Title:
Combined Collar Stabilizer and Button Closure Tool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool adds a utility that facilitates securing a button to an accessory that fits into the collar pocket of a shirt, and provides an aesthetically pleasing, straight, crisp, well-groomed appearance of the shirt collar. The combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool increases the efficiency and eases the process required to secure the button closure of a shirt for buttons with a range of diameters needed for buttons of various sizes. The combined tool is made of a substantial material without limiting pliability, is a single form, consists of two distinct ends, and is shaped to substantially fit within the collar stay pocket. One end of the tool is angular in shape and accommodates the angle of the collar pocket tip. The other end, proximate to the end of the collar pocket, is designed to facilitate the closure of a button closure system.



Inventors:
Geiger, Justin Mcconnell (Arlington, VA, US)
Application Number:
15/382173
Publication Date:
06/22/2017
Filing Date:
12/16/2016
Assignee:
Geiger Justin McConnell
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B3/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KINSAUL, ANNA KATHRYN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIDSON BERQUIST JACKSON & GOWDEY LLP (McLean, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A combined collar stabilizer and button closure apparatus comprising: a single form including a first end and second end, the single form being shaped to substantially fit within a collar stay pocket so that a corresponding collar which includes the collar stay pocket increases its rigidity, wherein the first end is angular in shape and accommodates the angle of a tip of the collar stay pocket, the tip of the collar stay pocket being the end of the collar stay pocket closest to a collar tip, wherein the second end is designed to be proximate to an entrance of the collar stay pocket after the single form is inserted into the collar stay pocket, and wherein the second end has a shape that facilitates securing a button on an article of clothing.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the shape is a hook that has sufficient curvature to secure the button and allows for release of the button once the button is secured.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the hook does not extend beyond the entrance of the collar stay pocket when the single form is inserted in the collar stay pocket.

4. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the hook extends beyond the entrance of the collar stay pocket when the single form is inserted in the collar stay pocket.

5. A combined collar stabilizer and button closure apparatus comprising: a single form including a first end and second end, the single form being shaped to substantially fit within a collar stay pocket so that a corresponding collar which includes the collar stay pocket increases its rigidity, wherein the first end is angular in shape and accommodates the angle of a tip of the collar stay pocket, the tip of the collar stay pocket being the end of the collar stay pocket closest to a collar tip, wherein the second end is designed to be proximate to an entrance of the collar stay pocket after the single form is inserted into the collar stay pocket, and wherein the second end includes an opening designed to secure and feed a button through a female portion of a button closure system on an article of clothing.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the opening narrows towards the second end in order to secure a position of the button within the opening.

7. A combined collar stabilizer and button closure apparatus comprising: a piece including a first end and second end, the piece being shaped to substantially fit within a collar stay pocket so that a corresponding collar which includes the collar stay pocket increases its rigidity, wherein a tip of the first end is sized to fit into a tip of the collar stay pocket, the tip of the collar stay pocket being the end of the collar stay pocket closest to a collar tip, wherein a portion of a width of the first end is wider than a width of the collar stay pocket when the portion is outside of the collar stay pocket, but when the portion is inserted in the collar stay pocket the portion flexes so that the portion fits in the collar stay pocket, and wherein the second end is designed to be proximate to an entrance of the collar stay pocket after the single form is inserted into the collar stay pocket.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the second end includes hollow spaces that extend a portion of a length of the second end that allow the portion of the first end that is wider than the width of the collar stay pocket to retract so that the portion fits in the collar stay pocket.

9. A combined collar stabilizer and button closure apparatus comprising: a single form including a first end and second end, the single form being shaped to substantially fit within a collar stay pocket so that a corresponding collar which includes the collar stay pocket increases its rigidity, wherein the first end is angular in shape and accommodates the angle of a tip of the collar stay pocket, the tip of the collar stay pocket being the end of the collar stay pocket closest to a collar tip, wherein the first end includes an opening designed to secure and feed a button through a female portion of a button closure system on an article of clothing, and wherein the second end is designed to be proximate to an entrance of the collar stay pocket after the single form is inserted into the collar stay pocket.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the opening narrows towards the first end in order to secure a position of the button within the opening.

