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United States Patent Application 20180110275
Kind Code A1
MOFFA; Rachel ;   et al. April 26, 2018

GARMENT WAISTBAND

Abstract

A garment made of a resilient material includes a waistband, a first leg portion, and a second leg portion. The waistband forms an interior layer, an exterior layer, and an interstitial space from a single piece of folded fabric. Disposed within the interstitial space are an adhesive film and a perforated film. The adhesive and perforated films are used to join the interior and exterior layers, while also providing additional structure to the waistband. The adhesive and perforated films may be constructed from resilient materials and may be configured to resiliently expand while being bonded to the exterior and interior layers. The adhesive and perforated films cooperate with the interior and exterior panels of the waistband to cinch the garment bottom around the waist of the user without causing the skin of the user to fold over the top of the waistband.


Inventors: MOFFA; Rachel; (Baltimore, MD) ; DUNBAR; Jami; (Baltimore, MD) ; MOULDEN; Shannon; (Baltimore, MD) ; KELLEY; Meghan; (New York, NY) ; HANLEY; Grace; (Baltimore, MD)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Under Armour, Inc.

Baltimore

MD

US
Family ID: 1000003105507
Appl. No.: 15/790488
Filed: October 23, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62412352Oct 25, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A41F 9/02 20130101; A41D 1/08 20130101
International Class: A41F 9/02 20060101 A41F009/02

Claims



1. A waistband of a garment bottom, the waistband comprising: a folded fabric piece, the fabric piece including: an exterior panel disposed on a first side of a fold line, the exterior panel having a first end and a second end, and an interior panel disposed on a second side of the fold line, the interior panel having a third end and a fourth end, wherein the first end of the exterior panel is coupled to the third end of the interior panel proximate to the fold line, and the second end of the exterior panel is coupled to the fourth end of the interior panel; and a perforated film disposed between the exterior panel and the interior panel, the perforated film including a fifth end disposed proximate to the fold line and a sixth end disposed proximate to the second end of the exterior panel and the fourth end of the interior panel.

2. The waistband of claim 1, wherein the second end of the exterior panel is coupled to a leg portion via an ultrasonic bonded seam.

3. The waistband of claim 2, wherein the exterior panel includes an inner face and an outer face and the interior panel includes an inner face and an outer face, the inner face of the exterior panel faces the inner face of the interior panel.

4. The waistband of claim 3, further comprising: seam tape disposed on the inner face of the interior panel proximate to the fourth end, the seam tape coupling the fourth end of the interior panel to the leg portion and the inner face of the exterior panel proximate to the second end, the seam tape spanning over the ultrasonic bonded seam.

5. The waistband of claim 1, wherein the second end of the exterior panel is coupled to a leg portion via stitching.

6. The waistband of claim 1, further comprising: an adhesive film disposed between the perforated film and the interior panel, the adhesive film having a seventh end and an eight end, the seventh end being disposed proximate to the fold line and the eight end being spaced from the sixth end of the perforated film and the fourth end of the interior panel.

7. The waistband of claim 6, wherein the adhesive film couples the perforated film to the interior panel proximate to the fold line.

8. A garment bottom comprising: at least one leg covering portion configured to at least partially cover one or more legs of a wearer of the garment bottom, the at least one leg covering portion having a first edge and a second edge; and a waistband portion coupled to the at least one leg covering portion, the waistband portion comprising: a uniform fabric panel having a first end and a second end, the first and second ends being coupled to the first edge of the at least one leg covering portion such that the uniform fabric panel is folded over itself at a fold line to define a first portion that forms an exterior surface, a second portion that forms an interior surface, and an interstitial space disposed between the first and second portions, and a film disposed within the interstitial space, the film including a third end and an opposite fourth end, the third end being disposed proximate to the fold line and the fourth end being disposed proximate to the first and second ends of the fabric panel, wherein the film is configured to prevent the fold line from folding over the exterior surface toward the first and second ends of the fabric panel.

9. The garment bottom of claim 8, wherein the first end of the fabric panel is coupled to the first edge of the at least one leg covering portion via an ultrasonic bonded seam.

10. The garment bottom of claim 8, wherein the first and second ends of the fabric panel are coupled to the first edge of the at least one leg covering portion via stitching.

11. The garment bottom of claim 8, wherein the film is perforated with a series of openings configured to provide breathability and flexibility to the film.

