Title:
3-POINT BRA FASTENER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment or other article of clothing can be configured with a three point fastener system or assembly. The garment can be a brassiere, ladies swimsuit or swimsuit top, dress, or any other garment designed to be worn about the torso. The garment can include a front portion having a left side and a right side connected by a back portion. The left and right sides of the front portion can be selectively connected by a first fastener. Second and third fasteners can also connect shoulder straps between the front portion and the back portion. Each of the fasteners can be configured for simple release, including a one touch, single motion, or other simple mechanism for uncoupling elements of the fastener.



Inventors:
Mclain, Stephanie (Holladay, UT, US)
Application Number:
14/096178
Publication Date:
06/05/2014
Filing Date:
12/04/2013
Assignee:
MCLAIN STEPHANIE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41C3/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MANGINE, HEATHER N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Workman Nydegger (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A three point fastening system, comprising: a wearable article of clothing configured to be worn about a torso, the article comprising: a body portion configured to be positioned about the torso, the body portion comprising a front portion and a back portion, the front portion having a first side and a second side, wherein the first side is connected to the second side via the back portion; a first shoulder piece configured to engage a first shoulder of the torso; and a second shoulder portion configured to engage a second shoulder of the torso; a first fastener, wherein the first shoulder piece is selectively attached to the first side of the front portion of the body portion via the first fastener; a second fastener, wherein the second shoulder portion is selectively attached to the second side of the front portion of the body portion via the second fastener; and a third fastener, wherein the first side of the front portion is selectively attached to the second side of the front portion via the third fastener.

2. The three point fastening system recited in claim 1, wherein one or more of the first, second, and third fasteners is positioned in a front region of the wearable article.

3. The three point fastening system recited in claim 2, wherein each of the first, second, and third fasteners is positioned in the front region of the wearable article.

4. The three point fastening system recited in claim 1, wherein one or more of the first, second, and third fasteners comprise a first fastening element and a second fastening element, wherein the first fastening element is selectively engageable with the second fastening element.

5. The three point fastening system recited in claim 4, wherein the first and second fastening elements are configured to be disengaged with one hand.

6. The three point fastening system recited in claim 1, wherein the wearable article is selected from a group comprising: a brassiere; a swim suit; a swim suit top; a bikini top; a negligee; an item of lingerie; a slip; a dress; a shirt; and a blouse.

7. The three point fastening system recited in claim 1, wherein the front portion further comprises a support member configured to provide at least some rigidity to the wearable article.

8. The three point fastening system recited in claim 1, wherein the first side of the front portion is configured to engage a first breast and the second side of the front portion is configured to engage a second breast.

9. The three point fastening system recited in claim 1, wherein one or more of the first, second, and third fasteners comprise a quick release, one touch, on demand, or other simple disengagement mechanism.

10. A removable garment, comprising: a body portion configured to be worn about a torso, the body portion comprising a front portion and a back portion, the front portion having a first side and second side selectively attachable via a first fastener, wherein the first side is connected to the second side via the back portion; a first shoulder piece configured to engage a first shoulder of the torso, wherein the first shoulder piece is selectively attachable to the first side of the body portion via a second fastener; a second shoulder portion configured to engage a second shoulder of the torso, wherein the second shoulder portion is selectively attachable to the second side of the body portion via a third fastener.

11. The removable garment recited in claim 10, wherein the first fastener is positioned at a bottom of the body portion between the first side and the second side of the front portion.

12. The removable garment recited in claim 10, wherein the second fastener is positioned in an upper region of the body portion adjacent to the first side of the body portion, and the third fastener is positioned in an upper region of the body portion adjacent to the second side of the body portion.

13. The removable garment recited in claim 10, wherein each of the first, second, and third fasteners is configured to be selectively disengaged using one hand.

14. The removable garment recited in claim 10, wherein the first and second sides of the front portion each comprise a first support member configured to engage a breast of the torso.

15. The removable garment recited in claim 14, wherein each of the first support members has a concave configuration.

16. The removable garment recited in claim 10, wherein one or more of the first and second shoulder pieces is selectively adjustable in length.

