Patent application title: GARMENT STRAIGHTENING DEVICE
David Krauss (New York, NY, US)
IPC8 Class: AA41D2716FI
Class name: Apparel garment protectors collar or cuff
Publication date: 2008-12-04
Patent application number: 20080295214
A device for straightening and holding portions of apparel tending to lose
their original configuration subsequent to extended ownership and use is
1. A garment straightening device comprising:a body comprising portions
cooperable with at least one of a plurality of garment collar portions
and a garment button to act in tension substantially parallel to the at
least one of the plurality of garment collar portions to correct and
resist downturning of a flap portion of the garment adjacent the garment
button by maintaining the flap portion in an upright position, and
cooperable with the at least one or more of the plurality of garment
collar portions to minimize visual detection thereof.
2. The garment straightening device according to claim 1, wherein:each of the body portions comprises a fabric.
3. The garment straightening device according to claim 1, wherein:the body comprises a lobed first end portion for attachment with the button, a mid-portion and a second end portion for attachment to the one of the plurality of garment collar portions.
4. The garment straightening device according to claim 3, further comprising:a collar attachment adapted for affixation to the one of the plurality of collar portions.
5. The garment straightening device according to claim 4, wherein:each of the collar attachment and the second end portion of the body are couplable.
6. The garment straightening device accordingly to claim 5, wherein:upon coupling of the collar attachment and the second end portion of the body, a tensile force is exerted from the second end portion of the body to the lobed first end portion to thereby cause the lobed first end portion to engage against the flap portion.
7. A garment straightening device comprising:a body adapted for attachment with a garment, and upon such attachment acting in tension resulting in an elastic deformation thereof, such deformation enabling pressing of the body against the garment to effect and maintain straightening thereof.
8. A garment straightening device comprising:a body comprising at least first and second arcuate portions, the curvature of at at least one of such portions substantially matching that of a section of the garment with which it is cooperable.
9. The garment straightening device according to claim 8, further comprising:an aperture disposed between each of the first and second arcuate portions, the aperture adapted for receipt of a fastener usable to secure the section of the garment to another section thereof.
10. The garment straightening device according to claim 8, wherein:the body is attachable to the garment such that the at least one of the first and second portions is disposed intermediate a peripheral edge of the garment and the aperture.
11. The garment straightening device according to claim 8, wherein:the first and second portions comprise first and second legs, respectively.
12. The garment straightening device according to claim 11, wherein:each of the legs is disposed relative to the other thereof to comprise an angle therebetween in the range of 30.degree.-60.degree..
13. A garment straightening device comprising:a member adapted for stationary attachment to the garment according to one of a method selected from the group consisting of adhesion, sewing and hook and loop type fastener; anda body comprising a first portion adapted for operative association with a fastener of the garment, and a second portion couplable to the member adapted for stationary attachment to the garment, the body acting in tension to correct and resist deformation of an area adjacent a point of operative association with the fastener.
14. The garment straightening device according to claim 13, wherein:the body comprises a mid-portion comprising elastic, thereby enabling an elastic deformation of the body which is responsive to at least the amount and extent of deformation of the garment in the area adjacent a point of operative association of the first portion and the fastener.
15. The garment straightening device according to claim 13, wherein:the first portion of the body comprises a lobed portion substantially aligned with the second portion of the body, the lobed portion comprising an aperture positioned at substantially the center thereof and adapted for receipt of the fastener.
16. The garment straightening device according to claim 15, wherein:upon each of a placement of an underside of the lobed portion against a front face of the deformed portion, receipt of the garment fastener through the aperture and connection of the second portion of the body with the member adapted for stationary attachment with the garment, the lobed portion presses against the front face of the deformed portion of the garment to maintain it in an upright position.
17. The garment straightening device according to claim 13, wherein:each of the member adapted for stationary attachment to the garment and the body are couplable according to one of a method selected from the group consisting of adhesion, sewing and hook and loop type fastener.
18. A garment comprising:a collar;a plurality of fasteners which join constituent portions of the garment; anda straightening device comprising portions carriable by the collar for straightening a constituent, downturned portion of the garment in an area adjacent one of the plurality of fasteners, at least one of the portions comprising an arcuate portion substantially conforming to the downturned portion to maintain the downturned portion in an upright position relative to the one of the fasteners.
19. The garment according to claim 18, wherein:the straightening device comprises a body comprising the arcuate portion, and a collar attachment carried by the collar, each thereof being couplable to act in tension and thereby cause the arcuate portion to lay against the downturned portion to position the downturned portion in an upright position relative to the one of the fasteners.
