Title:
Bathing Suit Apparel and Accessory
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Bathing suit apparel includes a bathing suit top having straps that extend about the neck or shoulders of the wearer for purposes of reliably securing the bathing suit top to the wearer and preventing the bathing suit top from falling down off the wearer. The apparel includes in combination with the bathing suit top, a length of fabric provided as a bathing suit accessory of a size adapted to extend about the chest area of the torso of the wearer over the bathing suit top a spaced distance below the neck and shoulders of the wearer. This accessory prevents the bathing suit top from falling down when the neck or shoulder straps of the bathing suit top are undone. Thus, the wearer can undo the straps for purposes of obtaining an even tan on the neck, shoulder, upper chest, and upper back regions of the body without tan lines which would otherwise be caused by the presence of the straps.



Inventors:
Kusters, Marty (Langhorne, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/334864
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/243.1, 2/338
International Classes:
A41D7/00; A41D27/00; A41F15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KINSAUL, ANNA KATHRYN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOWSON & HOWSON LLP (Blue Bell, PA, US)
Claims:
1. Bathing suit apparel comprising: a bathing suit top having straps that extend about the neck or shoulders of the wearer for securing the bathing suit top to the wearer and for preventing the bathing suit top from falling down; and a length of fabric of a size adapted to extend about the chest area of the torso of the wearer over the bathing suit top a spaced distance below the neck and shoulders of the wearer for preventing the bathing suit top from falling down off the wearer when the neck or shoulder straps of the bathing suit top are undone thereby enabling the wearer to obtain an even tan on the neck, shoulder, upper chest, upper back and upper arm regions of the body of the wearer without tan lines due to the presence of the straps.

2. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 1, wherein said length of fabric is separate from said bathing suit top and is removably securable to the bathing suit top.

3. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 1, wherein said length of fabric is separate from said bathing suit top and is provided as an accessory for use with the bathing suit top.

4. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 3, wherein said length of fabric is elongate and has opposite ends adapted to be secured together.

5. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 4, wherein said fabric has an elastic property.

6. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 5, wherein said fabric is made from fibers including synthetic elastic fibers.

7. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 6, wherein said fabric is breathable, stretchable, lightweight, dries quickly and is not damaged by water.

8. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 7, wherein said length of fabric is a doubled layer length of fabric and is seamless.

9. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 8, wherein said ends of said length of fabric are tapered so that said ends can be tied together in a knot.

10. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 9, wherein said fabric is made of about 90% polyester and 10% LYCRA elastane fibers.

11. Bathing suit apparel according to claim 10, wherein said length of fabric is approximately 49.5 inches in length with a maximum width of 8.75 inches.

12. A method comprising attaching a bathing suit accessory over a bathing suit top worn by a sun bather such that said accessory is secured to and extends about the chest area of the torso of the wearer over the bathing suit top a spaced distance below the neck and shoulders of the wearer.

13. A method according to claim 12, including the step of disconnecting shoulder or neck straps of the bathing suit top after said attaching step, whereby the bathing suit accessory prevents the bathing suit top from falling despite the disconnection of the straps and whereby the bathing suit accessory enables the wearer to obtain an even tan on the neck, shoulder, upper chest, upper back and upper arm regions of the body of the wearer without tan lines.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit under 35 USC §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/014,463, filed Dec. 18, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to bathing suit apparel for women, and more particularly, the present invention relates to apparel suited for use while sun bathing and tanning.

While tanning at a beach, pool or the privacy of one's own home, typical bathing suits for women and teenage girls undesirably prevent even tanning in the neck-to-chest and shoulder regions of the body due to the presence of bathing suit straps which extend over the shoulders and/or around the neck. For purposes of obtaining an even tan in the shoulder, neck, upper arm, upper chest, and upper back areas, these straps are typically “undone” (i.e. untied or otherwise disconnected) such that they no longer extend over the shoulder and/or around the neck and cover the skin of the wearer. Of course, in such a condition, the straps no longer prevent the top of the bathing suit from falling downward. During this time, movements of the wearer are greatly limited due to the readiness at which the top of the bathing suit will fall off the wearer. Any attempt of moving or standing up requires the wearer to cup her chest to prevent the bathing suit top from falling.

