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United States Patent Application 20190133216
Kind Code A1
Durham; David May 9, 2019

GARMENT WITH STRETCH AN RIGID PANELING

Abstract

A garment includes a first plurality of panels including a rigid material and a second plurality of panels including a stretch fabric material. According to an exemplary embodiment, the first plurality of panels are selectively positioned so as to correspond in location to desired anatomical regions of a wearer of the garment. According to an exemplary embodiment, the second plurality of panels are selectively positioned to facilitate independent movement of each of the first plurality of panels relative to one another.


Inventors: Durham; David; (San Clemente, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Fox Head, Inc.

Irvine

CA

US
Family ID: 1000003837473
Appl. No.: 16/097193
Filed: November 16, 2016
PCT Filed: November 16, 2016
PCT NO: PCT/US16/62317
371 Date: October 26, 2018


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62258992Nov 23, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A41D 13/0015 20130101; A41D 31/24 20190201; A41D 31/085 20190201; A41D 1/08 20130101; A41D 1/089 20180101; A41D 3/00 20130101; A41B 1/08 20130101; A41D 27/28 20130101; A41D 27/02 20130101; A41D 13/0543 20130101; A41D 2600/10 20130101; A41D 2600/104 20130101; A41D 2600/102 20130101
International Class: A41D 13/00 20060101 A41D013/00; A41D 31/24 20060101 A41D031/24; A41D 31/08 20060101 A41D031/08; A41D 1/08 20060101 A41D001/08; A41D 1/089 20060101 A41D001/089; A41D 3/00 20060101 A41D003/00; A41B 1/08 20060101 A41B001/08; A41D 27/28 20060101 A41D027/28; A41D 27/02 20060101 A41D027/02; A41D 13/05 20060101 A41D013/05

Claims



1. A garment, comprising: a first plurality of panels including a rigid material; and a second plurality of panels including a stretch fabric material; wherein the first plurality of panels are selectively positioned so as to correspond in location to desired anatomical regions of a wearer of the garment; and wherein the second plurality of panels are selectively positioned to facilitate independent movement of each of the first plurality of panels relative to one another.

2. The garment of claim 1, wherein the first plurality of panels includes an upper leg panel positioned to correspond with at least one of an upper anterior leg region and an upper exterior leg region of the wearer of the garment.

3. The garment of claim 2, wherein the rigid material of the upper leg panel comprises an abrasion resistant material.

4. The garment of claim 2, wherein the upper leg panel includes a knee element positioned to correspond with a knee region of the wearer of the garment, the knee element including at least one of a knee pad and a knee vent.

5. The garment of claim 2, wherein the first plurality of panels includes a second upper leg panel positioned to correspond with at least one of an upper posterior leg region, an upper interior leg region, and a lower buttocks region of the wearer of the garment.

6. The garment of claim 1, wherein the first plurality of panels includes a lower leg panel positioned to correspond with at least one of a lower anterior leg region, a lower interior leg region, and a lower exterior leg region of the wearer of the garment.

7. The garment of claim 6, wherein the rigid material of the lower leg panel comprises an abrasion resistant material.

8. The garment of claim 7, wherein at least a portion of the rigid material of the lower leg panel comprises a heat resistant material, wherein the heat resistant material is positioned to correspond with the lower interior leg region of the wearer.

9. The garment of claim 1, wherein the first plurality of panels includes at least one heat resistant panel and at least one abrasion resistant panel.

10. The garment of claim 1, wherein the stretch fabric material of at least one of the second plurality of panels comprises a mesh structure that facilitates air flow into and out of the garment.

11. The garment of claim 1, wherein the first plurality of panels and the second plurality of panels are coplanarly and contiguously attached to cooperatively form a continuous layer of the garment.

12. The garment of claim 11, further comprising a liner layer disposed within the garment along the continuous layer to cover seams formed between the first plurality of panels and the second plurality of panels.

13. The garment of claim 12, wherein the liner layer comprises at least one of the stretch fabric material, a mesh fabric material, and a stretch mesh fabric material.

14. The garment of claim 1, wherein the garment is comprised of about 60%-70% of the rigid material.

15. The garment of claim 1, wherein the garment includes at least one of pants, shorts, a shirt, and a jacket.

16. A garment, comprising: a waist portion positioned to correspond with a waist and crotch region of a wearer, the waist portion including at least one stretch fabric panel; an upper leg portion positioned to correspond with a thigh and knee region of the wearer, the upper leg portion including at least one stretch fabric panel and at least one rigid panel; and a lower leg portion positioned to correspond with a shin and calf region of the wearer, the lower leg portion including at least one stretch fabric panel and at least one rigid panel; wherein the at least one stretch fabric panel of the upper leg portion and the at least one stretch fabric panel of the lower leg portion are configured to facilitate independent movement of the at least one rigid panel of the upper leg portion relative to the at least one rigid panel of the lower leg portion.

17. The garment of claim 16, wherein the at least one rigid panel of the upper leg portion includes a first rigid panel positioned to correspond with at least a front area of the thigh and knee region and a second rigid panel positioned to correspond with at least a rear area of the thigh and knee region, wherein the at least one stretch fabric panel of the upper leg portion is positioned between the first rigid panel and the second rigid panel of the upper leg portion, and wherein the at least one stretch fabric panel of the upper leg portion is configured to facilitate independent movement of the first rigid panel relative to the second rigid panel.

18. The garment of claim 16, wherein the at least one rigid panel of the upper leg portion comprises an abrasion resistant material, and wherein the at least one rigid panel of the lower leg portion comprises at least one of an abrasion resistant material and a heat resistant material.

19. The garment of claim 16, wherein the stretch fabric panels and the rigid panels of the waist portion, the upper leg portion, and the lower leg portion are coplanarly and contiguously attached to cooperatively form a continuous layer of the garment.

20. A garment, comprising: a first plurality of panels comprising a rigid material; a second plurality of panels comprising a stretch fabric material; and a third plurality of panels comprising a stretch mesh fabric material; wherein the first plurality of panels are selectively positioned to provide at least one of abrasion resistance and heat resistance to desired anatomical areas of a wearer of the garment; wherein the second plurality of panels and the third plurality of panels are selectively positioned to facilitate independent movement of each of the first plurality of panels; and wherein the third plurality of panels are configured to facilitate air flow into and out of the garment.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a national phase application of PCT/US2016/062317, filed Nov. 16, 2016, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/258,992, filed Nov. 23, 2015, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Traditional garments include a plurality of fabric pieces that are sewn together or otherwise coupled to form the article of clothing. Often, articles of clothing that include rigid fabric pieces are uncomfortable and restrict the natural movement of the wearer (e.g., as a result of the rigid fabric pieces binding and/or pinching the wearer).

SUMMARY

[0003] One embodiment relates to a garment. The garment includes a first plurality of panels including a rigid material, and a second plurality of panels including a stretch material, such as a stretch fabric material. According to an exemplary embodiment, the first plurality of panels are selectively positioned so as to correspond in location to desired anatomical regions of a wearer of the garment. According to an exemplary embodiment, the second plurality of panels are selectively positioned to facilitate independent movement of each of the first plurality of panels relative to one another.

[0004] Another embodiment relates to a garment. The garment includes a waist portion, an upper leg portion, and a lower leg portion. The waist portion is positioned to correspond with a waist and crotch region of a wearer. The waist portion includes at least one stretch fabric panel. The upper leg portion is positioned to correspond with a thigh and knee region of the wearer. The upper leg portion includes at least one stretch fabric panel and at least one rigid panel. The lower leg portion is positioned to correspond with a shin and calf region of the wearer. The lower leg portion includes at least one stretch fabric panel and at least one rigid panel. According to an exemplary embodiment, the at least one stretch fabric panel of the upper leg portion and the at least one stretch fabric panel of the lower leg portion are configured to facilitate independent movement of the at least one rigid panel of the upper leg portion relative to the at least one rigid panel of the lower leg portion.

