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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
GARMENT FITTING MECHANISM AND HAT INCORPORATING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/201216
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fitting mechanism that provides users with a continuous range of sizing options. It may be used to fasten garments or accessories, particularly hats, in an inconspicuous manner, while being worn by the user. In a preferred embodiment, the fitting mechanism comprises a dual- sided guide track having slots to fit two slidably adjustable straps, each containing a plurality of serrated teeth and a raised tab. The fitting mechanism may be enclosed within a housing and affixed within the crown of a hat or within another suitable garment or accessory. A user may access the fitting mechanism while the item is being worn for the purpose of changing the inner circumference of the sizing of the garment so as to obtain a better fit.

Inventors:
DICKIE, Robert G. (2189 King Road, King City, Ontario L7B 1G3, L7B 1G3, CA)
DUWYN-ZYLSTRA, Ann-Marie (718 Normandy Drive, Woodstock, Ontario N4T 0C5, N4T 0C5, CA)
Application Number:
CA2017/050525
Publication Date:
November 08, 2018
Filing Date:
May 01, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
STAYBACK FITTING SYSTEMS INC. (718 Normandy Drive, Woodstock, Ontario N4T 0C5, N4T 0C5, CA)
International Classes:
A42B1/22; A41H1/00; A42B1/00; A42C1/00; A42C3/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOWLING WLG (CANADA) LLP (Suite 1600, 1 First Canadian Place100 King Street Wes, Toronto Ontario M5X 1G5, M5X 1G5, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A garment fitting mechanism comprising:

(a) At least one arm having a first end, a second end, a front face, a rear face, a top edge, and a bottom edge;

(i) said second end incorporating a plurality of teeth separated by valleys on said top edge;

(ii) said front face incorporating a raised tab located proximate to said second end;

(b) A guide track having a long edge defining a long axis, and a short edge defining a short axis, said guide track configured to receive the second end of said arm, said guide track comprising:

(i) at least one slot, said slot configured to allow slidable engagement of the raised tab in a direction parallel to the long axis;

(ii) at least one spring installed under tension along said long edge, said spring configured to snappingly engage with the valleys of the plurality of teeth of said arm;

wherein the engagement of the raised tab with the slot defines the limits of movement for the arm incorporating said raised tab;

wherein the valleys of the plurality of teeth define set positions for the arm along the long axis of the guide track; and

wherein said tension of said spring reversibly maintains one of said set positions for the arm; and wherein said arm may be moved by user within said limits of movement, upon applying force to the arm in the direction parallel to the long axis.

2. The garment fitting mechanism of claim 1 , wherein the spring is in the approximate

shape of an "S".

3. The garment fitting mechanism of claims 1 or 2, wherein the spring comprises a first end and a second end, the first end configured to engage with said valleys.

4. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the amount of said force applied by said user is greater to move said arm towards the guide track as compared to away from the guide track.

5. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein said arm further comprises gripping ridges on one or both of said front face and said rear face.

6. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein said first end of said arm curves in a direction away from the guide track.

7. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein there are two arms, the guide track being configured to receive said second ends of the two arms.

8. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein said arm or arms further comprise one or more holes extending from the front face through to the rear face.

9. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the guide track

further comprises two slots.

10. The garment fitting mechanism of claim 9, wherein the guide track further comprises a bridge located between the two slots.

1 1. The garment fitting mechanism of claim 10, wherein the guide track further comprises at least one hinge located between the two slots.

12. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 1 to 11 , further comprising at least one support member extending from the guide track.

13. The garment fitting mechanism of claim 12, in which the one or more support members further comprise holes therein.

14. A garment incorporating the garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 1 to 5.

15. The garment of claim 14, in which the garment is selected from the group consisting of a hat, pants, coat, footwear, gloves, mittens, a brassiere, a corset, glasses, goggles, a headband, and a belt.

16. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 6 to 13, wherein said garment fitting mechanism is configured to fit a human head including ears and an occiput, such that when worn, said first ends of said arms extend above the ears of the human head, and said guide track is configured to be located under said occiput.

17. The garment fitting mechanism of claim 16, further comprising a housing connected to said garment fitting mechanism.

18. The garment fitting mechanism of claim 17, in which the housing is comprised of a fabric.

19. The garment fitting mechanism of claims 17 or 18, in which the housing is connected to the garment fitting mechanism by means selected from the group consisting of: sewing, adhesive, staples, and rivets.