Description:

This application is a non-provisional application claiming priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/269,731, filed Dec. 18, 2015, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a tool that combines a button closure system facilitation tool with the aesthetically pleasing benefits of a collar smoothing and securing accessory that is stored in a textile.

DISCUSSION OF THE BACKGROUND

An accessory utilized in the collar point of a shirt for stabilization is commonly known as a “collar stay.” This accessory maintains a pressed appearance for the collar and keeps the collar in place. The accessory is traditionally made from polymer, metal, or alloy material. A key function of the accessory is its ability, through its dimensions and shape, to fit within a pocket located on the underside of a collar point. The accessory's most recognized shape is characterized by an angled end. The angle is uniform to the angled tip of an existing pocket on the underside of a collar. This angled end of the accessory serves as the lead insertion point for the accessory into a pocket. The accessory's length is appropriately sized so as to prevent the opposing end of the accessory from interfering with the crease of the collar fold. The accessory requires a degree of rigidity. The greater the rigidity of the accessory the greater the likelihood the collar will maintain its shape and expected form.

A typical button closure system consists of a button on one side of the textile and a slot on the other side of the textile. The closure is secured when the button is successfully passed through the slot. The slot is sized so as to allow the button to slide through the slot, securing one side of the textile to the other. The closure is most commonly executed by the person wearing the textile article (article of clothing). A variety of devices exist that assist in securing the closure. These devices, most commonly known as button hooks, exist independently of the textile and have no utilization in improving the appearance of textiles. Additionally, the independence of these devices not only make them difficult to access at the time of need (getting dressed), but if the time of need occurs away from the traditional storage area of such a device, it requires an additional expenditure of funds to have the device accessible.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following description, given with respect to the attached drawings, may be better understood with reference to the non-limiting examples of the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagram of a shirt with an exemplary combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool inserted in a pocket in the shirt's collar;

FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, and 2H, are diagrams depicting several examples of a combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool;

FIG. 3 is a diagram of a first type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool;

FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 4C are diagrams depicting one way to use the first type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool;

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C are diagrams depicting another way to use the first type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool;

FIG. 6 is a diagram depicting a second type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool inserted into a pocket in a shirt collar;

FIG. 7 is a diagram depicting a second type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool being removed from a pocket in a shirt collar;

FIG. 8 is a diagram depicting a second type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool with one end expanded;

FIG. 9 is a diagram depicting a second type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool with the expanded portion now retracted;

FIG. 10A and 10B are diagrams of a third type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool;

FIG. 11 is a diagram depicting use of the third type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool;

FIG. 12 is a diagram depicting use of the third type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool;

FIG. 13 is a diagram depicting use of the second type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool; and

FIG. 14 is a diagram depicting use of the second type of combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool.

DISCUSSION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool described herein adds a utility that facilitates the completion of a button closure process to an accessory that fits into the collar pocket of a shirt, and provides an aesthetically pleasing, straight, crisp, well-groomed appearance of the shirt collar. The combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool increases the efficiency and eases the process required to secure the button closure of a shirt for buttons ranging in diameter from a variety of sizes. In one embodiment, the range of button sizes is 1/16th of an inch to 1 inch, though one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that larger or smaller buttons could be used with the tool.

The combined tool is made of a substantial material without limiting pliability, is a single form, consists of two distinct ends, and is shaped to substantially fit within the collar stay pocket. One end of the tool is angular in shape and accommodates the angle of the collar pocket tip. The second end, proximate to the end of the collar pocket, is designed to facilitate the closure of a button closure system. The combined tool comprises at least one of the following materials: Aluminum, titanium, tin, nickel, gold, copper, iron brass, stainless steel, silver, pot metal, polyethylene terephthalate, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyamide, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polycarbonate, polyurethane, polytetrafluoroethylene, polybenzimidazole, rubber, ceramic, stone, horn, bone, glass, carbon, wood and/or a combination thereof. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that other materials may also or instead be used in the combined tool.