20. The garment according to claim 18, wherein:the straightening device comprises a pair of arcuate portions in opposing relationship to each other, one of the portions extending along the collar and the other thereof extending angularly along the downturned portion to position the downturned portion in an upright position relative to the one of the fasteners.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/941,076, filed May 31, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to devices for straightening and holding portions of apparel, and more specifically, to a collar aid for use in maintaining the original configuration thereof subsequent to extended ownership and use.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Dress shirts like those worn by men and women in either casual or business settings are generally designed to provide an impression worthy of gaining the respect of others. Thus, it is desirable, and often necessary, that the wearer of the apparel be able to maintain its "original look."
It is often the case that repeated laundering of a garment, whether by the owner's washing and ironing of it or by professional dry cleaning and/or pressing, distorts its original configuration in some way. A particularly noticeable type of distortion often seen with respect to dress shirts is a tendency for the top of the shirt flap adjacent the topmost button and collar to lose its rigidity so as to turn downwardly. This occurrence disrupts the appearance to be given by the wearing of the garment, and often results in a sloppy impression. Alongside this unwanted impression is the fact that the downturned shirt flap portion invariably interferes with the wearing of additional apparel, such as a necktie.
Past designs of garment straightening devices seeking to address the above discussion often are flawed in some respect. Such flaws include an inability for the device to be substantially, completely unseen while the garment is being worn. Also, such devices often require excessive adjustment to or fitting with the dress shirts often used--and are thereby overly complicated. Additionally, such devices many times comprise several components which necessarily require multiple steps to achieve their manufacture. The expense associated with such manufacture is frequently a drawback.
For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,825,472 and 4,648,137 describe multiple-part devices aimed only at providing an adjustable collar. Further, U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,599,421; 3,076,198; 3,651,519; 3,865,286 and 7,004,361 merely describe various ways of attaching the collar wing or wings of a shirt to the shirt body. Each of these described efforts fail, however, to address a device which solves the downturning mentioned above, and at the same time, does so in a way that minimizes or removes the opportunity for visual detection by its user or others.
Accordingly, it has been observed that given the current state of garment straightening devices, an opportunity exists to provide a device allowing its owner to obtain the original look of a garment even after such garment has been owned and used for an extended period of time.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with the embodiment(s) of the invention disclosed hereinafter, the above opportunity is fulfilled by a device comprising portions which act together to deter and correct downturning of a flap portion of, in particular, a dress shirt, in the vicinity of the topmost button. The device attaches to a portion of the shirt flap portion and/or the shirt collar to restrain the shirt flap portion from flipping over and turning downwardly and back toward the topmost shirt button.
It is to be understood that while the discussion herein is applicable to a dress shirt, it is intended that the device of the present invention may also be used in a similar fashion with garments having differing designs, but the same or similar need as described above.
Accordingly, there is provided a device for maintaining the original look of a garment by enabling its owner to correct certain deformations occasioned throughout the life thereof.
Various other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, and the novel features will be particularly pointed out in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The following detailed description, given by way of example and not intended to limit the present invention solely thereto, will best be appreciated in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and parts, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration in perspective view, of a new, original dress shirt.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the shirt of FIG. 1 illustrating deformation thereof after long-term ownership and/or use, including multiple instances of laundering.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the shirt of FIG. 2 illustrating the appearance thereof in connection with the wearing of an apparel accessory.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the shirt of FIG. 3 illustrating the wearing of the device of the present invention with both the shirt of FIG. 2 and accessory shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the device of the present invention according to a first embodiment thereof.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the device according to FIG. 5 illustrating a particular construction thereof.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a dress shirt owned and used for an extended period of time.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the shirt of FIG. 7 in use of the device of the present invention according to a second embodiment thereof.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the device of the present invention according to a second embodiment thereof.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view illustrating use and placement of the device according to FIG. 9.
FIG. 11 is a perspective view illustrating further placement of the device according to FIG. 9.
FIG. 12 is a perspective view illustrating placement of the device according to FIG. 9 when viewed from an inside of the collar after buttoning.
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the device of the present invention according to a third embodiment thereof.
FIG. 14 is a perspective view illustrating use and placement of the device according to FIG. 13.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
The present invention entails a garment straightening device usable to straighten portions of a garment that have become distorted in some way subsequent to extended ownership and use. Specifically, it is contemplated that the device is usable with a dress shirt, or other type of shirt, to correct down-turning of a flap portion thereof which has a tendency to lose its shape after extended ownership, and repeated use and/or laundering.