20. The garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 16-19, further comprising a band configured to fit around the human head.

21 . A hat having a crown with an interior, incorporating the garment fitting mechanism of any one of claims 16 to 20.

22. The hat of claim 21 , wherein said garment fitting mechanism may be adjusted by user upon application of said force to said arm or arms relative to the guide track.

23. The hat of claims 21 or 22, wherein the garment fitting mechanism may be inserted into the interior of the crown when not in use.

24. The hat of any one of claims 21 to 23 , wherein the hat is selected from the group

consisting of a cap, helmet, visor, or brimmed hat.

Description:
GARMENT FITTING MECHANISM AND HAT INCORPORATING SAME

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a fitting mechanism which may be incorporated into garments requiring fitting and fastening, such as hats. The mechanism includes a clasp and at least one arm for performing size adjustments.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a fitting, cinching, and fastening mechanism which can be applied to a variety of garments, including hats.

[0003] Sizing and adjustment systems for use within hats and other garments are generally known. Given the range of sizes of persons found in the general population, adjustable mechanisms are required so that the garment manufacturer may make a limited range of sizes, while allowing for a proper fit to be obtained by a given individual. A few of the most common systems for hats in particular include belts, buckles, elastic drawstrings with toggles, and VELCRO® straps.

[0004] Despite the benefits provided by known fitting systems, they tend to be bulky and obtrusive. As well, elastics tend to lose their resiliency over time, and securement mechanisms such as chin straps for hats can also be uncomfortable in use. VELCRO® straps in particular can also become clogged with lint and other debris, reducing their effectiveness. As well, the plastic closing systems most popularly found on baseball caps only provide a limited range of pre-set sizes, and are prone to wear at the most commonly used settings. Such wear and tear further reduces the efficacy of these systems and allows hats to shift about, or even fall off or be blown off a user's head while in motion or in adverse weather conditions.

[0005] Another weakness of known closing systems is their inconvenience, as users must often remove a hat or a garment in order to adjust their size. Further, a user may make multiple attempts to adjust the device before achieving the desired size and fit. As well, while some fitting straps for hats based on ring bands or incorporating ridged straps and buckles are known, such mechanisms rely on a button or lever to lock the straps into place at the desired location, and the user must depress that button or lever in order to perform size adjustments. Having a single focused point of contact for the mechanism often results in undesirable wear to the mechanism at that point, and can be inconvenient to use, particularly while the user is wearing the garment. This is because the user must reach behind his or her head to locate and activate a specific button or lever to enable adjustment, without being able to see the device.

[0006] Finally, known closing mechanisms can detract from the aesthetic design of a hat or garment. For example, buckles are bulky and can leave excess strapping visible on the exterior portion of the garment. Elastic-based systems may also cause bunching of the fabric, causing imperfections in garment's shape, and when used with toggles, also tend to protrude in an obtrusive manner.

[0007] Therefore, there is a need for an inconspicuous fitting mechanism that may be incorporated in garments, including hats. Such a mechanism should provide users with a continuous and durable range of precise sizing options that can be adjusted while the item incorporating the mechanism is worn by the user. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[00Q8J The general object of the present invention is to provide a convenient and comfortable garment fitting mechanism that provides users with a continuous range of precise sizing options. The present invention also enhances the aesthetic and functional appeal of a hat or garment, as it can be used to fasten garments inconspicuously, and hats in particular, all while being worn by the user. It also lays relatively flat when in use, which is beneficial not only from an aesthetic point of view; it also reduces the chances of the mechanism catching or snagging other items.

[0009] As embodied and broadly described below, the present invention provides a garment fitting mechanism comprising at least one adjustable strap with serrated teeth and a clasp designed to adjust a hat or other suitable garment to a size or tension desired by the user.

[0010] In one preferred embodiment, the garment fitting mechanism comprises a dual- sided clasp, and two slidably adjustable straps each comprising a plurality of serrated teeth. Such a mechanism may be incorporated into the crown of a hat, or into any garment, accessor}' or footwear requiring fitting and tightening. For instance, the mechanism can be used to tighten cuffs of rain coats or rain pants, or may be used to fasten and tighten the waist of a pair of pants. A set of one or more of the mechanisms may also be used to tighten footwear, including shoes or ski boots, flippers and the like. One or more of the mechanisms can be used to fasten undergarments such as brassieres or corsets. The mechanism could be used to fit safety goggles or swim goggles.