[0005] Yet another embodiment relates to a garment. The garment includes a first plurality of panels including a rigid material, a second plurality of panels including a stretch fabric material, and a third plurality of panels including a stretch mesh fabric material. According to an exemplary embodiment, the first plurality of panels are selectively positioned to provide at least one of abrasion resistance and heat resistance to desired anatomical areas of a wearer of the garment. In some embodiments, the second plurality of panels and the third plurality of panels are selectively positioned to facilitate independent movement of each of the first plurality of panels. According to an exemplary embodiment, the third plurality of panels are configured to facilitate air flow into and out of the garment.

[0006] Some embodiments relate to methods of reducing the harm to a wearer of a garment from one or more of abrasions, penetration injury, a burn, or an impact injury. The methods can include for example, providing, marketing to, or selling a garment according to any of the embodiments and description herein to a user participating in an activity. Examples of activities, include, but are not limited to motorcycle or bicycle riding, snowboarding, snow skiing, skate boarding, hunting, fishing, canyoneering, repelling, hiking, military action, law enforcement, firefighting, horseback riding, auto racing, off road vehicle participation, and snowmobiling. The penetration injury can include for example, an injury caused by an object penetrating through the material. The object could be a rock, a stick or other wooden object, glass, metal rods or shards, plastic and other ceramic rods and shards, projectiles (e.g., a bullet), parts of a vehicle, etc. An impact injury can include an injury caused by an impact between a region of the wearer and an object. It could be bruising, broken bones, and the like.

[0007] Still some embodiments relate to methods of making an article or garment as described herein by attaching one or more separate panels directly to each other or indirectly together. For example, the panels can include a rigid material, a stretch material, a mesh material (e.g., more or less than 10% stretchability, etc.), a mesh stretch material, air flow aperture material, and the like.

[0008] The foregoing summary is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. In addition to the illustrative aspects, embodiments, and features described above, further aspects, embodiments, and features will become apparent by reference to the drawings and the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The drawings are provided to illustrate example embodiments described herein and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure. Throughout the drawings, reference numbers may be re-used to indicate general correspondence between referenced elements.

[0010] FIG. 1 is a front plan view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a rear plan view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0014] FIG. 5 is a front plan view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to another exemplary embodiment;

[0015] FIG. 6 is a rear plan view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to another exemplary embodiment; and

[0016] FIG. 7 is a front plan view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to yet another exemplary embodiment;

[0017] FIG. 8 is a rear plan view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to another yet exemplary embodiment; and

[0018] FIG. 9 is a side plan view of a garment with stretch and rigid panels, according to yet another exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] Various aspects of the disclosure will now be described with regard to certain examples and embodiments, which are intended to illustrate but not to limit the disclosure. Nothing in this disclosure is intended to imply that any particular feature or characteristic of the disclosed embodiments is essential. The scope of protection is defined by the claims that follow this description and not by any particular embodiment described herein. Before turning to the figures, which illustrate example embodiments in detail, it should be understood that the application is not limited to the details or methodology set forth in the description or illustrated in the figures. It should also be understood that the terminology is for the purpose of description only and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0020] Embodiments herein generally relate to garments and/or articles that can provide one or more of protection for a region of a body that is covered by the garment/article, improved movement and flexibility, improved ventilation, customization, etc. Such garments and articles can be used in a number of activities, including without limitation: sports and athletics, including extreme sports; military and combat activity; law enforcement; outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and climbing; automotive and cycling activities, including auto racing, motorcycle riding and racing, motocross, bicycling such as BMX, etc.; equestrian and rodeo; recreational vehicles including ATVs, snowmobiles, and other off-road vehicles; to name just a few. The garments/articles and methods of using the same provide various improvements not present in existing garments and articles. Further details are provided herein.

[0021] According to one example of an embodiment, a multi-panel garment includes a plurality of panels having different characteristics. The multi-panel garment may include rigid panels, stretch fabric panels, and/or stretch mesh fabric panels. The rigid panels may be selectively positioned about the multi-panel garment so as to correspond in location to desired anatomical regions of a wearer of the garment (e.g., a thigh region, a knee region, a shin region, a lower back region, a yoke/buttocks region, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the rigid panels are durable, protective, and/or structure giving. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the rigid panels includes an abrasion and/or penetration resistant material and are made at least in part from heavy duty or durable fabric (e.g., ballistic nylon, 900D fabric, Kevlar, a heavy duty poly-fabric, leather, etc.). In other embodiments, the rigid panels are manufactured (e.g., formed, etc.) from a non-fabric material (e.g., plastic, carbon fiber, etc.). In some embodiments, at least a portion of the rigid panels includes a heat resistant material (e.g., leather, Therma-flec heat resistant fabric, Kevlar, etc.). The stretch fabric panels and/or the stretch mesh fabric panels may be selectively positioned about the multi-panel garment (e.g., between the rigid fabric panels, etc.) to facilitate independent movement of each of the rigid panels relative to one another (e.g., each rigid fabric panel moves independently, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the independent movement of the rigid panels allows the rigid panels to work independent of each providing a greater degree of comfort and less restriction (e.g., while walking, sitting, riding, etc.) than garments commonly found in the marketplace without sacrificing the normal function, which is to provide protection to a wearer (e.g., motocross rider, snowmobile rider, ATV rider, etc.) during use (e.g., from dirt, rocks, debris; from heat emitted by an engine and/or an exhaust system; while riding a dirt bike, a snowmobile, an ATV; etc.). The stretch mesh fabric panels may be configured to allow air to flow into and out of the multi-panel garment (e.g., to cool a wearer of the multi-panel garment, etc.).

[0022] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, a multi-panel garment, shown as garment 10, includes a plurality of panels that are at least one of arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, and tailored to form a pant. According to an exemplary embodiment, the garment 10 is a motocross racepant. In other embodiments, the garment 10 is a snowmobile pant, an ATV pant, or another type of pant used for action sports. In an alternative embodiment, the plurality of panels of the garment 10 are at least one of arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, and tailored to form another type of pants, shorts, a shirt, a jacket, or still another article of clothing. The size of the garment 10 may be varied to fit various wearers. For example, the plurality of panels of the garment 10 may be at least one of arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, and tailored to fit men, women, both men and women, or children. According to an exemplary embodiment, the plurality of panels of the garment 10 are manufactured from at least two different materials. In some embodiments, the plurality of panels of the garment 10 are manufactured from three distinct materials. In other embodiments, the plurality of panels of the garment 10 are manufactured from four or more distinct materials.

[0023] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the garment 10 includes a first portion, shown as waist portion 30, a second portion, shown as upper leg portion 32, and a third portion, shown as lower leg portion 34. The waist portion 30 is positioned and formed so as to correspond with a waist, buttocks, and/or crotch region of a wearer of the garment 10. The upper leg portion 32 is positioned and formed so as to correspond with a thigh and/or knee region of a wearer of the garment 10. The lower leg portion 34 is positioned and formed so as to correspond with a shin and calf region of a wearer of the garment 10. The upper leg portion 32 and the lower leg portion 34 cooperatively form a pair of legs, shown as right leg 36 and left leg 38, that extend from the waist portion 30. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the waist portion 30, the upper leg portion 32, and the lower leg portion 34 define a first lateral side, shown as right side 12, an opposing second later side, shown as left side 14, an anterior side, shown as front side 16, and a posterior side, shown as rear side 18. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the right leg 36 defines an interior side, shown as interior side 22, and the left leg 38 defines an interior side, shown as interior side 24. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the waist portion 30, the upper leg portion 32, and the lower leg portion 34 define an internal cavity, shown as cavity 20, that extends from the waist portion 30, through each of the right leg 36 and the left leg 38, and out through the bottom of the lower leg portion 34. According to an exemplary embodiment, the cavity 20 is formed by the waist portion 30, the upper leg portion 32, and the lower leg portion 34 to receive a specific sized person (e.g., an extra-small, a small, a medium, a large, or an extra-large person, etc.).

