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Title:
APPAREL WITH POCKET THAT INVERTS FOR STORAGE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/153257
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention is directed to apparel such as swim apparel with a reversibly closeable pocket having two orientations. When the pocket is in a first orientation, the pocket is configured to hold items in the manner of an ordinary pocket. When the pocket is in a second orientation, the pocket is inverted and becomes a bag such as a stuff-sack that is capable of housing the apparel in order to protect the surroundings from the apparel when dirty and/or wet from use.

Inventors:
GEISZLER, Hans (2155 Powell Street, San Francisco, California, 94133, US)
Application Number:
US2015/022642
Publication Date:
October 08, 2015
Filing Date:
March 26, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GEISZLER, Hans (2155 Powell Street, San Francisco, California, 94133, US)
International Classes:
A41D7/00; A41D15/04; A41D27/20
Foreign References:
US4145762A1979-03-27
US2544840A1951-03-13
US20080040830A12008-02-21
US4404689A1983-09-20
US7143450B22006-12-05
US2143931A1939-01-17
US1797208A1931-03-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOCKE, Scott et al. (Dorf & Nelson, The International Corporate Center555 Theodore Fremd Avenu, Rye New York, 10580, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An article of swim apparel comprised of:

(i) a body, wherein the body is configured to cover a region of a person that comprises the person's upper legs;

(ii) a pocket, wherein the pocket has

(a) an opening,

(b) a first surface, and

(c) a second surface,

wherein the pocket is affixed to the body at or near the opening;

(iii) a loop, wherein the loop is affixed to the first surface of the pocket; and

(iv) a closure apparatus, wherein the closure apparatus is configured to

reversibly close the opening of the pocket,

wherein when the pocket is in a first orientation, the pocket forms a first cavity, wherein the first cavity is configured to hold items when the person wears the article of swim apparel, and the first surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket, and when the pocket is in a second orientation the second surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket, and when the pocket is in the second orientation the pocket forms a second cavity that is capable of housing or being stretched to house the body.

2. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the loop is capable of suspending the weight of the article of swim apparel when the body is wet.

3. The article of swim apparel of claim 2, wherein the closure apparatus is

configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the second orientation and when the closure apparatus reversibly closes the opening of the pocket in the second orientation the pocket is water-tight.

4. The article of swim apparel of claim 3, wherein the closure apparatus is

configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the first orientation .

5. The article of swim apparel of claim 4, wherein the loop is capable of suspending at least 500 grams when the article of swim apparel is in the second orientation.

6. The article of swim apparel of claim 3, wherein the body is a pair of swim trunks.

7. The article of swim apparel of claim 6, wherein the first surface of the pocket is impermeable to water.

8. The article of swim apparel of claim 7, wherein the second surface of the pocket comprises a fabric material and the body comprises the fabric material.

9. The article of swim apparel of claim 8 further comprising a flap affixed to the body, wherein the flap covers the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the first orientation.

10. The article of swim apparel of claim 9, wherein the flap is a first flap and the article of swim apparel further comprises a second flap, wherein the second flap is affixed to the pocket, and wherein the second flap covers the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the second orientation.

11. The article of swim apparel of claim 1 , wherein the loop is affixed to the first surface of the pocket at or near the opening.

12. The article of swim apparel of claim 11, wherein the closure apparatus comprises a hook and latch system.

13. The article of swim apparel of claim 11, wherein the closure apparatus comprises at least one button.

14. The article of swim apparel of claim 11, wherein the closure apparatus comprises at least one snap.

15. The article of swim apparel of claim 11, wherein the closure apparatus comprises a slide fastener.

16. The article of swim apparel of claim 11, wherein the closure apparatus comprises a zipper.

17. The article of swim apparel of claim 16, wherein the zipper comprises a pull tab, and has a first end and a second end, and the loop is affixed to the first surface at or near the first end of the zipper and when the pull tab is at the first end, the pocket is open.

18. The article of swim apparel of claim 17, wherein the pull tab is a first pull tab and the zipper further comprises a second pull tab.

19. The article of swim apparel of claim 17, wherein when the pull tab is at the

second end, the pocket is closed and the pocket is water tight.

20. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein when the pocket is in the first orientation, the pocket forms a base distal to the opening, and the loop is affixed to the pocket at or near the base.

21. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein when the pocket is in the first orientation, the pocket forms a base distal to the opening, and the loop is affixed to the pocket between the opening and the base.

22. The article of swim apparel of claim 21, wherein the loop is affixed to the pocket at least 30% and no more than 70% of the distance between the base and the opening.

23. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the first surface comprises rubber.

24. The article of swim apparel of claim 23, wherein the first surface or the second surface is antimicrobial.

25. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the first surface comprises

polyurethane.

26. The article of swim apparel of claim 25, wherein the first surface or the second surface is antimicrobial.

27. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the closure apparatus is capable of existing in a closed position and when the closure apparatus is in the closed position, the pocket is water tight.

28. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the loop is elastic.

29. The article of swim apparel of claim 28, wherein the loop comprises rubber.

30. The article of swim apparel of claim 28, wherein the loop comprises a material that is impermeable to water.

31. The article of swim apparel of claim 28, wherein the loop comprises a material that is resistant to water.

32. The article of swim apparel of claim 28, wherein the loop is encased in a material that is impermeable to water.

33. The article of swim apparel of claim 28, wherein the loop is encased in a material that is resistant to water.

34. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the body is further configured to cover a torso of the person.

35. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the body is further configured to cover each of two lower legs of the person.

36. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the opening is an aperture and the pocket has no other apertures.

37. The article of swim apparel of claim 1 , wherein the body comprises a material selected from the group consisting of nylon, polyester, silk, spandex,

polybutylene, combination thereof and blends thereof.

38. The article of swim apparel of claim 37, wherein the body comprises nylon.

39. The article of swim apparel of claim 37, wherein the body comprises polyester.

40. The article of swim apparel of claim 37, wherein the body comprises silk.

41. The article of swim apparel of claim 37, wherein the body comprises spandex.

42. The article of swim apparel of claim 37, wherein the body comprises

polybutylene terephthalate.

43. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the second surface of the pocket is comprised of a water resistant material.

44. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the second surface of the pocket is comprised of a material that is impermeable to water.

45. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the second surface of the pocket is coated with a material that is impermeable to water.

46. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the second surface of the pocket is laminated with a material that is impermeable to water.

47. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the closure apparatus comprises a reversible zipper, wherein said zipper is configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket in the second orientation.

48. The article of swim apparel of claim 47, wherein the reversible zipper is

impermeable to water.

49. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the closure apparatus is impermeable to water.

50. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the body has a front, a right side, a left side, and a rear, and the opening of the pocket is located on the front of said article of swim apparel when said pocket is in the first orientation.

51. The article of swim apparel of claim 1 , wherein the body has a front, a right side, a left side, and a rear, and the opening of the pocket is located on the left side or right side of said article of swim apparel when said pocket is in the first orientation.

52. The article of swim apparel of claim 1, wherein the body has a front, a right side, a left side, and a rear, and the opening of the pocket is located on the rear of said article of swim apparel when said pocket is in the first orientation.

53. The article of swim apparel of claim 15, wherein the slide fastener comprises a first lug connected to a first tab and a second lug connected to a second tab.

54. The article of swim apparel of claim 2, wherein when the pocket is in the first orientation, the body forms an interior space and an exterior space, the opening is accessible through the exterior space and the first cavity is located in the interior space.

55. The article of swim apparel of claim 2, wherein when the pocket is in the first orientation, the body forms an interior space and an exterior space, and the first cavity is located in the exterior space.

56. An article of swim apparel comprised of:

(i) a body, wherein the body is configured to cover a region of a person that comprises the person's upper legs and the body has an inner surface and an outer surface;

(ii) a pocket, wherein the pocket is comprised of a material that has

(a) a first surface, wherein the first surface comprises a water-proof material or is coated with a water-proof substance; and

(b) a second surface, wherein the second surface comprises or is

formed by a fabric material, wherein the fabric material is different from the water-proof material or water-proof substance; wherein the pocket is affixed to the body and the pocket is capable of being in a first orientation and in a second orientation, wherein in the first orientation the pocket forms a first cavity that is accessible from the outer surface of the body and a portion of the second surface contacts a region of the inner surface of the body, and the first surface forms the inner lining of the pocket, and in the second orientation, the pocket is inverted relative to the first orientation and the second surface forms the inner surface of a second cavity, wherein the second cavity is of a size that is capable of holding or being stretched to hold the body, and the first surface does not have any gaps or openings; and

(iii) a closure apparatus, wherein the closure apparatus is configured to

reversibly seal the second cavity when the body is within the second cavity.

57. The article of swim apparel of claim 56, wherein the body comprises the fabric material.

58. The article of swim apparel of claim 56 further comprising a loop, wherein the loop is affixed to the first surface.

59. The article of swim apparel of claim 58, wherein the loop comprises an elastic material.

60. The article of swim apparel of claim 59, wherein the first surface is comprised of rubber.

61. The article of swim apparel of claim 60, wherein the first surface or the second surface is antimicrobial.

62. The article of swim apparel of claim 61 , wherein the first surface is comprised of polyurethane.

63. The article of swim apparel of claim 58 further comprising a flap, wherein the flap is affixed to the body and the flap covers the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the first orientation.

64. The article of swim apparel of claim 63, wherein the flap is a first flap and the article of swim apparel further comprises a second flap, wherein the second flap is affixed to the pocket and the second flap covers the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the second orientation.

65. The article of swim apparel of claim 58 further comprising a flap affixed to the first surface of the pocket, wherein the flap covers the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the second orientation.

66. The article of swim apparel of claim 58, wherein the loop is affixed to the first surface of the pocket at or near the opening.

67. The article of swim apparel of claim 66, wherein the closure apparatus comprises a slide fastener.

68. The article of swim apparel of claim 66, wherein the closure apparatus comprises a zipper.

69. The article of swim apparel of claim 68, wherein the zipper comprises a pull tab, and has a first end and a second end, and the loop is affixed to the first surface at or near the first end of the zipper and when the pull tab is at the first end, the pocket is open.

70. The article of swim apparel of claim 69, wherein the pull tab is a first pull tab and the zipper further comprises a second pull tab.

71. The article of swim apparel of claim 58, wherein the loop is capable of

suspending the weight of the article of swim apparel when the body is wet.