[001 1 ] In another preferred embodiment, the garment fitting mechanism described above is enclosed within a housing, preferably made of fabric, and affixed within the inner crown of a hat or other suitable garment. Advantageously, the housing allows the closing mechanism to be affixed within the interior of the crown of a hat in a reasonably inconspicuous manner. A user may also access the housing while the hat is being worn to easily increase or decrease the tension of the closing mechanism and, ultimately, the fit of the hat. The adjustment can be done while the garment is being worn, with one or both hands.

[0012J In a further preferred aspect, a hat incorporating the garment fitting mechanism may be configured such that the mechanism is supported by additional structural support members, and is located under the occiput of the user's head when being worn. Such a configuration allows effective securement of the hat to the user's head without requiring typical supplemental hat securement measures such as chin straps or elastics.

[0013] In a further preferred embodiment, the housing containing the fitting mechanism, when incorporated into the inner crown of a hat, can be flipped up and hidden within the upper crown of the hat, thereby concealing the housing and mechanism when not in use. This garment fitting mechanism will provide the multiple functions of allowing a user to easily adjust a hat to a proper fit, and to do so more comfortably and conveniently.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The present invention will now be better understood with reference to the description and to the accompanying drawings in which:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the fitting mechanism configured for incorporation in a hat; [0016] FIG. 2 is a plan view of a portion of the fitting mechanism with one strap engaged, in two positions;

[0017] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a spring, which is a component of the fitting mechanism;

[0018] FIG. 4 is a plan view of a portion o the teethed portion of the arm of the fitting mechanism;

[0019] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the guide track of the fitting mechanism from behind and from the front;

[0020] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment for the guide track of the fitting mechanism;

[0021 1 FIG. 7 is a plan view and a side view of the arm of the fitting mechanism;

[0022] FIG. 8 is a side section view of the arm of the fitting mechanism as installed in a guide track;

[0023] FIG. 9 is an environmental side view of the fitting mechanism as it would be placed on a human head;

[0024] FIG. 10 is a plan view of the fitting mechanism incorporated into a housing;

[0025] FIG. 11 is a rear perspective view of the fitting mechanism as incorporated into a band for further corporation into a hat; [0026] FIG. 12 is a further perspective view of the fitting mechanism incorporated into a hat;

[0027] FIG. 13 is a rear environmental plan view of a hat, demonstrating the motion for tightening the fitting mechanism;

[0028] FIG. 14 is a perspective view showing how a housing incorporating the fitting mechanism may be contained within the crown of a hat and flipped outwards to utilize the fitting mechanism when needed.

[0029] In these figures, preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of examples. It is to be expressly understood that the description and drawings are only for the purpose of illustration and are an aid for understanding. They are not intended to define the limits of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0030] Turning now to the figures, FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of the garment fitting mechanism, configured for incorporation into the crown of a hat. In this embodiment, the fitting mechanism 100 generally includes two arms 102 having teethed portions 116, and a guide track 106 having two slots 108. Also shown in this embodiment of the mechanism 100 are flexible support members 1 12 that extend from the guide track 106. The role of the flexible support members is described in further detail below with reference to FIG. 10.

[0031] The user can pull one or both of the arms 102 in a direction horizontally away from the guide track 106 in order to increase the overall length of the mechanism 100. The user can also push one or both of the arms 102 towards the guide track 106 in order to decrease the overall length of the mechanism 100. The increases or decreases in overall length of the mechanism 100 correspond to respective loosening or tightening of the item in which mechanism 100 has been incorporated.

[0032] FIG. 2 shows a portion o the fitting mechanism 100 in further detail, including a more detailed view of the interior of guide track 106. As described previously, the upper figure shows the arm 102 pulled horizontally away from the guide track 106 which increases the overall length of the mechanism 100. The lower figure shows arm 102 horizontally pushed in towards the guide track 106 which decreases the overall length of the mechanism. Each teethed portion 116 incorporates a plurality of serrated teeth at a top edge thereof.

[0033] Incorporated in the interior of the guide track 106 at its top edge is a spring 13, sized to cooperate with the teethed portion 116. The valleys 15 between teeth of the teethed portion 102 and the bend in the spring 13, shown below in detail in FIG. 4, are configured so that the spring 13 can snappingly engage with the valleys 15 between the teeth, and the user can adjust the overall length of the mechanism 100 accordingly. The teethed portion 116's cooperation with the spring 13 will cause the arm 102 to stay in place within a given range of horizontal tension placed on the mechanism 100. Optionally, arm 102 may include a grip portion 18 to allow the user to better grasp arm 102 when adjustment of mechanism 100 is desired.

