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Title:
BREASTFEEDING APPAREL WITH CONCEALABLE OPENINGS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/035405
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A garment comprising an upper bodice layer; and a lower bodice layer connected to the upper bodice layer by at least one seam and having at least one nursing access point, wherein the upper bodice provides substantially full coverage of the at least one nursing access point when the at least one access point is in a normal position. In at least one embodiment, the at least one nursing access point is an armhole in the lower bodice layer with a flexible edge. In some embodiments, the flexible edge may be lined with silicone material.

Inventors:
SHORE, Heather (1500 Jackson Street NE, Studio 143Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55413, US)
Application Number:
US2017/047499
Publication Date:
February 22, 2018
Filing Date:
August 18, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SHORE, Heather (1500 Jackson Street NE, Studio 143Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55413, US)
International Classes:
A41D27/10; A41D27/12; A41D27/24; A44B19/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2002056716A22002-07-25
Foreign References:
US4601068A1986-07-22
US20100095424A12010-04-22
US20050028243A12005-02-10
US20070124845A12007-06-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ENGEL, Martha J. et al. (Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.Capella Tower, Suite 3500,225 S 6th Stree, Minneapolis Minnesota, 55402, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
We claim:

1. A garment comprising:

an upper bodice layer; and

a lower bodice layer connected to the upper bodice layer and having at least one nursing access point,

wherein the upper bodice provides substantially full coverage of the at least one nursing access point when the at least one access point is in a normal position.

2. The garment of claim 1, wherein the at least one nursing access point is an armhole in the lower bodice layer with a flexible edge.

3. The garment of claim 2, wherein the flexible edge of the armhole is stretched under tension to a nursing position.

4. The garment of claim 3, wherein the tension is released and the flexible edge of the armhole returns to the normal position.

5. The garment of claim 2, wherein the flexible edge is lined with silicone.

6. The garment of claim 1, wherein the lower bodice layer is positioned underneath the upper bodice layer.

7. The garment of claim 1, further comprising a waist panel that overlaps the upper bodice layer and the lower bodice layer.

8. The garment of claim 7, wherein the upper bodice layer has a hemline with a flexible edge.

9. The garment of claim 8, wherein the hemline comprises silicone.

10. The garment of claim 8, wherein the hemline is tucked into the waist panel when the at least one access point is in a normal position.

11. The garment of claim 8, wherein the flexible edge of the hemline is stretched under tension to a nursing position.

12. The garment of claim 11, wherein the tension is released and the hemline is tucked into the waist panel.

13. The garment of claim 1, further comprising a back layer.

14. The garment of claim 13, further comprising at least one side seam connecting the lower bodice layer to at least one of the upper bodice layer or back layer.

15. The garment of claim 1, further comprising at least one sleeve.

16. A garment comprising:

a bodice portion covering a bust region and extending from a waist to a shoulder seam; a skirt extending from the waist to a hemline; and

at least one access point on the bodice portion, the at least one nursing access point extending from the waist to the bust region, the at least one nursing access point comprising a zipper having an open position and a closed position, wherein when the zipper is in the open position, the at least one nursing access point is in a nursing position.

17. The garment of claim 16, wherein the zipper comprises a zipper pull.

18. The garment of claim 17, wherein when the zipper is in a closed position, the zipper pull is positioned at the waist.

19. The garment of claim 17, wherein the at least one access point is defined by a princess seam, and when the zipper is in an open position, the zipper pull is at the top of the princess seam.

20. The garment of claim 16, comprising two access points on the bodice portion.

Description:
BREASTFEEDING APPAREL WITH CONCEALABLE OPENINGS

Field of the Invention

[001] The present disclosure relates to women's apparel. Particularly, the present disclosure relates to women's apparel capable for use while breastfeeding, nursing of babies, or using a lactation pump or breast pump.

Background of the Invention

[002] The background description provided herein is for the purpose of generally presenting the context of the disclosure. Work of the presently named inventors, to the extent it is described in this background section, as well as aspects of the description that may not otherwise qualify as prior art at the time of filing, are neither expressly nor impliedly admitted as prior art against the present disclosure.

