Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ADJUSTABLE BREAST SUPPORT GARMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/064553
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention comprises a bra with variable tension cups and non-slip straps. The cups of the bra are made of a flexible material that can reform smoothly over the breast as the breast changes shape under variable tension. The inner edges of the cups diverge from the center of the breasts near the torso band towards the shoulders and are connected using an appropriate fastener such as a zipper. Adjusting the position of the zipper increases or decreases the tension on the breasts. The invention also comprises back straps, the positioning of which both support the variable tension of the cups and eliminate shoulder straps from slipping off the wearer's shoulders. Each of the two back straps are adjustable in length and are secured to the bra in three places.

Inventors:
LATREMOUILLE LOUISE (CA)
Application Number:
IB2020/059061
Publication Date:
April 08, 2021
Filing Date:
September 28, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LATREMOUILLE LOUISE (CA)
International Classes:
A41C3/00; A41C3/12
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An adjustable breast support garment comprising: a pair of cups; a side panel connected to an outer edge of each of said cups; a rear panel extending from each of said side panels towards a wearer’s back; a torso band extending along a bottom edge of said pair of cups, said side panels and said rear panels; a pair of shoulder straps, each having a connected end attached to an upper portion of one of said cups and having a free end extending away from said cups; a first back strap having a first and second end, wherein said first end is connected to a first point on a first of said rear panels and said second end is connected to a second point on said first rear panel, and a medial portion of said first back strap is slidably connected to said free end of one of said shoulder straps; and a second back strap having a first and second end, wherein said first end is connected to a first point on a second of said rear panels and said second end is connected to a second point on said second rear panel, and a medial portion of said second back strap is slidably connected to said free end of the other of said shoulder straps.

2. The support garment of claim 1, further comprising: each of said rear panels having a first height proximate said side panels, said first height being at substantially the same level as a centre point of said cups, and each of said rear panels having a second height towards said wearer’s back; and said first points are approximately where said first height transitions to said second height.

3. The support garment of claim 2 wherein said first ends of said back straps are attached to said first points at a 90 degree angle.

4. The support garment of claim 2 wherein said second points are on said rear panels at a portion having said second height.

5. The support garment of claim 4, wherein said second ends are slidably connected to said second points.

6. The support garment of claim 4 wherein said second ends are removably connected to said second points.

7. The support garment of claim 1, each of said shoulder straps further comprising an adjustment mechanism to adjust the length of said shoulder strap.

8. The support garment of claim 1, each of said back straps further comprising an adjustment mechanism to adjust the length of said back strap.

9. The adjustable support garment of claim 1, wherein said pair of cups each have a facing inner edge, and said inner edges diverge and are non-parallel.

10. The support garment of claim 9 further comprising a fastening mechanism to selectively connect said inner edges.

11. The support garment of claim 10 wherein said fastening mechanism is a locking zipper.

12. The support garment of claim 10 wherein said fastening mechanism is a set of hooks and eyes.

13. The support garment of claim 10 wherein said fastening mechanism releases said torso band between said cups.

14. The support garment of claim 1 wherein said torso band has a releasable fastener mechanism on said rear panels.

15. The support garment of claim 1 wherein at least one of said side panels extends up said outer edge of one of said cups to said upper portion of said cup, and is attached between said upper portion and said connected end of one of said shoulder straps.

16. An adjustable breast support garment comprising a pair of cups, each of said cups comprising an inner edge, said inner edges diverging from each other away from said torso band; a side panel connected to an outer edge of each of said cups; a rear panel extending from each of said side panels towards a wearer’s back; a torso band extending along a bottom edge of said pair of cups, said side panels and said rear panels; a pair of shoulder straps, each having a connected end attached to an upper portion of one of said cups and having a free end extending away from said cups; and a fastening mechanism to selectively connect said inner edges.