72. A method for storage and transport of swim apparel, comprising:

(i) inverting a pocket in an article of swim apparel from a first orientation to a second orientation, wherein the article of swim apparel comprises a body, wherein the body is configured to cover a region of a person that comprises the person's upper legs; a pocket, wherein the pocket has an opening, a first surface, and a second surface, wherein the pocket is affixed to the body at or near the opening; a loop, wherein the loop is affixed to the first surface of the pocket; and a closure apparatus, wherein the closure apparatus is configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket and wherein in the first orientation, the pocket forms a first cavity configured to hold items when the person wears the article of swim apparel and the first surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket and in the second orientation the second surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket and the pocket forms a second cavity; and

(ii) inserting the body into the second cavity.

73. The method according to claim 72 further comprising hanging the swim apparel by the loop on a hook.

74. The method according to claim 72 further comprising associating the swim

apparel by the loop with a clip or a carabineer.

75. A method for storage and transport of swim apparel, comprising:

(i) inverting a pocket in an article of swim apparel from a first orientation to a second orientation, wherein the article of swim apparel is comprised of:

a body, wherein the body is configured to cover a region of a person that comprises the person's upper legs and the body has an inner surface and an outer surface; a pocket, wherein the pocket is comprised of a material that has

a first surface, wherein the first surface comprises a water-proof material or is coated with a water-proof substance; and

a second surface, wherein the second surface comprises or is formed by a fabric material, wherein the fabric material is different from the water-proof material or water-proof substance; wherein the pocket is affixed to the body and the pocket is capable of being in the first orientation and in the second orientation, wherein in the first orientation the pocket forms a first cavity that is accessible from the outer surface of the body and a portion of the second surface contacts a region of the inner surface of the body, and the first surface forms the inner lining of the pocket, and in the second orientation, the pocket is inverted relative to the first orientation and the second surface forms the inner surface of a second cavity, wherein the second cavity is of a size that is capable of holding or being stretched to hold the body, and the first surface does not have any gaps or openings; and

a closure apparatus, wherein the closure apparatus is configured to reversibly seal the second cavity when the body is within the second cavity; and

(ii) inserting the body into the second cavity.

76. The method according to claim 75, wherein the swim apparel further comprises a loop and the method further comprises hanging the swim apparel by the loop on a hook.

77. The method according to claim 75 wherein the swim apparel further comprises a loop and the method further comprises associating the swim apparel by the loop with a clip or a carabineer.

Description:
APPAREL WITH POCKET THAT INVERTS FOR STORAGE

[0001] CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0002] This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional

Application Serial No. 61/972,261, filed March 29, 2014, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference as if set forth fully herein.

[0003] FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention relates to the field of apparel. Particularly, the present invention relates to the storage of wet or dirty apparel, such as swim apparel.

[0005] BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Swimming, surfing, and other water activities are popular throughout the world. As people enjoy the water and become wet, their swim apparel becomes wet as well. One challenge for persons who enjoy water activities focuses on storing and transporting wet or dirty swim apparel immediately after use without causing surrounding belongings to become wet and/or dirty. The issue of having wet and/or dirty material can be significant, because moisture, dirt and aromas can be transferred to any material in which a wet or dirty swimsuit comes in contact. Thus, there is a need for solutions that enable persons to be able to store their wet and/or dirty apparel immediately after use in a manner that reduces or eliminates exposure of that apparel to its surroundings.

[0007] One potential strategy is to use materials that dry quickly. However, regardless of the type of material, there remains a strong likelihood that unless a sufficient and often undesirably long amount of time is allocated for drying, any items that come in contact with the apparel after use will at a minimum become damp. Additionally, even if a piece of apparel were dry when stored, if it were dirty, the dirt would likely be transferred to any other item with which it were to come in contact.

[0008] One known strategy for storing and transporting apparel is the use of a storage bag. Unfortunately, most storage bags are not sufficiently water-proof, water resistant or water tight. Therefore, they do not adequately protect other items from moisture and/or dirt. Furthermore, typically they are larger than the swim apparel itself, and they undesirably add to the volume and weight of material that must be transported and ultimately laundered. Additionally, when a large separate storage bag is used, one must be concerned with the inconvenience of carrying an additional bag as well as storing an additional bag while engaged in the swim or other activity.

[0009] The present invention addresses one or more short-comings of known

technologies and is directed to novel and non-obvious solutions for storing and transporting apparel that is wet and/or dirty while protecting the integrity of other items that are near or come in contact with that apparel. [0010] SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] Various embodiments of the present invention provide an article of apparel that comprises a reversibly closeable pocket that is capable of existing in at least two orientations. In the first orientation, the pocket forms a cavity that may be used to store items such as keys, money, a cellular telephone, hair accessories and anything else that may fit that the user wishes to stow. In the second orientation, which is inverted relative to the first orientation, the pocket forms a second cavity that is capable of housing the apparel for storage and transportation. In various embodiments, one or both cavities may be reversibly sealed or sealable. To be reversibly sealed or sealable, a cavity may be capable of being opened and closed a plurality of times without having the integrity of the apparel, the pocket or any closure apparatus or mechanism be undesirably affected.

[0012] According to a first embodiment, the present invention provides an article of clothing, e.g., swim apparel, comprised of: (i) a body, wherein the body is configured to cover a region of a person that comprises the person's upper legs {e.g., each of the two legs individually and connected across the pelvis); (ii) a pocket, wherein the pocket has (a) an opening, (b) a first surface, and (c) a second surface, wherein the pocket is affixed to the body at or near the opening; (iii) a loop, wherein the loop is affixed to the first surface of the pocket; and (iv) a closure apparatus, wherein the closure apparatus is configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket, wherein when the pocket is in a first orientation, the pocket forms a first cavity, wherein the first cavity is configured to hold items when the person wears the article of swim apparel, and the first surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket, and when the pocket is in a second orientation the second surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket, and the pocket forms a second cavity that is capable of housing the body.

