiere of claim 18, wherein the third and fourth adjustable straps comprise a stretch material.

20. The brassiere of claim 19, wherein the coupler of the third and fourth adjustable straps comprise a hook.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of brassieres, and more particularly to improved shoulder strap features for brassieres.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The female breasts have very little internal support, being composed largely of adipose tissue or fat. It is believed that the primary anatomical support for the breast is provided by the Cooper's ligaments, with the skin covering the breasts offering some additional support. However, this anatomical support is usually insufficient to hold the breasts up (especially in older women), and to prevent movement of the breasts, which can cause pain and discomfort. Thus, the primary reason for wearing a brassiere or similar foundation garment is to provide external support for the breasts, increasing comfort and mobility. Brassieres are also believed by some to help preserve the youthful shape of breasts (which naturally sag as women grow older).

A brassiere consists of cups for the breasts, a center panel, and a band running around the body under the bust. Unless a brassiere is a strapless brassiere, it will also include a shoulder strap at each side. A brassiere is typically made of a fabric such as cotton or lace, with the cups for the breasts given shape by underwires or plastic reinforcements. The brassiere is usually fastened with a hook fastener on the band, typically at the back, but in some embodiments the fastener is situated at the front, in between the cups.

One problem with brassieres having shoulder straps in the discomfort caused by the straps. A shoulder strap typically consists of a thin (usually less than one inch) strap of fabric that attaches to the back of a brassiere, extends over the shoulder of the wearer and then attaches to the front of the brassiere. In this manner, the shoulder strap supports the weight of the breasts by transferring the burden of carrying the weight to the shoulders. In cases where the wearer of the brassiere has large breasts with increased weight, the shoulder strap digs into the wearer's shoulder with a large amount of force, thereby causing discomfort. This is because a large amount of weight is being distributed along the small surface area of the thin shoulder strap.

Furthermore, if the wearer of the brassiere is overweight or obese, she will have larger amounts of subcutaneous fat in the shoulder area, thereby making the skin around the shoulders much more plush. When the shoulder strap digs into the wearer's shoulder with a large amount of force, the strap may dig farther into the skin and produce indentations in fatty areas in the skin. This is undesirable since it may pain and cause unsightly imprints in the skin.

Therefore, a need exists to overcome the problems with the prior art as discussed above, and particularly for improved shoulder support for a brassiere.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, according to an embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus for use with a brassiere is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a shoulder pad having a concave shape and comprised of a padded material. The shoulder pad may be comprised of a foam material. The apparatus further comprises a first adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a first side of the shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to a brassiere. The apparatus further comprises a second adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a second side of the shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the brassiere. The first and second adjustable straps may include a buckle for adjusting the length of the straps. The coupler may comprise a detachable hook.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a brassiere including shoulder pads is disclosed. The brassiere includes a first and second breast cup and a center panel connecting the first and second breast cup. The brassiere further includes a back strap coupled to the first and second breast cup and a first shoulder pad having a concave shape and comprised of a padded material. The brassiere further includes a first adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a first side of the first shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the first breast cup, and a second adjustable strap having a first end and second end, wherein the first end is coupled to a second side of the first shoulder pad and the second end includes a coupler for detachably coupling to the back strap.

The foregoing and other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The subject matter, which is regarded as the invention, is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other features and also the advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Additionally, the left-most digit of a reference number identifies the drawing in which the reference number first appears.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a top view of an apparatus for improved shoulder support for a brassiere according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a side perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a frontal view of a brassiere including improved shoulder support apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a rear view of the brassiere of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a top view of an apparatus 100 for improved shoulder support for a brassiere according to one embodiment of the present invention. The shoulder pad 100 has concave surface shape and an overall substantially semicircular shape from above. The shoulder pad 100 is comprised of a padded material which provides thickness to the shoulder pad 100. The padded material, which is soft or plush to the touch, may comprise a polyurethane, which is any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane links. The padded material can be covered on both sides by a stretch fabric such as spandex or elastane, which is a synthetic fiber known for its elasticity. Spandex or elastane is a manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long chain synthetic polymer comprised of at least 85 percent of a segmented polyurethane. Spandex is spun from a block copolymer and its fibers exploit the high crystallinity and hardness of polyurethane segments, yet remain “rubbery” due to alternating segments of polyethylene glycol. The fabric covering the padded material may further comprise a synthetic blend fiber fabric exhibiting stretch characteristics. The padded material can further be covered on both sides by a polyester knit or polyester knit blend fabric.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a side perspective view of the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1. FIG. 2 shows the padded element 202 covered on an upper surface by stretch fabric 204, which has been partially peeled from the padded element 202. FIG. 2 further shows the padded element 202 covered on a bottom surface by stretch fabric 206, which has been partially peeled from the padded element 202. Fabrics 204 and 206 may be attached or coupled to the padded element 202 using an adhesive.

Also shown in FIG. 2 is a first adjustable strap 208 attached to the bottom surface of one side of the shoulder pad 100 and a second adjustable strap 210 attached to the bottom surface of the other side of the shoulder pad 100. In an embodiment of the present invention, the first and second adjustable straps 208, 210 comprise a stretch fabric. Furthermore, the first and second adjustable straps 208, 210 may be connected to the bottom surface of the shoulder pad 100 using an adhesive.