[0034] Greater detail of the individual components of fitting mechanism 100 are set out in

FIGs. 3-7. FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of spring 13. Spring 13 may be constructed of any type of resilient material such as a plastic or metal. Preferably, it is made from metal. As shown, this embodiment of spring 13 takes the approximate shape of an "S". First spring end 14 is the portion that engages with the teethed portion 116. Due to the shape of spring 13, when it is confined in a narrow space such as within the guide track 106, the first spring end 14 is urged downwards to nestle in a valley 15 of the teethed portion 116.

[0035] In this embodiment, the amount of horizontal force required to move the arm 102 towards the guide track 106, an action which corresponds to tightening the mechanism 100, is less than the amount of horizontal force required to move the arm 102 away from guide track 106, an action which corresponds to loosening the mechanism 100. The reasons for this can be appreciated with reference to the close-up of the shapes of the valleys 15 as shown in FIG. 4, each of which incorporates a first valley side 21 and a second valley side 22. In this embodiment, the angle of the first valley side 21 relative to the arm 102 is approximately 45 degrees, and forms an elongated, gradual incline relative to the second valley side 22, which is substantially vertical. In addition, the peaks of the valleys 15 are rounded. When the teethed portion 116 is moved towards the guide track 106, the first spring end 14 of the spring 13 will be dragged across the first valley side 21, over the rounded peak, and snapped in to nestle within the valley 15. Conversely, if the user moves the teethed portion 116 away from guide track 106, the first spring end 14 of the spring 13 will encounter the relatively steep incline of second valley side 22, and will thus require more horizontally applied force to successfully move past second valley side 22 into the neighbouring valley 15. This difference in forces required to tighten versus loosen the fitting mechanism 100 is beneficial, particularly when used in a hat, as it will result in greater retention of the fit of the hat to the user's head, with a reduction of the risk of inadvertent loosening. Because greater force is required to loosen the mechanism 100, deliberate application of force will more likely be required to perform this action. [0036] The amount of force required to move the arms 102 in or out of the guide track 106 can be set by adjusting the angles of the first and second valley sides 21 and 22, the length of the corresponding inclines, the overall shape and depth of the valleys 15, and the corresponding dimensions and resiliency of the spring 13. For instance, if it is desired to make the mechanism 100 more resistant to pulling the arm 102 out from guide track 106, one may do so by changing the dimensions and shapes of the valleys 15 and first and second valley sides 21 and 22. using a heavier gauge spring 13, or some combination of these measures.

[0037] FIG. 5 shows two perspective views of guide track 106, from rear and front viewpoints. Slots 108 are sized to cooperate with raised tab 121 shown in FIG. 7. Guide track 106 is substantially hollow, incorporating access openings 109 on both ends through which the aforementioned spring 13 can be installed at the upper edge of guide track 106, and through which the teethed portion 116 of arm 102 may be introduced. The teeth and valleys 15 of teethed portion 116 will interact as previously described with the first spring end 14 when installed. Also provided in guide track 106 are windows 17 through which the proper installation of the spring 13 can be confirmed.

[0038] Guide track 106 may be molded or otherwise fabricated from any sort of resilient material. Preferably, it is made from a light weight but resilient plastic. Resiliency is beneficial as the fitting mechanism is used for fitting purposes around generally curved body parts, such as the head, wrists, or tops of the feet. As an additional resiliency measure, guide track 106 may also feature bridge portion 113, which imparts the ability for greater flexion on guide track 106.

[0039] FIG. 6 shows an alternate embodiment of guide track 106 in which the front panel portion of guide track 106 extends across the front of bridge 113 with the addition of one or more hinges 114. Hinges 114 provide resistance to overflexing of bridge 113. Hinges 114 thereby provide structural support to guide track 106 while at the same time allowing flexibility within a limited range of motion.

[0040] FIG. 7 shows arm 102 in greater detail, in a plan view and a side view. Teethed portion 116 features a raised tab 121 which rises above the height of the rest of arm 102. Raised tab 121 is preferably integrally molded with arm 102, both being formed from a resilient plastic. Raised tab 121 may be of any shape, but preferably incorporates a sloped side angled towards the end of teethed portion 116.