[003] Although women have been breastfeeding for centuries, for many new mothers in the modern era, breastfeeding can be uncomfortable, awkward, and intimidating. For many mothers, especially working women, nursing may occur outside of the privacy of one's own home. At the office, a restaurant, a coffee shop, or any other public place, nursing mothers need to transition their wardrobe to clothes that provide easy access to the breasts for nursing. Clothes particularly for nursing have attempted to make this transition less cumbersome and allow for access to the breasts. For instance, low-cut shirts, wrap shirts, tanks, button-down shirts are often used, but they provide minimal coverage. Some nursing tops also have a flap over each of the breasts or form an opening between layers of the shirt that create an opening, but because of their structure these tops can often lead to undesired and unintended exposure. These shirts or dresses with similar openings are often worn when nursing. Nursing bras provide suitable coverage with a flap or other closure, but require the mother to undress from at least the waist upwards in order to expose the bra and may be cumbersome. There is a need in the art for apparel for nursing women that provides easy access to one or both breasts while minimizing the risk of unintended or undesired exposure of the breasts. Brief Summary of the Invention

[004] The following presents a simplified summary of one or more embodiments of the present disclosure in order to provide a basic understanding of such embodiments. This summary is not an extensive overview of all contemplated embodiments, and is intended to neither identify key or critical elements of all embodiments, nor delineate the scope of any or all embodiments.

[005] The present disclosure, in one embodiment, describes garments adapted for breastfeeding and nursing. A garment comprising: an upper bodice layer; and a lower bodice layer connected to the upper bodice layer by at least one seam and having at least one nursing access point, wherein the upper bodice provides substantially full coverage of the at least one nursing access point when the at least one access point is in a normal position. In one embodiment, the at least one nursing access point is an armhole in the lower bodice layer with a flexible edge. In one embodiment, the flexible edge of the armhole is stretched under tension to a nursing position. When the tension is released, the flexible edge of the armhole returns to the normal position. In some embodiments, the flexible edge may be lined with silicone.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[006] While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter that is regarded as forming the various embodiments of the present disclosure, it is believed that the invention will be better understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying Figures, in which:

[007] FIG. 1 shows a front view of one embodiment of a top in accordance with the disclosure of the present invention.

[008] FIG. 2 shows a back view of the top of FIG. 1.

[009] FIG. 3 shows a layered front view of the top of FIGS. 1-2.

[010] FIG. 4 shows a front view of one embodiment a dress in accordance with the disclosure of the present invention.

[011] FIG. 5 shows the back view of the dress of FIG. 4.

[012] FIG. 6 shows a layered front view of the dress of FIGS. 4-5.

[013] FIG. 7 shows a front view of one embodiment of a dress in accordance with the disclosure of the present invention in a first position. [014] FIG. 8 shows a front view of one embodiment of a dress in accordance with the disclosure of the present invention in a second position.

[015] FIG. 9 shows a front view of one embodiment a dress in accordance with the disclosure of the present invention.

[016] FIG. 10 shows the back view of the dress of FIG. 9.

[017] FIG. 11 shows a layered front view of the dress of FIGS. 9-10

Detailed Description

[018] The present disclosure relates to novel and advantageous garments for breastfeeding women. Particularly, the present disclosure relates to novel and advantageous concealable openings or access points in women's tops, shirts, tunics, dresses, and similar garments.

[019] FIGS. 1-3 shows one embodiment of a top 100 of the present invention. Top 100 may be a shirt, tunic, or dress depending upon the length of the garment. The top 100 comprises an upper bodice layer 102, a lower bodice layer 104, a first sleeve 106, a second sleeve 108, and a back layer 110. Each of the upper bodice layer 102, the lower bodice layer 104, the first sleeve 106, the second sleeve 108, and the back layer 110 may each comprise cotton, polyester, cotton polyester blend, other suitable fabrics and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, such as the one shown in FIGS. 1-3, the upper bodice layer 102 may comprise a neckline 112, a hemline 114, sleeve seams 116 connecting the upper bodice layer 102 to each of the sleeves 106, and shoulder seams 118 to connect the upper bodice layer 102 to the back layer 110. The neckline 112 may be round, square, boatneck, sweetheart, v-neck, or have other configurations. The hemline 114 may be straight, ruffled, or have other configurations. In at least the embodiment shown, the hemline 114 is ruffled. The upper bodice layer 102 substantially covers the bust.