[0024] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the garment 10 includes a first plurality of panels, shown as stretch fabric panels 50, and a second plurality of panels, shown as rigid panels 70. According to an exemplary embodiment, the stretch fabric panels 50 are manufactured from a first fabric material, and the rigid panels 70 are manufactured from a second different material. According to an exemplary embodiment, the stretch fabric panels 50 are selectively positioned about the garment 10 (e.g., between the rigid panels 70, etc.) to facilitate independent movement of each of the rigid panels 70 relative to one another (e.g., each of the rigid panels 70 moves independently, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the interaction between the stretch fabric panels 50 and the rigid panels 70 facilitates natural movement of a wearer's body such that as a wearer moves, the front side 16 and the rear side 18 do not sheer away from each other (e.g., which may cause discomfort and restriction in movement, etc.). In one embodiment, at least one of the stretch fabric panels 50 is manufactured from a first stretch fabric material and at least one of the stretch fabric panels 50 is manufactured from a second different stretch fabric material. For example, at least one of the stretch fabric panels 50 may be manufactured from a stretch fabric material and at least one of the stretch fabric panels 50 may be manufactured from a stretch mesh fabric material and/or a mesh fabric material. The different stretch fabric materials may differ in one or more characteristics including an elasticity, ventilation, abrasion resistance, heat resistance, penetration resistance, and the like. The stretch mesh fabric and/or the mesh fabric material may be used in areas of the garment 10 to facilitate air to flow into and out of the cavity 20 of the garment 10 (e.g., to provide a cooling effect to the wearer of the garment 10, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the stretch fabric material is more durable (e.g., tougher, stronger, heavier, etc.) than the stretch mesh fabric material. In other embodiments, the stretch fabric panels 50 are manufactured from a single stretch fabric material. In an alternative embodiment, the stretch fabric panels 50 are manufactured from a nominal stretch material (e.g., denim, a material having more stretch than a rigid fabric material, a material having less stretch than a stretch fabric material, etc.).

[0025] According to an exemplary embodiment, the rigid panels 70 are manufactured to be durable, protective (e.g., heat resistant, abrasion resistant, penetration resistant, etc.), and/or structure giving. In one embodiment, at least one of the rigid panels 70 is manufactured from a first rigid material and at least one of the rigid panels 70 is manufactured from a second different rigid material. The first rigid material and the second rigid material may differ in one or more characteristics including abrasion resistance, penetration resistance, heat resistance, elasticity, and/or other material properties of the rigid materials. For example, at least one of the rigid panels 70 may be manufactured from an abrasion resistant material and at least one of the rigid panels 70 may be manufactured from a heat resistant material. The abrasion resistant material may be used in desired areas of the garment 10 (e.g., a thigh area, a shin area, etc.) to shield desired anatomical regions of the wearer from dirt, rocks, and/or other debris that may hit the wearer during use (e.g., while riding a dirt bike, etc.). The abrasion resistant material may include 900D fabric, ballistic nylon, a heavy duty poly-fabric, Kevlar, carbon fiber, plastic, and/or leather, among other possible abrasion resistant materials. The heat resistant material may be used in desired areas of the garment 10 (e.g., inner leg area, etc.) to shield desired anatomical regions of the wearer from heat emitted by components (e.g., an engine, engine components, exhaust components, etc.) of a vehicle (e.g., dirt bike, ATV, snowmobile, etc.) being driven by the wearer of the garment 10. The heat resistant material may include leather, Therma-flec heat resistant fabric, and/or Kevlar, among other possible heat resistant materials. In other embodiments, the rigid panels 70 are manufactured from a single rigid material. In an alternative embodiment, the rigid panels are manufactured from a fabric material. According to an exemplary embodiment, the independent movement of the rigid panels 70 allows the rigid panels 70 to work independent of each other, thereby providing a greater degree of comfort and less restriction (e.g., while walking, sitting, riding, etc.) without sacrificing the intended function of the garment 10, which is to provide protection to the wearer (e.g., motocross rider, snowmobile rider, ATV rider, etc.) from debris and/or heat while driving a vehicle (e.g., a dirt bike, etc.). In some embodiments, the rigid panels 70 are configured (e.g., aerodynamically shaped, formed, etc.) to reduce drag forces experienced by a wearer of the garment 10 (e.g., while traveling at increased speeds, etc.). In some embodiments, the rigid panels 70 are woven or otherwise manufactured from a hard and/or durable material (e.g., carbon fiber, Kevlar, 900D fabric, etc.). In other embodiments, the rigid panels 70 are formed (e.g., molded, etc.) from a non-woven material (e.g., plastic, etc.).

[0026] The materials of the garment 10 (e.g., the fabrics from which at least one of the stretch fabric panels 50 and the rigid panels 70 are at least one of arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, and tailored, etc.) may include a plurality of fibers that are woven, knitted, felted, or otherwise arranged into a structure that forms the material. The plurality of fibers may include a single constituent material (e.g., cotton, nylon, polyester, spandex, another elastane material, another synthetic material, another natural material, etc.) or may include a blend of multiple constituent materials. The garment 10 may include fabrics having a certain degree of elastic stretch, where the fabric elongates when a force is applied due to deformation (e.g., elastic deformation, etc.) of the fibers themselves (e.g., deformation within the elastic region of the fibers when a force or a stress below the yield strength of the fibers is applied, etc.). The fibers resist the force and return the fabric to the pre-stretch state when the force is released.

[0027] The materials of garment 10 may have a certain degree of mechanical ease (i.e., mechanical give, etc.), where the fabric elongates when a force is applied due to movement of the fibers within the structure of the material. The mechanical ease of the fabrics varies based on the arrangement of the fibers within the structure of the material (e.g., warp and weft density, weave, etc.) and the conditions under which the fabric was produced (e.g., speed of weaving, warp insertion rate, warp and weft tension, etc.). In one embodiment, the mechanical ease does not resist pull in the same way (e.g., does not have the same type of rebound, does not have the same pull profile of rebound, etc.) as the elastic stretch associated with the fibers themselves. Rather, the mechanical ease allows the fibers that make up the fabric to move in and out of the empty spaces between the fibers.

[0028] The elongation of the materials (e.g., due to the mechanical ease, due to the elastic deformation of the fibers themselves, due to the both the mechanical ease and the elastic deformation of the fibers themselves, etc.) may be quantified in terms of a stretch factor. The stretch factor may be equal to the pre-stretched dimension of the fabric subtracted from the stretched dimension of the fabric (e.g., with a force applied that produces sub-yield strength stresses, etc.), with the resulting quantity thereafter divided by the pre-stretched dimension of the fabric.

[0029] The stretch fabric materials (or stretch mesh fabric materials) of the stretch fabric panels 50 may have both mechanical ease and elastic stretch or primarily only elastic stretch while the abrasion and/or heat resistant materials of the rigid panels 70 may have primarily only mechanical ease. In other embodiments, the stretch fabric materials (or stretch mesh fabric materials) of the stretch fabric panels 50 have a greater degree of elastic stretch than mechanical ease while the abrasion and/or heat resistant materials of the rigid panels 70 have a greater degree of mechanical ease than elastic stretch. In still other embodiments, the stretch fabric materials (or stretch mesh fabric materials) of the stretch fabric panels 50 have a stretch factor at least equal to a threshold (e.g., more than zero percent, at least 5%, at least 10%, at least 25%, at least 50%, at least 100%, etc.) in one or both directions (e.g., lateral and/or longitudinal, along x-axis and/or y-axis, etc.), while the rigid materials of the rigid panels 70 have a stretch factor of less than the threshold (e.g., zero percent, less than 5%, less than 10%, less than 25%, less than 50%, less than 100%, etc.) in one or both directions (e.g., lateral and/or longitudinal, along x-axis and/or y-axis, etc.).

