Title:
Sleeping Garment with Support for Women
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A woman's sleeping garment includes a body, an adjustable band and a lift arrangement. The body includes an upper tubular portion having a neck hole formed therein for a wearer's head; a lower tubular portion; and a collar portion extending from the neck hole. The lift arrangement includes first and second panels coupled inside the upper tubular portion; a first strap extending from a top portion of the first panel through a first hole formed in the collar and extending behind a wearer's neck; and a second strap extending from a top portion of the second panel through a second hole formed in the collar and extending behind the wear's neck. The adjustable band radially constricts an area when tightened, the lift arrangement urges the panels toward the collar when the straps are coupled, and the collar is foldable to cover the straps.



Inventors:
Pellegrini, Susan E. (New Kensington, PA, US)
Stephens, Amy E. (New Kensington, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/101423
Publication Date:
04/02/2009
Filing Date:
04/11/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/114, 450/31
International Classes:
A41D10/00; A41C3/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE WEBB LAW FIRM, P.C. (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A woman's sleeping garment comprising: a body comprising: an upper tubular portion having a neck hole formed therein for a wearer's head; a lower tubular portion coupled to the upper tubular portion; and a collar portion extending from at least a portion of an edge area surrounding the neck hole; an adjustable band positioned between the upper tubular portion and the lower tubular portion; and a lift arrangement comprising: first and second panels coupled to an inside of the upper tubular portion of the body; a first strap extending from a top portion of the first panel through a first hole formed in the collar and extending at least partially behind a wearer's neck; and a second strap extending from a top portion of the second panel through a second hole formed in the collar and extending at least partially behind the wear's neck, wherein the adjustable band is configured to radially constrict an area between the upper and lower tubular portions when tightened, wherein the lift arrangement is configured to urge the first and second panels toward the collar when the first strap is coupled to the second strap behind the wearer's neck, and wherein the collar is foldable to cover at least a portion of the first strap and the second strap.

2. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 1, wherein the upper tubular portion further comprises a first arm hole and a second arm hole on opposite sides thereof.

3. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 2, wherein the first arm hole has a first sleeve extending therefrom and the second arm hole has a second sleeve extending therefrom.

4. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 1, wherein the adjustable band comprises a drawstring arrangement that allows the wearer to radially constrict the area between the upper and lower tubular portions when tightened.

5. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 1, further comprising an elastic band coupled inside the upper tubular portion to a bottom, front edge of the upper tubular portion.

6. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 5, wherein the first and second panels are coupled to a top edge of the elastic band.

7. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 1, wherein the body is manufactured from at lease one of the following: cotton, cotton blends, thermal, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester or any combination thereof.

8. A woman's sleeping garment comprising: a body comprising: an upper tubular portion; and a lower tubular portion coupled to the upper tubular portion; an adjustable band positioned between the upper tubular portion and the lower tubular portion; and a lift arrangement comprising: first and second panels coupled to an inside of the upper tubular portion of the body; a first strap, extending from a top portion of the first panel through a first hole formed in a back portion of the upper tubular portion behind a wearer's neck; and a second strap extending from a top portion of the second panel through a second hole formed in a back portion of the upper tubular portion behind the wear's neck, wherein the adjustable band is configured to radially constrict an area between the upper and lower tubular portions when tightened, and wherein the lift arrangement is configured to urge the first and second panels toward the wearer's neck when the first strap is coupled to the second strap behind the wearer's neck.

9. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 8, wherein the upper tubular portion further comprises a first arm hole and a second arm hole on opposite sides thereof.

10. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 9, wherein the first arm hole has a first sleeve extending therefrom and the second arm hole has a second sleeve extending therefrom.

11. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 8, wherein the adjustable band comprises a drawstring arrangement that allows the wearer to radially constrict the area between the upper and lower tubular portions when tightened.

12. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 8, further comprising an elastic band coupled inside the upper tubular portion to a bottom, front edge of the upper tubular portion.

13. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 12, wherein the first and second panels are coupled to a top edge of the elastic band.

14. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 8, wherein the body is manufactured from at least one of the following: cotton, cotton blends, thermal, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester or any combination thereof.