[020] In some embodiments, such as the one shown in FIGS. 1-3, the lower bodice layer

104 may be positioned underneath the upper bodice layer 102. In at least one embodiment, the lower bodice layer 104 comprises the at least one access point shown generally at 120. The upper bodice layer 102 substantially covers the lower bodice layer 104, in particular the at least one access point shown generally at 120. In at least one embodiment, the upper bodice layer 102 fully covers the at least one access point when the at least one access point 120 is in a normal position. The upper bodice layer 102 may cover the at least one access point 120 when the at least one access point 120 is in a nursing position.

[021] In at least one embodiment, the lower bodice layer 104 may be the breastfeeding layer. In some embodiments, such as the one shown in FIGS. 1-3, the lower bodice layer 104 may comprise a neckline 122, a hemline 124, arm openings 126, and shoulder seams 128 to connect the lower bodice layer 104 to at least one of the upper bodice layer 102 and the back layer 110. In some embodiments, such as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the neckline 122 of the lower bodice layer 104 may be the same as the neckline 112 of the upper bodice layer 102. In such embodiments, the neckline 122 may further comprise a neckline seam 123. The neckline 122 may be round, square, boatneck, sweetheart, v-neck, or have other configurations. In some embodiments, the hemline 124 of the lower bodice layer 104 may be the same as the hemline 114 of the upper bodice layer 102. The hemline 124 may be straight, ruffled, or have other configurations. In at least the embodiment shown, the hemline 124 is ruffled. In at least the embodiment shown, a distance between the hemline 124 to the neckline 122 of the lower bodice layer 104 may be longer than a distance between the hemline 114 to the neckline 112 of the upper bodice layer 102. The circumference of the arm openings 126 may in some embodiments be larger than the arm openings of the sleeves 106, 108 or the sleeve seams 116. The arm openings 126 each have an edge 127, which may be a flexible edge. In at least one embodiment, the flexible edge comprises a silicone material or other similar elastic or elastomeric material. The edge 127 may be expanded from a standard armhole position to a nursing position. The circumference of the arm opening 126 in the nursing position is larger than the circumference of the arm opening 126 in the normal position. In the nursing position, the arm opening 126 is large enough to provide access to the breast (including the nipple region of the breast) for the woman to either nurse her baby or use a nursing pump, while still having her arm pass through the arm opening. In at least one embodiment, in the nursing position, at least a portion of the edge 127 surrounds a portion of the entire breast. In at least one embodiment, the edge 127 stays in an expanded position in the nursing position under tension and when tension is released, the edge returns to its unexpanded, standard armhole position. This hidden layer with the flexible edge along the armhole allows the woman to nurse with coverage from the upper bodice layer without having her breasts susceptible to undesired exposure when not nursing. [022] In some embodiments, the first sleeve 106 and the second sleeve 108 are each connected to at least the upper bodice layer 102 at sleeve seams 116. The first sleeve 106 and the second sleeve 108 are also connected to the back layer 110 at sleeve seams 116. The second arm 108 is connected to the first bodice layer 102 and the second bodice layer 104. In at least one embodiment, the first sleeve 106 and the second sleeve 108 may not be directly connected or in a seamed connection to the lower bodice layer 104. Each of the first sleeve 106 and the second sleeve 108 form armholes, which are different from the arm openings 126 of the lower bodice layer.

[023] The back layer 110, as shown in FIGS. 1-2, may comprise a neckline 132, a hemline 134, sleeve seams 136, and shoulder seams 138. In some embodiments, such as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the neckline 132 may be the same as at least one of the neckline 122 of the lower bodice layer 104 and the neckline 112 of the upper bodice layer 102. The neckline 132 may be round, square, boatneck, sweetheart, v-neck, or have other configurations. In some embodiments, the hemline 134 of the back layer may be the same as the hemline 124 of the lower bodice layer 104. The hemline 134 may be straight, ruffled, or have other configurations. In at least the embodiment shown, the hemline 134 is ruffled. In some embodiments, the lower bodice layer 104 is further attached to the back layer 110 at or near the armholes or the shoulder seam 138 or both.

