Title:
SHAPE ENHANCING GARMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shape enhancing garment to be worn upon a wearers body for the purpose of increasing or enhancing a visual buttock profile of the wearer is described. The shape enhancing garment is characterised in that it includes an outer rear fabric portion and an inner rear fabric portion arranged in an overlying manner. The shape enhancing garment further includes a first pocket and a second pocket, each pocket located upon an inner surface of the inner rear fabric portion. Each pocket is arranged to receive a shape defining pad and to retain the shape defining pad therein such that, in use, each shape defining pad is disposed adjacent a buttock of the wearer so as to create a visual buttock profile that is enhanced. A shape defining pad for use in a shape defining garment is also described, as is a method of manufacture of said shape defining pad.



Inventors:
Buckley, Bruce Bary (Bankok, TH)
Application Number:
11/917721
Publication Date:
03/18/2010
Filing Date:
06/12/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/267, 2/400, 2/250
International Classes:
A41D7/00; A41B9/00; A41D27/20; A41D27/26
View Patent Images:
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20090229603Protective Garment Usable with Gas Tank Releasibly Carried by Shoulder Straps and Waist BeltSeptember, 2009Grilliot et al.
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Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES D. STEVENS (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A shape enhancing garment to be worn upon a wearers body for the purpose of increasing or enhancing a visual buttock profile of the wearer, wherein the shape enhancing garment comprises: an outer rear fabric portion and an inner rear fabric portion arranged in an overlying manner; and a first pocket and second pocket, each pocket located upon an inner surface of the inner rear fabric portion, each pocket being arranged to receive a shape defining pad and to retain the shape defining pad therein such that, in use, each shape defining pad is disposed adjacent a buttock of the wearer so as to create a visual buttock profile that is enhanced.

2. A shape enhancing garment according to claim 1, wherein each pocket has a periphery having a shape with a generally straight portion, the straight portion being arranged adjacent and substantially parallel to a waistband of the garment.

3. A shape enhancing garment according to claim 2, wherein the straight edge is located within a range of 0.5 cm to 3 cm below the waistband.

4. A shape enhancing garment according to claim 1, wherein each pocket has a shape and size similar to that of the shape defining pad received therein so as to maintain the pad in a substantially fixed position upon being received by each respective pocket.

5. A shape enhancing garment according to claim 4, wherein an outer periphery of each pocket is of a size that is between 1 mm to 4 mm larger than a size of each respective shape defining pad.

6. A shape enhancing garment according to claim 1, wherein two or more outer rear fabric portions are provided in an overlying manner, the outer rear fabric portions assisting to conceal joining between the inner rear fabric portion and pockets.

7. A shape enhancing garment according to claim 1, wherein the garment is a pair of hipster or low-rise underwear or briefs.

8. A shape enhancing garment according to claim 6, wherein the garment is a swimsuit.

9. A shape defining pad for use in a shape enhancing garment, wherein the shape defining pad comprises: a central portion with a surrounding peripheral portion having an outermost edge, the outermost edge defining a shape comprising an arc having two ends, the ends being connected by a generally straight portion, the generally straight portion being arranged, in use, below and substantially parallel to a waistband of the shape enhancing garment; and a convex outer face having a shape and configuration arranged to define a desired buttock profile when an inner face of the shape defining pad is placed adjacent a buttock of the wearer of the shape enhancing garment.

10. A shape defining pad according to claim 9, wherein the pad has a thickness that generally decreases outwardly from the central portion towards the peripheral edge such that the peripheral edge has a minimum thickness.

11. A shape defining pad according to claim 9, wherein the central portion has a maximum thickness in the range of 0.5 to 3 cm.

12. A shape defining pad according to claim 11, wherein the central portion has a maximum thickness in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 cm.

13. A shape defining pad according to claim 9, wherein the convex outer face is an irregular convex outer face wherein curvature of the outer face is greater adjacent the straight portion.