[0013] According to a second embodiment, the present invention provides an article of clothing, e.g., swim apparel, comprised of: (i) a body, wherein the body is configured to cover a region of a person that comprises the person's upper legs and the body has an inner surface and an outer surface; (ii) a pocket, wherein the pocket is comprised of a material that has (a) a first surface, wherein the first surface comprises a water-proof material or is coated with a water-proof substance; and (b) a second surface, wherein the second surface comprises or is formed by a fabric material, wherein the fabric material is different from the water-proof material or water-proof substance, wherein the pocket is affixed to the body and wherein in the first orientation the pocket forms a first cavity that is accessible from the outer surface of the body and optionally, a portion of the second surface contacts a region of the inner surface of the body, and the first surface forms the inner lining of the pocket, and in the second orientation, the pocket is inverted relative to the first orientation and the second surface forms the inner surface of a second cavity, wherein the second cavity is of a size that is capable of holding or being stretched to hold the body, and the first surface does not have any gaps or openings; and (iii) a closure apparatus, wherein the closure apparatus is configured to reversibly seal the second cavity when the body is within the second cavity.

[0014] According to a third embodiment, the present invention provides a method for storage and transport of swim apparel, comprising: (i) inverting a pocket in an article of swim apparel from a first orientation to a second orientation, wherein the article of swim apparel comprises (a) a body; (b) a pocket, wherein the pocket has an opening, a first surface, and a second surface, and wherein the pocket is affixed to the body at or near the opening; (c) a loop, wherein the loop is affixed to the first surface of the pocket; and (d) closure apparatus, wherein the closure apparatus is configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket and wherein in the first orientation, the pocket forms a first cavity configured to hold items when the person wears the article of swim apparel and the first surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket and in the second orientation the second surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket and the pocket forms a second cavity; and (ii) inserting the body into the second cavity by, e.g., pulling or pushing the body through the opening.

[0015] The swim apparel may, for example, be hung by the loop on a hook or a door knob or other structure or be associated by the loop with a clip or carabineer.

[0016] According to a fourth embodiment, the present invention provides a method for storage and transport of swim apparel, comprising: (a) inverting a pocket in an article of swim apparel from a first orientation to a second orientation, wherein the article of swim apparel is comprised of: a body, wherein the body is configured to cover a region of a person that comprises the person's upper legs and the body has an inner surface and an outer surface; a pocket, wherein the pocket is comprised of a material that has a first surface, wherein the first surface comprises a water-proof material or is coated with a water-proof substance; and a second surface, wherein the second surface comprises or is formed by a fabric material, wherein the fabric material is different from the water-proof material or water-proof substance; wherein the pocket is affixed to the body and wherein in the first orientation the pocket forms a first cavity that is accessible from the outer surface of the body and a portion of the second surface contacts a region of the inner surface of the body, and the first surface forms the inner lining of the pocket, and in the second orientation, the pocket is inverted relative to the first orientation and the second surface forms the inner surface of a second cavity, wherein the second cavity is of a size that is capable of holding or being stretched to hold the body, and the first surface does not have any gaps or openings; and a closure apparatus, wherein the closure apparatus is configured to reversibly seal the second cavity when the body is within the second cavity; and inserting the body in the second cavity by, e.g., pulling or pushing the body through the opening.

[0017] In this embodiment, the swim apparel may further comprise a loop affixed to a surface of the pocket. When there is a loop, the method may, for example, further comprise hanging the apparel by the loop on a hook or a doorknob or other structure or associating the apparel by the loop with a clip or carabineer.

[0018] Through the various embodiments of the present invention, apparel that is wet and/or dirty may easily be stored and transported without damaging the integrity of items with which the wet and/or dirty apparel comes in contact. [0019] BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] The apparel and methods disclosed and the following detailed description of certain embodiments thereof may be understood by reference to the following figures. Elements in the figures are presented for illustrative purposes and thus are not necessarily drawn to scale.

[0021] Figure 1 depicts the rear view of a pair of swim trunks, wherein the pocket, not shown, is in the first orientation and the opening of the pocket is covered by a flap.

[0022] Figure 2 depicts the same view as in figure 1, wherein the pocket is in the second orientation.

[0023] Figure 3 depicts a pair of swim trunks wherein the pocket is in the second orientation and the body of the swim trunks is partially housed inside the pocket.

[0024] Figure 4 depicts a pair of swim trunks wherein the pocket is in the second orientation and the body of the swim trunks is almost completely housed inside the pocket.

[0025] Figure 5 depicts the pocket in the second orientation, wherein the body of the swim trunks is completely housed inside the pocket, and the pocket is zipped shut.

[0026] DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0027] The present invention will now be described in detail by referring to various illustrative, non-limiting embodiments thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings. The invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as being limited to the illustrative embodiments set forth herein. Rather, the embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and will fully convey the concept of the invention to those skilled in the art.

[0028] In one embodiment, the present invention provides an article of apparel having a pocket capable of being inverted. When inverted, the pocket may form a storage unit such as a stuff sack within which the apparel is capable of being housed. The apparel of this embodiment may be comprised of, consist essentially of or consist of a body, a pocket, a loop, and a closure apparatus.