[024] FIGS. 4-6 show an embodiment of a garment 200 of the present invention. The garment 200 may be a dress, top, shirt, or tunic. The garment 200 comprises at least an upper bodice layer 202, a lower bodice layer 204, a skirt 206, a waist panel 208, and a back layer 210. The dress 200 may, in some embodiments, further comprise sleeves (not shown). Although shown as a dress in FIGS. 4-6, it is contemplated that the dress may not have the skirt 206 and would instead be a top with some or all of the features described herein, including the upper bodice layer, the lower bodice layer, the waist panel, the back layer and the access points. Each of the upper bodice layer 202, the lower bodice layer 204, the skirt 206, the waist panel 208, and the back layer 210 may each comprise cotton, polyester, cotton polyester blend, other suitable fabrics and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, such as the one shown in FIGS. 4-6, the upper bodice layer 202 may comprise at least a neckline 212, a hemline 214, arm openings, 215, side seams 216, and shoulder seams 218. The neckline 212 may be round, square, boatneck, sweetheart, v-neck, or have other configurations. The neckline 212 may be attached to the lower bodice layer 204 in some embodiments. The shoulder seams 218 and side seams 216 connect the upper bodice layer 202 to the back layer 210. In some embodiments, the upper bodice layer 202 and the back layer 210 may be formed as a single layer of material, and the shoulder seams 218 and the side seams 216 are not necessary in such embodiments to connect the upper bodice layer to the back layer. The hemline 214 in some embodiments is flexible. In some embodiments, the hemline 214 comprises a silicone material or other similar elastic or elastomeric material. In some embodiments, the silicone material can be encased in tubular fabric. The hemline 214 may be tucked into the waist panel 208 when the garment is in a normal tucked position. The normal tucked position can also be considered a standard position as discussed above. The waist panel 208 overlaps the upper bodice layer 202 and the lower bodice layer 204. In some embodiments, the waist panel 208 may be positioned in an empire waist position or a drop waist position or some other position on the bodice. In some embodiments the waist panel may have one or more flexible edges that may comprise a silicone, elastomer or other elastomeric material.

[025] The lower bodice layer 204 may be positioned underneath the upper bodice layer

202. The lower bodice layer 204 has at least one access point 220, and in a preferred embodiment, two access points. Access points 220 are openings in the lower bodice layer 204 that expose the breast or the nursing bra of the woman. In some embodiments, the upper bodice layer 202 substantially covers the lower bodice layer 204, in particular the at least one access point 220. In at least one embodiment, the upper bodice layer 202 fully covers the at least one access point 220 when the at least one access point is in a normal tucked position. The upper bodice layer 202 may cover the at least one access point when the at least one access point is in a nursing position 220. When the woman wishes to nurse, she can remove the upper bodice layer 202 from the waist panel 208 and stretch the hemline 214 from a normal tucked position to a nursing position to expose the access points 220. In the nursing position, the hemline 214 may be under tension. Otherwise, when the upper bodice layer 202 is in a normal tucked position and tucked into the waist panel 208, the breasts are not exposed. Having the upper bodice layer adjustable from a secured tucked position to a nursing position allows the woman to nurse without having her breasts susceptible to undesired exposure when not nursing.

[026] In some embodiments, such as the one shown in FIGS. 1-3, the lower bodice layer

204 may comprise a neckline 222, side seams 226 and shoulder seams 228. Side seams 226 and shoulder seams 228 may, in some embodiments, connect the lower bodice layer 204 to at least one of the upper bodice layer 202 and the back layer 210. In some embodiments, such as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the neckline 222 of the lower bodice layer 104 may be the same as the neckline 212 of the upper bodice layer 102. In such embodiments, the neckline 122 may further comprise a neckline seam 123. The neckline 222 may be round, square, boatneck, sweetheart, v-neck, or have other configurations. In some embodiments, the lower bodice layer 204 may be joined to the skirt 206, which has a hemline 224 of the lower bodice layer 104. The hemline 224 may be straight, ruffled, or have other configurations. In at least the embodiment shown, the hemline 224 is ruffled. In at least the embodiment shown, the distance from the hemline 224 to the neckline 222 of the lower bodice layer 204 may be longer than the distance from the hemline 214 to the neckline 212 of the upper bodice layer 202.

