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United States Patent Application 20110173739
Kind Code A1
Riesen; Lezlie ;   et al. July 21, 2011

Invisible zipper ponytail cap

Abstract

A multi-function cap intended to be worn over hair on the head of a wearer including a closable opening to accommodate a bundle of hair passing through the opening. The size of the closable opening is adjustable with an invisible zipper that also closes the opening when it is desired to have a hair bundle tucked under the cap with no visible hair opening or zipper teeth being displayed.


Inventors: Riesen; Lezlie; (Harrisburg, SD) ; Hawbaker; Charlie; (Bella Vista, AR) ; Hawbaker; Donna M.; (Bella Vista, AR)
Serial No.: 930371
Series Code: 12
Filed: January 4, 2011

Current U.S. Class: 2/209.3
Class at Publication: 2/209.3
International Class: A42B 1/00 20060101 A42B001/00


Claims



1. A cap intended to be worn over hair on the head of a wearer, said cap comprising a crown defining an opening to accept the head of the wearer, said cap further comprising a closable opening in said crown to accommodate a bundle of the wearer's hair passing therethrough, said closable opening further comprising invisible zipper means to vary the size of the closable opening.

2. A cap as in claim 1 wherein the closable opening and invisible zipper means are essentially concealed within the crown.

3. A cap as in claim 1 wherein said crown has a front, a back, a topside and an underside and wherein said invisible zipper means is secured to the underside of the crown over said closable opening.

4. A cap as in claim 3 wherein said closable opening is a slit extending approximately four inches along the back of said crown.

5. A cap as in claim 1 wherein said crown has a cuff.

6. A cap intended to be worn over hair on the head of a wearer, said cap comprising a crown defining an opening to accept the head of the wearer, said cap having a front, a back, a topside and an underside, said cap further comprising a closable opening in said crown to accommodate a bundle of the wearer's hair passing therethrough, said closable opening further comprising invisible zipper means secured to the underside of the crown over the closable opening to vary the size of the opening, whereby the combination of a closable opening and invisible zipper means permits different size hair bundles to pass through the closable opening while holding a hair bundle in a secure manner.

7. A cap as in claim 6 wherein the invisible zipper means is in a selected position to contain the wearer's hair bundle within the underside of the crown with no visible hair opening or zipper displayed on the topside of the crown.

8. A cap as in claim 6 wherein said closable opening is a slit extending approximately four inches along the back of said crown.

9. A cap as in claim 6 wherein said crown has a cuff on the topside of said cap.

10. A cap as in claim 6 wherein the invisible zipper means comprises: a zipper tape having a plurality of zipper teeth, said zipper tape having a first top face portion interfaced with a second top face portion along a seam to cover said zipper teeth, a zipper foot slidably engaged with the zipper teeth to mesh and unmesh the zipper teeth; and a zipper tab attached to the zipper foot to facilitate movement of the zipper foot along the zipper teeth.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of priority of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/336,036 filed Jan. 16, 2010 for Lezlie Riesen and Charlie Hawbaker, the entire content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A variety of caps and headwear that have openings to accommodate a ponytail or bundle of hair of the wearer can be found in the prior art.

[0003] With respect to headwear and the like, a plurality of objectives may include warmth, ventilation, minimization of wind resistance, protection from the sun's rays, management of the hair, comfort and style. It is known to use headwear, such as caps, to meet many or all of these objectives. For example, caps and other types of headwear are manufactured with a rear band that can be lengthened or shortened to accommodate variations in head size so that the cap can be worn by a greater number of people. The cap is often manufactured with a relatively large opening above the band to permit gathering or releasing of the material of the cap in the lengthening or shortening of the band. This opening in the rear of the cap has been used for other purposes, such as hair management. Baseball caps are frequently used for this purpose. The hair is pulled back and extended through the opening to form, for example, a ponytail that hangs from the opening in the back of the head and cap. This is intended to keep the hair out of the person's eyes or from interference with normal daily activities as well as dining more strenuous activities such as those heretofore noted. In other instances, the motivation is simply general personal appearance, style and fashion.

[0004] The opening in these prior art headwear is clearly visible and detracts from the cosmetics of the headwear when it is desired to use the cap in a conventional manner with a hair bundle not pulled through the opening. Where caps and other headwear are used in this manner, management of the hair is less than satisfactory. The opening is typically too large and consequently does not constrain the hair. As a result, the hair gradually falls from the cap, particularly during strenuous activity and over an extended period of time. Further, the hair can become entangled in the band beneath the opening and the portions thereof that are fastened together to permit the cap to be so adjusted. Similarly, the fasteners employed for this purpose can readily ensnare the hair causing discomfort and interference with removal of the cap. Thus, headwear used in this manner is entirely unsatisfactory.

[0005] Examples of prior art hats or headwear having openings for accommodating hair or ponytails include Garnier, Jr. et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,875,494, Lema U.S. Pat. No. 5,933,872, and Bartz, U.S. Pat. No. Des. 405,590.

[0006] As stated above, each of these headwear has the disadvantage that the opening for the ponytail is clearly visible. As will be recognized by those wearing ski caps and having long hair, there are times when it is desired to have the user's hair bundle tucked under the cap and not protruding through an opening as the skier negotiates the ski slopes.