15. A woman's sleeping garment comprising: a body comprising: an upper tubular portion having a neckhole formed therein for a wearer's head; a lower tubular portion coupled to the upper tubular portion; and a collar portion extending at least partially from an edge area surrounding the neck hole; and a lift arrangement comprising: first and second panels coupled to an inside of the upper tubular portion of the body; a first strap extending from a top portion of the first panel through a first hole formed in the collar and extending at least partially behind a wearer's neck; and a second strap extending from a top portion of the second panel through a second hole formed in the collar and extending at least partially behind a wearer's neck, wherein the lift arrangement is configured to urge the first and second panels toward the wearer's neck when the first strap is coupled to the second strap behind the wearer's neck.

16. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 15, wherein the upper tubular portion further comprises a first arm hole and a second arm hole on opposite sides thereof.

17. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 16, wherein the first arm hole has a first sleeve extending therefrom and the second arm hole has a second sleeve extending therefrom.

18. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 15, wherein the body is manufactured from at least one of the following: cotton, cotton blends, thermal, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester or any combination thereof.

19. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 15, further comprising: an adjustable band comprising a drawstring arrangement positioned between the upper tubular portion and the lower tubular portion and encircling the body.

20. The woman's sleeping garment of claim 19, wherein the adjustable band is configured to radially constrict an area between the upper and lower tubular portions by tightening the drawstring arrangement.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/995,936 entitled “Women's Upper-Body Sleeping Garment with Breast Coverage and Adjustable Lift Mechanism” filed Oct. 1, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a woman's sleeping garment and, more particularly, to a woman's sleeping garment that includes an integral device for providing breast support and coverage.

2. Description of Related Art

In the apparel industry, significant effort has been put forth toward developing undergarments that provide a built-in breast support system to eliminate the need for a bra. For instance, garments with built-in bra systems have been constructed for lactating women. An example of such garments is provided in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,077,720 and 6,839,908, each to Schneider et al. These garments include a maternity breast support that enables the wearer to comfortably unsecure and secure a flap on a bra cup upon completion of nursing. The maternity breast support includes a hanging bra support system made with a plurality of triangular fabric members to allow a sizeable opening in each brassiere cup. The fabric members in each cup are joined at the upper end and create vertically oriented openings for maximum breast exposure that allow access to the breast, and at the same time leave room for expansion of the breasts. However, garments of this type are inappropriate in design for comfort and for women who are not lactating.

Sleepwear has also been created for women who are missing one or both breasts. Such sleepwear includes built in bra systems designed with artificial breasts sewn into the bra to provide the women with the appearance of having both of her natural breasts. However, such sleepwear is not designed for use by an average woman. Accordingly, the average woman cannot purchase a sleeping garment that can be used when traveling and relaxing among others that provides a breast coverage and lift system without the uncomfortable nature of a built-in bra.

Additionally, shaping camisoles and camisoles with breast cups built into them are known in the art. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 6,530,820 to Katze et al. discloses a woman's garment that includes a garment body and an inner support unit. The inner support unit has a liner secured to the garment body along an upper edge portion of the garment body; a pair of underwire members secured to the liner near a lower edge portion; and an elastic member extending along the lower edge portion of the liner. Such garments could be worn under a sleeping garment. However, such a use may make the wearer feel bulky and uncomfortable.

Many times a woman is in the position where she must share a hotel with others, is in a camping environment, or is on a vacation with friends, where she would like to relax in the evening in her pajamas without having to worry about her breasts showing through her garment. It can be very inconvenient and uncomfortable to have to wear a robe, keep a bra on or wear multiple layers of clothing. Additionally, as discussed above, built-in bra systems currently have drawbacks in regards to comfort for sleeping and their inappropriate nature to be worn independently without additional coverage for the purpose of traveling or lounging amongst others.

Accordingly, a need exists for a woman's sleeping garment that includes a device formed integrally therewith for providing comfortable breast coverage and lift without the tight and confining feeling of a bra. Additionally, a need exists for a woman's garment that includes both an adjustable band that is secured between the wearer's breasts to hold the breasts in place, and a lift mechanism that is secured around the wearer's neck that can be adjustable to vary the amount of lift provided to the breasts.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is direct to a woman's sleeping garment that provides both breast coverage and breast support, thereby eliminating the need for additional coverage or a bra. The woman's sleeping garment of the present invention includes a body, an adjustable band and a lift arrangement. The body includes an upper tubular portion having a neck hole formed therein for a wearer's head; a lower tubular portion coupled to the upper tubular portion; and a collar portion extending from at least a portion of an edge area surrounding the neck hole. The adjustable band is positioned between the upper tubular portion and the lower tubular portion. The lift arrangement includes first and second panels coupled to an inside of the upper tubular portion of the body; a first strap extending from a top portion of the first panel through a first hole formed in the collar and extending at least partially behind a wearer's neck; and a second strap extending from a top portion of the second panel through a second hole formed in the collar and extending at least partially behind the wear's neck. The adjustable band is configured to radially constrict an area between the upper and lower tubular portions when tightened, the lift arrangement is configured to urge the first and second panels toward the collar when the first strap is coupled to the second strap behind the wearer's neck, and the collar is foldable to cover at least a portion of the first strap and the second strap.