17. A method for removing an article of clothing, comprising: disconnecting a first fastener configured to couple a first shoulder piece of an article of clothing to a front portion of the article of clothing; disconnecting a second fastener configured to couple a second shoulder piece of the article of clothing to a front portion of the article of clothing; and disconnecting a third fastener configured to connect a first front portion of the article of clothing to a second front portion of the article of clothing, wherein the article of clothing is configured to be worn about a torso when the first, second, and third fasteners are in a connected configuration, and wherein the article of clothing is configured to be removed when one or more of the first, second, and third fasteners are in a disconnected configuration.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein one or more of the first, second, and third fasteners are configured to be disconnected using one hand.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein one or more of the first, second, and third fasteners are positioned in a front region of the article of clothing.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein the article of clothing is configured to fall freely from the torso when the first, second, and third fasteners are disconnected.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/733,342, filed on Dec. 4, 2012, and entitled 3-POINT BRA FASTENER, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. The Field of the Invention

This invention relates to systems, methods, and apparatus for clothing design.

2. The Relevant Technology

Many articles of clothing are designed to engage or fit to multiple parts of the body when worn properly. Brassieres, for example, often include a pair of cups configured to engage the breasts, a band, strap, or other component configured to wrap around the torso, and two shoulder straps configured to rest on top of respective shoulders. A typical bra includes one or more hook-and-ring clips in the back or rear portion of the band. These clips enable the bra to fit tightly around the torso when the clips are engaged, and allow the band to be separated into left and right wings when the clips are disengaged.

To self-remove a typical bra, the wearer first unhooks the rear clips by reaching behind and undoing the hook and loop mechanisms. The left and right shoulder straps are then slid off the respective shoulders, down the lengths of the respective arms, and pulled free of the respective hands before the bra is fully removed. Alternatively, one may first remove the shoulder straps, and then rotate the band such that the clips are forward facing. The clips may then be unhooked by undoing each hook and loop mechanism. Occasionally, an individual may even opt to remove the still-clasped bra by pulling it over the top of the head (i.e. like a t-shirt).

The design features of typical bras present a number of problems for persons with limited movement capabilities due to age, injury, or physical disability. Tasks that require precise motor skills or hand-eye coordination, such as unclasping the tiny clips of a bra strap, removing the arms from the shoulder straps, rotating the tubular band with clips around to the front, and even pulling the bra over the head may be frustrating, painful, or even impossible for some individuals to perform. Furthermore, such garments are typically made in standard shapes and/or sizes, each of which is intended to fit a specific group of users having similar body shapes and sizes.

Accordingly, there are a number of disadvantages in current clothing design that can be addressed.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Implementations of the present invention are directed to systems, methods, and apparatus that include a three point fastener or connector arrangement. Implementations include a garment or article of clothing that can be manufactured with the three point fastener/connector system regardless of shape, design, and/or size. In particular, the present invention relates to brassieres, swimming suits, lingerie, tops, dresses, slips, and/or other clothing comprising over-shoulder straps and a front portion that provides an easy touch type fastener for quick and easy removal.

An implementation includes a three point fastening system comprising a wearable article of clothing configured to be worn about a torso. The article comprises a body portion configured to be positioned about the torso, the body portion having a front portion and a back portion, the front portion having a first side and a second side, wherein the first side is connected to the second side via the back portion. The article also includes a first shoulder piece configured to engage a first shoulder of the torso and a second shoulder portion configured to engage a second shoulder of the torso. The three point fastening system further comprises: (1) a first fastener, wherein the first shoulder piece is selectively attached to the body portion via the first fastener; (2) a second fastener, wherein the second shoulder portion is selectively attached to the body portion via the second fastener; and (3) a third fastener, wherein the first side of the front portion is selectively attached to second side of the front portion via the third fastener.

Another implementation includes a removable garment having a body portion configured to be worn about a torso, the body portion including a front portion and a back portion, the front portion having a first side and second side selectively attached via a first fastener, wherein the first side is connected to the second side via the back portion. The removable garment further includes a first shoulder piece configured to engage a first shoulder of the torso, wherein the first shoulder piece is selectively attached to the body portion via a second fastener, and a second shoulder portion configured to engage a second shoulder of the torso, wherein the second shoulder portion is selectively attached to the body portion via a third fastener.

Another implementation includes a method for removing an article of clothing. The method includes disconnecting a first fastener configured to couple a first shoulder piece of an article of clothing to a front portion of the article of clothing, disconnecting a second fastener configured to couple a second shoulder piece of the article of clothing to a front portion of the article of clothing, and disconnecting a third fastener configured to connect a first front portion of the article of clothing to a second front portion of the article of clothing, wherein the article of clothing is configured to be worn about a torso when the first, second, and third fasteners are in a connected configuration, and wherein the article of clothing is configured to be removed when one or more of the first, second, and third fasteners are in a disconnected configuration.