Although strapless bathing suits are known, they are typically not worn by those intending to swim or engage in other relative active and athletic activities. This is simply because the forces acting on a strapless top during swimming or like activity can dislodge the top from its proper position on the wearer. Bathing suits having shoulder/neck straps are preferred during swimming and other athletic activities since the straps provide the needed support that prevents the top from undesirable displacement.

Accordingly, there is a need for bathing suit apparel and/or a bathing suit accessory that permits a wearer to obtain an even tan in the neck, shoulder, upper back, and upper chest area of the body. The apparel or accessory should enable the use of shoulder or neck straps preferred for swimming or other activities. In addition, the apparel or accessory should permit a wearer of a bathing suit top having “undone” shoulder/neck straps to move, sit up, stand up, and walk without the fear of the bathing suit top falling and without having to use one's hands to hold the top.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

More specifically, the present invention provides bathing suit apparel that includes a bathing suit accessory for use with a separate bathing suit top. The bathing suit top has straps that extend about the neck or shoulders of the wearer for securing the bathing suit top to the wearer and for preventing the bathing suit top from falling down. The accessory is a length of fabric of a size adapted to extend about the chest area of the torso of the wearer over the bathing suit top a spaced distance below the neck and shoulders of the wearer. When worn, the accessory prevents the underlying bathing suit top from falling down off the wearer, particularly when the neck or shoulder straps of the bathing suit top are undone. In this condition, the wearer can obtain an even tan on the neck, shoulder, upper chest and upper back regions of the body without tan lines which would otherwise be caused by the shoulder/neck straps of the bathing suit top.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a method is provided and includes securing a bathing suit accessory over a bathing suit top worn by a sun bather such that the accessory extends about the chest area of the torso of the wearer over the bathing suit top a spaced distance below the neck and shoulders of the wearer. The method also includes the step of disconnecting the shoulder or neck straps of the bathing suit top after the accessory is secured about the bathing suit top such that the bathing suit accessory prevents the bathing suit top from falling despite the disconnection of the straps. This enables the wearer to obtain an even tan on the neck, shoulder, upper chest, and upper back regions of the body without tan lines due to the straps.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the present invention should become apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bathing suit accessory according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the bathing suit accessory taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the bathing suit accessory worn over a bathing suit top with the secured ends of the accessory positioned on the wearer's back;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of engaged ends of a first alternate embodiment of the bathing suit accessory according to the invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of engaged ends of a second alternate embodiment of the bathing suit accessory according to the invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of engaged ends of a third alternate embodiment of the bathing suit accessory according to the invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of engaged ends of a fourth alternate embodiment of the bathing suit accessory according to the invention; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the bathing suit accessory worn over an untied bathing suit top with the secured ends of the accessory positioned on the front of the wearer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention forms part of a bathing suit or is provided as a separate accessory for use with a bathing suit or like apparel. In each instance, the bathing suit and/or accessory enables a sun bather to obtain a tan without tan lines produced from bathing suit straps and the like. The present invention enables such tanning but does not restrict the wearer to a strapless bathing suit. This is of particular importance if the wearer expects to swim or participate in other athletic activities while wearing the bathing suit.

One contemplated embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 and 8. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the invention can be provided as an accessory 10 made of fabric or the like. The accessory 10 is generally elongate and has opposite ends, 12 and 14, and a mid-portion 16. The mid-portion 16 is of a length sufficient to extend about the chest area of the wearer's torso. In the illustrated embodiment, the end portions, 12 and 14, taper to points, 18 and 20, and are adapted for use in being tied in a knot 22 to secure the accessory 10 about the wearer's chest over the top of a bathing suit 24. By way of example, the knot 22 can be located in the front of the wearer as shown in FIG. 8 or on the wearer's back as shown in FIG. 3.