The upper tubular portion may further include a first arm hole and a second arm hole on opposite sides thereof. The first arm hole may have a first sleeve extending therefrom and the second arm hole may have a second sleeve extending therefrom. The adjustable band may include a drawstring arrangement that allows the wearer to radially constrict the area between the upper and lower tubular portions when tightened. An elastic band may be coupled inside the upper tubular portion to a bottom, front edge of the upper tubular portion, and the first and second panels may be coupled to a top edge of the elastic band. The body may be manufactured from cotton, cotton blends, thermal, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester or any combination thereof.

An alternative embodiment of a woman's sleeping garment in accordance with the present invention includes a body, an adjustable band and a lift arrangement. The body includes an upper tubular portion and a lower tubular portion coupled to the upper tubular portion. The adjustable band is positioned between the upper tubular portion and the lower tubular portion. The lift arrangement includes first and second panels coupled to an inside of the upper tubular portion of the body; a first strap extending from a top portion of the first panel through a first hole formed in a back portion of the upper tubular portion behind a wearer's neck; and a second strap extending from a top portion of the second panel through a second hole formed in a back portion of the upper tubular portion behind the wear's neck. The adjustable band is configured to radially constrict an area between the upper and lower tubular portions when tightened, and the lift arrangement is configured to urge the first and second panels toward the wearer's neck when the first strap is coupled to the second strap behind the wearer's neck.

The upper tubular portion may further include a first arm hole and a second arm hole on opposite sides thereof. The first arm hole may have a first sleeve extending therefrom and the second arm hole may have a second sleeve extending therefrom. The adjustable band may include a drawstring arrangement that allows the wearer to radially constrict the area between the upper and lower tubular portions when tightened. An elastic band may be coupled inside the upper tubular portion to a bottom, front edge of the upper tubular portion, and the first and second panels may be coupled to a top edge of the elastic band. The body may be manufactured from cotton, cotton blends, thermal, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester or any combination thereof.

A further embodiment of the woman's sleeping garment in accordance with the present invention includes a body and a lift arrangement. The body includes an upper tubular portion having a neck hole formed therein for a wearer's head; a lower tubular portion coupled to the upper tubular portion; and a collar portion extending at least partially from an edge area surrounding the neck hole. The lift arrangement includes first and second panels coupled to an inside of the upper tubular portion of the body; a first strap extending from a top portion of the first panel through a first hole formed in the collar and extending at least partially behind a wearer's neck; and a second strap extending from a top portion of the second panel through a second hole formed in the collar and extending at least partially behind the wear's neck. The lift arrangement may be configured to urge the first and second panels toward the wearer's neck when the first strap is coupled to the second strap behind the wearer's neck.

The upper tubular portion may further include a first arm hole and a second arm hole on opposite sides thereof. The first arm hole may have a first sleeve extending therefrom and the second arm hole may have a second sleeve extending therefrom. The body may be manufactured from cotton, cotton blends, thermal, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester or any combination thereof. An adjustable band may also be provided that includes a drawstring arrangement positioned between the upper tubular portion and the lower tubular portion and encircling the body. The adjustable band may be configured to radially constrict an area between the upper and lower tubular portions when the drawstring arrangement is tightened.

These and other features and characteristics of the present invention, as well as the methods of operation and functions of the related elements of structures and the combination of parts and economies of manufacture, will become more apparent upon consideration of the following description and the appended claims with reference to the accompanying drawings, all of which form a part of this specification, wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding parts in the various figures. As used in the specification and the claims, the singular form of “a”, “an”, and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of a woman's sleeping garment in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a back plan view of the woman's sleeping garment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a back plan view of the woman's sleeping garment of FIG. 1 with the collar portion thereof unfolded;

FIG. 4 is a front plan view of the woman's sleeping garment of FIG. 1 with an upper tubular portion thereof shown in phantom, thereby revealing a lift arrangement;

FIG. 5 is a side plan view of the woman's sleeping garment of FIG. 1 with the upper tubular portion thereof shown in phantom, thereby revealing the lift arrangement; and

FIG. 6 is a front plan view of a woman's sleeping garment with the upper tubular portion thereof shown in phantom, thereby revealing an alternative embodiment of the lift arrangement in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

For purposes of the description hereinafter, the terms “upper”, “lower”, “right”, “left”, “vertical”, “horizontal”, “top”, “bottom”, “lateral”, “longitudinal” and derivatives thereof shall relate to the invention as it is oriented in the drawing figures. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative variations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification, are simply exemplary embodiments of the invention. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics related to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting.