[0030] In one embodiment, the stretch fabric material of the stretch fabric panels 50 has isotropic (i.e., symmetrical, identical) stretch properties (e.g., four-ways stretch, uniform stretch characteristics, etc.). By way of example, the stretch fabric material of the stretch fabric panels 50 may have a mechanical ease and/or an elastic stretch that is independent of the direction of an applied force (e.g., stretches the same in a lateral direction as a longitudinal direction, etc.). In other embodiments, the stretch fabric material of the stretch fabric panels 50 has anisotropic (i.e., asymmetrical) stretch properties (e.g., may have properties that vary with direction, etc.). By way of example, the stretch fabric material of the stretch fabric panels 50 may have at least one of a mechanical ease and an elastic stretch that varies based on the direction of an applied force. The stretch fabric material of the stretch fabric panels 50 may have an elastic stretch that is greater in a first direction (e.g., a cross-grain direction, etc.) than in a second direction (e.g., a grain direction, etc.). The first direction may be angularly offset relative to (e.g., perpendicular to, etc.) the second direction. The first direction (i.e., the direction along which the greater amount of elastic stretch occurs, etc.) may define a primary stretch direction of the stretch fabric. Stretch fabric material having a primary stretch direction may have elastic stretch that occurs primarily in a single direction. This characteristic can be observed by physical manipulation of the fabric in both the first and second directions.

[0031] The rigid material of the rigid panels 70 may have a mechanical ease that is greater in a first direction (e.g., cross-grain direction, etc.) than in a second direction (e.g., a grain direction, etc.). The first direction may be angularly offset relative to (e.g., perpendicular to, etc.) the second direction. The first direction (i.e., the direction along which the greater amount of mechanical ease occurs, etc.) may define a primary ease direction of the rigid fabric material. Rigid material having a primary ease direction may have mechanical ease that occurs primarily in a single direction. This characteristic can be observed by physical manipulation of the material in both the first and second directions.

[0032] According to an exemplary embodiment, the stretch fabric panels 50 and the rigid panels 70 are coplanarly and contiguously attached (e.g., arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, tailored, joined, etc.) to cooperatively form a single, continuous layer of the garment 10. By way of example, each individual panel may define a plane including the edges of the panel. Each edge of the panels is positioned adjacent other edges of proximate panels and attached thereto such that the planes of the attached panels are coplanar (e.g., no portion of one panel is positioned on top of or stacked atop another panel, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, all of or a portion of the single, continuous layer of the garment 10 is loose fitting (e.g., non-compressive, not skin tight, etc.). For example, the garment 10 may be skin tight or relatively tighter around the waist portion 30 and/or the region immediate the waist portion 30, but loose or relatively looser around the thighs, knees, and/or shins of the wearer (e.g., at least the upper leg portion 32 and/or the lower leg portion 34 are loose fitting, etc.). In some embodiments, the garment 10 is configured to be worn over an undergarment such as a compression garment, a skin tight garment, and/or a spandex garment. According to an exemplary embodiment, the rigid panels 70 and/or the stretch fabric panels 50 do not include or define openings or pockets configured to receive additional padding material or include additional padding attached (e.g., sewn, etc.) thereto or therein.

[0033] Attaching the stretch fabric panels 50 and the rigid panels 70 coplanarly may form seams between joined panels. In some embodiments, the garment 10 includes a liner layer (e.g., an under layer, an inner layer, etc.) disposed within the cavity 20 of the garment 10 and coupled (e.g., sewn, etc.) to one or more of the panels (e.g., under the rigid panel 70 alone, etc.) or along the single, continuous layer formed by the stretch fabric panels 50 and the rigid panels 70. According to an exemplary embodiment, the liner layer covers the seams formed between the stretch fabric panels 50 and the rigid panels 70 (e.g., such that the seams, the stretch fabric panels 50, and/or the rigid panels 70 do not come into contact with the wearer, providing increased comfort, reducing chaffing and/or scratching, etc.). In other embodiments, the liner layer covers the rigid panels 70 and/or the seams to prevent discomfort and/or chaffing. In one embodiment, the liner layer includes a mesh fabric material. In other embodiments, the liner layer includes a stretch fabric material. In still other embodiments, the liner layer includes a stretch mesh fabric material. In an alternative embodiment, the liner layer includes a rigid material. In some embodiments, the liner layer includes a material that is configured to provide ventilation to the wearer of the garment 10. In some embodiments, the liner layer includes a material that is configured to provide warmth and/or protection from wind. For example, the liner layer may be a flannel, fleece, wool, cotton, or synthetic material with the functionality described.

[0034] In one embodiment, the liner layer extends from the top of the waist portion 30 to the bottom of the upper leg portion 32. In other embodiments, the liner layer extends from the top of the waist portion 30 to the bottom of the lower leg portion 34. In still other embodiments, the liner layer is selectively positioned and attached along all or a portion of the interior of the garment 10 (e.g., over the seams, around the rigid panels 70, etc.). In an alternative embodiment, the liner layer is a separate layer of the garment 10 that is worn underneath the garment 10 (e.g., not attached thereto, an undergarment, etc.). In some embodiments, the liner layer is loose fitting. In other embodiments, the liner layer is tight fitting and conforms to the body of the wearer (e.g., a compression garment, skin tight, etc.). In some embodiments, the liner layer includes padding position so as to correspond in location to various anatomical regions of a wearer (e.g., hip, knee, thigh, etc.). The padding may be positioned so as to correspond in location to some or all of the rigid panels 70 and/or the stretch fabric panels 50. In some embodiments, the garment 10 also includes a gusset (e.g., a lycra gusset, etc.) positioned within the cavity 20 of the garment 10 above the buttocks area of the waist portion 30. The gusset may be configured to prevent the liner layer from pulling the garment 10 down when worn by a wearer.

[0035] According to an exemplary embodiment, a majority of the material of the garment 10 is rigid material (e.g., greater than 50% rigid material, any sub-range between 50% and 100% or any sub-value there between, etc.). In one embodiment, the garment 10 includes about 60%-70% rigid material. In another embodiment, the garment 10 includes greater than 70% rigid material. In an alternative embodiment, the majority of the material of the garment 10 is stretch fabric material and/or stretch mesh fabric material (e.g., less than 50% rigid material, etc.). In another alternative embodiment, the relative proportion of rigid material to stretch fabric material and/or stretch mesh fabric material is substantially equal (e.g., about 50% rigid material, etc.). In one embodiment, the non-rigid portion of the garment 10 (e.g., about 30%-40% of the material of the garment 10, the proportion of stretch fabric material relative to stretch mesh fabric material, etc.) is about 50% stretch fabric material and about 50% stretch mesh fabric material. In other embodiments, the non-rigid portion of the garment 10 is mostly stretch mesh fabric material (e.g., 60% stretch mesh fabric material and 40% stretch fabric material, 75% stretch mesh fabric material and 25% stretch fabric material, 90% stretch mesh fabric material and 10% stretch fabric material, 100% stretch mesh fabric material, 50% or more stretch mesh fabric material and 50% or less stretch fabric material, etc.). In still other embodiments, the non-rigid portion of the garment 10 is mostly stretch fabric material (e.g., 40% stretch mesh fabric material and 60% stretch fabric material, 25% stretch mesh fabric material and 75% stretch fabric material, 10% stretch mesh fabric material and 90% stretch fabric material, 100% stretch fabric material, 50% or more stretch fabric material and 50% or less stretch mesh fabric material, etc.).

