Kind Code:

An adjustable garment such as a vest includes invisible zippers at the side seams of the vest. The zippers define pleats which can be opened or closed by the zippers to expand and contract the vest to alter its size. More particularly, each zipper includes first and second rows of teeth which are operable between interlocking and separated conditions to close and open the zipper in order to close and open the associated pleat.

Carrington, Brunsie C. (Prince Frederick, MD, US)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/243.1, 2/275
International Classes:
A41D1/04; A41D27/00
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable garment, comprising (a) at least one piece of fabric having edges which are joined together to form a seam; (b) a zipper connected with said fabric adjacent to said seam to define a pleat, said zipper comprising first and second rows of teeth which are operable between interlocking and separated conditions to close and open said zipper in order to close and open said pleat, thereby altering the size of the garment.

2. An adjustable garment as defined in claim 1, wherein said garment includes a pair of seams on opposite sides thereof, each seam including a zipper.

3. An adjustable garment as defined in claim 2, wherein said zippers comprise hidden zippers, each of said hidden zippers being covered by said fabric adjacent to said seam.

4. An adjustable garment as defined in claim 3, wherein said garment comprises a vest, said seams being arranged beneath arm openings in said vest and extending generally vertically downward to a bottom edge of said vest.

5. An adjustable garment as defined in claim 4, wherein each pleat defined by each zipper has a width corresponding to a half-size of said vest, whereby when both zippers are in an open condition, said vest has a first size and when both zippers are closed, said vest has a second size which is smaller than said first size.



There are various occasions when individuals desire to wear formal wear. Because those occasions are relatively infrequent, many people rent formal wear rather than purchase it. In addition, cruise ships typically stock formal wear for rent and thus must maintain inventories of various sized formal wear to accommodate the different sizes required by their customers. This can lead to relatively high overhead to maintain a suitable inventory of garments. The present invention relates to an adjustable garment which can easily be modified to alter the size of the garment and increase its versatility for use by individuals of different sizes.


Generally, when an individual rents clothing from a formal wear shop, the clothing must be altered to provide an appropriate fit. Alterations of the garments not only take time but add to the expense of the rental. Moreover, because the alterations are designed to be temporary, so that they can quickly be removed when the garment is returned, they occasionally come loose or fail, leaving the customer with an ill-fitting garment while he or she is attending a function.

The present invention was developed in order to overcome these drawbacks by providing a garment, and particularly a formal wear garment, that is quickly and easily adjusted to the size of the wearer.


Accordingly, the present invention relates to an adjustable garment such as a vest which has seams extending from the bottom of the openings for the wearer's arms to the bottom of the vest on either side thereof. Each seam includes a zipper having first and second rows of teeth which are operable between interlocking and separated conditions to close and open the zipper. A pleat is provided between the rows of teeth of each zipper. When the zippers are open, the pleats are open and the garment has a larger size. When the zippers are closed, the pleats are closed and the garment has a smaller size.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, each zipper is hidden by the fabric of the garment adjacent to the seam.


Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a study of the following specification, when viewed in the light of the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of an adjustable garment according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial plan view of a zipper for the adjustable garment of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a partial plan view of a seam of the adjustable garment of FIG. 1.


Referring first to FIG. 1, the adjustable garment according to the invention will be described. As shown therein, an example of a suitable garment is a vest 2. It will be appreciated that the invention is not limited to vests and may be incorporated into other garments requiring sizing adjustments such as jackets, dresses, trousers, and the like.

The vest is formed by pieces of fabric which are cut to a desired configuration and stitched together. More particularly, the vest of FIG. 1 comprises a rear fabric or panel 4 and two front fabrics or panels 6, 8 which are joined with the rear panel 4 by stitching at side seams 10, 12 and top seams 14, 16. Openings 18, 20 are formed between the panels through which the arms of the wearer pass. The front panels are joined in a conventional manner by buttons 22 on one panel which pass through button holes in the other front panel.

A zipper 24 is connected with the vest adjacent to each side seam 10, 12. More particularly, as shown in FIG. 2, each zipper includes a pair of tapes 26, 28 having rows of teeth 30, 32 connected therewith. As is known in the art, a slider 34 is used to connect and disconnect the teeth. A pull tab 36 is connected with the slider so that the user may displace the slider upwardly and downwardly to connect and disconnect the teeth, respectively.

The tapes 26 and 28 are stitched to the fabric. More particularly, the tapes are spaced a sufficient distance apart to define a pleat or gathered area 38 of the fabric. When the zipper teeth are disconnected, the zipper is in an open condition so that the pleat is also open. When the zipper slider 34 is displaced to the closed condition, the teeth 30, 32 are brought together and interconnected. This in turn draws the fabric together to close the pleat. Thus, the zipper is operable to enlarge or narrow the pleat in order to extend or contract the vest. With zippers on each side of the vest, the size of the vest can be adjusted incrementally depending on the position of the zipper. The sizes of the pleats defined by the zippers are preferably determined so that the vest can be altered between conventional sizes. For example, an adjustable garment can include fabric panels cut and stitched to define a size medium vest when the pleats are in the open condition. When the zippers are operated to close the pleats, the vest will be adjusted to a size small. Thus, each garment can be adjusted between two adjacent sizes. Another vest can be cut and stitched to define a size extra large, with the zippers being operable to adjust the vest to a size large.

According to a preferred embodiment, the zippers on either side of the vest are invisible zippers. That is, the zippers are covered by a layer of fabric 40 as shown in FIG. 3 where the zipper, not shown, is in the closed condition. The associated pleat is also closed resulting in a portion of the fabric being folded over as at 42.

While in accordance with the provisions of the Patent Statutes the preferred forms and embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without deviating from the invention described above.