17. The support garment of claim 16, wherein said fastening mechanism is a locking zipper.

18. The support garment of claim 16, wherein said fastening mechanism is a set of hooks and eyes.

19. The support garment of claim 16, wherein said fastening mechanism releases said torso band between said cups.

20. The support garment of claim 16, wherein said torso band has a releasable fastener mechanism on said rear panels.

21. The support garment of claim 16 wherein at least one of said side panels extends up said outer edge of one of said cups to said upper portion of said cup, and is attached between said upper portion and said connected end of one of said shoulder straps.

22. The support garment of claim 16 wherein at least one of said rear panels extends from said outer edge of one of said cups.

Description:
Adjustable Breast Support Garment FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention generally relates to breast support garments. More particularly, it relates to brassieres and other garments providing variable breast support with adjustable breast cups. Further, it relates to adjustable straps configured to prevent straps from easily slipping off the wearer’s shoulders, with the strap configuration also supporting the adjustable breast support.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sport bras are used to prevent undue motion of a wearer’s breasts, typically by compressing the breasts, and by tightly squeezing the wearer all around the torso. This compression may assist in preventing movement of the breasts, but the lack of stretch and movement also makes the bra itself difficult to put on and even more difficult to take off. The compression is also generally physically unflattering for many bodies, and may not be particularly comfortable to wear for post-sports activities. However, any looseness in the bra is generally undesirable, for example because the breasts may be insufficiently supported and because loose straps tend to slip off a wearer’s shoulders. Further, a wearer might want to participate in several activities that require different amounts of breast support, such as cycling to a kickboxing class or running to a yoga class, without wanting to change bras in between activities. If the activity is then followed by meeting a friend for a meal or beverage, it would be more comfortable to loosen the constricting sports bra, and simpler not to have to change bras.

Chinese Utility Model CN202514598 discloses a bra designed to prevent the straps from slipping by providing a second strap portion on the back side of each shoulder strap. This second anchor point for the shoulder strap tightens the shoulder strap and prevents the length from moving outward over the wearer’s shoulder. However, the length of the small rear straps cannot be adjusted, and they do not work to provide any additional support to the breasts.

US Pub. No. 2011/0191944 is directed to a support device comprising several straps, primarily designed to act like suspenders in holding up pantyhose, but also including a set of straps that can be connected to provide additional bust support. While the extra straps provide targeted support, doing so in the illustrated manner is likely to simply remove the weight of the breasts from the bra’s shoulder straps, making them more likely to slip off the wearer’s shoulders. US Pub. No.2014/0349550 and Patent Nos. 8500513, 8545287 and 8790153 are all part of a family of patents directed to aspects of an adjustable breast support garment intended to modify the appearance of a wearer’s bust. Various straps and loops permit adjustment, primarily to reposition the bra cups by changing the tension of the straps and connections around them. Some embodiments comprise a set of crossed rear shoulder straps (also called a racer back), which will assist with preventing the straps from falling off the wearer’s shoulders, but this configuration of straps often makes the bra difficult to put on and to take off.

US Pub. No. 2017/9788578 discloses an adjustable bra that includes a corset-style mechanism, by which the pressure placed on a wearer’s chest can be adjusted. The elasticized cord can be tightened or loosened, then secured against further movement by adjustment of a cord lock. Although other options for this mechanism are briefly discussed, the drawback to this arrangement is that essentially uniform pressure is put on the wearer’s chest; there is no ability to apply more pressure towards the ribs and reduced pressure at the top of the bra, for example.

US Pub. No. 2017/0265530 discloses a brassiere wherein the adjustable pressure is provided by fastening one of a series of closures. Again, the pressure will be essentially uniform all down the wearer’s chest unless some of the fasteners are left undone, which of course provides less secure support for a wearer. The zipper fastener disclosed in US Patent No. 9480288 similarly provides uniform pressure that cannot be adjusted.