[0036] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the rigid panels 70 of the garment 10 include a pair of first rigid panels (e.g., anterior thigh panels, etc.), shown as front upper leg rigid panels 72, a pair of second rigid panels (e.g., posterior thigh panels, etc.), shown as rear upper leg rigid panels 78, and a pair of third rigid panels, shown as lower leg rigid panels 74. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the front upper leg rigid panels 72 are selectively positioned about the garment 10 on each of the right leg 36 and the left leg 38, respectively, so as to correspond in location to at least one of an upper anterior leg region (e.g., front of a wearer's thigh, quadriceps, knee, etc.) and an upper exterior leg region (e.g., hip, outer side of thigh, etc.) of each leg of the wearer of the garment 10. According to an exemplary embodiment, the front upper leg rigid panels 72 are manufactured from an abrasion and/or penetration resistant material (e.g., ballistic nylon, 900D fabric, Kevlar, a heavy duty poly-fabric, leather, etc.). The abrasion resistant material of the front upper leg rigid panels 72 is configured to reduce abrasion, penetration and/or impact forces experienced by the wearer's front thigh, front knee, and/or hip regions from debris and/or falling to the ground (e.g., falling off of a dirt bike, etc.). The rigid panels 70 of the upper leg portion 32 may also cover all of or a portion of the pelvis, including the sides of the pelvis while leaving the groin region uncovered (in some cases). Regardless of the region, the rigid panels 70 may cover, for example, anywhere from 50% to 100% of the region, including any sub value or sub range therein (e.g., 55%, 60%, 65%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or any sub range bound by the same, etc.).

[0037] As shown in FIG. 1, the front upper leg rigid panels 72 define a set of apertures, shown as air flow apertures 80. According to an exemplary embodiment, the air flow apertures 80 facilitate air flow into and out of the garment 10 (e.g., to allow the garment 10 to "breath," etc.). According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the air flow apertures 80 are positioned so as to correspond in location with the knee region of a wearer of the garment 10. In other embodiments, the air flow apertures 80 are otherwise positioned about the front upper leg rigid panels 72. In an alternative embodiment, the front upper leg rigid panels 72 do not define the air flow apertures 80.

[0038] As shown in FIG. 1, the front upper leg rigid panels 72 include a knee element, shown as knee element 82, positioned so as to correspond with the knee region of a wearer of the garment 10 (e.g., the front, lateral side of the knee, etc.). According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the knee elements 82 includes a first portion, shown as rigid portion 84, and a second portion, shown as mesh portion 86. As shown in FIG. 1, the rigid portion 84 extends around the periphery of the knee element 82. The rigid portion 84 may be configured to define the shape of the knee element 82 and/or provide support for the mesh portion 86. According to an exemplary embodiment, the knee element 82 is configured as a knee vent. The mesh portion 86 of the knee vent may be a breathable mesh material configured to facilitate airflow into and/or out of the knee elements 82 (e.g., to provide cooling to the wearer of the garment 10, etc.). The rigid portion 84 may include a higher durability material (e.g., plastic, rubber, carbon fiber, etc.) to at least partially function as a knee pad. The knee pad and/or higher durability material may be configured to reduce (e.g., mitigate, lessen, etc.) abrasion, penetration and/or impact forces experienced by the knee of a wearer of the garment 10 (e.g., from debris, from falling, etc.). In other embodiments, the knee element 82 is configured as a knee pad such that the knee element 82 does not include the mesh portion 86. In other embodiments, the garment 10 does not include the knee element 82.

[0039] As shown in FIGS. 2-4, the rear upper leg rigid panels 78 are selectively positioned about the garment 10 on either or each of the right leg 36 and the left leg 38, respectively, so as to correspond in location to at least one of an upper posterior leg region (e.g., rear of a wearer's thigh, hamstrings, back of knee, etc.), an upper interior leg region (e.g., inner thigh, etc.), and/or a lower buttocks region of each leg of the wearer of the garment 10. In some embodiments, the rear upper leg rigid panels 78 can cover some or all of the tail bone. According to an exemplary embodiment, the rear upper leg rigid panels 78 are manufactured from an abrasion and/or penetration resistant material (e.g., ballistic nylon, 900D fabric, Kevlar, a heavy duty poly-fabric, leather, etc.). The abrasion or penetration resistant material of the rear upper leg rigid panels 78 can be configured to reduce abrasion, penetration, and/or impact forces experienced by the wearer's rear thigh, rear knee, and/or lower buttocks (and/or tail bone) regions from debris and/or falling to the ground (e.g., falling off of a dirt bike, etc.). Regardless of the region, the rigid panels 70 may cover, for example, anywhere from 50% to 100% of the region, including any sub value or sub range therein (e.g., 55%, 60%, 65%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or any sub range bound by the same, etc.).

[0040] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the lower leg rigid panels 74 are selectively positioned about the garment 10 on either or each of the right leg 36 and the left leg 38, respectively, so as to correspond in location to at least one of a lower anterior leg region (e.g., front of a wearer's lower leg, shin, etc.), a lower interior leg region (e.g., inner lower leg region between the shin and calf, etc.), and/or a lower exterior leg region (e.g., outer lower leg between the shin and calf, etc.) of each leg of the wearer of the garment 10. According to an exemplary embodiment, the lower leg rigid panels 74 are manufactured from an abrasion and/or penetration resistant material (e.g., ballistic nylon, 900D fabric, Kevlar, a heavy duty poly-fabric, leather, etc.). The abrasion resistant material of the lower leg rigid panels 74 is configured to reduce abrasion and/or impact forces experienced by the wearer's shin, ankle, and/or other lower leg regions from debris and/or falling to the ground (e.g., falling off of a dirt bike, etc.). Regardless of the region, the rigid panels 70 may cover, for example, anywhere from 50% to 100% of the region, including any sub value or sub range therein (e.g., 55%, 60%, 65%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or any sub range bound by the same, etc.).

[0041] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the garment 10 may include a pair of fourth rigid panels, shown as lower interior leg rigid panels 76, positioned at one or both of the interior side 22 and the interior side 24 of the right leg 36 and the left leg 38 of the garment 10, respectively, so as to correspond in location to the lower interior leg regions of a wearer of the garment 10 (e.g., the region between the shin and calf along the interior of the lower leg, etc.). In one embodiment, the lower interior leg rigid panels 76 are attached (e.g., sewn, coupled, joined, etc.) to the lower leg rigid panels 74 in a serial configuration such that the lower leg rigid panels 74 and the lower interior leg rigid panels 76 are coplanar, forming a single rigid panel (e.g., planes defined by the panels are coplanar, edges of the panels are coupled, etc.). In other embodiments, the lower interior leg rigid panels 76 are attached (e.g., sewn, coupled, joined, etc.) to the lower leg rigid panels 74 in a stacked configuration (e.g., the lower interior leg rigid panels 76 are coupled to a face of the lower leg rigid panels 74, the lower interior leg rigid panels 76 are raised relative to the rest of the garment 10, etc.). The fourth rigid panels may cover, for example, anywhere from 50% to 100% of the region, including any sub value or sub range therein (e.g., 55%, 60%, 65%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or any sub range bound by the same, etc.).

[0042] According to an exemplary embodiment, the lower interior leg rigid panels 76 can comprise or be made or manufactured from a heat resistant material (e.g., leather, Therma-flec heat resistant fabric, Kevlar, etc.). The heat resistant material may be used along the interior side 22 of the right leg 36 and the interior side 24 of the left leg 38 of the garment 10 to shield the lower inner leg regions of the wearer from high temperature components (e.g., an engine, engine components, exhaust components, etc.) of a vehicle (e.g., a dirt bike, an ATV, a snowmobile, etc.) being driven by the wearer of the garment 10. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the front upper leg rigid panels 72 and/or the rear upper leg rigid panels 78 is or includes a heat resistant material. It should be understood that the heat resistant material panels described here also may be abrasion, impact, and/or penetration resistant. Further, the heat resistant materials may be included with the other rigid panels described elsewhere herein. Regardless of the region, the heat resistant rigid panels may cover, for example, anywhere from 50% to 100% of the region, including any sub value or sub range therein (e.g., 55%, 60%, 65%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or any sub range bound by the same, etc.).