12. The garment bottom of claim 11, further comprising: an adhesive film disposed in the interstitial space proximate to the fold line between the perforated film and the second portion of the fabric panel.

13. The garment bottom of claim 12, wherein the adhesive film is configured to secure the third end of the perforated film proximate to the fold line

14. The garment bottom of claim 8, wherein the fabric panel is constructed from a four way stretch material.

15. A waistband of a garment bottom, the waistband comprising: an exterior panel having a first end and an opposite second end; and an interior panel having a third end and an opposite fourth end, the third end being coupled to the first end of the exterior panel and the fourth end being coupled to the second end of the second panel, the coupling interior panel to the exterior panel defining an interstitial space; and a film disposed within the interstitial space, the film including a fifth end disposed proximate to the coupling of the first end of the exterior panel and third end of the interior panel and a sixth end disposed proximate to the coupling of the second end of the exterior panel and the fourth end of the interior panel.

16. The waistband of claim 15, wherein the film comprises a series of perforations between the fifth and sixth ends, the series of perforations being configured to provide breathability and flexibility to the film.

17. The waistband of claim 15, wherein the exterior panel and the interior panel are uniformly formed of a resilient fabric material, where the coupling of the first end of the exterior panel and the third end of the interior panel is a fold line formed in the resilient fabric material.

18. The waistband of claim 15, wherein the second end of the exterior panel is coupled to at least one leg portion via an ultrasonic bonded seam.

19. The waistband of claim 15, wherein the second end of the exterior panel is coupled to the fourth end of the interior panel and at least one leg portion via stitching.

20. The waistband of claim 15, wherein the coupling of the first end of the exterior panel to the third end of the interior panel forms a top edge of the waistband, and the film is configured to prevent a portion of skin of a user encompassed by the waistband from forcing the top edge of the waistband from folding downwardly over the exterior panel.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/412,352, entitled "Garment Waistband," filed Oct. 25, 2016, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to an article of clothing or garment. More specifically, the present invention relates to the construction of the waistband of garment bottoms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Athletic apparel garment bottoms (e.g., yoga pants, running shorts, etc.) typically comprise right and left leg portions, crotch and rear portions, and a waistband. The waistband may be a banded structure including elastic material. In order to provide sufficient force to maintain the garment in position on the wearer, conventional bands compress the waist by cinching it, resulting in the wearer's midsection folding over the top of the waistband. This appearance is commonly referred to by the slang term of "muffin top." Whether a wearer has a great deal or a small amount of body fat around the midsection, the folding over of the wearer's midsection can be the cause of self-consciousness and embarrassment.

[0004] It would be desirable to provide a waistband construction that, while applying force sufficient to secure the garment on the wearer, prevents the skin around the portion of the user that is being cinched from folding over the top of the waistband.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] A bonded waistband encircles the waist and midsection of a wearer. The waistband forms an interior layer, an exterior layer, and an interstitial space from a single piece of fabric that is folded over itself. The interior layer is comprised of a user-facing side and an interstitial space facing side. The exterior layer is comprised of an outer-facing side and interstitial space facing side. Disposed within the interstitial space are an adhesive film and a perforated film, where both films are disposed throughout the entire length of the interstitial space around the waistband. The adhesive film and the perforated film are used to join the interior and exterior layers, while also providing additional structure to the waistband. The adhesive film and the perforated film may be constructed from resilient materials and may be configured to resiliently expand while being bonded to the exterior and interior layers. The adhesive film and the perforated film cooperate with the interior and exterior panels of the waistband to cinch the garment bottom around the waist of the user without compressing the waist of the user too much so as to cause the skin of the user to fold over the top of the waistband.

[0006] In addition, the waistband of the garment may include a pocket or storage system. The pocket of the garment is configured to securely store personal items (smartphones, keys, identification, credit cards, money, etc.) while the wearer of the garment performs activities (e.g., running, jogging, yoga, etc.).

[0007] In one embodiment, a waistband of a garment bottom includes a folded fabric piece and a perforated film. The folded fabric piece includes an exterior panel has a first end and a second end, and is disposed on a first side of a fold line of the fabric piece. The folded fabric piece also includes an interior panel with a third end and a fourth end, and is disposed on a second side of the fold line. The first end of the exterior panel may be coupled to the third end of the interior panel proximate to the fold line, and the second end of the exterior panel may be coupled to the fourth end of the interior panel. The perforated film includes a fifth end and a sixth end. The perforated film is disposed between the exterior and interior panels such that the fifth end is disposed proximate to the fold line and the sixth end is disposed proximate to the second end of the exterior panel and the fourth end of the interior panel.

