Title:
Bra-Strap Concealing Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bra-strap concealing device comprising a fastening means adapted to secure a bra-strap to a garment such that the bra-strap is held in place behind the garment. The fastening means may comprise a pin or a clip adapted to achieve this purpose. The present invention further comprises a decorative element having an ornamental design, shape, or pattern disposed thereon. The decorative element is removable so that the user may interchange decorative elements as desired. The present invention provides an ornamental and functional device that allows a user to conceal a bra-strap behind an article of clothing such as a tank-top or dress, while providing an aesthetically pleasing design on the exterior surface thereof.



Inventors:
Carleton, Kathleen (Wheatland, WY, US)
Kersting, Donald (Wheatland, WY, US)
Application Number:
14/222727
Publication Date:
03/19/2015
Filing Date:
03/24/2014
Assignee:
CARLETON KATHLEEN
KERSTING DONALD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41F15/02; A41D27/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Boudwin Intellectual Property Law, LLC (Pinehurst, NC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A bra-strap concealing device, comprising: a fastening means adapted to hold and secure a bra-strap to a garment such that said bra-strap is concealed underneath said garment; a decorative element disposed on said fastening means; wherein said decorative element is removable.

2. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 1, wherein said fastening means is a pin.

3. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 2, wherein said pin comprises an elongated post disposed on a base; wherein said post is adapted to penetrate a bra-strap and a garment in order to hold said bra-strap and garment in place thereon; said decorative element having an outer surface and an inner surface wherein said inner surface is adapted to engage with said post of said pin.

4. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 3, wherein said base of said pin comprises a flat lower surface adapted to rest against a wearer's skin.

5. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 3, wherein said inner surface of said decorative element is rubberized.

6. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 3, wherein said outer surface of said decorative element comprises gems, jewels, rhinestones, or beads.

7. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 3, wherein said decorative element is a flower shape.

8. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 3, wherein said decorative element is an animal shape.

9. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 3, wherein said decorative element comprises letters corresponding to a wearer's initials.

10. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 1, wherein said fastening means is a clip.

11. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 10, wherein said clip having a first member and a second member pivotally connected by a hinge; wherein said hinge biases said first member and said second member towards one another in a closed configuration, such that a bra-strap and a garment can be held in place between said first member and said second member; wherein an upper surface of said first member comprises a slot adapted to receive said decorative element; wherein said decorative element is adapted to removably secure to said slot of said first member.

12. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 11, wherein said slot and said decorative element are magnetic.

13. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 11, wherein said first member and said second member of said clip comprise rubberized teeth adapted to grip a bra-strap and a garment.

14. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 11, wherein said decorative element comprises jewels, gems, rhinestones, or beads thereon.

15. The bra-strap concealing device of claim 11, wherein said decorative element is a rectangular plate.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/878,251 filed on Sep. 16, 2013, entitled “Sassy Snaps.” The above identified patent application is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety to provide continuity of disclosure.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to bra-strap concealing devices. More specifically, the present invention describes a bra-strap concealing device comprising a fastening means adapted to secure a bra-strap behind an outer garment such that the bra-strap is concealed by the outer garment. A decorative element is disposed on the fastening means and provides an ornamental appearance. The decorative element is removable such that a user may interchange various decorative elements to suit the user's preferences.

Women prefer to conceal their bra-straps underneath other articles of clothing such that the bra-straps cannot be seen by others. Many women find exposed bra-straps to be aesthetically unpleasing and exposed bra-straps may cause an outfit to look sloppy. However, many articles of clothing such as tank tops or dresses have thin straps that do not easily conceal bra-straps. Further, garments with wide necklines may also allow bra-straps to be exposed. As a result, a woman may constantly readjust her bra-straps in order to maintain the bra-straps concealed beneath an article of clothing.

In order to facilitate maintenance of the bra-strap beneath the straps of a tank top, dress, or other article of clothing, many women use safety pins or straight pins. Safety pins and similar devices can be used to pierce the bra-strap and the article of clothing such that the bra-strap and article of clothing are held in place thereon. However, the use of safety pins may result in a sloppy and unsightly appearance that many women find to be unappealing. Further, the use of safety pins may be an inappropriate solution for a woman maintaining a formal or professional appearance.