[0043] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the stretch fabric panels 50 of the waist portion 30 include a first stretch panel, shown as first front waist stretch panel 52, a second stretch panel, shown as second front waist stretch panel 54, a pair of third stretch panels, shown as side waist stretch panels 56, a fourth stretch panel, shown as crotch stretch panel 58, and a fifth stretch panel, shown as lower back stretch panel 60. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the first front waist stretch panel 52, the second front waist stretch panel 54, the side waist stretch panels 56, and the lower back stretch panel 60 may define the majority of the waist line (e.g., the size of the opening to the cavity 20, etc.) of the garment 10. A section of the front upper leg rigid panel 72 may interrupt or intersect the stretch fabric panels 50, as depicted on the back flanking sides or any other portion of the waist or groin, pelvis, or buttocks region. Although shown as multiple stretch panels, it also should be understood that the stretch fabric panels 50 may be combined thereby eliminating one or more of the separate panels in favor of fewer panels, even to the point where there are only one or two stretch fabric panels 50 in this region. In some embodiments, the rigid panels 70 can be excluded from completely intersecting or breaking the continuity of the stretch fabric panels 50 at any point between the upper leg and waistline. The stretch fabric panels 50 of the waist portion 30 may be sized to fit various waist lines of wearers of the garment 10. The waist portion 30 may include, if desired, an interior channel that runs circumferentially around the waist portion 30, which may include a tightening mechanism (e.g., a belt, a waist clip, a button fastener, etc.) to permit adjustment of the waist size.

[0044] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the waist portion 30 can include a first fastener, shown as waist fastener 90, and a second fastener, shown as crotch fastener 92. The waist fastener 90 may be configured to selectively adjust (e.g., tighten, loosen, etc.) the size of the waist line of the garment 10 (e.g., a belt, a tying device, a ratcheting fastener, etc.). The waist fastener 90 may be positioned and/or angled so as to avoid crossing the bend in the groin or leg when the leg bends relative to the groin, for example, when the wearer is bending, crouching, or sitting. In some cases, the waist fastener 90 may generally be angled to run, not cross or to run substantially parallel (e.g., at less than a 30 degree angle) to the line formed by the bend, crouch, or sitting. The same may be true for the line of the waist where the waist bends between the abdomen and the region below the waist. The crotch fastener 92 may be configured to selectively separate the two sides of the first front waist stretch panel 52 (e.g., such as a zipper, buttons, etc.).

[0045] As shown in FIGS. 1-2, the first front waist stretch panel 52 and the lower back stretch panel 60 may define a plurality of apertures, shown as air flow apertures 68. According to an exemplary embodiment, the air flow apertures 68 facilitate air to flow into and out of the garment 10 (e.g., to allow the garment 10 to "breath," etc.). It should be understood that the air flow apertures 68 may be positioned anywhere on the garment 10, particularly anywhere where the stretch fabric panel(s) 50 may be located. The material in any such location may utilize a mesh material, if desired. According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the air flow apertures 68 are positioned so as to correspond in location with the crotch region of a wearer of the garment 10. In other embodiments, the air flow apertures 80 are otherwise positioned about the first front waist stretch panel 52. According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the air flow apertures 68 are positioned so as to correspond in location with the buttocks region of a wearer of the garment 10. In other embodiments, the air flow apertures 68 are otherwise positioned about the lower back stretch panel 60. In an alternative embodiment, the air flow apertures 68 are not included in or defined by at least one of the first front waist stretch panel 52 and the lower back stretch panel 60.

[0046] According to an exemplary embodiment, the first front waist stretch panel 52, the second front waist stretch panel 54, the crotch stretch panel 58, and the lower back stretch panel 60 are manufactured from a stretch fabric material, while the side waist stretch panels 56 are manufactured from a stretch mesh fabric material. In other embodiments, the crotch stretch panel 58 is manufactured from a stretch mesh fabric material. In another embodiment, the second front waist stretch panel 54 is manufactured from a rigid fabric material. In still another embodiment, a portion of the lower back stretch panel 60 is manufactured from a rigid fabric material. It should be understood that the stretch mesh material may be positioned anywhere on the garment 10, including anywhere depicted in the various figures where a stretch fabric panel 50 is shown (regardless of whether the air flow apertures 68 are depicted). Also, it is contemplated that in some embodiments the air flow apertures 68 and/or the stretch mesh material can be specifically excluded from one or more regions of the garment 10 (specifically any one or more of the numbered region of the drawings). For example, in some embodiments, either may be excluded from the waist, the lower back, the groin, the pelvis, the crotch, the buttocks, the gluteus, the thigh or quadriceps, the hip(s), any portion or the length of the IT band, the calf, the shin, the front or back of the knee, the hamstring, etc.

[0047] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the stretch fabric panels 50 of the upper leg portion 32 include a pair of sixth stretch panels, shown as front upper leg stretch panels 62, and a pair of seventh stretch panels, shown as rear upper leg stretch panels 64. According to an exemplary embodiment, the front upper leg stretch panels 62 are manufactured from a stretch fabric material, while the rear upper leg stretch panels 64 are manufactured from a stretch mesh fabric material. In other embodiments, the front upper leg stretch panels 62 are manufactured from a stretch mesh fabric material. In some embodiments, the rear upper leg stretch panels are manufactured from a stretch fabric material. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the stretch fabric panels 50 of the lower leg portion 34 include a pair of eighth stretch panels, shown as lower leg stretch panels 66. According to an exemplary embodiment, the lower leg stretch panels 66 are manufactured from a stretch mesh fabric material. In other embodiments, the lower leg stretch panels 66 are manufactured from a stretch fabric material. Alternatively, any of the locations described can be excluded from having either of the stretch or stretch mesh material in some embodiments.

[0048] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the stretch fabric panels 50 of the waist portion 30 (e.g., the lower back stretch panel 60, etc.) and the upper leg portion 32 (e.g., the front upper leg stretch panels 62, the rear upper leg stretch panels 64, etc.) are positioned between the front upper leg rigid panels 72 and the rear upper leg rigid panels 78, effectively (e.g., substantially, completely, etc.) isolating the front upper leg rigid panels 72 and the rear upper leg rigid panels 78 from each other. Thus, the stretch fabric panels 50 of the waist portion 30 and the upper leg portion 32 are configured to facilitate independent movement of the front upper leg rigid panels 72 relative to the rear upper leg rigid panels 78, as well as independent movement of each of the front upper leg rigid panels 72 relative to one another.

[0049] As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the stretch fabric panels 50 of the upper leg portion 32 (e.g., the front upper leg stretch panels 62, the rear upper leg stretch panels 64, etc.) and the lower leg portion 34 (e.g., the lower leg stretch panels 66, etc.) are positioned between the rigid panels 70 of the upper leg portion 32 (e.g., the front upper leg rigid panels 72, the rear upper leg rigid panels 78, etc.) and the lower leg portion 34 (e.g., the lower leg rigid panels 74, the lower interior leg rigid panels 76, etc.), effectively (e.g., substantially, completely, etc.) isolating the rigid panels 70 of the upper leg portion 32 and the lower leg portion 34 from each other. Thus, the stretch fabric panels 50 of the upper leg portion 32 and the lower leg portion 34 are configured to facilitate independent movement of rigid panels 70 of the upper leg portion 32 (e.g., the front upper leg rigid panels 72, the rear upper leg rigid panels 78, etc.) relative to the rigid panels 70 of the lower leg portion 34 (e.g., the lower leg rigid panels 74, the lower interior leg rigid panels 76, etc.).