[0008] In another embodiment, a waistband of a garment bottom includes an exterior panel, an interior panel, and a film. The exterior panel has a first end and an opposite second end. The interior panel has a third end and opposite fourth end. The third end of the interior panel may be coupled to the first end of the exterior panel, while the fourth end of the interior panel may be coupled to the second end of the exterior panel. The coupling of the exterior panel to the interior panel may form an interstitial spaced disposed between the panels. The film may be disposed within the interstitial space. The film may include a fifth end and a sixth end. The fifth end of the film may be disposed proximate to the coupling of the first end of the exterior panel to third end of the interior panel, while the sixth end may be disposed proximate to the coupling of the second end of the exterior panel to the fourth end of the interior panel.

[0009] Furthermore, an embodiment of a garment bottom may include at least one leg covering portion and a waistband portion. The at least one leg covering portion may include a first edge and a second edge. The at least one leg covering portion may be configured to at least partially cover one or more legs of a wearer of the garment bottom. The waistband portion may be coupled to the at least one leg covering portion. The waistband portion may include a uniform fabric panel and a film. The uniform fabric panel may include a first end and a second end, where the first and second ends may both be coupled to the first edge of the at least one leg covering portion such that the uniform fabric panel is folded over itself at a fold line to define a first portion, a second portion, and an interstitial space disposed between the first and second portions. The first portion may form an exterior surface of the waistband portion, and the second portion may form an interior surface of the waistband portion. The film may include a third end and a fourth end, and may be disposed within the interstitial space. The third end may be disposed proximate to the fold line, while the fourth end may be disposed proximate to the first and second ends of the fabric panel. Furthermore, the film may be configured to prevent the fold line from folding downwardly over the exterior surface toward the first and second ends of the fabric panel.

[0010] BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a garment in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0012] FIG. 2 illustrates a rear view of the embodiment of the garment illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a first embodiment of the waist portion of the garment illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0014] FIG. 4 illustrates cross-sectional view of a second embodiment of the waist portion of the garment illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 5A illustrates a second embodiment of the perforated film illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4.

[0016] FIG. 5B illustrates a third embodiment of the perforated film illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4.

[0017] Like reference numerals have been used to identify like elements throughout this disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying figures which form a part hereof wherein like numerals designate like parts throughout, and in which is shown, by way of illustration, embodiments that may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized, and structural or logical changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. Therefore, the following detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of embodiments is defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

[0019] Aspects of the disclosure are disclosed in the accompanying description. Alternate embodiments of the present disclosure and their equivalents may be devised without parting from the spirit or scope of the present disclosure. It should be noted that any discussion herein regarding "one embodiment," "an embodiment," "an exemplary embodiment," and the like indicate that the embodiment described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, and that such particular feature, structure, or characteristic may not necessarily be included in every embodiment. In addition, references to the foregoing do not necessarily comprise a reference to the same embodiment. Finally, irrespective of whether it is explicitly described, one of ordinary skill in the art would readily appreciate that each of the particular features, structures, or characteristics of the given embodiments may be utilized in connection or combination with those of any other embodiment discussed herein.

[0020] Various operations may be described as multiple discrete actions or operations in turn, in a manner that is most helpful in understanding the claimed subject matter. However, the order of description should not be construed as to imply that these operations are necessarily order dependent. In particular, these operations may not be performed in the order of presentation. Operations described may be performed in a different order than the described embodiment. Various additional operations may be performed and/or described operations may be omitted in additional embodiments.

[0021] For the purposes of the present disclosure, the phrase "A and/or B" means (A), (B), or (A and B). For the purposes of the present disclosure, the phrase "A, B, and/or C" means (A), (B), (C), (A and B), (A and C), (B and C), or (A, B and C).

[0022] The terms "comprising," "including," "having," and the like, as used with respect to embodiments of the present disclosure, are synonymous.