US Patent No. 8832862 discloses an auxiliary bra top, for use over a less supportive bikini top, meant to provide additional bust support without the wearer having to remove the bikini top. The auxiliary bra top unzips completely before being zipped up over the underlying bikini top. Similarly, US Patent No. 6165045 and CN108669669 disclose bras that unzip completely to ensure that the wearer may easily put them on. However, none of these references disclose bras that provide adjustable tension through the bust, or that have a strap configuration that significantly reduces or eliminates the tendency for straps to slip from the wearer’s shoulders.

US Patent No. 9055771 discloses a brassiere in which additional support for activity or for larger breasts is provided via sub-wing sections, moving from the outside of the cup around the wearer’s ribs towards the back side.

US Pub. No. 2019/0037930 discloses a support garment in which a single continuous strap is configured to form both shoulder straps and a portion of the rear band. While the desired effect is to create a single strap adjustment mechanism, such adjustment is liable to put pressure all over the wearer’s torso, rather than focusing support and control on the breast area.

US Pub. No. 2019/0008215 discloses a garment in which each half of the back portion of the band is divided into two portions, which are preferably angled relative to each other to provide postural support and are adjustable to provide support to asymmetrical bodies.

CN201230581 discloses a bra having secondary panels in the rear, to which the straps may be connected away from the bra band.

US Patent No. 9277772 discloses a bra in which the cups and a torso-encircling folding band are designed to support drooping breast tissue. The shoulder straps are positioned to keep the straps aligned closer to the wearer’s neck, thereby reducing the chance that they will slip off the wearer’s shoulders. The rear end of the shoulder straps is likewise centred very near the back clasp for the bra band.

However, none of the foregoing references disclose a breast support garment in which the pressure applied by the cups may be easily adjusted without removing the garment or the wearer’s outer clothing, or a strap configuration in which slippage of the straps off the wearer’s shoulders can be avoided without a complex arrangement or adjustment of the straps.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a breast support garment that overcomes the drawbacks referred to above. Further features and objects of the invention will be better understood by reference to the detailed description of the preferred embodiment which follows. Note that the objects referred to above are statements of what motivated the invention rather than promises. Not all of the objects are necessarily met by all embodiments of the invention described below or by the invention defined by each of the claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention comprises two breast support cups that are sewn using an appropriate flexible fabric or other material that can reform smoothly over the breast as the breast changes shape. The cups are connected between the two breasts using an appropriate fastener, preferably a locking style zipper. When the fastener is in its lowest position, the inner edges of the cups form a V-like shape between them, whether or not the garment is being worn. Adjusting the position of the fastener adjustably increases or decreases the degree to which the inner edges of the cups are pulled together and thereby adjusts the tension of the garment on the breasts, offering greater or lesser support as needed. Putting on and taking off the breast support garment is facilitated by having the fastener in its lowest position.

The invention further comprises shoulder straps and back straps, the positioning of which also affects the adjustable tension on the breasts. The shoulder straps are positioned centrally above each cup at a position peaking upwards toward the shoulder. The shoulder strap is preferably adjustable, such as with a slider secured to it. The back straps have elastic properties and are adjustable in length to enable the wearer to adjust for fit and comfort. The back straps are secured in three places, creating a tri-connection back strap configuration. The connection points between the back straps and the body of the garment are preferably selected to ensure that the shoulder straps do not slip off a wearer’s shoulders, and that the back straps contribute to providing support to a wearer’s breasts.