[0050] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 5-6, a multi-panel garment, shown as garment 110, includes a plurality of fabric panels that are at least one of arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, and tailored to form a pant. The garment 100 of FIGS. 5-6 may be substantially similar to the garment 10 of FIGS. 1-4 in construction and function. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, the second front waist stretch panel 54 of the waist portion 30 may be replaced with a first waist rigid panel, shown front waist rigid panel 184. As another example, as shown in FIG. 6, the rear side 18 of the garment 110 may include an additional rear waist panel, shown as rear waist flap 186. As shown in FIG. 6, the rear waist flap 186 is selectively positioned about the garment 110 so as to correspond in location to a lower back region of the wearer, above the buttocks region. According to an exemplary embodiment, the rear waist flap 186 is disposed over the lower back stretch panel 60 such that a cavity may be formed therebetween (e.g., only the top edge and sides of the rear waist flap 186 are coupled to the garment 110, the bottom edge of the rear waist flap 186 is not coupled to the garment 110, etc.). As shown in FIG. 6, the rear waist flap 186 includes a first portion, shown as stretch fabric portion 188, a second portion, shown as rigid portion 190, and a third portion, shown as mesh portions 192. The rigid portion 190 may be configured to define the shape of the rear waist flap 186 and/or provide support for the stretch portion 188 and/or the mesh portions 192. According to an exemplary embodiment, the rigid portion 190 is manufactured from an abrasion and/or penetration resistant material (e.g., ballistic nylon, 900D fabric, Kevlar, a heavy duty poly-fabric, leather, rubber, plastic, etc.). The abrasion and/or penetration resistant material of the rear waist flap 186 may be configured to reduce abrasion and/or impact forces experienced by the wearer's lower back and/or upper buttocks region from debris and/or falling to the ground (e.g., falling off of a dirt bike, etc.).

[0051] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 7-9, a multi-panel garment, shown as garment 200, includes a plurality of fabric panels that are at least one of arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, and tailored to form a long-sleeve shirt. According to an exemplary embodiment, the garment 200 is a motocross raceshirt. In other embodiments, the garment 200 is a snowmobile shirt, an ATV shirt, or another type of shirt used for action sports. In an alternative embodiment, the plurality of fabric panels of the garment 200 are at least one of arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, and tailored to form another type of shirt such as a short-sleeve shirts, a sleeve-less shirt, a tank-top, a jacket, a hoodie, a sweater, or still another article of clothing. The size of the garment 200 may be varied to fit various wearers. For example, the plurality of fabric panels of the garment 200 may be at least one of arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, and tailored to fit men, women, both men and women, or children. According to an exemplary embodiment, the plurality of fabric panels of the garment 200 are manufactured from at least two different fabric materials (e.g., stretch fabric material, stretch mesh fabric material, rigid fabric material, etc.).

[0052] As shown in FIGS. 7-9, the garment 200 includes a first portion, shown as torso portion 210, and a second portion, shown as sleeve portions 220. The torso portion 210 is positioned and formed so as to correspond with a torso, waist, neck, and/or shoulders of a wearer of the garment 200. The sleeve portions 220 are positioned and formed so as to correspond with at least a portion of a length of each arm of a wearer of the garment 200. According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 7-9, the sleeve portions 220 include long-sleeves. In other embodiments, the sleeve portions 220 include short-sleeves. In an alternative embodiment, the garment 200 does not include the sleeve portions 220. According to an exemplary embodiment, the torso portion 210 and the sleeve portions 220 are formed to receive a specific sized person (e.g., an extra-small, a small, a medium, a large, or an extra-large person, etc.). As shown in FIGS. 7-9, the torso portion 210 and the sleeve portions 220 define a first side, shown as front side 202, and an opposing second side, shown as rear side 204.

[0053] As shown in FIGS. 7-9, the garment 200 includes a first plurality of panels, shown as stretch fabric panels 230, and a second plurality of panels, shown as rigid panels 250. According to an exemplary embodiment, the stretch fabric panels 230 are manufactured from a first fabric material, and the rigid panels 250 are manufactured from a second different material. According to an exemplary embodiment, the stretch fabric panels 230 are selectively positioned about the garment 200 (e.g., between the rigid panels 250, etc.) to facilitate independent movement of each of the rigid panels 250 relative to one another (e.g., each of the rigid panels 250 moves independently, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the interaction between the stretch fabric panels 230 and the rigid panels 250 facilitates natural movement of a wearer's body such that as a wearer moves, the front side 202 and the rear side 204 do not sheer away from each other (e.g., preventing discomfort and restriction in movement, etc.). In one embodiment, at least one of the stretch fabric panels 230 is manufactured from a first stretch fabric material and at least one of the stretch fabric panels 230 is manufactured from a second different stretch fabric material. For example, at least one of the stretch fabric panels 230 may be manufactured from a stretch fabric material and at least one of the stretch fabric panels 230 may be manufactured from a stretch mesh fabric material and/or a mesh fabric material. The stretch mesh fabric material and/or the mesh fabric material may be used in areas of the garment 200 to facilitate air to flow into and out of the garment 200 (e.g., to provide a cooling effect to the wearer of the garment 200, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the stretch fabric material is more durable (e.g., tougher, stronger, heavier, etc.) than the stretch mesh fabric material. In other embodiments, the stretch fabric panels 230 are manufactured from a single stretch fabric material.

[0054] According to an exemplary embodiment, the rigid panels 250 are manufactured to be durable, protective (e.g., abrasion resistant, etc.), and/or structure giving. In some embodiments, the rigid panels 250 are manufacture to be non-stretch. The panels of the rigid panels 250 may include at least one of a stretch resistant material, an abrasion resistant material, a penetration resistant material, and a heat resistant material. According to an exemplary embodiment, the independent movement of the rigid panels 250 allows the rigid panels 250 to work independent of each other, thereby providing a greater degree of comfort and less restriction (e.g., while walking, sitting, riding, etc.) without sacrificing the intended function of the garment 200.

[0055] According to an exemplary embodiment, the stretch fabric panels 230 and the rigid panels 250 are coplanarly and contiguously attached (e.g., arranged, molded, sewn, shaped, formed, cut, tailored, joined, etc.) to cooperatively form a single, continuous layer of the garment 200. By way of example, each individual panel may define a plane including the edges of the panel. Each edge of the panels is positioned adjacent other edges of proximate panels and attached thereto such that the planes of the attached panels are coplanar (e.g., no portion of one panel is positioned on top of or stacked atop another panel, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, all of or a portion of the single, continuous layer of the garment 200 is loose fitting (e.g., non-compressive, not skin tight, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the rigid panels 250 and/or the stretch fabric panels 230 do not include or define openings or pockets configured to receive additional padding material or include additional padding sewn thereto or therein.

[0056] In one embodiment, the garment 200 includes about 60%-70% rigid material. In another embodiment, the garment 200 includes greater than 70% rigid material. In an alternative embodiment, the majority of the material of the garment 200 is stretch fabric material, mesh fabric material, and/or stretch mesh fabric material (e.g., less than 50% rigid fabric material, etc.). In another alternative embodiment, the relative proportion of rigid material to stretch fabric material, mesh fabric material, and/or stretch mesh fabric material is substantially equal (e.g., about 50% rigid fabric material, etc.). In one embodiment, the non-rigid portion of the garment 200 (e.g., the proportion of stretch fabric material relative to stretch mesh fabric material, etc.) is about 50% stretch fabric material and about 50% stretch mesh fabric material. In other embodiments, the non-rigid portion of the garment 200 is mostly stretch mesh fabric material (e.g., 50% or more stretch mesh fabric material, etc.). In still other embodiments, the non-rigid portion of the garment 200 is mostly stretch fabric material (e.g., 50% or more stretch fabric material, etc.). In yet other embodiments, the non-rigid portion of the garment 200 is mostly mesh fabric material (e.g., 50% or more mesh fabric material, etc.).