14. A shape defining pad according to claim 9, wherein the outermost edge is generally uneven.

15. A shape defining pad according to claim 14, wherein the uneven outermost edge is formed from a multitude of broken open-cell foam cells.

16. A shape defining pad according to claim 9, wherein a length of the pad from the straight portion to an opposing side is in the range of 12 to 17.5 cm.

17. A shape defining pad according to claim 16, wherein the length is in the range of 14 to 17 cm.

18. A shape defining pad according to claim 9, wherein a width of the pad is in the range of 12 to 19 cm.

19. A shape defining pad according to claim 18, wherein the width is in the range of 14 to 16 cm.

20. A method of manufacture of a shape defining pad for use in a shape enhancing garment, the method comprising: subjecting a section of heat-formable foam to a heat press process in a mould casing, the section of foam having a convex upper surface and the foam having a size and shape that substantially matches the outermost edge of the pad; the mould casing defining the shape and configuration of the pad such that upon compression of the foam, the foam is compressed substantially evenly throughout to create a pad that has substantially uniform density.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a garment for use in enhancing the shape of a part of the human body, such as for use in enhancing or increasing the size and shape of the buttock region.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In recent years, fashion trends have tended to embrace clothing and apparel designs that increasingly reveal and accentuate natural curves of the human body. There has also been a general increase in the popularity of clothing that serves to reveal or expose the abdominal and hip area of the body. One such example of this fashion is that of hipster or low-rise jeans, where a waistline of such a garment is deliberately designed to extend no higher than the hip area, often sitting well below the wearer's waistline. Unfortunately for a proportion of a fashion conscious population, such a design can emphasise a perceived figure flaw, such as a small or relatively flat buttock region. This perception of such a flaw may become magnified as fashion trends, particularly Western fashion, begin to increasingly regard a larger or rounder buttock profile as being in vogue or generally visually appealing.

To date, figure enhancing clothing has had limited success in attempting to remedy such perceived figure flaws. Often, clothes that employ the use of pads to increase or otherwise enhance a particular part of a body tend to cause that part of the body to appear artificial, rather than giving the appearance of a natural extension of the wearer's body. This may be due, for example, to the shape of the pad not conforming to or blending into the natural curves of the wearer's body, as is often the case with oval or egg-shaped prior art pads, or could be due to unsightly stitching or joining of the padded material being visible from an exterior of the garment.

Further, some known padded clothing items are unable to provide a “natural” visual effect due to an inadequate means of attaching the padding to the clothing. Items of clothing that use, for example, latch loop fasteners to adjustably position padded portions underneath the exterior of the garment are often prone to having the padded portion move from a desired position. Such movement thus creates an unnatural effect in use. These types of problems can be increased in those instances where it is desired to wear hipster or low-rise garments.

Such inadequacies in padded clothing do little to reassure or instil confidence in the wearer, who often already has a defined perception that a part of their body is flawed in appearance. Rather, the inadequacies in such clothing items can render the person more self conscious about their figure, as they may have the additional concern that others will not only notice their perceived figure flaw, but also notice their attempts to remedy such flaws by artificial means.

The present invention attempts to overcome at least in part the aforementioned disadvantages of previous figure enhancing garments, particularly those for enhancing the size and shape of the buttock region.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a shape enhancing garment to be worn by a wearer for the purpose of increasing or enhancing a visual buttock profile of the wearer, characterised in that the shape enhancing garment comprises:

  • an outer rear fabric portion and an inner rear fabric portion arranged in an overlying manner; and
  • a first and a second pocket, each pocket located upon an inner surface of the inner rear fabric portion, each pocket being arranged to receive a shape defining pad and to retain the shape defining pad therein such that, in use, each shape defining pad is disposed adjacent a buttock of the wearer so as to create a visual buttock profile that is enhanced.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a shape defining pad for use in a shape enhancing garment, the shape defining pad characterised in that it comprises:

  • a central portion with a surrounding peripheral portion having an outermost edge, the outermost edge defining a shape comprising an arc having two ends, the ends being connected by a generally straight portion, the generally straight portion being arranged, in use, below and substantially parallel to a waistband of the shape enhancing garment; and
  • a convex outer face having a shape and configuration arranged to define a desired buttock profile when an inner face of the shape defining pad is placed adjacent a buttock of a wearer of the shape enhancing garment.