[0029] The apparel may, for example, be a pair of swim trunks, a racing suit, a swim shirt, a body suit, a woman's one piece bathing suit, either piece of a woman's two piece bathing suit (top or bottom) or a wetsuit. When the apparel is designed to be used for swimming, it may be referred to as "swim apparel." As persons of ordinary skill in the art will recognize, the present invention is not limited to swim apparel and in various embodiments the apparel may, for example, be a pair of leggings, a pair of athletic shorts, a t-shirt, a sweater, a pair of pants, a coat, a windbreaker, a jacket, a poncho or a raincoat.

[0030] The body of the apparel is the section that may cover or adorn a person when the apparel is worn. The body may be configured so that when the apparel is, e.g., a swimsuit, it covers at least an upper leg region of a person {i.e. a portion of his or her thighs and optionally his or her waist). When the swim apparel is in the form of men's swim trunks, it may cover only a portion of the person's upper legs and waist. When the apparel is in the form of a full body wetsuit or the lower portion of a wetsuit or racing suit, it may be configured to cover a person's waist, upper legs and each of the two lower legs of the person.

[0031] The body may comprise, consist essentially of or consist of materials that persons of ordinary skill in the art now know or that come to appreciate from reading this disclosure may be of use in connection with the present invention. For example, the body may comprise, consist essentially of or consist of a material selected from the group consisting of nylon, one or more polyesters such as polybutylene terephthalate, silk, spandex, combinations thereof and blends thereof. By way of non- limiting examples, the body may comprise nylon alone, or nylon and in combination with another material, such as polybutylene terephthalate.

[0032] The pocket is designed to have two purposes. A first purpose is to be capable of storing items. A second purpose is to be capable of storing the body of the apparel. The pocket has an opening, a first surface, and a second surface, and the pocket is affixed to the body at or near its opening. The pocket may be affixed to the body by, for example, sewing or stitching, either: at or near only the opening of the pocket; or at the opening and at a portion or all of the first surface or second surface of the pocket and to either the inner surface or outer surface of the body.

[0033] When the pocket is in a first orientation, the pocket forms a first cavity, wherein the first cavity is configured to hold items when the person wears the article of apparel. In this orientation, the first surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket. The pocket may, for example, be in the form of a flexible, regularly or irregularly shaped pouch that when empty and in the first orientation lays essentially flat, and when holding items, e.g., keys, a wallet, coins, cash, credit cards, a cellphone or hair accessories, in part takes on the shape of some of those items. In some embodiments, the pocket, when in the first orientation and the apparel is worn by a person, is not visible.

[0034] When the pocket is inverted {i.e. turned inside-out), then the pocket has been converted into a second orientation. When the pocket is in the second orientation, the second surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket, and the pocket forms a second cavity that is capable of housing the body. The first surface of the pocket, which was the inner surface in the first orientation becomes the outer surface of the pocket in the second orientation.

[0035] The pocket is designed to be large enough or capable of being stretched to a size large enough to house at least the body when the pocket is in the second orientation. In some embodiments, the pocket is capable of being stretched to a size that is at least 25%, at least 50%, at least 100%, at least 200% or at least 400% larger than its resting state, i.e., empty and unstretched state. Therefore, when in the first orientation the first cavity may be of a first size that is smaller than the size of the cavity when the pocket is in the second orientation and holds the apparel. Furthermore, when the pocket is part of one of the two pieces of a two piece bathing suit, the second cavity may be large enough or capable being stretched to be large enough to hold both pieces of the two piece bathing suit. In some embodiments, the pocket may, for example, be capable of defining a volume of between 615 cc and 3600 cc or between 1000 cc and 3000 cc or between 1500 cc and 2500 cc. By way of a non-limiting example, the dimensions of a pocket may be from approximately 10 cm to 15 cm x 10 cm to 15 cm x 3 cm to 5 cm, e.g., 12.5 cm x 12.5 cm x 3.8 cm (approximately 5 inches by 5 inches by 1.5 inches).

[0036] In some embodiments, the first surface of the pocket is impermeable to water. By being impermeable to water, the surface is capable of preventing water or moisture from being transported across it. In one embodiment, the first surface of the pocket may comprise, consist essentially or consist of rubber and optionally, the rubber is

antimicrobial. Alternatively, the first surface may comprise, consist essentially of, or consist of polyurethane and optionally, the polyurethane is antimicrobial.

[0037] The second surface of the pocket comprises, consists essentially of or consists of a fabric material. In some embodiments, the entire pocket is made of this fabric material and one side is treated with a material that renders it impermeable to water, while the other side is untreated or treated with a different material that renders it impermeable to water or a material that renders it water resistant. Thus, in some embodiments, the second surface of the pocket may be coated with a material such as a soft polyurethane fire retardant coating, or laminated with a material that is impermeable to water. In other embodiments, the first surface is formed by a first layer of material that is impermeable to water and the second surface is formed by a second layer of material that is fused to or otherwise associated with the first layer of material so that there are no gaps or intervening materials, but that is different than the first layer of material. In some embodiments, the second surface is antimicrobial.

[0038] In some embodiments, the body of the apparel comprises the same fabric material as the second surface of the pocket, which may assist in avoiding discomfort to the user when wearing the apparel because he or she will not come in contact with material other than that of which the body is made. Furthermore, when the pocket is located on the interior of the body of the apparel while in the first orientation, there may be an additional lining in the apparel so that the pocket does not contact the person when the apparel is worn, or alternatively there may be an absence of any such lining and a portion of the second surface may contact the person when wearing the apparel. If there is such a lining, preferably it permits access to the second surface of the pocket when in the first orientation to allow for easy inversion of the pocket. For example, the lining will not cause the pocket to be completely enclosed.