The first adjustable strap 208 is attached at the first end 212 to the bottom side of the shoulder pad 100. The first adjustable strap 208 includes a first strap element 214 that is connected to the shoulder pad 100 on one end 212 and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 216. The buckle/hook element 216 connects to the first strap element 214 on one end and includes a hook element 218 on the other end. The hook element 218 allows the buckle/hook element 216 to be detachably coupled to a loop of fabric comprising the second strap element 220. The second strap element 220 is connected to the buckle/hook element 216 on one end 222 and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 224. The buckle/hook element 224 connects to the second strap element 220 on one end and includes a hook element 226 on the other end. The hook element 226 allows the buckle/hook element 224 to be detachably coupled to the back strap of a brassiere. The second strap element 220 may also include a buckle 228 for allowing the second strap element 220 to be adjusted in length.

The second adjustable strap 210 is attached at the first end 230 to the bottom side of the shoulder pad 100. The second adjustable strap 210 includes a first strap element 232 that is connected to the shoulder pad 100 on one end 230 and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 234. The buckle/hook element 234 connects to the first strap element 232 on one end and includes a hook element 236 on the other end. The hook element 236 allows the buckle/hook element 234 to be detachably coupled to a loop of fabric comprising the second strap element 238. The second strap element 238 is connected to the buckle/hook element 234 on one end and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 240. The buckle/hook element 240 connects to the second strap element 238 on one end and includes a hook element 242 on the other end. The hook element 242 allows the buckle/hook element 240 to be detachably coupled to the breast cup of a brassiere.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a frontal view of a brassiere 300 including improved shoulder support apparatus 302, 304 according to one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3 shows the brassiere 300 in a wraparound configuration illustrating the manner in which the brassiere 300 would appear if it were worn by a woman. FIG. 3 shows the brassiere 300 including a first breast cup 306 and a second breast cup 308, wherein each breast cup encloses a woman's breast and thereby provides support for the breast. Also shown in FIG. 3 is a connector or center panel 310 that couples breast cup 306 with breast cup 308.

FIG. 3 further shows an adjustable strap 320 attached at a first end to the bottom side of the shoulder pad 302. The adjustable strap 320 includes a first strap element 322 that is connected to the shoulder pad 302 on one end and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 324. The buckle/hook element 324 connects to the first strap element 322 on one end and includes a hook element 326 on the other end. The hook element 326 allows the buckle/hook element 324 to be detachably coupled to a loop of fabric comprising the second strap element 328. The second strap element 328 is connected to the buckle/hook element 324 on one end and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 330. The buckle/hook element 330 connects to the second strap element 328 on one end and includes a hook element 332 on the other end. The hook element 332 allows the buckle/hook element 330 to be detachably coupled to a loop of fabric attached to breast cup 306 of the brassiere 300.

FIG. 3 further shows an adjustable strap 340 attached at a first end to the bottom side of the shoulder pad 304. The adjustable strap 340 includes a first strap element 342 that is connected to the shoulder pad 304 on one end and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 344. The buckle/hook element 344 connects to the first strap element 342 on one end and includes a hook element 346 on the other end. The hook element 346 allows the buckle/hook element 344 to be detachably coupled to a loop of fabric comprising the second strap element 348. The second strap element 348 is connected to a buckle/hook element (not shown) that is detachably coupled to a loop of fabric attached to breast cup 308 of the brassiere 300.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a rear view of the brassiere 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 4 shows the brassiere 300 in a wraparound configuration illustrating the manner in which the brassiere 300 would appear if it were worn by a woman. FIG. 4 shows the back strap 402 of the brassiere 300.

FIG. 4 shows the adjustable strap 408 is attached at a first end to the bottom side of the shoulder pad 304. The adjustable strap 408 includes a first strap element 414 that is connected to the shoulder pad 304 on one end and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 416. The buckle/hook element 416 connects to the first strap element 414 on one end and includes a hook element 418 on the other end. The hook element 418 allows the buckle/hook element 416 to be detachably coupled to a loop of fabric comprising the second strap element 420. The second strap element 420 is connected to the buckle/hook element 416 on one end and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element (not shown), which is connected to the back strap 402. The strap element 420 may also include a buckle 428 for allowing the strap element 420 to be adjusted in length.

FIG. 4 also shows the adjustable strap 438 is attached at a first end to the bottom side of the shoulder pad 302. The adjustable strap 438 includes a first strap element 444 that is connected to the shoulder pad 302 on one end and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 446. The buckle/hook element 446 connects to the first strap element 444 on one end and includes a hook element 448 on the other end. The hook element 448 allows the buckle/hook element 446 to be detachably coupled to a loop of fabric comprising the second strap element 450. The second strap element 450 is connected to the buckle/hook element 446 on one end and on the other end comprises a buckle/hook element 452, which is connected to the back strap 402. The strap element 450 may also include a buckle 454 for allowing the strap element 450 to be adjusted in length.

Although specific embodiments of the invention have been disclosed, those having ordinary skill in the art will understand that changes can be made to the specific embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The scope of the invention is not to be restricted, therefore, to the specific embodiments. Furthermore, it is intended that the appended claims cover any and all such applications, modifications, and embodiments within the scope of the present invention.