Patent application title: LEG WARMER
Mary E. Bracken (Blue Bell, PA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA41D100FI
Class name: Apparel body garments
Publication date: 2015-05-21
Patent application number: 20150135394
The invention is a product that is an improved leg warmer that is easy to
wear and remove, including for young children.
1. A leg warmer having a seam that is closable along a vertical length of
the leg warmer so that the leg warmer may be donned without the user
having to take off the user's shoes.
2. The leg warmer of claim 1, including an upper band and a lower band.
3. The leg warmer of claim 2, including a gathered section and an elastic band provided at a first location along the upper band and a grip band provided at a second location along the upper band, wherein the grip band is provided along the interior of said leg warmer.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/903,718, filed on Nov. 13, 2013, the complete contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to leg warmers, and more particularly, to leg warmers that may be readily donned and easily removed.
 2. Brief Description of the Related Art
 Leg warmers are known in the art. Generally, a leg warmer is constructed from a knit type material that is stretchable. Traditional leg warmers are one piece, usually knitted and generally only cover from the knee down to the ankle. There are leg warmers used by cyclists that are form-fitting and go up to the thigh, which also are one-piece units that sometimes have zippers at the ankle. The leg warmers are worn by placing one's foot through the opening at one end, and pulling the leg warmer onto the leg, starting by first pulling the leg warmer over the individual's foot. The leg warmer is then pulled over the foot and ankle and onto the leg of the wearer, up to a desired position on the leg. Leg warmers may be placed directly on the leg (on the skin surface) or may be placed over socks, stockings or tights.
 Leg warmers are designed to be attractive and to provide extra warmth. In many instances school children, particularly girls, use leg warmers in the cold seasons, such as in winter, in order to provide a layer of protection against the cold weather. Many schools require girls to wear uniforms, and the uniforms generally are skirts, which leave the legs exposed.
 One drawback encountered with leg warmers is that they must be sufficiently narrow so as to fit on the user's leg without falling down. As a result, the leg warmer is tight and usually is stretched to fit on the user. The leg warmers provide protection from the cold and are usually worn when an individual will be outside or exposed to the cold weather. To wear a leg warmer, girls, including young girls in school, must first remove their shoes. This is done to protect the leg warmer from being damaged, as well as because the leg warmer does not usually fit over the shoes of the wearer. Conversely, when the leg warmer is to be removed, again, the user must remove the user's shoes, take the leg warmer off of the user's leg, and then put the user's shoes back on. The effort required to remove and replace shoes, aside from being time consuming and possibly awkward depending where this must be done, makes it difficult for smaller children to do, since many younger children cannot readily re-tie their shoes. In many instances, shoes may be a requirement of a uniform for young girls, and, often a teacher or assistant must therefore re-tie shoes for an entire classroom.
 A need exists for an improved leg warmer product that is easy to put on and remove, and which may provide benefits of warmth and protection from the elements, such as, for example, cold and wind.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The invention is a product that is an improved leg warmer that is easy to wear and remove, including for young children.
 The improved leg warmer is designed to be put on and removed without having to remove shoes.
 According to a preferred embodiment, the leg warmer is also extended to go halfway up the thigh to cover more leg area.
 According to preferred embodiments, the leg warmer may be made of a lightweight, synthetic fleece material and fastened using hook and loop fasteners along an outside seam.
 Preferred embodiments of the improved leg warmer also may have a securing mechanism at the top and bottom of the leg warmer. For example, some preferred embodiments provide a securing mechanism for securing the leg warmer at the top and bottom which includes elastic banding for flexible sizing and additional hook and loop fasteners using an easy to connect strap. According to some embodiments, in order to better hold the warmer in place at the thigh an anti-slip component is provided. Preferably, the anti-slip component is disposed on the interior of the leg warmer. According to a preferred embodiment, the anti-slip component is provided in the nature of a tape, and preferably may be attached on the inside. The face of the component, according to a preferred embodiment, is provided with a rib or ribs of anti-slip material. The anti-slip component preferably has a rubber material, or other suitable material that exhibits friction with the contact surface on which the leg warmer is placed. One type of anti-slip component is a strip supplied under the brand name Snugtex®.
 The improved leg warmer is designed to be easily donned and removed by anyone of any age and does not require any particular skill to fasten due to the easy connection of the fastening components, which, according to preferred embodiments, may be hook and loop fasteners.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a left side elevation view of the leg warmer according to my invention, shown donned on a leg of an individual.