[0041] Teethed portion 116 of arm 102 may be installed in guide track 106 by entering through the access portions 109, and engaging the raised tab 121 with the corresponding slot 108. If the raised tab 121 incorporates a sloped side as described above, it provides less impediment to the installation of teethed portion 116. Once installed in slot 108, the raised tab 121 will permit the arm 102 to move within the limits of the slot 108, but the raised tab 121 will act as a stop to prevent movement of arm 102 beyond the boundaries of the limits imposed by the edges of slot 108. In this way, the user may adjust the overall length of fitting mechanism by moving the arm 102 a preferred distance within slot 108, but without inadvertently disengaging the arm 102 from the guide track 106. Each tooth of the teethed portion 116 serves as an increment of adjustability of fitting mechanism 100.

[0042] The interaction of raised tab 121 and slot 108 is better seen in FIG. 8, which is a side section view of teethed portion 116 and its corresponding raised tab 121 when installed in a guide track 106. Slot 108 cannot be seen in this view but serves to provide boundaries to the movement of teethed portion 116 within guide track 106 in the manner described above. [0043] The fitting mechanism 100 may be configured to have one, two, or more arms 102.

A slot 108 is required in the guide track 106 for each arm 102. If there are two arms 102 and a guide track 106 provided with two corresponding slots 108, the fitting mechanism 100 may be operated by the user to move two arms 102 substantially equal distances towards or away from guide track 106, so as to provide a symmetrical fit. Conveniently, the user may operate such a fitting mechanism 100 with one or two hands. If using two hands, the user may grip both arms 102 to perform the required tightening or loosening action. If using one hand, the user may "pinch" the two arms 102 towards each other or spread them away from each other, by contacting the two arms 102 respectively with the heel of the hand and the fingers, or by any other means. In this respect, if the mechanism 100 is intended to be used frequently with one hand, the aforementioned grip portions 18 are beneficial to incorporate in arms 102.

[0044] The skilled person will also appreciate that fitting mechanism 100 can also work with only one arm 102 and one slot 108 within guide track 106. Depending on the particular use, this may provide sufficient adjustability in terms of size depending on the needs of the user and the configuration of the item in which fitting mechanism 100 is installed.

[0045] The embodiment of the arm 102 shown in FIG. 7 shows a portion of the arm 102 curving in a direction away from the toothed portion 116. As better seen in FIG. 9, this particular configuration of the arm 102 is convenient when incorporating the fitting mechanism into a fitting system for a hat. The curve to the arm 102 avoids the ears of the user.

[0046] Shown in FIG. 9 is the placement of an embodiment of the fitting system 100 on a human head, as it would be placed when incorporated into a hat (not shown). This particular embodiment of the fitting system, when used in a hat, takes advantage of the natural curvature of the human head, which includes, located at the base of the skull, a natural ledge called the occiput 400, which corresponds to the point around the scalp portion of the head having the largest circumference. When incorporated into a hat, the fitting system 100 can nestle under the occiput 400 to effectively secure the hat to the head, without the need for additional securement mechanisms such as chin straps or elastics. As well, the arms 102 when used for head wear may be curved as shown so that the fitting mechanism 100 avoids pinching the ears. This is beneficial for the comfort of the user, but is also particularly advantageous when the user is tightening the fitting mechanism 100 to provide retention of the hat during physical activity or inclement weather conditions. The fit can be made tighter and more secure without interference from the ears.

[0047] In order to incorporate fitting mechanism 100 into a hat, it may be encased in or otherwise attached to a housing 200 as seen in FIG. 9. The housing is preferably made from a thin fabric, and the fitting mechanism 100 may be sewn into the housing 200 by way of stitching 202 such as that shown in FIG. 10. The stitching 202 should closely follow the form of the fitting mechanism 100, but should be performed so that there is some space for arms 102 of fitting mechanism 100 to slide within the fabric housing 200 upon user grasping and adjusting the arms 102. The fabric used for the housing 200 is preferably thin, and may be comprised of a resilient mesh fabric, so that the user can adequately feel the components of the fitting mechanism 100 through the fabric. Resiliency of the fabric is beneficial so as to better fit the curve of the head and to reduce puckering or bunching of the fabric of the housing 200 when the user is tightening the fitting mechanism 100.