Preferably, the central portion generally decreases in thickness as it extends outwardly towards the outermost edge such that the outermost edge has a minimum thickness relative to the remainder of the pad.

In accordance with a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of manufacture of a pad for use in a shape enhancing garment, characterised by comprising the steps of:

  • subjecting a quantity of heat-formable foam to a heat press process in a mould casing, the section of foam having a convex upper surface and the foam having a size and shape that substantially matches a desired shape of an outer peripheral edge of the pad;
  • the mould casing defining the shape and configuration of the pad such that upon compression, the foam is compressed substantially evenly throughout to create a pad that has substantially uniform density.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shape enhancing garment with shape defining pads in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a exploded view of components of a rear portion of the shape enhancing garment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of components of the shape enhancing garment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a shape defining pad of the shape enhancing garment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the shape defining pad of FIG. 4;

FIGS. 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d and 6e are plan views of different embodiments of shape defining pads in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a side view of a foam block used in a manufacturing process of the shape defining pads of FIGS. 4 to 6;

FIG. 8 is a rear view of a further embodiment of the shape enhancing garment of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of components of the shape enhancing garment of FIG. 8.

DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the Figures, there is shown a shape enhancing garment 10 for wear by a person for the purpose of accentuating or otherwise enhancing the shape and/or profile of a buttock region. The shape enhancing garment 10 may be underwear, such as lingerie or briefs, or may be an outerwear garment, such as shorts, jeans or even swimwear.

Referring initially to the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 1 to 6, the shape enhancing garment 10 is a pair of underwear pants, such as a pair of hipster or low rise briefs. The garment 10 includes at least one outer rear fabric portion 12 which, in this embodiment, forms a majority portion of the seat of the pants; a front portion 14; and a crotch portion 16. It should be understood that a plurality of outer rear fabric portions 12 can be provided, so as to create a multi-layer effect upon the rear of the garment 10.

The outer rear fabric portion 12, front portion 14 and crotch portion 16 are substantially as is known in the art of underwear design and manufacture and may be modified in shape, style and choice of fabric to suit individual or specific requirements.

An inner rear fabric portion 18 is disposed adjacent an inner surface of the outer rear fabric portion 12. In those instances where more than one outer rear fabric portion 12 is provided, the inner rear fabric portion 18 is disposed adjacent the inner surface of the innermost outer rear fabric portion 12. The inner rear fabric portion 18 is similar in size and shape to the outer rear fabric portion 12 and is attached thereto along a periphery 20 thereof. The inner and outer rear portions 12, 18 may also be joined along a central seam 22, which acts to divide the inner rear fabric portion 18 into left and right regions. Preferably, the inner and outer portions 12, 18 are joined by stitching along the periphery 20.

The provision of the at least one outer rear fabric portion 12 outside the inner rear fabric portion 18 advantageously acts to create a multi-layer effect which assists to conceal from view any stitching or other means of joining the inner and outer 18, 12 fabric portions together. Further, this multi-layer effect also advantageously conceals from view further components of the garment 10, described below, which are located internally of the inner rear fabric portion 18. It is preferred that the garment 10 has more than one outer fabric portion 12 especially in those instances where the material used or style of the garment 10 requires, for example, a bulkier stitching to be used. In this manner, such stitching is much more readily concealed from view when the garment 10 is viewed in use.