Additional features and advantages of illustrative and/or exemplary implementations of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by the practice of such exemplary implementations. The features and advantages of such implementations may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. These and other features will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of such illustrative and/or exemplary implementations as set forth hereinafter.

These and other objects and features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To further clarify the above and other advantages and features of the present invention, a more particular description of the invention will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is appreciated that these drawings depict only illustrated embodiments of the invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1a illustrates a front view of an article of clothing having a three point fastener assembly; and

FIG. 2 illustrates a rear view of the article of clothing shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Implementations of the present invention are directed to systems, methods, and apparatus that include a three point fastener or connector arrangement. Implementations include a garment or article of clothing that can be manufactured with the three point fastener/connector system regardless of shape, design, and/or size. In particular, the present invention relates to brassieres, swimming suits, lingerie, tops, dresses, slips, and/or other clothing comprising over-shoulder straps and a front portion that provides an easy touch type fastener for quick and easy removal.

In certain implementations, the three point fastener assembly, method, apparatus, or system enhances ease of use and/or flexibility to the user, and/or is formed to provide increased comfort, use, and/or flexibility to the user. Articles of clothing having such a feature can accommodate differently shaped and/or sized body portion(s) across different shape and/or size groups to enhance comfort, ease of use, and/or flexibility to many different users, including injured, disabled, and/or handicapped users.

Reference will now be made to the figures wherein like structures will be provided with like reference designations. It is understood that the figures are diagrammatic and/or schematic representations of some embodiments of the invention, and are not limiting of the present invention, nor are they necessarily drawn to scale.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a front view and a rear view, respectively, of an article of clothing having a three point fastener assembly. Specifically, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a garment 100 having a body portion 110 configured to be worn about the torso. Garment 100 can be or otherwise include any article of clothing configured to be worn about the torso so as to at least partially cover at least a portion of the upper torso. For instance, garment 100 can include a brassiere, a swim suit or swim suit top (including a bikini top), a sports bra, a nursing bra, a negligee, an article of lingerie, a dress, a slip (full or otherwise configured), or any other suitable article of clothing. Thus, in certain implementation, a garment 100 can be configured specifically to at least partially expose at least a portion of the upper torso.

In certain implementations, garment 100 is configured to be worn, suspended from, or otherwise supported by or about the shoulders of the wearer. For example, some implementations include a garment 100 that does not include arms or other portions configured to be worn about the limbs. One will appreciate, however, that the present invention is not so limited, and that a garment 100 may comprise any suitable portion, part, or feature including arms, legs, and so forth.

The body portion 110 can include a front portion 120 and a back portion 130. The front portion 120 can have a first side 122 and second side 124 selectively attached via a first fastener 105. First side 122 can include a cup-shaped support member 126a configured to be positioned over a first breast and/or a lower support member 128a configured to provide added rigidity and support. In certain implementations, cup-shaped support member 126a can comprise padding or other material configured to provide comfort or other desirable quality. In some implementations, lower support member 128a can comprise an underwire, rod, bar, or other semi-rigid, semi-flexible, or other element. Similarly, second side 124 can also include a cup-shaped support member 126b configured to be positioned over a second breast and/or a lower support member 128b configured to provide added rigidity and support.

Furthermore, the first side 122 can be connected to the second side 124 via the back portion 130. Back portion 130 can include a strap 132 configured to be positioned against the back of the torso. In certain implementations, back portion 130 can comprise an elastic fabric and/or other material configured to provide comfort and flexibility. Thus, first side 122, second side 124, and back portion 130 can comprise a unitary article configured to be wrapped around the torso of the wearer. In at least one implementation, first side 122, second side 124, and back portion 130 can be secured about the torso by coupling first side 122 to second side 124 via fastener 105.

Garment 100 can also include first shoulder piece 140a and second shoulder piece 140b, each of which can be selectively attachable to the body portion 110 via a fastener 105. For instance, shoulder piece 140a can attach or be attached to the first side 122 of the front portion 120 of body portion 110 via fastener 105b. Fastener 105b can be positioned in an upper area of first side 122 near the top of cup-shaped support member 126a. Shoulder piece 140b can also attach or be attached to the second side 124 of the front portion 120 of body portion 110 via fastener 105c. Fastener 105c can also be positioned in an upper area of second side 124 near the top of cup-shaped support member 126b.