[027] FIGS. 7-8 show an embodiment of garment 300 of the present invention, which is shown as a dress. In at least one embodiment, the dress 300 has a bodice portion 302 extending from the waist 304 to the shoulder seam 306, covering the bust region 308. The dress 300 also has a skirt 308 extending from the waist 304 to the hemline 310. In at least one embodiment, the bodice has princess seams 312, which extend at least from the waist 304 to the bust region 308, but in some embodiments may extend from the hemline 310 to the bust region 308 as shown in FIGS. 7-8. The princess seams 312 each have a zipper 314, which extends from the waist 304 to the top of the princess seam 312. The zipper 314 provides a nursing access point 320 as shown in FIG. 8. The zipper 314 comprises at least a zipper pull 316. When the zipper 314 is in a closed position as shown in FIG. 7, the zipper pull 316 is positioned at the waist. Because of the lines of the dress including the princess seams, the zipper pull appears to be for a pocket, and the nursing access point is hidden. When the zipper 314 is in an open, nursing position as shown in FIG. 8, the zipper pull is at the top of the princess seam 312 revealing one nursing access point 320. Nursing access points 320 are defined by openings 322, which may be lined with some flexible material to expand the opening. In some embodiments, the zipper may have some flexible tape or other flexible components in order to allow the opening to expand. As shown, the dress 300 has two zippers 314 and one or both may be used at a time to reveal one or two nursing access points 320. Having the zippered access to the nursing access points allows the woman to nurse without having her breasts susceptible to undesired exposure when not nursing, while also concealing the openings. Further, the zippers provide the visual appearance of pockets, based on their placement.

[028] FIGS. 9-11 shown an embodiment of garment 400 of the present invention. The garment 400 may be a dress, top, shirt, or tunic, but as shown comprises a dress. The garment 400 comprises at least an outer layer 402, a breastfeeding layer 404, and a back layer 406. The garment 400 may, in some embodiments, further comprise sleeves (not shown). Each of the outer layer 402, the breastfeeding layer 404, and the back layer 406 may each comprise cotton, polyester, cotton polyester blend, other suitable fabrics and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, such as the one shown in FIGS. 4-6, the outer layer 402 may comprise at least a neckline 412, a hemline 414, arm openings 415, side seams 416, and shoulder seams 418. The neckline 412 may be round, square, boatneck, sweetheart, v-neck, or have other configurations. In at least the embodiment as shown the neckline 412 forms a cowl neck. In at least one embodiment, the neckline 412 is a stretchable neckline. The shoulder seams 418 and side seams 416 connect the outer layer 202 to the back layer 406. In at least one embodiment, the arm openings 415 may have an edge, which may be a flexible edge. In at least one embodiment, the flexible edge comprises a silicone material or other similar elastic or elastomeric material.

As shown best in FIG. 11, the breastfeeding layer 404 may be positioned underneath the outer layer 402. The breastfeeding layer 404 when placed in a first position relative to the outer layer 402, the woman's breast or breasts may be exposed in a nursing position. In at least one embodiment, the breastfeeding layer may comprise a stretchable material. In at least one embodiment the breastfeeding layer may have at least one edge, which may be a flexible edge. In at least one embodiment, the flexible edge comprises a silicone material or other similar elastic or elastomeric material.

[029] The garments discussed herein are generally described with respect to tops, shirts, tunics, and dresses. However, it is contemplated by the invention that any of the multi-layered embodiments described herein can be modified for use in jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, undergarments, loungewear, and other apparel.

[030] As used herein, the terms "substantially" or "generally" refer to the complete or nearly complete extent or degree of an action, characteristic, property, state, structure, item, or result. For example, an object that is "substantially" or "generally" enclosed would mean that the object is either completely enclosed or nearly completely enclosed. The exact allowable degree of deviation from absolute completeness may in some cases depend on the specific context. However, generally speaking, the nearness of completion will be so as to have generally the same overall result as if absolute and total completion were obtained. The use of "substantially" or "generally" is equally applicable when used in a negative connotation to refer to the complete or near complete lack of an action, characteristic, property, state, structure, item, or result. For example, an element, combination, embodiment, or composition that is "substantially free of or "generally free of an ingredient or element may still actually contain such item as long as there is generally no measurable effect thereof.

[031] In the foregoing description various embodiments of the present disclosure have been presented for the purpose of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Obvious modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The various embodiments were chosen and described to provide the best illustration of the principals of the disclosure and their practical application, and to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the present disclosure as determined by the appended claims when interpreted in accordance with the breadth they are fairly, legally, and equitably entitled.




 
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