The combined tool's benefits include the convenience of having the invention integrated into clothing. An illustrative example is the business traveler. A business traveler seeks to minimize the requirements for travel. For the business traveler who enjoys the utility of a device that assists with the closure of the buttons on a shirt, they not only must sacrifice space in the luggage for the additional requirement but they must also remember to pack the device in the first place. The combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool solves both issues. First, by modifying an existing requirement, maintaining a crisp and pressed appearance of the collar on a shirt with a collar stay, no additional space is required. Second, because the combined tool is stored within the collar of a shirt, it is not easily forgotten. Finally, should a secured button become unsecured, the combined tool solves the third problem of having to carry a traditional button closure device with you.

As noted above, the combined collar stabilizer and button closure tool is of a length and shape so as to fit into the space formed by the sleeve already incorporated in the design of a collar. FIG. 1 is a diagram of a shirt with an exemplary combined tool inserted in a pocket in the shirt's collar. As displayed in FIG. 1, the combined tool 20 can be inserted into an existing pocket on a shirt at pocket entrance 10. In one embodiment, the combined tool will extend from the angled end of the collar and collar pocket and will not exceed, in length, the crease of the collar in order to maintain the uniform, seamless look intended by the designer of the collar.

The combined tool can be implemented in a number of different ways. Combined tool 100 in FIGS. 2A or 3 is an example. One end of combined tool 100 (first type) has a shape consistent with the typical shape of a collar stay, as shown in FIGS. 2A or 3 on the left side of combined tool 100. This end of combined tool 100 is the end that is first inserted into a collar pocket. Beginning at the halfway point of the combined tool 100, the traditional shape of the collar stay is modified to include a hook that helps facilitates button closure. The hooked end of combined tool 100 may be designed so that it aligns with the corner of the collar in the existing collar stay pocket, does not extend beyond the crease of the collar, and does not interfere with the intended crease of the collar. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the hooked end may extend beyond the entrance of the collar stay pocket as long as it does not interfere with the intended crease of the collar. The shape of the hooked end is designed so that it is adequate in thickness to promote a secure experience for the user. This will mean that the thickness of the hooked end will directly relate to the rigidity of the material used to create the tool. The hooked end has sufficient curvature to ensure the securing of a button within the hook as the tool performs the utility. The hooked end also allows for an efficient release of the button once the combined tool has secured the button.

The combined tool 100 can be used to secure a button by using the tool to bring the button through the female end of the button closure system, securing the two distinct pieces of textile in the intended design of the system. FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 4C depict one way this action can be performed. For example, as shown in FIG. 4A, a user can first insert the hooked end of the combined tool through the female portion of the closure system. Next, the user secures the button with the hooked end of the tool, as shown in FIG. 4B. Lastly, the user pulls the tool and button back through the female portion of the closure system, as shown in FIG. 4C. Alternatively, as depicted in FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C, the combined tool can be secured around the button first (FIG. 5A). Thereafter, using the angled collar end of the tool, the user feeds the tool through female portion of the closure system and keeps pulling until the button is secured to the textile (FIGS. 5B and 5C).

Combined tool 200 (second type) in FIG. 2E depicts an alternative tool design intended to satisfy operators in need of greater accessibility. This operator audience would include those suffering from arthritis and other mobility restrictive ailments. In this tool design, modifications are made to both the lead insertion point of the collar stay as well as the opposite end of the stay. The insertion end of the combined tool 200 (e.g., the left end of combined tool 200 depicted in FIG.2E) uses a material that can handle existence in a state of tension. Exemplary materials include ferrous and nonferrous metals and alloys. As depicted in FIG. 6, this insertion end begins with an insertion angle so as to fit into the collar pocket and maintains the intended pressed, straight collar. When outside the pocket and in a resting state, on the insertion end, the combined tool 200 will gradually angle out and expand past the dimensions of the collar stay pocket, as shown in FIG. 7. The expanded portion is necessary so as to allow the user to lay the tool flush over the button and exceed the dimensions of the button. This will allow the user to secure the button in the most efficient and easy motion possible. The button is secured by a capture area at the tip of the insertion end of combined tool 200. The opposing end of the stay will maintain the look and feel of a traditional collar stay. However, in order to preserve the functionality of a collar stay the combined tool 200 will have two hollow, form fitting spaces within the opposing insertion end (e.g., the right end of combined tool 200 depicted in FIG. 2E) that will allow the expanded insertion end of the tool to retract into the opposing end and allow for a snug fit into the collar stay pocket, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.