The present invention provides a bra-strap concealing device comprising a fastening means adapted to secure a bra-strap to a garment such that the bra-strap is held in place underneath the garment. The fastening means may comprise a pin or a clip adapted to achieve this purpose. The fastening means further includes a decorative element disposed on the fastening means to provide an appealing and decorative appearance. The decorative element is removable such that it may be interchanged with various other decorative elements of the present invention. In embodiments of the present invention having a pin, the pin includes a post disposed on a base that is adapted to pierce a bra-strap and a garment, and is further adapted to receive an outwardly facing decorative element thereon. In embodiments of the invention having a clip, the clip includes a first and second member pivotally connected by a hinge and further having a slot adapted to receive a decorative element therein.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Devices have been disclosed in the prior art that relate to bra-strap holding devices. These include devices that have been patented and published in patent application publications. These devices generally relate to bra-strap retaining devices. The following is a list of devices deemed most relevant to the present disclosure, which are herein described for the purposes of highlighting and differentiating the unique aspects of the present invention, and further highlighting the drawbacks existing in the prior art.

One such device exemplifying the art is U.S. Pat. No. 1,478,773 to Stocker entitled “Shoulder Strap Retainer,” which discloses a retaining tie or band that is secured to both straps of a bra in order to hold the bra-straps in place and to prevent the bra-straps from sliding off of the wearer's shoulders. The retaining tie or band has fasteners at each end that secure to the wearer's bra-straps. Thus, Stocker discloses a device for preventing a wearer's bra-straps from sliding off of the wearer's shoulders and does not disclose a device for securing the bra-straps to an article of clothing. Further, Stocker does not disclose a device utilizing a pin or clip comprising a decorative element.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,612,935 to Greifer entitled “Comfort Accessories for Brassieres” discloses a bra-strap accessory comprising an elongated strip having loops at each end wherein each loop is used to hold a portion of a bra-strap. The accessory comprises shoulder strap adjustment means and pressure diffusing means which includes a pad releasably secured to a shoulder strap. Greifer does not disclose a device for securing a bra to a garment. Moreover, Greifer does not disclose the use of a clip or pin for concealing bra-straps underneath an article of clothing.

U.S. Design Pat. D621,296 to Kennelty entitled “Bra-Strap Clip” discloses an ornamental design for a bra-strap clip. The ornamental design comprises a heart shaped frame having a pair of horizontal arms disposed within the inner area and separated by a space. Thus, Kennelty does not disclose a device adapted to secure bra-straps to a garment, nor does Kennelty disclose a device having interchangeable decorative elements.

U.S. Design Pat. D398,881 to France-Davis entitled “Bra-Strap Clip” discloses an ornamental design for a bra-strap clip comprising a substantially rectangular frame defining an interior area and having openings on an upper and lower section of the frame. France-Davis does not disclose a device for securing a bra-strap to a garment in order to conceal the bra-strap beneath the article of clothing. Further, France-Davis does not disclose a pin or a clip device.

U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2009/0265832 to Clement entitled “Woman's Top Garment Magnetic Clip” discloses a magnetic clip that is used to secure a woman's outer garment to her bra. The magnetic clip is disposed at the midsection of the bra, between the bra cups. In this way, the magnetic clip pulls the woman's outer garment onto the bra so that it conforms to the shape of the bra, accentuating the woman's curves. Thus, Clement does not disclose a device for securing the bra-straps of a bra to an article of clothing in order to conceal the bra-straps. Further, Clement does not disclose the use of a clip or a pin to secure the garment to the wearer's bra.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,921,110 to Middendorff et al. entitled “Interchangeable Jewelry Assembly” discloses a jewelry element adapted to attach to additional jewelry elements or to jewelry support devices. In this way, a user is provided with the ability to interchange decorative items and customize jewelry. Further, the jewelry can be worn in any of a variety of ways. Thus, Middendorff discloses a decorative jewelry device and does not disclose a device for securing a bra-strap to a garment in order to conceal the bra-straps.

Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 1,648,776 to McOrin entitled “Shoulder Strap Retainer” discloses an adjustable bra-strap holder or retainer having an ornamental appearance. The device has a central fabric tab having a slide member engaged with a pair of horizontally disposed elastic bands. The elastic bands comprise fasteners that allow the bands to be secured to the wearer's bra-straps. Therefore, McOrin does not disclose a device having interchangeable decorative elements, nor does McOrin disclose a pin or clip adapted to secure said bra-strap to another garment.

These prior art devices have several known drawbacks. The devices disclosed in the prior art do not describe devices suited for securing a bra-strap to an outer garment for the purpose of concealing the bra-strap underneath the outer garment. Many devices in the prior art are directed towards preventing bra-straps from sliding off of the shoulder of the wearer, but do not serve to secure the bra-strap to a garment. Further, the devices known in the prior art do not disclose interchangeable decorative elements.

In light of the devices described in the prior art, it is submitted that the present invention substantially diverges in design elements from the prior art and consequently it is clear that there is a need in the art for an improvement to existing bra-strap concealing devices. In this regard the instant invention substantially fulfills these needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of bra-strap concealing devices now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new bra-strap concealing device wherein the same can be utilized for providing convenience for the user when concealing the user's bra-straps by securing the bra-straps beneath an outer garment.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved bra-strap concealing device that has all of the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bra-strap concealing device that secures a bra-strap to an outer garment such that the bra-strap is concealed behind the outer garment.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a bra-strap concealing device that provides a decorative or ornamental appearance.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a bra-strap concealing device having interchangeable decorative elements that allows a user to interchange decorative elements to suit the user's preferences.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a bra-strap concealing device that may be readily fabricated from materials that permit relative economy and are commensurate with durability.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself and manner in which it may be made and used may be better understood after a review of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like numeral annotations are provided throughout.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing device of the present invention comprising a pin.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the underside of an embodiment of a decorative element of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a side view of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing device of the present invention as adorned on an article of clothing.

FIG. 4A shows a view of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing device of the present invention comprising a clip in a closed configuration.

FIG. 4B shows a view of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing device of the present invention comprising a clip in an open configuration.

FIG. 5 shows a top view of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing device of the present invention and a decorative element.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference is made herein to the attached drawings. Like reference numerals are used throughout the drawings to depict like or similar elements of the bra-strap concealing device. For the purposes of presenting a brief and clear description of the present invention, the preferred embodiment will be discussed as used for securing a bra-strap to an outer garment in order to conceal the bra-strap. The figures are intended for representative purposes only and should not be considered to be limiting in any respect.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing device of the present invention comprising a pin as the fastening means. The bra-strap concealing device 11 comprises a pin 12 and a decorative element 13. The pin 12 comprises a base 15 and a post 14 disposed on the base 15 and extending outward therefrom. The base 15 is adapted to rest against the skin of a user. The base 15 has a flat surface so that it can rest comfortably against a user's body, and the base 15 may have a circular or disk-like shape. However, other embodiments of the present invention include a base 15 having different shapes and sizes.