[0039] The opening of the pocket may be referred to as an aperture, and in some embodiments, the pocket has only one aperture, which is the opening through which the pocket is inverted. When the pocket is in a first orientation and no items are stored therein, the opening may form a slit that is, for example, 5 cm to 30 cm long or 10 cm to 15 cm long.

[0040] The loop is affixed to the first surface of the pocket and may be located anywhere on the first surface. When the pocket is in the first orientation, the loop may be hidden from view, for example, being located exclusively within the first cavity.

[0041] In various embodiments, the loop is capable of suspending the weight of the apparel when the body is wet and the apparel is hung by the loop. In some embodiments, the loop is capable of suspending at least 500 grams, at least 1000 grams, at least 2000 grams, e.g., from 500 grams to 5000 grams or 1000 grams to 4000 grams when the article of swim apparel is in the second orientation. Alternatively, the loop may be capable of suspending or be reinforced to suspend heavier objects when the article of swim apparel is in the second orientation by, for example using stronger material such as steel or rubber, or a creating thicker or larger loop with greater tensile strength. In some embodiments, there is only one loop. In other embodiments there are two, three or more loops, e.g., two to four loops, each of which is affixed to the first surface of the pocket.

[0042] A loop may be affixed to the first surface of the pocket at or near the opening, e.g., less than 2 cm or less than 1 cm from the opening. Alternatively, a loop may be affixed to the pocket at or near a base of the pocket. The base refers to the portion of the pocket that is distal from the opening when the pocket is in the first orientation. The base may, for example, be in the form of a seam or a flat or round physical boundary, distal from the opening and in some embodiments is 5 cm to 35 cm, or 10 cm to 25 cm away from the opening. In another embodiment, when the pocket is in the first orientation, the pocket forms a base distal to the opening, and the loop is affixed to the pocket between the opening and the base. For example, the loop may be affixed to the pocket at a location that is at least 30% and no more than 70% of the distance between the base and the opening.

[0043] By way of non-limiting examples, the loop may be elastic, inelastic, flexible, or rigid, and in its resting state have an opening that is a circle, an oval, an ellipse or other regular or irregular shape that is 0.5 cm to 5 cm wide. The loop may consist of, consist essentially of or comprise steel, plastic, nylon, polyurethane, silicone, rubber that may or may not be silicone based, or any other inorganic polymer that resembles rubber or shares the properties of rubber, or combinations thereof. Furthermore, the loop may be encased in a material that is impermeable to water or resistant to water, such as plastic, nylon or polyurethane or combinations thereof.

[0044] The closure apparatus is configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket. The closure apparatus is capable of existing in a closed position, an open position and in some embodiments, a partially closed position. In some embodiments, when the closure apparatus is in the closed position, the pocket is water tight. There may be a single closure apparatus for opening and closing the pocket in the first orientation and in the second orientation, or there may be different apparatuses for opening and closing the pocket in the first orientation and the second orientation.

[0045] The closure apparatus may, for example, consist of, consist essentially of or comprise a hook and latch system, e.g., Velcro®. The closure apparatus may also or alternatively comprise at least one button and hole, at least one snap and snap receiver, a slide fastener and track, or a zipper or combinations thereof. For example, the closure apparatus may be a snap and snap receiver when the pocket is in the first orientation and a zipper when the pocket is in the second orientation. In another embodiment, e.g., one in which a zipper is used, there is a single lug but two tabs, one for opening and closing the first cavity and one for opening and closing the second cavity. In still another embodiment, there is a single lug and a single tab for opening and closing the first cavity and the second cavity.

[0046] When the closure apparatus is a slide fastener, the closure apparatus may comprise a track, a first lug connected to a first tab and a second lug connected to a second tab. Alternatively, there may be a single lug and single tab, with the lug being configured to allow the tab to move from a first position that allows for its use to open and to close the first cavity to a second position that allows for its use to open and to close the second cavity. These first and second positions may be opposite sides of the lug.

[0047] When the closure apparatus is a zipper, the closure apparatus may comprise a pull tab and have a first end and a second end. In some embodiments, the loop is affixed to the first surface at or near the first end of the zipper and when the pull tab is at the first end, the pocket is open. In other embodiments, the loop may be affixed to the first surface at or near the second end of the zipper and when the pull tab is at the first end, the pocket is open.

[0048] In some embodiments in which a zipper is used, there is a first pull tab and a second pull tab. The first pull tab may be used to open and to close the first cavity and the second pull tab may be used to open and to close the second cavity. Each of the first pull tab and the second pull tab may use the same lug or they may use different lugs, which may be referred to as a first lug and second lug, respectively. When the second tab is at the second end, the pocket is closed and the pocket is water tight. Alternatively, the closure apparatus may comprise a reversible zipper, wherein the zipper comprises a single pull tab configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket in both the first orientation and the second orientation. In all embodiments, the closure apparatus may be impermeable to water, e.g., it may be comprised of, consist essentially of or consist of plastic, nylon or polyurethane or a combination thereof.

