Title:
UNDERWEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fly for a flexible panel or closure, such as for a garment such as pants. The fly may have a generally L-shaped opening and an overlying cover panel which significantly overlaps the opening it covers. The overlying cover panel may have a pull tab. Closure may be magnetically enhanced. Pants having the fly may include front and/or rear discharge suppressing panels. Constituent material of garments may comprise nylon and polyester generally, with cotton portions and a spandex waistband, and may be sufficiently rigid in places to avoid bunching and to automatically align the overlying cover panel with the opening when released from manual grasp. Short pants such as underwear may be long enough to oppose spontaneously riding up in the course of use.



Inventors:
Schaefer, Brain (Burbank, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/147821
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
06/27/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/243.1, 2/400, 2/234
International Classes:
A41B9/02; A41B9/00; A41D1/06; A41D27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ITALIA IP (BURBANK, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A fly for flexible panels, comprising: an underlying fabric panel having a substantially L-shaped edge, thereby providing access from the front of the underlying fabric panel to the rear thereof; an overlying fabric panel disposed to cover the substantially L-shaped edge of the underlying fabric panel when the overlying fabric panel is in flat abutment with the underlying fabric panel, and disposed to overlap the substantially L-shaped edge of the underlying fabric panel to promote closure of the fly by abutment of the underlying fabric panel with the overlying fabric panel.

2. The fly according to claim 1, further comprising a magnetic closure which is disposed to hold the underlying fabric panel to the overlying fabric panel, wherein at least one magnet is fixed to one of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel, and a magnetically responsive member is fixed to the other of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel.

3. The fly according to claim 2, wherein the magnet comprises neodymium iron boride constituent material.

4. The fly according to claim 3, wherein the magnet has a gold colored coating.

5. The fly according to claim 1, wherein the overlying fabric panel has sufficient rigidity to avoid spontaneous folding and bunching of the constituent fabric material.

6. The fly according to claim 1, further comprising a pull tab attached to the overlying fabric panel.

7. A garment comprising: a flexible body for surrounding part of the torso of a wearer; and a fly comprising an underlying fabric panel fixed to the flexible body, having a substantially L-shaped edge, thereby providing access from the front of the underlying fabric panel to the rear thereof, and an overlying fabric panel fixed to the flexible body, disposed to cover the substantially L-shaped edge of the underlying fabric panel when the overlying fabric panel is in flat abutment with the underlying fabric panel, and disposed to overlap the substantially L-shaped edge of the underlying fabric panel to promote closure of the fly by abutment of the underlying fabric panel with the overlying fabric panel.

8. The garment according to claim 7, further comprising a magnetic closure which is disposed to hold the underlying fabric panel to the overlying fabric panel, wherein at least one magnet is fixed to one of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel, and a magnetically responsive member is fixed to the other of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel.

9. The garment according to claim 9, wherein the magnet comprises neodymium iron boride constituent material and has a gold colored coating, and the magnet is entrapped within one of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel.

10. The garment according to claim 7, wherein the overlying fabric panel has sufficient rigidity to avoid spontaneous folding and bunching of the constituent fabric material.

11. The garment according to claim 7, further comprising a pull tab attached to the overlying fabric panel.

12. The garment according to claim 7, wherein the garment is a pants type garment, and the flexible body comprises two pants legs.

13. The garment according to claim 12, wherein the flexible body comprises a substantially unstitched spandex waistband.

14. The garment according to claim 12, further comprising a supplementary panel at the front of the garment, disposed to intercept and contain bodily leakage.

15. The garment according to claim 12, further comprising a supplementary panel at the rear of the garment, disposed to intercept and contain bodily leakage.

16. The garment according to claim 12, further comprising a substantially unstitched elastic waistband fabricated from a material which resists bunching.

17. The garment according to claim 12, further comprising means to prevent the legs from riding up in the course of use.

18. The garment according to claim 12, wherein the flexible body is made from a blend of artificial fibers including about eighty to ninety percent by weight of nylon and about ten to twenty percent by weight of polyester.