[0007] Therefore, it has been known that it would be desirable to have a cap which can be employed to manage hair so as to keep it from interfering with various activities; which has particular utility when used in the constraint of the hair during strenuous activities; which can be used to advantage particularly where movement would otherwise cause the hair to flail about in an unmanageable manner during a variety of activities; including normal daily activities as well as activities requiring more substantial exertion such as sports activities; which enhances personal appearance, style and fashion; which can be used by people having otherwise unmanageable hair, whether female or male; and which is entirely successful in achieving its operational objectives.

[0008] As such, it can be appreciated that it would be desirable to have a multi-functional cap that can easily accommodate a ponytail passing through an opening in the cap and that can also be worn as a cosmetically pleasing conventional cap to cover the hair bundle and hide the opening from view.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The novel headwear of the invention is a cap intended to be worn over hair on the head of a wearer including a closable opening to accommodate a bundle of hair, such as a ponytail, passing through the opening.

[0010] Unlike prior art headwear, the multi-function cap of the invention has an invisible zipper attached to the underside of the cap to adjust the size of the closable opening. The zipper is not visible when the opening is closed with a hair bundle tucked under the cap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

[0011] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a prior art ponytail cap;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a cap of the invention; and

[0013] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the invisible zipper of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0014] The invention is a cap adapted to be worn over hair on the head of a wearer. The crown of the cap includes a closable slit to permit persons with a ponytail or hair bundle to comfortably wear the cap with the hair bundle hanging securely outside of the cap in a neat and attractive manner.

[0015] The slit is opened and closed using an invisible zipper secured to the underside of the crown and can be adjusted to change the size of the slit opening in order to accommodate different sizes of hair bundles and to provide a means to hold the hair bundle in a secure manner.

[0016] In addition, the cap of the invention can be worn as a traditional stocking cap, skull cap, ski cap and the like with the hair bundle contained within the interior of the cap. In this configuration, the zipper is used to close the slit and the invisible zipper feature of the invention conceals the zipper to provide a conventional cap with no visible hair opening or zipper teeth being displayed.

[0017] A zipper tab attached to the foot of the zipper extends through the slit to move the zipper to an open or closed position.

[0018] In a preferred embodiment, the closable opening is a slit that extends approximately four inches along the back of the crown of a ski cap or stocking cap approximately one quarter of the distance between the bottom edge of the cap cuff and the top of the cap crown. The cap may be made of knitted material or joined panels of felt, twill or other tightly woven cloth. Often, winter caps are loose-knit from fibrous material such as wool, cotton, or a synthetic fiber. The fiber and the knit pattern provide the cap with a certain amount of elasticity so that the cap is stretched somewhat through the act of putting the cap on one's head, and the cap will then contract and conform to the shape of the wearer's head.

[0019] An invisible zipper is sewn or otherwise secured by conventional means to the underside of the cap over the slit with the zipper tab extending through the slit opening.

[0020] In operation, the zipper tab is moved in an upward direction toward the top of the crown to open the closable opening and in a downward direction to close the opening.

[0021] With reference to FIG. 1, a prior art version of a ponytail cap 10 is shown on the head of a wearer with a bundle of the wearer's hair 12 extending through an opening 14 in the cap. When the hair bundle is contained within the interior of the cap, the opening 14 is fully visible. As such, a cosmetically pleasing conventional cap that covers the hair bundle and hides the opening from view is not possible.

[0022] With reference to FIG. 2, a cap 20 of the invention is shown placed on the head of a wearer with a bundle of the wearer's hair 22 extending through a closable slit opening 24 in the crown 29 of the cap. An invisible zipper of the invention, as shown in FIG. 3, is secured to the underside of the cap. A zipper tab 26 attached to the foot of the zipper extends through the slit 24 to permit adjustment of the zipper and vary the size of the opening in order to accommodate different sizes of hair bundles and to provide a means to hold the hair bundle in a secure manner.

[0023] When the cap of the invention is worn as a traditional stocking cap, skull cap, ski cap and the like with the hair bundle contained within the interior of the cap, the zipper is used to close the slit. The invisible zipper feature of the invention conceals the zipper to provide a conventional cap with no visible hair opening or zipper being displayed. When the slit is closed, the zipper tab can be discreetly tucked under the cap cuff 28 to conceal the tab.

[0024] With reference to FIG. 3, an invisible zipper 30 of the invention is shown comprising a zipper tape 32 having a first top face portion 34, a second top face portion 36, a plurality of zipper teeth 40, a zipper foot 42 and a zipper tab (not shown) attached to the zipper foot to facilitate movement of the zipper foot. The first top face portion is interfaced with the second top face portion along a seam 38 to cover the zipper teeth 40.

[0025] The zipper tape 32 is sewn or otherwise attached to the underside of a cap of the invention with the seam 38 aligned over the closable slit opening of the cap.

[0026] Although the various features of novelty that characterize the invention have been described in terms of certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, in view of the disclosure herein. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited by the recitation of the preferred embodiments, but is instead intended to be defined solely by reference to the appended claims.

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