[0049] The article of swimwear may further comprise a flap affixed to the body for the purpose of covering the opening of the pocket and the closure apparatus. The flap may, e.g., be in the form of a fabric material that covers the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the first orientation. Thus, it may be as long as if not longer than the length of the opening. In some embodiments, there are two flaps and the flap that covers the opening in the first orientation may be referred to as a first flap. A second flap may be affixed to the pocket and cover the opening of the pocket when the pocket is in the second orientation.

[0050] As noted above, there may be two closure apparatuses. In some embodiments, a first closure apparatus is capable of sealing the first cavity to render it water tight while the second closure apparatus is capable of sealing the second cavity to render it water tight. However, it is within the scope of the present invention for only the second closure apparatus to render the second cavity water tight, while the first closure apparatus being sufficient to prevent items from falling out of the first cavity will not render it water tight.

[0051] The pocket may be affixed to any area on the surface of the body of the apparel. However, from an aesthetic perspective it may be desirable to have the pocket located in a location in which pockets are traditionally placed in the relevant apparel.

[0052] For example, the body may be deemed to have a front, a right side, a left side, and a rear, and the opening of the pocket may be located on the front of the article of swim apparel when the pocket is in the first orientation, on the left side or right side of the article of swim apparel when the pocket is in the first orientation, or on the rear of the article of swim apparel when the pocket is in the first orientation. When the opening is located on a side of the swim suit, in some embodiments, it is located at or near a seam of the swimsuit.

[0053] When the pocket is in the first orientation, the body forms an interior space and an exterior space. In some embodiments, the opening may be accessible through the exterior space and the first cavity is located in the interior space, and thus it is an interior pocket. For example, when a person wears the apparel, the pocket is between the body and the person, and the pocket itself is located in an interior space defined by the body, but the opening may be accessible from an exterior space defined by the body, and therefore the opening may be through a wall in the body. Thus, a person accesses the cavity through the opening in the apparel wall. In other embodiments, when the pocket is in the first orientation, the body forms an interior space and an exterior space, and the first cavity is located in the exterior space and thus may be accessible without traversing a wall of the apparel. Thus, it forms and exterior pouch, as commonly seen, for example, on cargo pants and carpenter pants. As a person of ordinary skill in the art will recognize when the pocket is in the first orientation and an interior pocket as described above, inversion will be through the opening in the wall of the body. When the pocket is in the first orientation and an exterior pocket, inversion will not need to be accomplished by traversing a wall in the wall of the body. When the pocket is an exterior pocket rather than contacting an inner surface of the body, a portion of the second surface of the pocket may contact the outer surface of the body when the pocket is in the first orientation.

[0054] As persons of ordinary skill in the art will recognize, within the scope of the present invention are also pieces of apparel that contain hidden interior pockets, which are pockets that are analogous to exterior pockets, but when in the first orientation, the pocket, including the opening is situated completely in the interior space as defined by the body. In the case of hidden interior pockets, access to the first cavity is through the interior space as defined by the body of the apparel, and inversion of the pocket does not require crossing the wall of the body of the apparel. Thus, a portion of or all of the second surface may be affixed to the body of the apparel.

[0055] In another embodiment, the present invention provides an article of swim apparel that is comprised of a body, a pocket, and a closure apparatus. The body may be configured to cover an upper leg region of a person and the body has an inner surface and an outer surface. The pocket may be comprised of a material that has a first surface, wherein the first surface comprises a water-proof material or is coated with a water-proof substance; and a second surface, wherein the second surface comprises or is formed by a fabric material, and the fabric material is different from the water-proof material or not coated with the water-proof substance. Thus, if the first surface comprises a water-proof material, then the second surface does not comprise that water-proof material, and if the first surface is coated with a water-proof substance, then the second surface is not coated with that substance. For example, the water proof material may comprise, consist essentially of or consist of rubber while the second surface of the pocket and the inner surface of the body comprise, consist essentially of or consist of polyester.

[0056] The pocket is affixed to the body and the pocket is capable of being in a first orientation and in a second orientation. In the first orientation the pocket forms a first cavity that is accessible from the outer surface of the body. In an embodiment in which the pocket is an interior pocket when in the first orientation, a portion of the second surface contacts a region of the inner surface of the body, the first surface forms the inner lining of the pocket, and the first surface does not have any gaps or openings. In an embodiment in which the pocket is an exterior pocket when in the first orientation, a portion of the second surface contacts a region of the outer surface of the body, the first surface forms the inner lining of the pocket, and the first surface does not have any gaps or openings.

[0057] In some embodiments, the body has an inner lining that is configured to prevent the second surface of the pocket from coming into physical contact with the person who is wearing the apparel. If an inner lining is present, it may be designed not to impede physical access to the base of the pocket through the bottom of the apparel. Thus, it may not be affixed to the bottom of the apparel.

[0058] In the second orientation, the pocket is inverted relative to the first orientation, and the second surface forms the inner surface of a second cavity. The second cavity is of a size that is capable of holding or being stretched to hold the body, and the second surface also does not have any gaps or openings. The closure apparatus may be configured to reversibly seal the second cavity when the body is within the second cavity.

[0059] The first surface or the second surface or both the first surface and the second surface of the pocket may have no gaps or openings. Because the pocket may comprise a loop and closure apparatus for the purpose of hanging the pocket and closing the opening, respectively, there may be no need for strings or other fasteners. As a result, the pocket would comprise no holes or other openings through which strings may be threaded and that might destroy the water-tight nature of the storage bag when in the second orientation and closed.