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a dress shirt 20 comprising an original look prior to being worn or laundered. Therein, the shirt 20 comprises a flap portion 22 comprising an edge 24, and a series of fastener buttons 26 comprising a topmost button 28 which is insertable through aperture 29 to complete buttoning of shirt 20. The shirt 20 further comprises a collar 30 comprising first and second collar wings 32, 34, respectively, and which are attached to neck band 35. Neck band 35 comprises a frontside 37 and a backside 39.
Arrows "A" illustrate substantial conformity of the flap portion 22 adjacent the topmost button 28 with the first collar wing 32. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 7, there is illustrated a condition of the shirt 20 after extended ownership, use and repeated laundering. Referring to FIG. 2, it can be seen that shirt flap portion 22 experiences a significant downturning such that a front face 31 thereof becomes flipped over in the direction of arrows "B" and toward buttons 26 beneath the topmost button 28. This condition is undesirable when attempting to wear the shirt 20 according to its originally intended appearance as shown in FIG. 1.
Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown the difficulty which arises when a necktie 36 is worn with shirts experiencing the downturning of flap portion 22 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 7. Such downturning disrupts the wearing of the necktie 36, leading to displacement thereof, and furthermore, instances in which the downturned flap portion 22 reveals itself, thereby detracting from the appearance intended by the wearer.
Referring to FIGS. 4 and 8, there is illustrated the dress shirt 20 in use with a garment straightening device 38 of the present invention. Therein, the shirt 20 presents an appealing appearance given its ability to deter against the downturning discussed with reference to FIGS. 2 and 7.
In a first embodiment of the present invention and with reference to FIG. 5, the garment straightening device 38 comprises a laterally extending fabric body 40 comprising a stiffened, substantially circular, arced lobed end portion 42 adjoining an elastic mid-portion 44 that is further adjoined to an end portion 46. Lobed end portion 42 comprises an aperture 48 at substantially the center thereof for receipt of topmost button 28. Device 38 further comprises a shirt collar attachment 49 contemplated to be affixed to the frontside 37 of neck band 35, which represents a portion of the underside 50 of the collar 30, as by one of adhesion, sewing, hook and loop fastener, e.g., VELCRO, or other suitable method, as shown in FIG. 4. End portion 46 and stationary attachment 49 comprise mating VELCRO surfaces 52, 54, respectively, such that end portion 46 may couple and interlock with attachment 49.
In use, a user first buttons shirt flap portion 22 to the remainder of the shirt 20, including fastening of the topmost button 28 thereof. Thereafter, lobed portion 42 is fitted over the topmost button 28, allowing button 28 to be received through aperture 48. Also at this time, lobed portion 42 contacts front face 31 of the flap portion 22. Thereafter, end portion 46 is extended toward attachment 49 in the direction of arrows "C," as shown in FIG. 4, and is mated with attachment 49 via their mating VELCRO surfaces 52, 54 whereby such attachment is hidden beneath collar wing 32. During such extension, mid-portion 44 elastically deforms as a function of the distance between button 28 and the point of affixation of collar attachment 49. Once attached, the laterally extending body 40 acts in tension substantially parallel to frontside 37 of neck band 35, thereby causing its lobed end portion 42 to press against and across front face 31 of the flap portion 22 adjacent the topmost button at "x"; and thus returns it to and maintains it in its originally intended position by urging it back toward an upright position as shown in FIG. 1. It will be understood that the amount of pressure applied at "x" is a function of the particular properties of the garment, the extent and amount of deformation at "x" and at adjacent areas of the flap portion 22, as well as the elasticity of the material comprising the mid-portion 44 of body 40. For instance, it will be understood that given the rigidity of the material from which shirt 20 is constructed, and overall condition and extent of the downturning of flap portion 22, that the extent of elastic deformation of mid-portion 44 will vary accordingly.
Once flap portion 22 is returned to its original position as shown in FIG. 1, the user may then adorn an accessory such as the necktie 36, or other chosen form of apparel, such as a scarf, etc. (not shown). When used, the visible area of device 38 will be minimized or not seen at all due to the proximity of its mid-portion 44 and lobed end portion 42, and their substantial concealment by first collar wing 32 and the accessory in use. Further, it is to be understood that lobed portion 42 may be reduced in size when compared to that which is shown to minimize its detectability when straightening device 38 is being used.