[0023] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, illustrated is an embodiment of a garment that can be worn by a person, where the garment includes the improved waistband disclosed herein. The embodiment of the garment illustrated is garment bottom or pair of pants 10. The term garment bottom may refer to any type of bottom typically worn by people, including, but not limited to, pants, knickers, capris, shorts, trousers, skirts, kilts, etc. The garment bottom 10 contain a front side 100, illustrated in FIG. 1, and a rear side 200, illustrated in FIG. 2, the rear side 200 being oriented opposite of the front side 100. The garment bottom 10 further includes a first (e.g., right) side 102 connecting the front side 100 to the rear side 200. The garment bottom 10 also include a second (e.g., left) side 104 that is oriented opposite of the first side 102 and that also connects the front side 100 to the rear side 200. The garment bottom 10 further includes a top side 106.

[0024] The embodiment of the garment bottom 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 may include a waistband or waist portion 110, a first leg portion 120, and a second leg portion 130. As illustrated, the waist portion 100 is disposed proximate to the top 106 of the garment bottom 10, extends around each of the sides 100, 102, 104, and 200 of the garment bottom 10, and defines an opening 112 proximate to the top side 106 of the garment bottom 10. The waist portion 100 includes a top edge 114 and a bottom edge 116. As further illustrated in FIG. 1, the waist portion 110 includes an exterior surface 118 and an interior surface 119. When worn by a user, the interior surface 119 of the waist portion 110 contacts the portion of the body in which the waist portion 110 encircles, while the exterior surface 118 remains exposed.

[0025] The first leg portion 120 and the second leg portion 130 may be coupled to the bottom edge 116 of the waist portion 110. The first leg portion 120 is disposed proximate to the front side 100, the rear side 200, and the first side 102 of the garment bottom 10. As illustrated, the first leg portion 120 extends downwardly from the bottom edge 116 of the waist portion 110 of the garment bottom 10. The second leg portion 130 is disposed proximate to the front side 100, rear side 200, and second side 104 of the garment bottom 10. The second leg portion 130 also extends downwardly from the bottom edge 116 of the waist portion 100 of the garment bottom 10. The first leg portion 120 may be coupled to the second leg portion 130 at a central or crotch location on both the front side 100 and rear side 200 of the garment bottom 10. As will be further described below, the waist portion 110, first leg portion 120, and second leg portion 130 may be coupled to one another via ultrasonic bonding or stitching. If coupled together via stitching, the stitching may be one of, but not limited to, flatlock stitching, overlock stitching, blind stitching, etc. In other embodiments, the waist portion 110, first leg portion 120, and second leg portion 130 may be coupled to one another by means other than stitching, such as, but not limited to, adhesives, fasteners, etc.

[0026] The opening 112 of the waist portion 110 is configured to receive portions of the body of the user wearing the garment bottom 10. When worn by a user, the waist portion 110 of the garment bottom 10 is configured to encircle or surround the user proximate to the user's waist, while the first leg portion 120 is disposed at least partially around the first (e.g., right) leg (e.g., thigh, knee, calf, ankle, etc.) of the user and the second leg portion 130 is disposed at least partially around the second (e.g., left) leg (e.g., thigh, knee, calf, ankle, etc.) of the user.

[0027] As described herein, the garment bottom 10 can be constructed of any suitable elastomeric fabric materials, including elastomeric fabrics that provide two-way stretch or four-way stretch characteristics so as to provide a form-fitting or compression fit against the user's body. Elastomeric fabrics can be formed from yarns, fibers and/or filaments using any suitable types of elastomeric and/or non-elastomeric components. An example of an elastomeric material for use in forming the fabric materials for the garment bottom 10 are polyester-polyurethane copolymers used to form synthetic yarns, fibers, or filaments, and commonly referred to as spandex or elastane. Fabrics formed from yarns or fibers comprising spandex or elastane provide significant elasticity to the fabric so as to achieve a desired form or compression fit to the user's body. In one embodiment, the garment bottom 10 may be constructed from a woven polyester/stretch blended fabric that contains 86% polyester and 14% elastane. Thus, garment bottom 10 is at least partially resilient/elastomeric and may be configured to stretch, deform, and take the shape of a portion(s) of the body (e.g., the waist, legs, etc.) of the user around which the garment bottom 10 is disposed.