Various alternatives for the shape and size of the accessory 10 are contemplated. For instance, the length of accessory 10 can be about 49.5 inches, and the width of the mid-portion 16 can be about 8.75 inches. Obviously, these dimensions can be adjusted as required to provide the accessory 10 in different sizes. In addition, the shape of the end portions, 12 and 14, and mid-portion 16 can be modified. Further, hooks, straps, buttons, hook and loop material, or like fasteners can be used in place of the knots 22 for securing the ends, 12 and 14, of the accessory 10 together. By way of examples, FIG. 4 illustrates the use of button 24; FIG. 5 illustrates the use of a snap or hook and loop fastener 26; FIG. 6 illustrates a hook fastener 28; and FIG. 7 illustrates a tie strap fastener 30.

Preferably, the accessory 10 is made of a fabric that has at least a degree of elasticity, is lightweight and breathable, is capable of getting wet without damage, and dries relatively quickly. In addition, preferably the fabric of the accessory is double-layered and seamless to provide greater support and comfort. As best illustrated in FIG. 2, the accessory 10 can include opposite, overlapping fabric layers 32 and 34.

An example of a fabric for the accessory 10 is one that includes synthetic elastic fibers, such as elastane fibers. For instance, the fabric can include an amount of LYCRA fibers which can be stretched, for instance, as much as seven times their initial length, before retracting to their initial length. The elasticity enables the accessory 10 to be tightly fitted to the wearer without concern of it being loose and falling off the wearer. One contemplated fabric consists of 90% polyester and 10% LYCRA. Such fabric is known for use as swimsuit liner material. Of course other fabrics, such as other known swimsuit liner materials or elastic materials, can also be used.

Use of the accessory 10 is best illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 8. In these examples, the bathing suit top 24 worn by the wearer “W” has straps 36 which are required to retain the bathing suit top 24 on the wearer “W”. As stated previously, the straps 36 are particularly desired should the wearer decide to swim, jog, play volleyball, or participate in any other relative athletic activity while wearing the bathing suit 24. During these activities, the straps 36 ensure that the bathing suit 24 remains in a proper intended position on the wearer “W” and does not fall down or off the wearer “W”. However, during sun bathing and tanning, the straps 36 prevent an even tan from being obtained and produce undesired tan lines.

Accordingly, when tanning is desired, the bathing suit accessory 10 is extended over the bathing suit top 24 and is secured to the wearer such as by tying together the opposite ends, 12 and 14, of the accessory to form a knot 22. The knot 22 can be located on the front or back of the wearer “W” as shown in FIGS. 3 and 8. Of course, the knot 22 could also be located on a side of the wearer “W”, as desired.

After the accessory 10 is in place on the wearer “W”, the straps 36 of the bathing suit 24 can be untied, disconnected and/or removed. For instance, see FIG. 8. In this condition, an even tan can be obtained on the shoulder, neck, upper back, and upper chest region of the wearer “W” due to the absence of the straps 36. However, in addition, the wearer “W” can freely reposition herself, stand up, walk and otherwise move without concern of the bathing suit top 24 falling down or off and without having to manually hold the bathing suit top 24 in place. This is because the bathing suit accessory 10 by itself secures the bathing suit top 24 to the wearer “W” despite the straps 36 being in a disconnected condition.

When the wearer is finished sun bathing and decides to swim or participate in another relatively athletic activity, the straps 36 can be retied to hold the bathing suit top 24 in place on the wearer “W” and the accessory 10 is untied and removed. The accessory 10 can be stored in a beach bag or the like for later use.

Other embodiments of the present invention which are not illustrated herein are contemplated. The present invention can be used with one or two piece bathing suits and can be provided in different sizes, colors and patterns. The fabric of the accessory 10 can be netting or mesh material or a relatively see-through transparent material so as not to hide the bathing suit top over which the accessory extends and/or to allow sun tanning rays to pass through the accessory 10. In addition, the accessory 10 can be sold with a bathing suit and/or can be removably connectable to the bathing suit such as with buttons, hooks, snaps, straps or the like.

While preferred bathing suit accessories and methods of obtaining an even tan have been described in detail, various modifications, alterations, and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.





 
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