A pair of fabric portions, each smaller in size than respective left and right regions of the inner rear fabric portion 18, are fixedly located upon an inner surface of the inner rear fabric portion 18 so as to create a left pocket 24a and a right pocket 24b. Each pocket 24a, 24b is designed to receive a shape defining pad 26a, 26b and acts to retain the pad 26a, 26b in a predetermined position. Typically, the predetermined position is such that, in use, an uppermost portion of each pocket 24a, 24b is generally aligned with a top of the crease between the natural buttocks of the wearer. In this manner, each pad 26a, 26b is, in use, disposed adjacent each buttock of the wearer so as to create a desired buttock profile that is increased or otherwise enhanced relative to the wearer's natural buttock profile.

Each pocket 24a, 24b are formed by a respective a first pocket portion 28a, 28b which is attached to the inner rear fabric portion 18 by any suitable means, such as by stitching. The respective first pocket portions 28a, 28b are arranged upon the inner rear fabric portion 18 such that each pocket 24a, 24b has an opening adjacent and parallel to a waistband of the garment 10 so as to receive the pads 26a, 26b. The first pocket portions 28a, 28b are arranged in a position that allows creation of the desired cosmetic profile of the wearer as described above. Preferably, the first pocket portions 28a, 28b have a shape and dimensions that are similar to the shape and dimensions of the respective pads 26a, 26b so as to maintain the pads 26a, 26b snugly in a desired position. Preferably, the first pocket portions 28a, 28b have an outer periphery having a size that is approximately 2 to 4 mm greater than the size of an outer periphery of each pad 26a, 26b.

Each pocket 24a, 24b also preferably has a second pocket portion 30, disposed adjacent the opening of each pocket 24a, 24b and overlapping an upper portion of each first pocket portion 26a, 26b. In this manner, each pocket 24a, 24b has a covered opening so as to assist in maintaining the pads 26a, 26b in position within the respective pockets 24a, 24b.

Each pad 26a, 26b is preferably formed from suitable foam material, such as open-cell polyurethane foam or open cell latex foam. Further preferably, the pads 26a, 26b are formed from a foam or foam-like material that can be shaped by a heat press process. However, it should be understood that the pads 26a, 26b may be formed of any material that is able to substantially retain a predetermined shape in use. It is also preferred that the foam or other material used to form the pads 26a, 26b is at least substantially the same colour as the garment 10 in which they are to be inserted.

Referring primarily to FIGS. 4 to 6, each pad 26a, 26b comprises a central portion 32 with a surrounding peripheral portion 34. The peripheral portion has an outermost peripheral edge 36. The peripheral edge 36 defines a shape generally comprised of an arc 33 having two ends 35, the ends 35 being connected by a generally straight portion 38. In other words, the entire peripheral edge 36 has the shape of a truncated circle with a substantially straight upper edge.

Advantageously, the straight portion 38 enables the pads 26 to be used specifically in garments that are of a low-rise or hipster variety or worn under garments that are low-rise or hipster. In this manner, an enhanced or increased buttock profile can be created upon the wearer of the garment 10 whilst allowing the wearer to wear hipster or low-rise outerwear without any portion of the garment 10 in accordance with the invention being exposed above the waistband of such attire. However, it should be understood that the generally straight portion 38 may also have a slight curvature without departing from the scope of the invention.

Each pad 26a, 26b has a generally convex outer face 40. Each pad 26a, 26b generally decreases in thickness as it extends outwardly from the central portion 32 towards the peripheral portion and edge 34, 36. The peripheral portion 34 and edge 36 are thus the thinnest parts of each pad 24a, 24b, having a minimum thickness. Preferably, the pads 24a 24b have a maximum thickness at the central portion 32 in the range of 0.5 to 3 cm, depending on the individual wearers requirements. More preferably, the pads 24a, 24b will have a maximum thickness in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 cm. The thickness tapers outwardly to the peripheral edge 36 which is typically no more than 2 or 3 mm thick, preferably 1 mm or less.