One will appreciate, however, that the present invention is not so limited and that other configurations are contemplated herein. For instance, fasteners 105b and 105c can be positioned on a top portion of shoulder pieces 140a and 140b, respectively, such that the uncoupling of fasteners 105b and 105c causes shoulder pieces 140a and 140b to be separated into first and second portions (illustratively, front and back portions). Moreover, shoulder pieces 140a and 140b can attach or be attached to first side 122 and second side 124, respectively, in a middle, side, and/or lower region of cup-shaped or other support members 126a and 126b, respectively.

Furthermore, shoulder piece 140a can be attached to a first side of the back portion 130, and shoulder piece 140b can be attached to a second side of the back portion 130. Thus, shoulder pieces 140a and 140b can be selectively attached to the front portion 120 of the body portion 110 of garment 100 via fasteners 105. In some implementations, shoulder pieces 140a and 140b can also remain attached to the back portion 130 of the body portion 110 of garment 100 whether fasteners 105 are engaged (attaching the respective shoulder pieces 140a and 140b to the front portion 110) or disengaged (releasing the respective shoulder pieces 140a and 140b to the front portion 110). Shoulder pieces 140a and/or 140b can also have adjustment mechanisms 134a and 134b, respectively.

In some implementations, shoulder pieces 140a and 140b can be configured to rest upon, cover, or otherwise engage the shoulder(s) of a wearer of the garment 100. For instance, shoulder piece 140a can support the body portion 110 of the garment 100 from or about a first shoulder of the wearer. Likewise, shoulder piece 140b can support the body portion 110 of the garment 100 from or about a second shoulder of the wearer. Shoulder pieces 140a and 140b can also be configured for selective release from the first and second shoulders, respectively. For instance, fastener(s) 105 can uncouple or release shoulder pieces 140a and 140b from the respective shoulders upon which they rest.

In certain implementations, fastener(s) 105 may comprise a touch type fastener for quick and easy removal. For instance, an illustrative fastener 105 may include a clip, clasp, hook, loop, and/or other engagement mechanism configured to secure two parts of the fastener 105 together in a releasable manner. Further illustrative fasteners 105 can include VELCRO or other quick release material, repeat use adhesives, interlocking members, push-button release members, sliding members, rotatable members, and/or any suitable attachment means configured to be selectively engaged, disengaged, re-engaged, and/or re-disengaged on demand and/or at appropriate or otherwise desired moment(s). For instance, fasteners 105 can include a one-touch disengagement mechanism by which two or more fastening or fastener elements of the fastener 105 can be uncoupled with or using one hand. In some implementations, a simple motion, such as a pull, tug, push, flip, tap, rotate, spin, turn, or other movement can selectively disengage the fastener(s) 105.

In one or more implementations, a first fastener 105 can be positioned at or near the bottom area of the cup-shaped support members 126a and 126b and/or at the junction of or between first half 122 and second half 124. Other implementations can include a fastener 105 at the upper or top region or area of the cup-shaped support members 126a and 126b and/or at the junction of or between first half 122 and second half 124. In at least one implementation, garment 100 includes three (3) distinct fasteners 105. All three fasteners 105 can be positioned generally in the front area or region of garment 100. Such a configuration can provided added convenience, ease of use, comfort, flexibility, and/or other desirable qualities.

Thus, the garment, wearable item, or article of clothing can be configured to fall freely from the torso when first, second, and third fasteners are disconnected. For instance, disengagement of fastener 105 (positioned between first side 122 and second side 124) can cause front portion 120 to open in the middle. Furthermore, disengagement of fasteners 105a and 105b (positioned respectively between shoulder pieces 140a, 140b and first and second sides 122, 124) can cause the garment to be unsecured to the wearer. Therefore, by easily disengaging three touch type or other fasteners, a garment worn about the torso can be removed using only very simple movements and/or motions.

The present invention relates generally to a garment formed to provide increase comfort, use, and/or flexibility to the user. In certain implementations, the present invention relates to a brassiere or other wearable garment that provides an easy touch type fastener for quick and easy removal, accommodating differently shaped and/or sized body portion(s) across different shape and/or size groups to enhance comfort, ease of use, and/or flexibility to many different users including injured, disabled, and/or handicapped users.

The Figures show a brassiere or other wearable garment or article of clothing constructed in accordance with the three point front fastener/connector principles of the present invention (shown and designated generally as 105). In the various implementations illustrated, the garment of the present invention is shown as a brassiere 100. However, the present invention is not limited to brassieres and can be incorporated into other garments, including, for example, any type of swimming suits, tops, dresses, or slips that cover the breast and have any three point fastener system in the front that connect the straps to the ,cups and the cups to each other.

The present invention may be embodied and/or implemented in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described implementations are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.





 
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