19. The garment according to claim 12, further comprising means for automatically aligning the overlying fabric panel with the underlying fabric panel.

20. An article of underwear, comprising: a flexible body for surrounding part of the torso of a wearer, wherein the flexible body is made from a blend of artificial fibers including about eighty to ninety percent by weight of nylon and about ten to twenty percent by weight of polyester, and the flexible body comprises two pant legs each of length sufficient to discourage the pant legs from riding up spontaneously on the wearer, a substantially unstitched spandex waistband which resists bunching, a supplementary panel at the front of the garment, disposed to intercept and contain bodily leakage, and a supplementary panel at the rear of the garment, disposed to intercept and contain bodily leakage; and a fly comprising an underlying fabric panel fixed to the flexible body, having a substantially L-shaped edge, thereby providing access from the front of the underlying fabric panel to the rear thereof, an overlying fabric panel fixed to the flexible body, disposed to cover the substantially L-shaped edge of the underlying fabric panel when the overlying fabric panel is in flat abutment with the underlying fabric panel, and disposed to overlap the substantially L-shaped edge of the underlying fabric panel to promote closure of the fly by abutment of the underlying fabric panel with the overlying fabric panel, wherein the overlying fabric panel has sufficient rigidity to avoid spontaneous folding and bunching of the constituent fabric material, wherein the overlying fabric has a pull tab attached thereto, a magnetic closure which is disposed to hold the underlying fabric panel to the overlying fabric panel, wherein at least one magnet is fixed to one of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel, and a magnetically responsive member is fixed to the other of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel, wherein the magnet comprises neodymium iron boride constituent material and has a gold colored coating, and the magnet is entrapped within one of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel, and means for automatically aligning the overlying fabric panel with the underlying fabric panel.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to apparel, and more particularly to a fly for underwear, trousers and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Pants intended for wearing by males are typically provided with a fly, or an opening for enabling urination for example. Flies may be constructed in several ways. External trousers are typically cut from a point near the crotch to the belt line. A suitable closure such as a slide fastener is usually provided to enable transition between a deployed condition wherein the fly is open to afford access for urination, and a closed condition wherein the front of the trousers presents a flush surface, and the belt line can cling to the waist to enable the trousers to remain engaged with the torso.

The fly of underwear usually lacks a closure in the form of a discrete member, as the overlying trousers will usually press against the underwear, and no closure is necessary. The fly of underwear conventionally comprises a slit in the constituent fabric, with some overlapping fabric panels being present to one degree or another. Some styles of underwear have overlapping fabric panels which are stitched together so that the fly tends to remain closed. This impedes removal of the penis for urination, for example. Other styles of underwear have minimal overlap, so that there is no truly effective closure.

Underwear also provides means for containing bodily emissions such as leakage of urine, and protects the outer garment, typically pants or trousers, from contamination and spoiling of the appearance of exposed fabric. However, underwear is typically fabricated in the least complicated way. This construction results in a single thin layer of fabric which may be inadequate to meet the several demands imposed thereon.

One of the reasons for using a single thin layer of fabric is comfort. More complicated construction may interfere with breathing of the apparel, and may add bulk. Added bulk may become objectionable when body movements cause the constituent fabric to bunch up and become uncomfortable.

Another source of discomfort may be present in the form of bunched elastic waistband material. Such material may possibly pinch the torso at times.

There exists a need for a fly construction which provides both the advantage of easy removal of the penis and also secure closure.

Beyond this, there exists a need for underwear which is better able to cope with suppression of bodily emissions.

Furthermore, there exists a need for pants type apparel having waistband material which does not cause discomfort to the wearer by for example pinching the torso.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention answers the above noted needs in the prior art. In some aspects of the invention, there is provided a fly suitable for use with underwear and other garments having a fly, which garment may have a fly advantageously constructed to be easy to open and which affords generous access to the interior. The fly may be substantially L-shaped, including an overlying fabric panel which overlaps an underlying fabric panel to assure closure. The fly may be secured in the closed condition magnetically.