It is to be understood that while VELCRO has been described as the means end portion 46 and attachment 49 are joined, other suitable means could be used to accomplish their mating, including adhesion and sewing. For example, end portion 46 may be constructed with an aperture (not shown) through which a button (not shown) fastened to the frontface 37 of the collar 30 is insertable.
With reference to FIG. 6, it is to be understood that device 38, and in particular its lobed portion 42, is contemplated to be constructed of material matching the apparel covering it. For instance, the device 38 would match the fabric and color and/or patterning of the necktie 36 or scarf with which it is worn. Construction in this manner is contemplated to further minimize visual detection of the wearing of device 38 in instances in which, for example, an accessory being worn thereover may slump from its initial placement by the user. Additionally, such construction would enable a user to wear device 38 without such accessories as described above since the design thereof is also contemplated to match that of the shirt 20, or other garment, with which it is worn. It is contemplated that when constructed in this manner that device 38 would be manufactured in the colors popular to those of contemporary dress shirts, including white, blue, pink and brown.
Referring to FIGS. 9-12, there is shown a second embodiment of the present invention comprising a garment straightening device 52. Device 52 comprises a unitary rigid wafer-like body 54 comprising, optionally, plastic or other such suitable material comprising, for instance, a lightweight metal comprising aluminum. Body 54 comprises a longitudinal dimension comprising a semicircular bowed first end 55 and a downwardly turned, arced second end 56 with such arc 58 being substantially continuous from a top edge 60 to a bottom edge 62 thereof. Intermediate first and second ends 55 and 56, device 52 comprises an aperture 64 for receipt of topmost button 28. Second end 56 is contoured to substantially match the shape and contour provided by the edge 24 of shirt flap portion 22 adjacent topmost button 28.
Device 52 may be constructed to substantially match either all or a portion of the configuration of the particular garment or other item with which it is used.
In use, device 52 is affixed, as by adhesive, VELCRO, or other suitable means, to an inside 66, or backside 39, of collar 30 opposite second collar wing 34, as shown by arrows "D" of FIG. 10. Aperture 64 is aligned with an aperture 68 of shirt 20, as shown by arrow "E," as is illustrated in FIG. 11, so as to enable receipt of topmost button 28. Referring to FIGS. 10-12, device 52 is shown from a perspective taken behind the shirt collar 30 when topmost button 28 is fastened through apertures 64 and 68. Once fastened, device 52 provides a rigid backing to the shirt flap portion 22 and edge 24 thereof which restricts against downturning thereof so as to enable the appearance of the shirt 20 as shown in FIG. 8. When fastened, device 52 acts in tension to pull shirt flap edge 24 and adjacent areas of the flap portion 22 in the direction of arrows "F" so as to maintain the aforementioned appearance shown in FIG. 1.
Referring to FIGS. 13-14, there is shown a third embodiment of the present invention comprising a garment straightening device 70. Device 70 comprises, optionally, an arcuate member comprising a boomerang-like shape comprising a plurality of legs 72 and 74 with an angle therebetween in the range of 30°-60°. As may be understood by reference to FIGS. 13-14, device 70 comprises first and second sides 76 and 78, respectively. With such an angle, device 70 demonstrates an arc substantially matching that of the edge 24 of shirt flap portion 22. Side 76 comprises a material which is contemplated to match that of the garment with which it is to be used. Side 78 comprises an adhesive enabling affixation of device 70 to, as will be appreciated, the backside 39 of the collar 30.
Referring to FIG. 14, device 70 is positioned substantially midway between the outermost edge of edge portion 24 and topmost buttonhole 29 to provide stability across edge portion 24.
Device 70 can be provided (e.g. sold) in combination with shirt 20. That is, garment manufacturers can construct shirt 20 with an appropriate pocket in which device 70 is arranged as shown in FIG. 14. Thereby, the wearer of a particular garment is able to bypass his/her installation of device 70.
Accordingly, there is provided a garment straightening device able to restore an original look of the garment with which it is used, and to do so with substantial concealment of the device which is accomplished by either the covering of its constituent portions by portions of the garment with which it is used and/or by matching of the coloring and/or patterning thereof with the garment.
In view of the foregoing discussion, it is intended that the appended claims be interpreted as including the embodiments described herein, the alternatives mentioned above, and all equivalents thereto.
Patent applications in class Collar or cuff
Patent applications in all subclasses Collar or cuff