 FIG. 2 is a perspective partial view of the leg warmer of FIG. 1, showing the upper portion broken away from the remainder of the leg warmer, and illustrating the upper or thigh band.
 FIG. 3 is a perspective partial view of the leg warmer of FIG. 1, showing the upper portion broken away from the remainder of the leg warmer, and illustrating the upper or thigh band and showing the interior holding or gripping band.
 FIG. 4 is a perspective partial view of the leg warmer of FIG. 1, showing the lower portion broken away from the remainder of the leg warmer, and illustrating the lower band.
 FIG. 5 is a perspective partial view of the leg warmer of FIG. 1, showing the lower portion broken away from the remainder of the leg warmer, and illustrating the lower band.
 FIG. 6 is a left side perspective view of the middle section of the leg warmer of FIG. 1, shown with the closable side seam in an open condition.
 FIG. 7 is a plan view of the bottom portion of the leg warmer of FIG. 1, laid out on a flat surface, looking at the inside of the leg warmer.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring to the drawing FIGS. 1-6, there is illustrated. According to a preferred embodiment, a leg warmer 10 of my invention. The leg warmer 10 is shown in FIG. 1 donned on the left leg of a wearer and including a panel 11 that wraps around the leg and thigh (in the preferred embodiment shown) and fastens onto itself with a fastening mechanism. According to the preferred embodiment, there is a side seam 12, spanning from the top of the leg warmer panel 11 to the bottom thereof, an ankle band 13 and thigh band 14. The fastening mechanism is illustrated, according to a preferred embodiment, comprising a closable seam 12, an ankle band 13 and an upper or thigh band 14 which provides for the leg warmer 10 to be donned by wrapping the leg warmer 10 around the user's leg and/or thigh, and securing the ankle band 13 and thigh band 14 and seam 12.
 The securing of the thigh band 14 preferably is accomplished by connecting surfaces of hooks and loops, (e.g., VELCRO®). As shown in FIG. 2, for example, the thigh band 14 includes an outer surface of hooks 20 placed along a preferred location on the outside of the thigh band 14 and preferably horizontal to the side seam 12. The surface of hooks 20 preferably extends along a length of the band 14 to an extent matingly connectable with the upper band tab 23. The upper band tab 23 preferably includes a surface of loops 24 which is matingly connectable with the surface of hooks 20. The mating of the hooks 20 and loops 24 secures the upper band 14 on the leg 100 of the wearer (as shown in FIG. 1). The thigh or upper band 14 preferably also includes a gathered section 25 that preferably is comprised of fabric material (which may be the material from which the panel 11 is formed) and includes an elastic portion preferably comprised of an elastic band 26. The elastic band 26 may be provided below the gathered section 25. The thigh band 14 therefore may encircle the user's thigh, and may connect onto itself to secure the leg warmer 10 at the top. This is illustrated in the example of FIG. 1, where the thigh band 14 is shown with the tab 23 folded over the portion of the thigh band and the hooks 20 connecting with the loops 24. The elastic band 26 may be provided over a portion of the thigh band 14 as shown in FIG. 2. Alternately, the elastic portion or band 26 may be provided over all, or substantially all, of the thigh band 14, with the exception of the tab 23.
 Referring to FIG. 3, the thigh or upper band 14 preferably includes a secondary securing component that is provided on the interior of the band 14. According to a preferred embodiment, an anti-slip band or grip band, such as, for example, a Snugtex® grip band 33 is provided along the inside of the upper band 14. The band 33 is shown provided on the inner face 34 of the band 14, and preferably has a gripping material provided along the inner facing side thereof. The gathered section 25 and elastic band 26 are shown provided on the band 14. According to some embodiments, the gathered portion 25 and elastic band 26 may be provided together as a component to allow for the band 14 to stretch to accommodate different leg (or thigh) sizes of the wearer. According to a preferred embodiment, the gathered section or portion 25 and/or elastic band 26 is provided at a first location of the band 14 and the grip band 33 is provided at a second location of the band 14. The leg warmer 10 may be provided in different sizes, including different lengths and widths. The leg warmer 10 may be provided so that one unit may be adjustable to fit a range of sizes, and another unit may be adjustable and fit a different range of sizes.