Similar to combined tool 100, combined tool 200 (second type) can be used to secure a button by using the tool to bring the button through the female end of the button closure system, securing the two distinct pieces of textile in the intended design of the system. For example, a user can first insert the insertion end of the combined tool 200 (e.g., the left end of combined tool 200 depicted in FIG. 2E) through the female portion of the closure system. Next, the user secures the button with the tool. Lastly, the user pulls the tool and button back through the female portion of the closure system. Alternatively, as depicted in FIGS. 13 and 14, the combined tool 200 can be secured around the button first. Thereafter, using the opposing end of the tool (e.g., the right end of combined tool 200 depicted in FIG.2 and the left end of combined tool 200 depicted in FIGS. 13 and 14), the user feeds the tool through female portion of the closure system and pulls until the button is secured to the textile.

Combined tool 300 in FIG. 2B or FIG. 10 depicts another alternative tool design. Combined tool 300 (third type) is designed to adhere to the dimensions of the existing collar stabilization pocket. This design allows for a single, unified tool, and does not require any additional assembly as may be required for the design of combined tool 200. Combined tool 300 may comprise a capture opening with a length of either 1 and 2 standard button dimensions, as depicted, for example, in FIG. 2D and FIG. 2C as combined tool 301 and combined tool 302, respectively. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that openings of other sizes may be used in combined tool 300, so long as the tool retains sufficient rigidity to function as a collar stay. The capture opening of combined tool 300 is large enough to feed a button through from an angled position. The borders of the capture opening are adequate in thickness so as to promote a stable experience for the user. This means that the thickness of the opening border will directly relate to the rigidity of the material used to create the tool. The opening may narrow near the end opposite of the insertion point (e.g., the left end of combined tool 300 in FIG. 11) so as to secure the position of the button in the tool by the threads that secure the button to the fabric (See FIG. 12). One of ordinary skill in the art will also appreciate that openings may be positioned at the opposing end of the combined tool 300, as depicted in combined tools 303, 304, or 305 (FIGS. 2F, 2G, and 2H, respectively), so long as the tool retains sufficient rigidity to function as a collar stay.

Similar to combined tool 100, combined tool 300 can be used to secure a button by using the tool to bring the button through the female end of the button closure system, securing the two distinct pieces of textile in the intended design of the system. For example, a user can first insert the end of the combined tool with the capture opening through the female portion of the closure system. Next, the user secures the button with the capture opening of the tool. Lastly, the user pulls the tool and button back through the female portion of the closure system. Alternatively, as depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12, the combined tool 300 can be secured around the button first. Thereafter, using the angled collar end of the tool, the user feeds the tool through female portion of the closure system and keeps pulling until the button is secured to the textile.

When combined tool 303, 304, or 305 is used to secure a button, the combined tool can be used in a manner similar to that described above with respect to combined tool 300. In other words, a user can first insert the end of the combined tool with the capture opening through the female portion of the closure system and thereafter secure the button with the capture opening of the tool. Or the capture opening of the combined tool 303, 304, or 305 can be secured around the button first, and thereafter the tool can be pulled through (using the non-angled end of the tool) the female portion of the closure system until the button is secured to the textile.

While certain configurations of structures have been illustrated for the purposes of presenting the basic structures of the present invention, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that other variations are possible which would still fall within the scope of the appended claims.