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a woman's sleeping garment, denoted generally as reference numeral 1, includes a body comprised of an upper tubular portion 3 coupled to a lower tubular portion 5. Upper tubular portion 3 is coupled to lower tubular portion 5 using any suitable method such as stitching. Upper tubular portion 3 includes a neck hole 7, a first arm hole 9 and a second arm hole 11. Neck hole 7 is formed at the a top of upper tubular portion 3 and is configured to receive a wearer's head. First arm hole 9 and second arm hole 11 are positioned on opposite sides of upper tubular portion 3. Woman's sleeping garment 1 may be configured to have a first sleeve 13 extending from first arm hole 9 and a second sleeve 15 extending from the second arm hole 11. First sleeve 13 and second sleeve 15 may be long sleeves, short sleeves, ¾ sleeves or tank top style sleeves. However, this is not to be construed as limiting the present invention as the use of any style of sleeves has been envisioned. Lower tubular portion 5 may have various lengths thereby changing the style of woman's sleeping garment 1. For instance, lower tubular portion may have a short length providing a shirt-like top, a medium length providing a longer flowing top or a long length providing a dress-like configuration. The body of woman's sleeping garment 1 also includes a collar portion 17 extending at least partially from an edge area surrounding neck hole 7. Collar portion 17 may be a traditional style collar as shown in FIG. 1 or any other suitable collar such as a turtleneck style collar. The body may be manufactured from cotton, cotton blends, thermal, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester or any combination thereof. For example, the body may be constructed from 100% single-knit, jersey-style cotton.

Woman's sleeping garment 1 further includes an adjustable band 19 positioned between upper tubular portion 3 and lower tubular portion 5. Adjustable band 19 encircles woman's sleeping garment 1 and is located above the wearer's waist and beneath the wearer's breast. A drawstring arrangement 21 runs through the inside of adjustable band 19 and fastens beneath the middle of the wearer's breasts. Adjustable band 19 is configured to radially constrict an area between upper tubular portion 3 and lower tubular portion 5 when drawstring arrangement 21 is tightened, thereby lightly holding the breasts of the wearer in place. Drawstring arrangement 21 may be fastened in a variety of manners including, but not limited to, tying, buckling, snapping and the like.

Upper tubular portion 5 may further include various different styles of necklines surrounding neck hole 7. For instance, a v-neck neckline 23, as shown in FIG. 1, may be provided. However, this should not be construed as limiting the present invention as other styles of necklines, including crew neckline and square neckline, have been envisioned. Additionally, an opening (not shown) may be added to a front exterior portion of upper tubular portion 3 for aesthetic appeal and to provide easy access to an interior portion of woman's sleeping garment 1. The opening may be in the form of a button down front, a set of snaps, a zipper, hook and loop fabric or any combination thereof.

With reference to FIGS. 3 through 5, and with continuing reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, woman's sleeping garment 1 further includes a lift arrangement 25. Lift arrangement 25 includes a first panel 27 and a second panel 29 coupled an inside upper tubular portion 3 of the body. More specifically, an elastic band 31 is coupled to an inside, bottom edge 33 of a front area of upper tubular portion 3 and a bottom edge 35 of each of first and second panels 27, 29 is coupled to a top edge of elastic band 31. First panel 27 and second panel 29 are configured to cover and support the breast's of the wearer. Additionally, first panel 27, second panel 29 and elastic band 31 may be constructed from a stretchy fabric such as spandex, Lycra® or any combination thereof. For example, first panel 27, second panel 29 and elastic band 31 may be constructed from a fabric manufactured from 82% cationic polyester and 18% spandex.