The foregoing may cover only some of the aspects of the invention. Other aspects of the invention may be appreciated by reference to the following description of at least one preferred mode for carrying out the invention in terms of one or more examples. The following mode(s) for carrying out the invention is not a definition of the invention itself, but is only an example that embodies the inventive features of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS At least one mode for carrying out the invention in terms of one or more examples will be described by reference to the drawings thereof in which:

Fig. 1 is a front view of a breast support garment of the invention in a first, less supportive configuration;

Fig. 2 is a front view of the breast support garment in a second, more supportive configuration; Fig. 3 is a front view of the breast support garment in a third, maximum support configuration;

Fig. 4 is a rear view of the breast support garment;

Fig. 5 is a side view of the breast support garment;

Fig. 6 is a front view of the breast support garment in an unclasped configuration; Fig. 7 is an enlarged view of the back straps and torso band of the breast support garment and the rear panel;

Fig. 8 is a side view of a second embodiment of the breast support garment;

Fig. 9 is a front view of a third embodiment of the breast support garment;

Fig. 10 is a front view of a fourth embodiment of the breast support garment;

Fig. 11 is a rear view of the breast support garment of Fig. 9 or Fig. 10; and

Fig. 12 is a front view of a fifth embodiment of the breast support garment in an unclasped configuration, and;

Fig 13 is a back view of a sixth embodiment of the breast support garment in an unclasped configuration.

Fig 14 is a back view of a seventh embodiment of the breast support garment in an unclasped configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AT LEAST ONE MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION IN TERMS OF EXAMPLE(S)

The breast support garment 10 of the invention, shown in Figs. 1 - 3, comprises a pair of breast support cups 12 that are created using a flexible fabric or other material that can reform smoothly over the breast as the breast changes shape. The cups 12 are supported by an under-breast torso band 14 that passes around a wearer’s torso, and by side panels 17 which lay along the sides of a wearer’s torso. A suitable fastening mechanism, such as a zipper 16, adjustably connects the inner edges 13 of the cups 12. Side panels 17 support the outer edges of the cups 12. Shoulder straps 20 extend from the top or apex of each of the two breast support cups 12, towards and over a wearer’s shoulders. Shoulder straps 20 are preferably of adjustable length, to allow a wearer to customize the fit and comfort of the garment 10; a mechanism such as a slider 26 may be attached to the free end of the shoulder strap 20 to provide adjustability. Shoulder straps 20 may be padded for the wearer’s additional comfort.

Figs. 1 and 3 show the fastening mechanism 16 in the most open and most closed positions respectively. Fig. 1 shows best when the zipper 16 is in its lowest position, the facing inner edges 13 of the cups 12 form a V-like shape 42 between the breasts away from the torso band 14 towards the shoulder straps 20. That is, the inner edges 13 of the cups 12 with the zipper 16 do not run parallel to each other when the zipper 16 is open, but instead diverge because of the cut of the cups 12. This means that closing the zipper 16 pulls the inner edges 13 of the cups 12 together by variable amounts and thereby applies a variable amount of tension to the cups 12 and to the wearer’s breasts, with the position shown in Fig. 1 applying the least amount of tension, the position shown in Fig. 3 applying a maximum amount of tension, and any intermediate position, such as that shown in Fig. 2, applying an intermediate amount of tension. The zipper 16 is preferably a locking zipper, such that it can be zipped into the position shown in Figs. 1 or 3, or any intermediate position such as that shown in Fig. 2, and it will stay in the selected position.

The zipper 16 can be a separating zipper, thus making the garment 10 a front-opening garment, as will be discussed later, but is preferably sewn into the breast support garment’ s under-breast torso band 14, such that it cannot undo completely and will not allow the cups 12 to separate completely. Keeping the bottom band undivided in front maintains the cups 12 in a stable position and allows the zipper 16 to be unzipped nearly completely to provide a minimum support level without the wearer worrying about whether the zipper 16 will open unexpectedly and release the breasts. The support level provided by the garment 10 can therefore be easily adjusted over the complete range of support, without the need to remove the garment 10 or the wearer’s other clothing or to do anything more complicated than sliding the zipper up or down under the wearer’ s other clothing.

It will be understood that while a locking zipper is a preferred fastening mechanism, other mechanisms, such as a series of hooks or buttons that can be selectively partially fastened or unfastened, may also be used.