[0060] According to another embodiment, the present invention provides a method for storage and transport of swim apparel, wherein swim apparel comprises a body, a pocket, a loop, and a closure apparatus. The pocket has an opening, a first surface, and a second surface, and the pocket is affixed to the body at or near the opening. The loop is affixed to the first surface of the pocket. The closure apparatus is configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket.

[0061] In order to invert the pocket, an operator would pull or push the pocket inside out. By inverting the pocket, an operator converts the pocket from a first orientation, wherein the pocket forms a first cavity configured to hold items when the person wears the article of swim apparel, and the first surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket, into a second orientation. When the pocket is in the second orientation, the second surface of the pocket forms an inner surface of the pocket and a second cavity.

[0062] The operator then forces the body of the swim apparel into the second cavity of the pocket, thereby using the pocket as a bag. Because the apparel is attached to the bag in which it is housed, it may be stuffed, folded or rolled into that bag. After the body is within the second cavity, its closure apparatus may be used to close-up the cavity, thereby rendering it water tight. The process of inverting the pocket from the first orientation into the second orientation may occur in concert with the process of causing the body of the apparel to be housed within the second cavity. After or before the user has closed the second cavity, the user may hang the bag on a hanging structure, such as a hook or a doorknob or associate it with a clip or carabineer. The second surface of the pocket may additionally have decorations or designs, including logos, colors, patterns, or combination thereof. Alternatively, instead of hanging the apparel by its loop, it may be stored alongside other items in, for example, a suitcase or a trunk of a motor vehicle or in a basket or other bag. [0063] In another embodiment, the present invention provides another method for storage and transport of swim apparel. The swim apparel comprises a body, a pocket, and a closure apparatus. The body has an inner surface and an outer surface. The pocket is comprised of a material that has a first surface and a second surface, is affixed to the body, and is capable of being in a first orientation and a second orientation. The closure apparatus is configured to reversibly close the opening of the pocket.

[0064] An operator inverts the pocket, which converts the pocket from the first orientation to the second orientation. In the first orientation, the pocket may form a first cavity that is accessible from the outer surface of the body, and when the pocket is an interior pocket (i.e., when the article of clothing is worn, the cavity is located between an exterior wall of the body and a user and thus in an interior space defined as by the body, and may in some embodiments be accessible through a wall in the body at the opening of the pocket from an exterior space defined by the body), a portion of the second surface contacts a region of the inner surface of the body, and the first surface forms the inner surface of the pocket. In the second orientation, the second surface forms the inner surface of a second cavity. As described in connection with other embodiments, instead of being an interior pocket, when the pocket is in the first orientation, it may be an exterior pocket, in which case, instead of the second surface contacting the inner surface of the body, it contacts the outer surface of the body.

[0065] The operator then houses the body of the swim apparel in the second cavity of the pocket, using the pocket as a bag, which may be a stuff sack. If a loop is present, the user may then hang the bag on a hanging structure, such as a hook or a doorknob or associate it with a clip or carabineer or store it in another container. As noted above, the second surface of the pocket may additionally have decorations or designs, including logos, colors, patterns, or combination thereof.

[0066] Various embodiments of the present invention may be further illustrated by reference to the accompanying figures. Figure 1 depicts a pair of swim trunks 110 of the present invention. The pocket is in the first orientation and its opening is shown in dotted lines 100 as it is covered by the flap 180. The body forms an interior space (not shown) and an exterior space. An opening of the pocket is accessible through the exterior space by lifting the flap 180. The pocket is affixed to the body at the opening of the pocket. [0067] Figure 2 depicts a swim trunks embodiment with the pocket 200 in the second orientation, which is inverted relative to the first orientation. As persons of ordinary skill in the art will recognize, the first cavity of the pocket should be emptied prior to inversion. The closure apparatus 220 is a zipper comprising a pull tab 290 and having a first end 221 and a second end 222. The pull tab 290 is located at the first end 221 and the pocket 200 is open. In the second orientation, the first surface 230 of the pocket 200 forms an outer surface. The large arrow shows the direction in which the body will be moved in order to insert it into the pocket.

[0068] Figure 3 depicts the swim trunks embodiment as the body 310 is being stuffed into the pocket 300. While the pocket 300 is in the second orientation, the pull tab 390 is located at the first end 321 and the pocket 300 is open. The second surface, not shown, forms the inner surface of the second cavity. As the body 310 is being stuffed into the pocket 300, it passes through the opening 340 into the second cavity. The large arrows show the direction in which the body will be moved in order to insert it into the pocket.

[0069] Figure 4 further depicts the swim trunks embodiment as the body 410 is being stuffed into the pocket 400. While the pocket 400 is in the second orientation, the pull tab is located at the first end and the pocket 400 is open. Also while the pocket 400 is in the second orientation, the second surface forms a second cavity 431. As the body 410 is being stuffed into the pocket 400, it passes through the opening 440 into the second cavity 431. The large arrows show the direction in which the body will be moved in order to insert it into the pocket.

[0070] Figure 5 depicts the pocket 500 in the second orientation. The loop 560, now visible, is affixed to the first surface 530 of the pocket 500, which forms the outer surface of the pocket 500. Housed within the pocket 500 is the body of the swim trunks, which are no longer visible. The pull tab 590 is located at the opposite end from which the loop is located 560.

[0071] Various aspects of the present invention have been described for use in connection with one or more embodiments. However, unless explicitly stated or otherwise apparent from context, each feature described above in any one embodiment may be used in connection with any and all embodiments.