Lift arrangement 25 further includes a first strap 37 and a second strap 38. First strap 37 extends from a top portion 39 of first panel 27 through a first hole 41 (see FIG. 3) formed in collar 17 and extends at least partially behind a wearer's neck. Second strap 38 extends from a top portion 43 of second panel 29 through a second hole 45 formed in collar 17 and extends at least partially behind the wear's neck. Lift arrangement 25 is configured to urge first and second panels 27, 29 toward collar 17 when first strap 37 is coupled to second strap 38 behind the wearer's neck. First strap 37 may be coupled to second strap 38 by any suitable method such as, but not limited to, tying, snaps, buttons, hook and loop fabric and buckles. Once the wearer has coupled first strap 37 and second strap 38, the user may fold collar 17 down to at least partially cover first strap 37 and second strap 38, thereby hiding the straps as shown in FIG. 2.

In an alternative embodiment of lift arrangement 25, first panel 27, second panel 29, first strap 37 and second strap 38 may be constructed from a single piece of material. In this embodiment, a strap adjustment device is provided on each of the straps to adjust the amount of lift provided by the lift arrangement.

The use of adjustable band 19 in combination with lift arrangement 25 provides the wearer with a garment that provides breast coverage and support without the need for additional coverage or a bra. When tightened by the drawstring arrangement 21, the adjustable band 19 radially constricts an area between upper tubular portion 3 and lower tubular portion 5, thereby holding the wearer's breasts in place. Additionally, the lift arrangement 25 allows the wearer to adjust the amount of breast lift by adjusting straps 37, 38.

Breast pads 47 may be added to first panel 27 and second panel 29 to provide nipple coverage and breast enhancement ability. The breast pads 47 may be configured to be removable from first panel. 27 and second panel 29 thereby allowing the wearer to purchase their own breast pad inserts. Additionally, breast pads 47 may be permanently coupled to first panel 27 and second panel 29 as a non-removable feature for the purpose of nipple coverage and breast enhancement.

Interchangeable, removable accessories 49 may be added to an exterior portion of the body of woman's sleeping garment 1 at various locations (see FIG. 1). Accessories 49 may represent the wearer's interests such as, but not limited to, a palm tree, sunglasses, skis, snowflakes, stars, etc. Accessories 49 may be constructed of various materials such as a soft rubber, plastic, or jewel-type materials. Accessories 49 may be attached to woman's sleeping garment 1 in various manners. For example, a finished hole, like a shoe lace hole, may be constructed in woman's sleeping garment 1 at various locations. One half of a two-piece snap mechanism may be attached to the back of an accessory 49, and accessory 49 would be attached to woman's sleeping garment 1 through the finished hole using a back fastening piece of the two-piece snap mechanism attached through the inside of the garment. The back fastening piece may be constructed out of many different materials such as a soft rubber or plastic, but should be constructed with a flat back so that the wearer will not feel any discomfort from accessory 49 being present on the sleeping garment. Alternatively, one piece of a two-part snap mechanism may be attached to woman's sleeping garment 1 at various locations. The other piece of the snap mechanism is then attached to a back portion of accessory 49. In another alternative embodiment, a hole similar to the finished button hole described above is, provided in woman's sleeping garment 1. Accessory 49 in this embodiment has a button-like piece attached to a back portion thereof, which would be used to attach accessory 49 to woman's sleeping garment 1 through the finished button hole. Finally, one or more permanent accessories 49 may be an additional option in construction for aesthetic appeal and may be placed anywhere on woman's sleeping garment 1.

With reference to FIG. 6, and with continuing reference to FIGS. 1 through 5, an alternative embodiment of lift arrangement 25′ is illustrated. Lift arrangement 25′ is provided for use by lactating wearer's and should be incorporated into a woman's sleeping garment 1 that includes an opening added to a front exterior portion of upper tubular portion 3. As discussed hereinabove, the opening may be in the form of a button down front, a set of snaps, a zipper, hook and loop fabric or any combination thereof. The opening provides the wearer with access to lift arrangement 25′, which is modified to have a first opening panel 51 attached at a bottom portion 53 thereof to first panel 27 and a second opening panel 55 attached at a bottom portion 57 thereof to second panel 29. First opening panel 51 and second opening panel 55 are configured to open downward to expose openings 59 and 61, respectively, thus exposing the breast for lactating purposes. First opening panel 51 and second opening panel 55 may each be secured at a top portion 63, 65 thereof using various options such as buttons, snaps, hook and loop systems or any combinations thereof.

Although the invention has been described in detail for the purpose of illustration based on what is currently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that such detail is solely for that purpose and that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments, but, on the contrary, is intended to cover modifications and equivalent arrangements that are within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. For example, it is to be understood that the present invention contemplates that, to the extent possible, one or more features of any embodiment can be combined with one or more features of any other embodiment.