[0028] A cross-sectional view of a first embodiment of the waist portion 110(1) with ultrasonic bonded seams, as illustrated in FIG. 3, illustrates that the waist portion 110(1) is constructed from a continuous piece of fabric 300 that is folded over to form an exterior layer 310, an interior layer 320, and an interstitial space 330 as the waist portion 110(1) of the garment bottom 10. The exterior layer 310 of the continuous piece of fabric 300 includes a top edge 312, a bottom edge 314 opposite the top edge 312, an exterior outer facing side 316 and an exterior interstitial space facing side 318 (not illustrated). Similarly, the interior layer 320 of the continuous piece of fabric 300 includes a top edge 322, a bottom edge 324 opposite the top edge 322, an interior user facing side 326 (not illustrated), and an opposite interior interstitial space facing side 328. As illustrated, the top edges 312, 322 of the exterior layer 310 and the interior layer 320, respectively, are disposed proximate to the top edge 114(1) of the waist portion 110(1). In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the top edges 312, 322 of the exterior layer 310 and the interior layer 320, respectively, are at least partially spaced from one another. In another embodiment, the continuous piece of fabric 300 may be folded over such that the top edges 312, 322 of the exterior layer 310 and the interior layer 320, respectively, are disposed at the same location and together form the top edge 114(1) of the waist portion 110(1).

[0029] The exterior layer 310 of the continuous piece of fabric 300 forms the exterior surface 118(1) of the waist portion 110(1). Conversely, the interior layer 320 of the continuous piece of fabric 300 forms the interior surface 119(1) of the waist portion 110(1). More specifically, the exterior outer facing side 316 of the exterior layer 310 serves as the exterior surface 118(1) of the waist portion 110(1), while the interior user facing side 326 of the interior layer 320 serves as the interior surface 119(1) of the waist portion 110(1).

[0030] As further illustrated, the bottom edge 314 of the exterior layer 310 is coupled to the first leg portion 120 and the second leg portion 130 via ultrasonic bonding or welding to form an ultrasonic line bonded seam 340. The ultrasonic line bonded seam 340 may form, or be aligned with, the bottom edge 116(1) of the waist portion 110(1), and may run or traverse continuously around all sides 100, 102, 104, 200 of the garment bottom 10. FIG. 3 further illustrates that the interior layer 320 may be longer (i.e., the length from the top edge 322 to the bottom edge 324) than the exterior layer 310 (i.e., the length from the top edge 312 to the bottom edge 314), in that the bottom edge 324 of the interior layer 320 is at least partially disposed below the bottom edge 314 of the exterior layer 320.

[0031] As illustrated, an adhesive seam reinforcement tape 350 is disposed on the interior interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320, and proximate to the bottom edge 324 of the interior layer 320. The seam tape 350 may have a first side (not illustrated) that is bonded to the interior interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320, and may have an opposite second side 352 that adheres to the exterior interstitial space facing side 318 of the exterior layer 310 and the first and second leg portions 120, 130 at the ultrasonic bonded seam 340. In some embodiments, the seam tape 350 may have a width of approximately three eights of an inch (3/8 in.), or ten millimeters (10 mm), and may be placed over the ultrasonic bonded seam 240 such that an equal amount of the seam tape 350 is adhered to both the exterior interstitial space facing side 318 of the exterior layer 310 and either of the first and second leg portions 120, 130. The seam tape 350 provides the strength necessary to sustain the integrity of the ultrasonic bonded seam 340. The seam tape 350 may be able to stretch and recover, enabling the seam tape 350 to move, bend, and stretch with the ultrasonic bonded seam 340. The seam tape 350 may have a total thickness of approximately 0.02 inches, or 0.51 mm, with the adhesive portion of the seam tape 350 having an approximate thickness of 0.004 inches, or 0.1 mm. One example embodiment of the seam tape 350 may be the Bemis SRT 4000 seam reinforcement tape.