In a further embodiment, the pads 26a, 26b have a maximum thickness that is slightly offset from the central portion 32 and towards the straight upper portion 38. That is, the pads 26a, 26b have an irregular convex curvature, wherein the curvature is greater towards the straight upper portion 38. Pads having such a shape are particularly advantageous for use by wearers that have buttocks that are somewhat sagging in appearance. Placement of pads 26a, 26b adjacent buttocks of such a shape can give the appearance of a more symmetrical or uplifted buttock profile.

The peripheral edge 36 of each pad 26a, 26b is preferably slightly ragged, forming a generally uneven edge rather than a smooth edge. The ragged peripheral edge 36 is preferably comprised of a multitude of broken foam cells. This edge formation visually blends more readily into the wearer's natural profile. In this manner, any visibility of the pads 26a, 26b through the outer rear fabric portion 12 of the garment 10 and also through any layer of outer clothing worn over the pants garment 10, can be greatly reduced.

The ragged peripheral edge 36, together with the effect of the or each outer rear fabric portion 12 adjacent the inner rear fabric portion 18, minimises any visibility of pads 26a, 26b, and any joining of the components, in such a way that a substantially natural visual profile is created in use. The dual effect of the multi-layering from the inner rear fabric portion 18 and the or each outer rear fabric portion 12 and ragged peripheral edge 36 enables the creation of such a profile even when the garment 10 is viewed in use alone or underneath a sheer garment.

Each pad 26a, 26b has an inner face 31 disposed in use, adjacent an inner surface of each respective first pocket portion 28. The inner face 31 may be concave or substantially flat. Preferably, the inner face 31 is substantially flat for pads 26a, 26b that have a maximum thickness in the range of approximately 0.5 cm to 1.5 cm. For pads 26a, 26b that have a greater thickness, it is preferred that the inner face 31 is at least slightly concave, so as to enable the pads to contour along the natural profile of the wearer. It has been found that for pads having the smaller thickness, less compression by overlying fabric is required to achieve the necessary contouring for a natural profile effect.

The pads 26a, 26b preferably have a diameter between approximately 12 and 19 cm. Even more preferably, the diameter is within the range of 14 to 17 cm. It is preferred that the height of each pad from a lower edge to the generally straight portion 38 and the width is substantially the same. However, it should be understood that the height and width can be varied to better accommodate different shapes and sizes of various wearers of the garment 10. For example, it is preferred that the pads each have a length, being a distance from straight portion 38 to opposing side, in the range of 12 to 17.5 cm. More preferably, the length is in the range of 14 to 17 cm. It is preferred that a width of each pad is in the range of 12 to 19 cm, more preferably in the range of 14 to 16 cm.

A sample of preferred pad 26a configurations is as shown in FIG. 6. Importantly, it will be noted that every pad 26a, 26b has a substantially straight portion 38, particularly suitable for the use of these pads 26a, 26b in hipster or low rise garments. A method of manufacture of the pads 26a, 26b of the invention is also described, the method enabling the production of pads 26a, 26b that are best suited for the invention described. Referring to FIG. 7, the method includes first preparing or obtaining a section of suitable foam block 42 having an upper surface 44 that is substantially convex in shape. Further, the foam block 42 has a diameter and shape that substantially matches the desired shape of the outer peripheral edge 36. This foam block 42 is a type of foam that may be subjected to a heating process without unwanted distortion of the foam occurring. For example, an open cell polyurethane foam would be suitable, whereas a polystyrene foam would not react well to heat exposure and thus be unsuitable for use in the described manufacturing process.

The foam block 42 is then subject to a heat press process, whereby the block 42 is placed into a suitable mould casing, the mould casing defining the shape and configuration of the final pad 26. As the mould casing is closed, the block 42 is compressed into the desired final shape, as described above. As the thickness of the block 42 initially decreases outwardly from the central portion to outer periphery, the entire block 42 is compressed substantially evenly throughout. This even compression through the entire width and length of the block 42 eventuates in a pad that has substantially even density throughout all portions of the pad.