In further aspects of the invention, underwear may have a supplementary panel at the fly and/or a supplementary panel at the rear, for intercepting and containing leakage.

In yet another aspect of the invention, underwear may have a flat elastic waistband which grips the torso without incurring the discomfort of bunching.

In still another aspect of the invention, the underwear has legs which are sufficiently long to resist riding up in the course of usage.

The underwear may be fabricated from a comfortable fabric which breathes and which displays elastic characteristics, such as a combination of eighty-five percent nylon and fifteen percent polyester.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a fly which is comfortable and practical to use.

Another object of the invention is to intercept and contain bodily fluids.

Still another object of the invention is to oppose spontaneous riding up of the legs.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof by apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable, and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pants type garment according to at least one aspect of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view comparable to FIG. 1, but showing the fly opened.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged frontal detail view of the center of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a rear view of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 of the drawings shows an exemplary garment embodying several aspects of the present invention. In FIG. 1, a pants type garment in the form of underwear 10 is seen to comprise a flexible body 12 and a fly 14. The flexible body 12 is that part of the underwear 10 which surrounds part of the torso of a wearer (not shown). The flexible body 12 and pant legs 16 and 18 may be fabricated from a blend of artificial and/or natural fibers which provides good breathing characteristics. The blend may include about eighty to ninety percent by weight of nylon and about ten to twenty percent by weight of polyester, and more particularly may be eighty-five percent by weight of nylon and fifteen percent by weight of polyester. The pant legs 16 and 18 may be sufficiently long also as to prevent the pant legs 16 and 18 from riding up in the course of use. Of course, in the place of or in addition to the length of the pant legs 16 and 18, other expedients may be provided to oppose spontaneous riding up of the pant legs 16 and 18, such as stiffening ribs (not shown) and still other apparatus.

The flexible body 12 may include a flat waistband 20 which resists bunching. The waistband 20 may be fabricated from a material such as substantially unstitched spandex which may comprise a thin web folded over itself to double its thickness. Other than at that edge at which the doubled web of the waistband 20 is secured to the flexible body by stitching, the waistband 20 is unencumbered by stitching, and hence may be said to be substantially unstitched.

The fly 14 may comprise an underlying fabric panel 22 fixed to the flexible body 12, which underlying fabric panel 22 underlies a corresponding overlying fabric panel 24, the latter also fixed to the flexible body 12. The underlying fabric panel 22 may extends vertically along the front of the flexible body 12, and may serve both as a structural member of the fly 14 and also as a supplementary panel at the front of the underwear 10, which both has sufficient rigidity to avoid spontaneous folding and bunching of the constituent fabric material, and also as a shield which is disposed to intercept and contain bodily leakage at the front of the underwear 10. As employed throughout this application, the vertical direction will be understood to be vertical as seen in the referenced drawing figures. The underlying fabric panel 22 may have increased width in the area of the penis to maximize ability to serve as a shield, this increased width being unnecessary at the upper and lower ends of the underlying fabric panel 22. Illustratively, the width of the underlying fabric panel 22 at its upper and lower ends may be on the order of two inches, with a maximum increased width on the order of seven to eight inches.

Rigidity to avoid spontaneous folding and bunching may be imparted for example by double layered organic cotton. Rigidity will be understood to be sufficient to cause the components or fabrics to individually or collectively assume and maintain the form which has been depicted. It would be possible for the constituent materials to be selectively flexible to deform under outside forces, such as manual handling, but where this is the case, the constituent materials would have sufficient flexibility to be able to reassume the original form when the outside forces are removed. Rigidity may serve as or contribute to means for automatically aligning the overlying fabric panel 24 with the underlying fabric panel 22.

As clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, an important feature of the fly 14 is that the underlying fabric panel 22 has a substantially L-shaped edge 26. The opening thereby created provides ready, spacious access from the front of the underlying fabric panel 22 to the rear thereof, when the L-shaped edge 26 is uncovered by pulling away the overlying fabric panel 24. The overlying fabric panel 24 is disposed to cover the L-shaped edge 26 of the underlying fabric panel 22 when the overlying fabric panel 24 is in flat abutment with the underlying fabric panel 24. The overlying fabric panel 24 overlaps the L-shaped edge 26 of the underlying fabric panel 22 by a significant margin to promote closure of the fly 14 when the fabric panels 22 and 24 abut one another. The degree of overlap may be on the order of one half inch to one and one half inches.

Closure of the fly 14 may be significantly enhanced by a magnetic closure feature. A plurality of magnetic members 28, 30, 32 are fixed to the underlying fabric panel 22. Corresponding magnetic members 34, 36, 38 may be fixed to the overlying fabric panel 24 in locations assuring close proximity to the magnetic members 28, 30, 32 when the overlying fabric panel 24 overlies and is thus held to the underlying fabric panel 22. The magnetically responsive members 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 may serve as or contribute to means for automatically aligning the overlying fabric panel 24 with the underlying fabric panel 22. Magnetically responsive members 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 may be fixed by being entrapped within constituent material of the underlying fabric panel and the overlying fabric panel, or may be secured in any other suitable way.

The magnetic members 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 may all be magnets, or alternatively, for each overlying pair, one may be a magnet and the other a magnetically responsive material such as iron or an alloy thereof, without actually being a magnet itself. Magnets, where provided, may be for example neodymium iron boride constituent magnetic material, and may have a gold colored coating. The gold colored coating may comprise gold plate, or another substance such as titanium nitride.

According to a further aspect of the invention, a pull tab 40 may be attached to the overlying fabric panel 24 to provide ready grasping means to pull back the latter when opening the fly 14.

Best seen in FIG. 4, a supplementary panel 42 is provided at the rear of the pants type garment 10, to intercept and contain bodily discharges from the anus for example. Width of the supplementary panel 42, which as illustrated extends from left to right, may be for example on the order of two inches. The supplementary panel 42 may be separate from the underlying fabric panel 22, or may be formed as an extension thereof.

FIG. 4 also illustrates the length (shown as an arrow 44) by which length of the pant legs 16 and 18 is increased in the vertical direction, to assist in opposing the tendency of the garment 10 to “ride up” the legs of the wearer. For example, garments of the type known as boxer shorts may have three quarters of an inch to one inch additional length of the pant legs 16 and 18, compared to conventional or standard boxer shorts of the same nominal body size. The garment 10 may have an overall vertical length of fifteen to twenty inches, and more particularly, seventeen to eighteen inches, when made to sizes appropriate for adult males of average body build.

Description of the edge 26 as being generally L-shaped need not imply that the edge literally or closely conform to the well known shape of the letter “L”. The actual shape of the edge 26 may assume other non-linear configurations. The effect sought to be produced is that the opening revealed when the overlying fabric panel 24 is pulled away will form an open patch or area for withdrawing the penis, which patch or area is essentially two dimensional, to present significantly more area than the conventional linear slit presented by conventional flies.

It is explicitly contemplated that the fly and features thereof may be used with other garments other than pants, and with objects other than garments. Examples of garments other than pants may include for example pajamas and medical garments, such as shirts and gowns for example, which are constructed to pass catheters, tubing, and other medical apparatus from the interior of the garment to the exterior thereof, and to afford ready access for inspection, placement of catheters and other apparatus, and other therapeutic purposes. Objects other than garments may include wearable articles such as aprons, but also upholstery of furniture, fabric and other external coverings or flexible outer constituent members of furniture, bed clothing, bags, suitcases, pocketbooks, flexibly walled receptacles generally, toys, curtains and other ancillary items used in buildings, and flexible partitions and closures generally.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the present invention is not to be limited to the disclosed arrangements, but is intended to cover various arrangements which are included within the spirit and scope of the broadest possible interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all modifications and equivalent arrangements which are possible.