[0057] As shown in FIGS. 7-9, the rigid panels 250 of the torso portion 210 of the garment 200 include first rigid panel, shown as front torso rigid panel 252, and a second rigid panel, shown as rear torso rigid panel 254. The front torso rigid panel 252 and the rear torso rigid panel 254 are selectively joined so as to correspond in location to at least one of a torso, a waist, a neck, and shoulders of a wearer of the garment 200. According to an exemplary embodiment, the front torso rigid panel 252 and the rear torso rigid panel 254 are manufactured from a non-stretch material. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the front torso rigid panel 252 and/or the rear torso rigid panel 254 are manufactured from an abrasion resistant material, a penetration resistant material, and/or a heat resistant material. Regardless of the region, the rigid panels 250 may cover, for example, anywhere from 50% to 100% of the region, including any sub value or sub range therein (e.g., 55%, 60%, 65%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or any sub range bound by the same, etc.).

[0058] As shown in FIGS. 7-9, the rigid panels 250 of the sleeve portions 220 of the garment 200 include first rigid panels, shown as upper arm rigid panels 256, and second rigid panels, shown as lower arm rigid panels 258. The upper arm rigid panels 256 are selectively positioned so as to correspond in location to an upper arm region of a wearer of the garment 200. The lower arm rigid panels 258 are selectively positioned so as to correspond in location to a lower arm region of a wearer of the garment 200. According to an exemplary embodiment, the upper arm rigid panels 256 and the lower arm rigid panels 258 are manufactured from a non-stretch material. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the upper arm rigid panels 256 and/or the lower arm rigid panels 258 are manufactured from an abrasion resistant material, a penetration resistant material, and/or a heat resistant material. Regardless of the region, the rigid panels 250 may cover, for example, anywhere from 50% to 100% of the region, including any sub value or sub range therein (e.g., 55%, 60%, 65%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or any sub range bound by the same, etc.).

[0059] As shown in FIGS. 7-9, the stretch fabric panels 230 of the torso portion 210 include a first stretch panels, shown as side torso stretch panels 232, and a second stretch panel, shown as lower back stretch panel 234. As shown in FIGS. 7-9, the stretch fabric panels 230 of the sleeve portions 220 include third stretch panels, shown as shoulder stretch panels 236, and fourth stretch panels, shown as elbow stretch panels 238. According to an exemplary embodiment, the side torso stretch panels 232, the lower back stretch panel 234, the shoulder stretch panels 236, and the elbow stretch panels 238 are manufactured from a stretch fabric material. In other embodiments, at least one of the side torso stretch panels 232, the lower back stretch panel 234, the shoulder stretch panels 236, and the elbow stretch panels 238 are manufactured from a stretch mesh fabric material or a mesh fabric material. Alternatively, any of the locations described may be excluded from having either stretch, mesh, or stretch mesh material in some embodiments.

[0060] According to an exemplary embodiment, the side torso stretch panels 232 and the shoulder stretch panels 236 are configured to decrease restriction in movement of a wearer's arm (e.g., when lifting arms up, forward, or backwards, etc.). The side torso stretch panels 232 may also be configured to decrease restriction when a wearer turns his/her torso while wearing the garment 200. According to an exemplary embodiment, the lower back stretch panel 234 is configured to decrease restriction in movement when a wearer of garment 200 bends over and/or lifts his/her arms up. According to an exemplary embodiment, the elbow stretch panels 238 are configured to decrease restriction in the movement of a wearer's arms during a bending motion (e.g., about the elbows, etc.). The placement and/or number of the stretch fabric panels 50, 230 and/or the rigid fabric panels 70, 250 is for illustrative purposes and should not be limiting. The panels may be positioned in different locations and/or have other materials than described.

[0061] The rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 may have a variety of different shapes and thicknesses. For example, one embodiment includes the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 shaped to resemble sports equipment, such as football pads. Another embodiment includes the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 shaped to resemble large human muscles characteristic of a cartoon superhero or a bodybuilder. Another embodiment includes the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 shaped with curved edges instead of straight polygonal edges. Yet still another embodiment includes the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 configured to display indicia or logos. Further still another embodiment includes the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 configured with a similar design or "look and feel" as a particular brand of motorcycle. The rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 may be configured with surface designs or shapes that may or may not have functional purpose. For instance, the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 may benefit from added strength by the inclusion of selectively located sections of thicker material or different material integrated with the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250. These sections may also provide ornamentation to the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250.

[0062] Different rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 may be provided with different thicknesses, depending on the location of the panel. For example, the front upper leg rigid panels 72 may be thicker or made from a different material than the lower leg rigid panels 74. Similarly, the front panels may be of a different thickness or material than the rear panels. The front upper leg rigid panels 72 may not be as thick as the rear upper leg rigid panels 78. A variety of different combinations of thicknesses and materials may be used. In at least one embodiment, the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 are configured to be modular such that additional sections may be added to the rigid panels 70 and/or the rigid panels 250 or removed therefrom to change the thickness and/or shape of the panels. As such, for example, the garment 10, the garment 110, or the garment 200 may be modified to serve different functions where one thickness of panels can be used for a motorcycle rider and a different thickness of panels can be used for a skateboard rider. A skateboard rider may find it preferable to have a thicker section for the rear upper leg rigid panels 78 but thinner section for the lower leg rigid panels 74.

[0063] It is important to note that the construction and arrangement of the elements of the systems, methods, and apparatuses as shown in the exemplary embodiments are illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments of the present disclosure have been described in detail, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements. It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the enclosure may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability, in any of a wide variety of colors, textures, and combinations.

[0064] Embodiments have been described in connection with the accompanying drawings. However, it should be understood that the figures are not drawn to scale. Distances, angles, shapes, etc. are merely illustrative and do not necessarily bear an exact relationship to actual dimensions and layout of the articles that are illustrated. In addition, the foregoing embodiments have been described at a level of detail to allow one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the articles, parts, different materials, etc. described herein. A wide variety of variation is possible. Articles, materials, elements, and/or steps can be altered, added, removed, or rearranged. While certain embodiments have been explicitly described, other embodiments will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art based on this disclosure.

[0065] Conditional language used herein, such as, among others, "can," "could," "might," "may," "e.g.," and the like, unless specifically stated otherwise, or otherwise understood within the context as used, is generally intended to convey that certain embodiments include, while other embodiments do not include, certain features, elements and/or states. Thus, such conditional language is not generally intended to imply that features, elements and/or configurations are in any way required for one or more embodiments. The terms "comprising," "including," "having," and the like are synonymous and are used inclusively, in an open-ended fashion, and do not exclude additional elements, features, acts, operations, and so forth. The term "consisting essentially of" can be used anywhere where the terms comprising, including, containing or having are used herein, but consistent essentially of is intended to mean that the claim scope covers or is limited to the specified materials or steps recited and those that do not materially affect the basic and novel characteristic(s) of the claimed invention. Also, the term "consisting of" can be used anywhere where the terms comprising, including, containing or having are used herein, but consistent of excludes any element, step, or ingredient not specified in a given claim where it is used.

[0066] Also, the term "or" is used in its inclusive sense (and not in its exclusive sense) so that when used, for example, to connect a list of elements, the term "or" means one, some, or all of the elements in the list. Conjunctive language such as the phrase "at least one of X, Y, and Z," unless specifically stated otherwise, is otherwise understood with the context as used in general to convey that an item, term, etc. may be either X, Y, or Z. Thus, such conjunctive language is not generally intended to imply that certain embodiments require at least one of X, at least one of Y, and at least one of Z to each be present.

[0067] Additionally, in the subject description, the word "exemplary" is used to mean serving as an example, instance, or illustration. Any embodiment or design described herein as "exemplary" is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments or designs. Rather, use of the word exemplary is intended to present concepts in a concrete manner. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present inventions. Other substitutions, modifications, changes, and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions, and arrangement of the preferred and other exemplary embodiments without departing from scope of the present disclosure or from the spirit of the appended claims.

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