In such a manner of manufacture, the peripheral edge 36 is not subject to any greater compression than the rest of the foam. As such, the peripheral edge 36 has a density that is substantially the same as the remainder of the pad and therefore does not lead to the creation of a hardened edge, as is the case in the creation of some prior art pads. Further, the pressing process squeezes very little or none of the foam beyond the desired periphery of the pad. This also avoids the necessity of having to trim the edge with a cutting means and importantly allows the creation of the ragged peripheral edge 36, as described above.

It should be understood that the above described method of manufacture might be used in the manufacture of pads to be used in a shape enhancing garment for the purpose of enhancing any part of the wearer's body. The advantage whereby the edge of pads created by this method has a uniform density relative to the remainder of the pad, ensures that such pads are able to blend into the natural profile of the wearer, regardless of which body part is being enhanced by the garment.

The above description of the garment 10 in accordance with the present invention may be readily applied to the manufacture of garments other than underwear. For example, buttock shape enhancing swimsuits can be readily manufactured using the same principles. In such instances, the only manufacturing variations would be primarily in relation to the materials used for manufacture. For example, the manufacture of swimming attire requires the use of swimsuit grade stretch fabrics and the use of a padding material that is able to withstand significant exposure to water without loss or degradation of shape or consistency. Preferably, in such an embodiment, the pads 26a, 26b are formed from a closed cell foam or silicon material as these materials are better suited for exposure to water than open cell foam.

Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, there is shown a second embodiment of the present invention, as applied to an outergarment such as a pair of jeans. In this embodiment, where like features are denoted by like numerals in reference to the previous embodiment, the garment 110 has an inner fabric portion 18 substantially as described above. In this embodiment, the outer rear fabric portion 12 is comprised of material that forms a seat portion of the garment 110. The inner rear fabric portion 18 is attached to the outer rear fabric portion 12 substantially as described above. As before, any number of further rear fabric portions 12 may also be provided to create a further multi-layer effect.

First and second pockets 24a, 24b are attached to the inner rear fabric portion 18 as described above. In this embodiment, it is preferred that upon attachment of the pockets 24a, 24b, the respective openings are disposed such that they face towards each other. That is, the opening of the pockets 24a, 24b face towards a central seam or portion of the inner rear fabric portion 18, as can be seen in FIG. 9. However, arrangement of the pockets 24a, 24b as described above with reference to the first embodiment is also suitable.

Suitable shape defining pads 26a, 26b are inserted into the respective pockets 24a, 24b substantially as described with reference to the first embodiment.

In use, prior to a wearer putting on the garment 10, the garment 10 is preferably turned inside out so that the pockets 24a, 24b face outwardly. The shape defining pads 26a, 26b are then inserted into their respective pockets 24a 24b such that the straight portion 38 is adjacent and parallel to the waistband of the garment 10. The pads 26a, 26b should also be placed inside each pocket 26a, 26b such that the convex outer face 40 faces towards the outer rear fabric portion 12 and hence protrudes outwardly from the wearers natural visual profile.

Once the pads 26a, 26b are inside their respective pockets 24a, 24b, the overlying fabric is gently stretched around the pads 26a, 26b so that they are positioned centrally within the pocket 24a, 24b. Importantly, the pads 26a, 26b need to be positioned such that the outer peripheral edge 36 are flat and do not curl against the interior of the pockets 24a, 24b. The garment 10 may then be put on as appropriate by the wearer. The predetermined positioning of the pockets 24a, 24b and thus the pads 26a, 26b ensure that the pads are appropriately positioned upon each buttock of the wearer so as to create the desired enhanced or increased profile.

It is preferred that upon the garment 10 being taken off by the wearer, that the pads 26a, 26b are removed prior to any cleaning or washing of the garment 10. Alternatively, if it is desired that instead an alternative profile is to be created, one set of pads 26a, 26b can be removed and replaced with a further pair of a different size as required.

Modifications as would be apparent to the skilled addressee are deemed to be within the scope of this invention.