 The leg warmer 10 includes an ankle band 13 that facilitates securing thereof on the leg 100 of a wearer. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, for example, the ankle band 13 includes an outer surface of hooks 32 placed along a preferred location on the outside of the ankle band 13 and preferably horizontal to the side seam 12. The surface of hooks 32 preferably extends along the band 13 to an extent matingly connectable with the ankle band tab 43. The lower ankle band 13 may be constructed similar to the upper thigh band 14, but preferably is smaller. The tab 43 preferably includes a surface of loops 30 which is matingly connectable with the surface of hooks 32. The mating of the hooks 32 and loops 30 secures the ankle band 13 on the leg 100 of the wearer (as shown in FIG. 1, and see FIG. 4). A gathered section 41 is provided on the ankle band 13. Similar to the thigh band 14 discussed herein, the gathered section 41 may be comprised of a fabric material (which may be the material from which the panel 11 is formed), preferably includes an elastic portion that may be comprised of an elastic band 46 that may be provided beneath the gathered section 41.
 As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the ankle band 13 encircles the user's leg 100 in the area of the ankle. Preferably, the ankle band 13 connects onto itself to secure the leg warmer 10 at the bottom of the user's leg 100, the tab 43 being folded over the band portion 47 with the hooks 32 connecting with the loops 30 as shown in FIG. 5. According to some embodiments, alternately, the elastic portion or band 46 may be provided over all, or substantially all, of the ankle band 13.
 According to preferred embodiments, the seam 12 of the leg warmer 10, as shown in the view of FIG. 1 is provided along the outside (left leg 100). Preferably the leg warmer 10 is designed with the vertical securing mechanism, which is shown comprising hook and loop fasteners (e.g., VELCRO®) and seam 12 running down the outside of each leg only. Disposing the seam 12 on the outside of each leg 100 minimizes or prevents the possibility of the VELCRO® seams catching or snagging when the wearer walks.
 Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, the inside view of the bottom portion of the leg warmer 10 is shown.
 The panel 11 has a seam 12 which is vertically disposed. The panel 11 includes a first edge 11a and a second edge 11b. Fastening means for fastening the panel edges 11a,11b together is provided, and preferably, the fastening means may be VELCRO®, including hooks 50 provided along the first edge 11a of the interior of the panel 11 and a series of loops 51 provided along the exterior panel 11 spaced apart from the panel edge 11b. The panel 11 includes a sealing section or flap 60, which may be provided with the panel 11 or may be separately provided and attached to the panel body. Preferably, the hooks 50 are provided on the flap 60 portion of the panel 11. The flap 60 is designed to overlap the panel 11, and preferably, the flap 60 overlaps the panel edge 11b so that when the flap 60 is secured to the exterior of the panel 11 (with the hooks 50 securing with the loops 51), the panel edge 11b is overlapped by the flap 60. The sealing feature facilitates sealing out wind and cold from entering. The seam 12 preferably may be secured along its edge so as to further facilitate sealing.
 As shown in FIG. 7, a label is provided for a wearer to imprint the wearer's name The label also may include additional information, such as, manufacturer information, care instructions, sizing and other matter.
 The VELCRO® hooks and loops referred to and shown may be provided having dimensions wider or narrower as needed. For example, in order to provide for further adjustment, the hooks 50 or loops 51 may be provided larger to provide a greater area of adjustment. In addition, although the fasteners are described as hooks and loops, the surfaces may be interchanged, so long as the connecting surfaces include one surface of hooks and another connecting surface of loops. Preferred fabrics for the panel construction include natural and synthetic fabrics, as well as blends, including, wool, cotton and the like. The leg warmer 10 may be machine washable.
 According to the preferred embodiment, the leg warmer 10 is shown on a wearer's left leg 100 and being configured for use on the wearer's left leg 100, with the seam 12 and flap 60 overlapping the panel 11 in a rearward direction. According to preferred embodiments, a leg warmer may be configured for the right leg, in a similar manner as the left leg warmer 10, but with the right leg warmer being a mirror image of the left, so that when the right leg warmer is donned on a wearer's right leg, the seam and flap also are on the outside (the right side) of the wearer's right leg, with the flap and seam overlapping the panel in a rearward direction.
 These and other advantages are provided by my invention.
Patent applications in class BODY GARMENTS
Patent applications in all subclasses BODY GARMENTS