[0048] In this embodiment, the incorporation of flexible support members 112 is beneficial as they serve to provide greater structural rigidity to fitting mechanism 100 when incoiporated in a housing 200. When incorporated and secured as shown, flexible support members 112 serve to minimize bunching of the fabric of housing 200 in use. The flexible support members 112, when incorporated into a hat, also serve to maintain the position of the fitting mechanism 100 under the occiput 400.

[0049] In addition, fitting mechanism 100 may incorporate additional features to facilitate its secure placement within housing 200. For instance, arms 102 need not be solid as shown; they may incorporate holes which can also be stitched through in order to better secure fitting mechanism 100 within housing 200. Similarly, flexible support members 112 may also incorporate holes for the same reason.

[0050] In a further preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 11, the housing 200 containing fitting mechanism 100 may be attached to a circumferential band 219 configured to span the full circumference of the interior crown of a hat, with the portion of the housing 200 which contains the fitting mechanism 100 being positioned to cradle the occiput 400 as previously described.

[0051] Sewing is a convenient way to incorporate fitting mechanism 100 into housing 200, and to affix housing 200 to band 219, but other known methods such as adhesives may be used. In addition, in the context of a hat, housing 200 and band 219 are not essential. Fitting mechanism 100 may be directly attached to the interior crown of the hat, as long as the positioning of fitting mechanism 100 is configured so that it will fit under the user's occiput 400 in use.

[0052] Where used, the housing 200, or portions thereof, and the band 219, or portions thereof, may also be configured to absorb perspiration or include additional padding to provide additional comfort, structure, or warmth while worn. [0053J FIG. 12 shows the band 219 and housing 200 containing the fitting mechanism 100 incorporated into a hat 50, wherein the fitting mechanism 100 is configured to cup the occiput 400 to secure the hat 50 to the user's head. In this embodiment, the band 219 and housing 200, or any portion of either, may be affixed to the inner crown of the hat 50. The band 219 and housing 200 may be so affixed by any suitable means or device including, but not limited to, sewing, stitching, bonding, rivets, staples, adhesive or any other suitable means. In a preferred embodiment, the band 219 is affixed to the hat 50 along the entire circumference of the crown.

[0054] In addition, the fitting mechanism 100 may be used in a more traditional context to secure a hat to a user's head. For instance, it may be used as an improved closure at the rear of a traditional baseball hat, the closure being located higher than the occiput 400 on the user's head. It could also be used as an improved adjustable chin strap for a hat.

[0055] As demonstrated in FIG. 13, a user may increase or decrease the circumferential tension exerted by the fitting mechanism 100 to accommodate the size of the user's head and desired tension, while wearing the hat 50. The fitting mechanism 100 may be loosened or tightened by the user gripping the arms 102 of the fitting mechanism 100 which resul ts in user being able to slide the end portions 116 of the straps 102 (not visible in this figure). The end portions 116 of straps 102 may be thus caused to converge inwardly towards the midline of the head, thus tightening the fitting mechanism 100, or may be pulled outwards which will result in loosening the fitting mechanism 100. Such actions will correspondingly result in increased or decreased engagement of the fitting system 100 with the occiput 400.

[0056] FIG. 14 demonstrates how the fitting system 100, when incorporated in a hat 50, may be discreetly hidden when not in use. If hat securement is not necessary, the user may flip the portion of the housing 200 containing fitting system 100 into the interior of the crown of the hat. When securement is necessary, the user may flip the housing 200 away from the hat interior. In this manner, the features and benefits imparted by fitting system 100 may be made conveniently available according to the user ' s needs, for instance when required by weather conditions such as wind.

[0057J When incorporated in hats, this fitting mechanism may be used to facilitate securement of a variety of hats, such as construction hats, bicycle helmets, cowboy hats, baseball caps, bucket hats, hats for hiking and camping, sun hats, and any other types of hats and visors. It may also be used to secure accessories such as safety glasses, swim goggles, belts, and headbands.

[0058] The fitting mechanism may also be used in other garments requiring securement and fitting. For instance, the mechanism can be used to cinch the cuffs of rain gear, or the cuffs of gloves or the tops of boots. One or more of the fitting mechanisms can be used to secure footwear, and would be particularly useful for boots such as ski boots. Similarly, given that the mechanism lies relatively flat, it could be used to secure undergarments such as brassieres or corsets, or to cinch the waists of pants. The invented fitting mechanism would be useful for many- such garment-related applications.

[0059] While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, it will be appreciated that numerous variations, modifications, and embodiments would be evident to a person of skill in the art.