[0032] Continuing with FIG. 3, disposed within the interstitial space 330, which is formed by and disposed between the exterior layer 310 and the interior layer 320, is an adhesive film 360 and a perforated film 370. Both the adhesive film 360 and the perforated film 370 may continuously extend throughout the entire waist portion 110(1). The adhesive film 360 may have a top end 362 and a bottom end 364 opposite the top end 362. Similarly, the perforated film 370 may have a top end 372 and a bottom end 374 opposite the top end 372. The top ends 362, 372 of the adhesive film 360 and the perforated film 370, respectively, may be disposed proximate to the top edge 114(1) of the waist portion 110(1). The bottom edge 364 of the adhesive film 360 may be spaced from the bottom edge 116(4) of the waist portion 110(1). The height of the adhesive film 360 (i.e., the distance between the top edge 362 and the bottom edge 364) may be smaller than the height of the perforated film 370 (i.e., the distance between the top edge 372 and the bottom edge 374). The adhesive film 360 may have a height of approximately 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches. In an example embodiment, the height of the adhesive film 360 may be 1 inch. In addition, the adhesive film 360 may be approximately 1 to 2 mils (thousands of an inch) thick. While, in the example embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the adhesive film 360 is disposed proximate to the interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320, the adhesive film 360 may be disposed proximate to either the interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320 or the interstitial space facing side 318 of the exterior layer 310. The adhesive film 360 may be a hot melt film with flexible, stretchable, and recoverable properties (i.e., the film 360 has elastomeric properties that enable it to recover after being stretched and elongated). One example embodiment of the adhesive film 360 may be the Bemis 3412 adhesive film.

[0033] As illustrated in FIG. 3, the perforated film 370 may have a height (i.e., the distance between the top edge 372 and the bottom edge 374) that spans the entire height of the interstitial space 330. In other words, the perforated film 370 may span from the top edge 114(1) of the waist portion 110(1) to the bottom edge 116(1) of the waist portion 110(1). As previously explained, the top edge 372 of the perforated film 370 is disposed proximate to the top edge 114(1) of the waist portion 110(1) and is disposed proximate to the top edge 362 of the adhesive film 360. Because the adhesive film 360 is smaller in height than the perforated film 370, the adhesive film 360 is disposed in the interstitial space 330 more proximate to the top edge 372 of the perforated film 370 than the bottom edge 374 of the perforated film 370. As illustrated, the bottom edge 374 of the perforated film 370 is disposed proximate to the seam tape 350. In one embodiment, the bottom edge 374 of the perforated film 370 may be disposed between the seam tape 350 and the bottom edge 324 of the interior layer 320 such that the seam tape 350, in being coupled to the interior layer 320 proximate to the bottom edge 324, couples the bottom edge 374 of the perforated film 370 to the interior layer 320. In another embodiment, the bottom edge 374 of the perforated film 370 is disposed between the seam tape 350 and the bottom edge 314 of the exterior layer 310 such that the adhesive side 352 of the seam tape 350 adheres to the bottom edge 374 of the perforated film 370, the exterior layer 310, and the first and second leg portions 120, 130 proximate to the ultrasonic bonded seam 340. In this embodiment, the seam tape 350 couples the bottom edge 374 of the perforated film 370 to the exterior layer 310 and/or the first and second leg portions 120, 130 at a location proximate to the ultrasonic bonded seam 340.

[0034] Similar to the adhesive film 360, the perforated film 370 may be approximately 1 to 2 mils thick. In addition, the perforated film 370 includes a plurality of openings 376 disposed throughout the perforated film 370. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the plurality of openings 376 may be small perforations randomly and abundantly disposed throughout the perforated film 370. The plurality of openings 376 enable the perforated film 370 breathe (i.e., enables a greater amount of airflow through the perforated film 370 when compared to a similar film without a plurality of openings). In addition, the plurality of openings 376 also enables the perforated film 370 to be more flexible and stretchable when compared to films without a plurality of openings. The perforated film 370 may have a degree of elasticity similar to that of the adhesive film 360. In addition, some embodiments of the perforated film 370 may include an adhesive disposed on both sides of the perforated film 370. One example embodiment of the perforated film 370 may be the Bemis BFF 30001 film.