Figs. 4 - 6 show further details of the rear side of the garment 10 and particularly the back strap 24 configuration. The side panels 17 extend from the outer edges of the cups 12, wrapping around to the rear panels 18. The torso band 14 wraps around the torso and can be releasable, connectable by any suitable mechanism, such as a hook and eye fastener 22.

As noted, shoulder straps 20 extend up on the front of the torso towards the wearer’s shoulders from the top of the cups 12, either directly attached thereto, or with a portion of the side panel 17 between the shoulder strap 20 and cup 12, as best seen in Fig. 5. Shoulder straps 20 preferably extend somewhat over the top of the wearer’s shoulders and down towards the rear panels 18, but may not extend that far. The back straps 24 connect to the free ends of shoulder straps 20 by any suitable mechanism, such as a slider 26. The back strap 24 threads through a slider 26 that is attached to the end of the shoulder strap 20 which supports the stability and adjustability of the shoulder strap 20 and allows the back strap 24 to move relative to the rear end of shoulder strap 20.

The outer (first) end 30 of the back strap 24 is secured near the top of the curved portion 34 of the rear panel 18. The back strap 24 is then threaded through slider 26 positioned at the end of the shoulder strap 20. The back strap 24 is then threaded over the post of a slider 32, then threaded through one end of another slider 28 that is attached near to the center of the back of the breast support garment 10, the end of the back strap 24 is then secured to the post of the slider 32, creating an adjustable (second) end to the back strap 24. The back strap 24 is thus attached to the garment 10 at three points, creating a tri-connection configuration, as best seen in Fig. 4. It is preferred that slider 28 is attached, but it could also be removable.

If the garment 10 is configured with a back fastener 22, as shown, the sliders 28 are preferably connected very near to the back fastener 22 on each side. If the breast support garment is provided with a front opening (i.e. a zipper that can be completely unzipped), the sliders 28 may be positioned more closely together, at the centre of the back, as best shown on Fig. 11. The secured outer end 30 of the back strap 24 is attached to the rear panel 18 of the breast support garmentlO at a point where it will best assist the shoulder strap 20 and the adjustable tension of the breast support cups 12. This point is at or nearly even or with the center level of the wearer’s breasts C, as best illustrated in Fig. 6. Accordingly, the height hiof the widest portion of rear panel 18 before it slopes down, as best seen on Fig. 7, being the distance between the torso band 14 and the top edge 36 of the rear panel 18, is preferably approximately level with or slightly above the centre point C of the cup 12 as best illustrated in Fig 8.

Rear panels 18 may narrow through a curved portion 34, seen best in Figs. 6 and 7, at which back strap outer end 30 can be secured to apply additional tension to the cups 12. The secured outer end 30 of the back strap 24 is preferably connected at a point near the top of the curved portion 34 at an approximately 90 degree angle. Attaching the back strap 24 at this angle provides additional support to the cups 12 and cooperates with the shoulder straps 20 and zipper 16 to provide additional tension and support to the cups 12 to support the wearer’s breasts.

The height ]¾ of the material between torso band 14 and the top edge 37 of the rear panel 18 after the curved portion 34 as best seen in Fig. 7, may be smaller than the height hi, to provide a lighter garment that may feel less constricting to the wearer while still providing sufficient support. Alternatively, hi and ]¾ may be substantially the same, which may be preferred by some wearers. In either case, the tri-connection configuration will significantly reduce or prevent the straps from slipping off of a wearer’s shoulders and will provide additional support to the wearer’s breasts, without being difficult to put on or to adjust for a comfortable fit.

In the alternate embodiment of the breast support garment 10 is shown in Fig. 8, the curved portion 34 of the rear panel is quite steep thereby quickly bringing the top edge 37 of the rear panel after the curved portion 34 as close as possible to the torso band 14 minimizing the height h3 of the back of the bra, providing a slimmer back which some wearers might prefer. The tri configuration of the back strap 24 as in previous embodiments will reduce or eliminate straps from slipping off the shoulders of the wearer and provide additional support to the cups 12.