The post 14 is elongated and has a pointed end adapted to pierce a bra-strap 16 and a garment 17. In operation, the post 14 is used to penetrate a bra-strap 16 from the underside of the bra-strap, and then penetrate an outer garment 17 such that the post 14 is facing outward and away from the wearer's body. Once the post 14 has pierced the bra-strap 16 and the outer garment 17, the decorative element 13 can be secured to the post 14. When engaged, the decorative element 13 and post 14 are held securely in place. The post 14 is sized so that the decorative element 13 rests on the surface of the garment 17. In this way, the bra-strap 16 is secured to the bra-strap concealing device 11 and behind a garment 17 such that the bra-strap 16 cannot be seen.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a perspective view of the underside of a decorative element 13 of an embodiment of the present invention. The decorative element 13 comprises an outer surface 18 that faces outwardly from the wearer's body when the bra-strap concealing device 11 is worn by a user. Opposite the outer surface 18 is an inner surface 19 which is adapted to secure to the post 14 of the pin 12. The inner surface 19 comprises a pin-hole 20 adapted to receive the post 14 and hold the pin 12 securely in place therein. The inner surface 19 may further comprise a rubberized material so that the inner surface grips the wearer's garment to help maintain the decorative element in place thereon. The decorative element 13 may comprise any of a variety of patterns, designs, shapes, and colors to suit the preferences of the user. The decorative element 13 may be shaped like a heart, a flower, an animal, or may have the shape of the wearer's initials. The outer surface 18 may be further embellished by colorful gems, jewels, stones, or beads. In this way, the user may interchange the decorative element 13 with any of a variety of additional decorative elements as desired.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a side view of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing device of the present invention as adorned on an article of clothing. The pin 12 is placed adjacent to the wearer's body such that the base 15 is in contact with the wearer's body. The post 14 extends from the base 15 and penetrates the bra-strap 16 and also the outer garment 17. The post 14 secures to the decorative element 13 such that the inner surface 19 of the decorative element 13 rests against the article of clothing 17, and the outer surface 18 of the decorative element 13 faces outwardly from the wearer. In this way, the decorative element 13 is displayed prominently and helps to obscure the purpose of the bra-strap concealing device due to its ornamental appearance.

Referring now to FIGS. 4A and 4B, there are shown views of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing device of the present invention comprising a clip in a closed and open configuration, respectively. The clip 21 of the present invention comprises a first member 22 pivotally connected to a second member 23 by a hinge 26. The hinge 26 biases the clip 21 in a closed configuration. The upper surface of the clip 11 comprises a slot 24 adapted to receive any of a variety of decorative elements 27 therein. The decorative element 27 comprises a plate that can be interchanged with various other decorative elements of the same shape so as to suit the preferences of the user. The decorative element 27 slides into the slot 24 and can be secured therein. In some embodiments of the clip of the present invention, the decorative element 27 is magnetically secured within the slot 24. The inner surfaces of the clip 21 comprise rubber teeth 25 that serve to gently grip a bra-strap and garment therebetween. The clip 21 may further comprise a substantially rectangular shape, and the decorative element 27 may also have a substantially rectangular shape.

In operation, the clip 21 can be pivoted about the hinge 26 so that it is in an open configuration. The user may then place a bra-strap and an outer garment between the first member 22 and the second member 23 of the clip 21 and close the clip thereon. The rubber teeth 25 grip the bra-strap and garment and hold them in place between the first and second members 22,23 of the clip 21. The clip 21 is arranged such that the decorative element 27 is facing outwardly from the user so that the ornamental design thereon can be easily viewed by third-parties.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown a top view of an embodiment of the bra-strap concealing clip of the present invention and an interchangeable decorative element. Prior to securing the clip, or after securing the clip, the user may interchange the decorative element 27 positioned within the slot 24 on the upper surface of the clip 21 by sliding the decorative element 27 in or out of the slot as desired. The decorative element 27 faces outwardly from the wearer such that the ornamental design is displayed for others to view. The decorative element 27 may comprise various colors and designs to suit the preferences of the user. The decorative element 27 may further be embellished with rhinestones, jewels, gems, or other decorative elements.

Many women find it undesirable for their bra-straps to be exposed such that the bra-straps are visible to others. Women may find exposed bra-straps to be aesthetically unappealing because exposed bra-straps cause an outfit to look sloppy or unprofessional. However, many garments such as dresses and tank tops have thin shoulder straps that cannot be easily positioned so as to conceal a bra-strap. While some women may use safety pins or similar devices to secure a bra-strap to a garment, a safety pin may also provide an unprofessional or sloppy appearance that is undesirable.

The present invention provides a bra-strap concealing device comprising a fastening means, such as a pin or clip, that can be used to secure a bra-strap to an outer garment. In this way, the bra-strap can be held in place behind the outer garment such that the bra-strap cannot be seen by others. The bra-strap concealing device further includes a decorative element displayed on the outer surface of the device so as to provide an aesthetically appealing and functional device. Further, the decorative element may be removable such that the user may replace the decorative element with a different decorative element to suit the user's preferences.

It is therefore submitted that the instant invention has been shown and described in what is considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.