[0035] Other embodiments of the perforated film 370 may contain different sized, shaped, and spaced openings 376. In the second the third embodiments of the perforated film 500, 510, the plurality of openings 502, 512 are equally sized and uniformly disposed throughout the perforated films 500, 510, respectively. As illustrated in FIG. 5A, the second embodiment of the perforated film 500 contains a plurality of openings 502 that are rectangular openings 502 disposed in the perforated film 500 such that the plurality of openings 502 form a lattice or grid-like structure between the top edge 504 and the bottom edge 506. As illustrated in FIG. 5B, the third embodiment of the perforated film 510 contains a plurality of openings 512 that are slots extending across the perforated film 510 in the transverse direction (i.e., from the top edge 514 to the bottom edge 516). The perforations 376, the rectangular openings 502, and the slots 512, as oriented in the performed films 370, 500, 510, respectively, enable the perforated films 370, 500, 510 to breathe, as well as enable the perforated films 370, 500, 510 to more easily stretch in the longitudinal direction (i.e., as the circumference of the waist portion 110 increases, the length of the perforated films 370, 500, 510 increase in length). Furthermore, as both the waist portion 110 and the perforated films 370, 500, 510 increase in circumference, the perforations, openings and/or slots 376, 502, 512 increase in size, which results in an increase in the breathability of the perforated films 370, 500, 510.

[0036] Returning to FIG. 3, when heat is applied to the adhesive film 360, the adhesive film 360 adheres to both the interior interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320 and the perforated film 370. Thus, the top portion of the perforated film 370 becomes coupled to the interior interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320. The portions of the adhesive film 360 that are aligned with the openings of the perforated film 370 may adhere to the exterior interstitial space facing side 318 of the exterior layer 310. Thus, the adhesive film 360 may adhere the exterior interstitial space facing side 318 of the exterior layer 310 to the interior interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320 through the plurality of openings 376 of the perforated film 370.

[0037] In another embodiment, where the adhesive film 360 is disposed between the perforated film 370 and the exterior interstitial space facing side 318 of the exterior layer 310, applying heat to the adhesive film 360 adheres the adhesive film 360 to the perforated film 370 and the exterior interstitial space facing side 318 of the exterior layer 310.

[0038] In yet another embodiment, where the perforated film 370 includes an adhesive on both sides of the perforated film 370, applying heat to the perforated film 370 adheres the perforated film 370 to both the exterior interstitial space facing side 318 of the exterior layer 310 and the interior interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320.

[0039] Another embodiment of the waist portion 110(2), illustrated in FIG. 4, utilizes stitching 400 instead of an ultrasonic bond 340 to couple the bottom edge 116(2) of the waist portion 110(2) to the first and second leg portions 120, 130. Similar to the first embodiment of the waist portion 110(1) illustrated in FIG. 3, the second embodiment of the waist portion 110(2) illustrated in FIG. 4 is constructed from a continuous piece of fabric 300 that is folded over to form an exterior layer 310, an interior layer 320, and an interstitial space 330 of the waist portion 110(2) of the garment bottom 10. The exterior layer 310 of the continuous piece of fabric 300 includes a top edge 312, a bottom edge 314 opposite the top edge 312, an exterior outer facing side 316 and an exterior interstitial space facing side 318 (not illustrated). Similarly, the interior layer 320 of the continuous piece of fabric 300 includes a top edge 322, a bottom edge 324 opposite the top edge 322, an interior user facing side 326 (not illustrated), and an opposite interior interstitial space facing side 328. As illustrated, the top edges 312, 322 of the exterior layer 310 and the interior layer 320, respectively, are disposed proximate to the top edge 114(2) of the waist portion 110(2). Also similar to the first embodiment of the waist portion 110(1), the second embodiment of the waist portion 110(2) includes an adhesive film 360 and a perforated film 370 disposed within the interstitial space 330. The adhesive film 360 and the perforated film 370 illustrated in FIG. 4 may be substantially similar to the adhesive film 360 and the perforated film 370 illustrated in FIG. 3.

[0040] Where the second embodiment of the waist portion 110(2) differs from the first embodiment of the waist portion 110(1) is the coupling of the waist portion 110(2) to the first and second leg portions 120, 130. As further illustrated in FIG. 4, the bottom edge 314 of the exterior layer 310 is coupled to the first leg portion 120 and the second leg portion 130 via stitching 400 that forms stitched seam 402. The stitched seam 402 may form, or be aligned with, the bottom edge 116(2) of the waist portion 110(1), and may run or traverse continuously around all sides 100, 102, 104, 200 of the garment bottom 10. FIG. 4 further illustrates that the bottom edge 324 of the interior layer 320 may be coupled to the bottom edge 314 of the exterior layer 310, proximate to the stitched seam 402, via stitching 400. In addition, FIG. 4 further illustrates that the bottom edge 374 of the perforated film 374 may also be coupled to both the bottom edge 314 of the exterior layer 310 and the bottom edge 324 of the interior layer 320, proximate to the stitched seam 402, via stitching 400. The stitching 400 that forms the stitched seam 402 may be, but is not limited to, a flatlock stitch, an overlock stitch, a blindstitch, a hemming stitch, etc.

