BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to improvements in articles of clothing. More particularly, the invention is directed to a single length of cloth that is adapted to be worn as a garment in a wide range of fashion styles.
Articles of clothing are conventionally composed of two or pieces of the same or different pieces of cloth that are stitched together in a pattern to define a garment.
The exception is the sari, which is a form of traditional extensively worn throughout India, Pakistan and many adjacent geographic regions. It is also won in many other countries of the world, typically by expatriates of the Indian subcontinent.
A traditional sari is comprised of a single piece of cloth and typically measures 47 by 216 inches. The cloth is wrapped and draped around the body using a variety of methods, many of which are rooted in specific cultural traditions. The sari is always worn in combination with at least one underlying garment, usually a petticoat or blouse. The sari is held in place on the torso by tucking in, or otherwise securing, at least one end of the cloth to the petticoat or blouse.
Saris are conventionally made of various types of unstitched fabrics, such as silk, cotton or chiffon. The fabric may be of single colour or texture, although pastel shades and floral, paisley and geometric patterns are often popular.
Although there are many aesthetic variances in the sari and how it may be worn, a traditional sari is characterized by being wrapped and draped around the torso so as to define a full, floor-length garment. Considerable preparation time is often required when wrapping and draping the sari about the body in order to define a garment having a refined and elegant appearance.
The ever-accelerating pace and pressures of modem life, and the informality prevalent in contemporary fashion styles, have contributed to make the wearing of a sari less practical. This is especially the case for younger and working women dealing with busy schedules, for whom free time is at a premium. Such persons tend to prefer clothing that is both stylish and easy to care for.
When wrapped and draped on the body, the traditional sari extends to floor level. This tends to be inconsistent with the informality of current fashion styles typically worn on an everyday basis, particularly in Western cultures. The time and skill needed to elegantly wrap and drape a conventional sari can also be a disincentive to its use.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved variation of the traditional sari that preserves the cultural significance of the sari, while facilitating its ease of use in a contemporary Western cultural context.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a garment derived from a single, piece of cloth that may be conveniently and easily wrapped and draped on the body to define an aesthetically pleasing garment in a plurality of fashion styles.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a garment that reflects a fusion between the traditional sartorial style of Indian and Western design.
In one embodiment, the invention provides a garment adapted for conversion to a plurality of fashion styles, comprising an elongated, rectangular portion of cloth that is less than 200 inches in length. The garment has a front surface, a back surface, a top border, a bottom border, a pair of side borders and a first fastening means disposed proximate to at least one side border.
In a preferred embodiment, one or more fastening means may be disposed on the back surface, generally proximate to the side and bottom borders. The fastening means may be fastening means adapted for releasable engagement, such as hook and loop fasteners, or other analogous devices.
In a second embodiment, the garment features one or more apertures for receiving the head and arms of the wearer.
The garment may be of cloth of single, solid colour; a combination of colours, or such other ornamental pattern as desired. In a further embodiment, the garment may be comprised of two or more pieces of fabric of different colour, pattern or texture that are joined together or other similar means that would be well understood by the skilled person.
The garment of the present invention is shorter than a traditional sari and is thus adapted to be worn in a variety of contemporary styles. In a preferred embodiment may be wrapped and draped on the body as a cocktail dress, business dress, or business dress, but other styles may be created and used, as desired. The prevent invention also obviates the need for the wearing of an underlying petticoat or blouse that is necessary with the traditional sari.
FIG. 1 depicts a representation of a person wearing a traditional sari.
FIG. 2 (a) depicts a top plan view of the top surface of the garment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 (b) depicts a top plan view of the bottom surface of the garment of the present invention.
FIG. 3 depicts a top plan view of a second embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 depicts a second embodiment of the invention wherein the garment is adapted to define a business suit.
FIG. 5 depicts a further embodiment of the invention wherein the garment is adapted to define a casual dress.
With reference to the drawings, a traditional sari 10 is wrapped and draped about the body of a wearer 11 to define a garment that extends to floor length 12. The sari is held in place by being tucked into, or otherwise secured to an underling foundation garment such as blouse or petticoat 14.
The garment 15 of the present invention is a single piece of cloth having a front surface 16, a back surface 17, top border 18, bottom border 19 and a pair of side borders 20, 21.
A first fastening means 23 is disposed on a surface of the garment, such as back surface 17 as shown in FIG. 2(a), proximate to side border 20. A second fastening means 24 may be disposed proximate to the top border 18 or such other location along the cloth as may be desired. Fastening means 23, 24 may be of the hook and loop type, The person skilled in the art will understand that other analogous types of fasteners may be used within the context of the invention.
In a second embodiment, garment 15 may feature one or more apertures 25 through which the head and/or arms of the wearer may pass as the garment is wrapped and draped about the body.
Beginning with an end portion of the cloth, a side border 20 of the garment 15 is placed against the lower portion of the torso. First fastening means 23 is used to secure the cloth to the wearer. The cloth is then wrapped, in generally overlapping layers, beginning at or below the waist and then progressing upwardly around the torso circumferentially in generally concentric, and progressively overlapping layers.
For any portion of the torso, the cloth may be wrapped or draped from one to three turns of fabric, as desired.
The second end portion of the cloth characterized by side border 27 may be tucked in or otherwise secured to a preceding layer to hold the garment in place. In one embodiment, the garment may define a representative cocktail dress (not illustrated). Alternatively, side border 27 may be split into two or more segments that may be looped, draped and then tied in bow (or other style of knot) to secure the garment or for decorative effect.
In a further embodiment, the garment may be wrapped and draped to define a business suit, comprised of a skirt 29 and jacket 30, representatively shown by FIG. 4. The skirt and jacket may be of the same or different color or pattern. Optionally, two or more sections of cloth, of different material or texture, and/or colour, may be secured to one other by differential dyeing, stitching or similar means, so as to enable the garment to define an article of clothing of contrasting colour or texture, if desired, such as the casual dress depicted in FIG. 5.
Optionally, the garment may be provided with pleating.
Further embodiments of the invention include other items of apparel such as swimsuits, evening gowns and the like. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention is adapted to define other types of garments or wearing apparel and that such variations and embodiments are considered to be within the general scope of the invention.