In the alternate embodiments shown in Fig. 9 and Fig 10, the garment 10 is front opening 40 and comprises a pair of cups 12, with shoulder straps 20 extending from the top of the cups 12 as in the previous embodiments. The torso band 14 and rear panel 18 wrap completely around the whole of the wearer’s torso, as best shown in Fig. 11, and the garment 10 is not releasable in the rear. A front opening 40 is provided approximately midway between the cups 12, and can be opened and closed by operation of a suitable fastening mechanism that extends from the torso band 14 up the inner edges 13 of cups 12. As in the previous embodiments, the fastening mechanism may be a locking zipper 16 (Fig. 9), a series of hooks and eyes 33 (Fig. 10) or any other suitable fastening mechanism that can be selectively fastened or unfastened along the length of the inner edges 13 of the cups 12. As with previous embodiments, the tri-configuration of the back strap 24 as shown in Fig. 11 will significantly reduce or prevent the shoulder straps 20 from slipping off of a wearer’s shoulders and will provide additional support to the cups 12.

The alternate embodiments of the breast support garments 10 in Fig. 12 and Fig. 13 show the tri configuration of the back strap 24 on bras without an adjustable fastening mechanism added to the breast cups 12. The curved portion 34 on the rear panel 18 can be much softer, if at all, and the height of the rear panel and where the outer end 30 of the back strap 24 is secured can vary, as the side-to-side tension on the cups 12 is not variable, as it is on cups 12 with an adjustable fastening mechanism. Shoulder straps 20 extend up from the top of the cups 12 on the front of the torso towards a wearer’s shoulders. Shoulder straps 20 preferably extend somewhat over the top of the wearer’s shoulders and down towards the rear panel 18, but may not extend that far. The back straps 24 connect to the ends of shoulder straps 20 by any suitable mechanism, such as a slider 26. The back strap 24 threads through a slider 26 that is attached to the end of the shoulder strap 20 which supports the stability and adjustability of the shoulder strap 20 and allows the back strap 24 to move relative to the rear end of shoulder strap 20.

The end of the back strap 24 is secured to the post of a slider 32 then the back strap 24 is threaded through one end of another slider 28 that is attached near to the center of the back of the breast support garment 10, then the back strap 24 is threaded back over the post of the slider 32, thus creating an adjustable end to the back strap 24. The back strap 24 is then threaded through a slider 26 positioned at the end of the shoulder strap 20. The outer end 30 of the back strap 24 is secured at approximately the mid-way point of the rear panel 18. The tri-connection configuration of the back straps 24 significantly reduces or eliminates shoulder strap 20 slippage off the wearer’s shoulders.

In the alternate embodiment shown in Fig.14, the breast support garment 10 is both front opening 40 and has a rear hook and eye fastener 22. The rear hook and eye fastener 22 give adjustability to the torso band 14 and the front opening 40 might be preferred or necessary by some wearers. As in previous embodiments, the garment 10 comprises a pair of breast cups 12 with an adjustable fastener 16 attached to the breast cups’ 12 inner edges 13, with side panels 17 extending from the outer edges of the breast cups 12, shoulder straps 20 that extend from the top of the cups 12 and rear panels 18 which extend to the rear. As in previous embodiments the tri connection configuration of the back strap 24 minimizes or eliminates shoulder strap 20 slippage over the wearer’s shoulders.

In the various previous embodiments one or more of the panels, cups, straps, torso band or other components of the garment 10 as described can be integrally formed (as a single piece) with one or more other components. Similarly, each individual component as described herein can be made up of multiple portions or segments joined together.

In the foregoing description, exemplary modes for carrying out the invention in terms of examples have been described. However, the scope of the claims should not be limited by those examples, but should be given the broadest interpretation consistent with the description as a whole. The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.