[0041] The combination of the adhesive film 360 and the perforated film 370, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, provides structure to the waist portion 110, while still allowing the waist portion 110 to have a degree of elasticity. As previously explained, the adhesive film 360 and/or the perforated film 370 include a degree of elasticity in the circumferential direction. In other words, the degree of elasticity of the adhesive film 360 and/or the perforated film 370 enables the diameter/circumference of the adhesive film 360 and/or the perforated film 370 to increase when stretched. Thus, the degree of elasticity of the adhesive film 360 and/or the perforated film 370, combined with the resiliency of the fabric used to construct the waist portion 110, enables the waist portion 110 to cinch around the waist of a user wearing the garment bottom 10.

[0042] Furthermore, while the adhesive film 360 and the perforated film 370 contain a degree of elasticity in the circumferential direction, the adhesive film 360 and the perforated film 370 are also configured to have a degree of rigidity in the widthwise or transverse direction (i.e., the adhesive film 360 from the top end 362 to the bottom end 364, and the perforated film 370 from the top end 372 to the bottom end 374) that enables the adhesive film 360 and/or the perforated film 370 to provide a degree of structure to the waist portion 110. By disposing the adhesive film 360 and/or the perforated film 370 proximate to the top edge 114 of the waist portion 110, and by having the perforated film 370 span from the top edge 114 of the waist portion 110 to the bottom edge 116 of the waist portion 110, enough structure and rigidity is provided to the waist portion 110 such that the top edge 114 of the waist portion 110 is prevented from folding or rolling down over the exterior layer 310 of the waist portion 110 when the garment bottom 10 is worn by a user. In other words, the adhesive film 360 and/or the perforated film 370 are configured to prevent the skin of the user that is encompassed by the waist portion 110 from folding or rolling the top edge 114 of the waist portion 110 down over the exterior 310 of the waist portion 110.

[0043] In addition, conventional elastic waistbands on garment bottoms dig into the skin around the user's waist causing the skin around the waist of the user to fold over the top of the elastic waistband. Because the compression force of the waist portion 110 is applied over a surface area of the interior user facing side 326 (not illustrated) of the interior layer 320 of the waist portion 110 that is larger than conventional elastic waistbands, the garment bottom 10 in configured to remain in place around the waist of the user while simultaneously preventing, or minimizing the amount of, the skin of the user from folding over the top edge 114 of the waist portion 110. This enables the garment bottom 10 to provide a slimming effect to the user wearing the garment bottom 10.

[0044] Returning to FIG. 1, the waist portion 110 may also include a pocket 140. As illustrated, the opening 142 of the pocket 140 may be disposed on the interior surface 119 of the waist portion 110 proximate to the rear side 200 of the waist portion 110. The opening 142 may provide access to the pocket 140, where items may be placed within the pocket 140 through the opening 142. When placed within the pocket 140, the items may be disposed within the interstitial space 330 of the waist portion 110. While the pocket 140 may be implemented in a variety of ways, in one embodiment, the pocket 140 may include pieces of fabric bonded together within the interstitial space 330 of the waist portion 110, and aligned with the opening 142, such that items inserted through the opening 142 of the pocket 140 are disposed between the pieces of fabric disposed within the interstitial space 330. In another embodiment, a single piece of fabric may be bonded to the interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320 proximate to and around the opening 142 of the pocket 140 such that items threaded through the opening 142 of the pocket 140 are disposed within the interstitial space 330, but between the piece of fabric and the interstitial space facing side 328 of the interior layer 320.

[0045] While the invention has been described in detail and with reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof

[0046] Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents. It is to be understood that terms such as "top", "bottom", "front", "rear", "side", "height", "length", "width", "upper", "lower", "interior", "exterior", and the like as may be used herein, merely describe points of reference and do not limit the present invention to any particular orientation or configuration.

[0047] Although the disclosed inventions are illustrated and described herein as embodied in one or more specific examples, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the inventions and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims. In addition, various features from one of the embodiments may be incorporated into another of the embodiments. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the disclosure as set forth in the following claims.

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