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Interchangeable pants closure system

Title: Interchangeable pants closure system.
Abstract: A button-type fastener for a garment has an easily changeable appearance. The fastener is a button head connected with a grommet post and base for securing through a grommet in an article of clothing. The button head and base are separable from each other for changing the button head to one with a different appearance. In an alternate embodiment, button head covers are provided for changing the appearance of the button head. ...

- Orangeburg, NY, US
Inventor: Neal H Frank
USPTO Applicaton #: #20060156518 - Class: 024104000 (USPTO) -

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Related Patent Categories: Buckles, Buttons, Clasps, Etc., Button With Fastener, Separable
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20060156518, Interchangeable pants closure system.


[0001] This application claims the benefit of priority of provisional U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 60/461,465 filed Apr. 9, 2003 and 60/500,129 filed Sep. 4, 2003, the entireties of which are hereby incorporated by reference.


[0002] The present invention relates generally to the field of fasteners for clothing and in particular to a new and useful fastener for pants having an easily changeable outward appearance for permitting consumers more personal expression.

[0003] Denim as a material for clothing has made a huge comeback in an increasingly competitive market over the past few years. Focusing on the versatility of denim, popular designers and brands brought denim to a new level through fabric innovations and unique combinations of styles. And, body jewelry is increasing in popularity for those who don't wish to go through the trouble of piercing. Fake non-pierced hoops, for example, work perfectly on the ears, eyebrows, nose, and/or navel. In addition, belly chains and low slung, beaded belts have become fashion staples. The obsession with low-rise jeans has quickly spawned new creations to tastefully complement the waistline.

[0004] It is generally known in the art of making denim jeans, or blue jeans, to use fasteners, commonly called shank buttons, comprising a button head secured to one side of a fly opening communicating with a buttonhole. The buttonhole is provided on the front panel of the fly to receive the button head. The buttonhole may be seamed or otherwise finished to prevent fraying and becoming larger through use. The button head is secured to the jeans using a rivet connection through the denim material on the rear panel of the fly. That is, the button head is permanently mounted to the fabric and cannot be changed or replaced without removing the rivet and replacing the entire area where the button head was originally secured.

[0005] Typically, these button heads are a copper color, sometimes with a logo imprinted thereupon. Due to the method of securing the fasteners, the appearance of the clothing they are used with cannot be altered easily. Traditional denim jeans pants and jackets, for example, cannot be easily changed from the permanent copper metal button fastener and blue denim material combination to give a different appearance.

[0006] It is desirable to provide a fastener which permits some form of expressionism by a person wearing clothing using the button type fastener.


[0007] It is an object of the present invention to a new fastener system for pants and denim jackets which permits greater self expression and personal modification by the person wearing the clothing.

[0008] Another object of the invention is to provide an easily interchangeable button-type fastener for clothing for providing different outward appearances.

[0009] Accordingly, a button-type fastener system for clothing having overlapping layers, and particularly, pants and jackets, is provided composed of a changeable button head secured to one layer of material and a corresponding buttonhole in the other overlapping layer of material. The changeable button head has a button mounted to a first post threadably engageable with a second post extending from a base.

[0010] The first and second posts each can pass through a grommet in the layer of material. The base and button head are sized larger than the grommet opening, so that when the posts are threaded together, the button head is held securely to the material via the grommet.

[0011] In a further aspect of the invention, covers for the button head are provided, so that a single button head can have the appearance changed easily. The covers can be used with existing shank buttons or to change the appearance of the fasteners of the invention. The covers are arranged to fit over the exposed front surface of the button head when it is in use.

[0012] The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects attained by its uses, reference is made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated.


[0013] In the drawings:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a pair of pants having a fastener of the invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the open pants fly of FIG. 1 showing the fastener in greater detail;

[0016] FIG. 3 is an exploded view of a construction for the fastener button;

[0017] FIG. 4 is an exploded view of an alternative construction for the button of FIG. 3;

[0018] FIG. 5 is an exploded view of a second alternative construction for the button of FIG. 3;

[0019] FIG. 6 is a rear elevation view of a button head cover according to the invention;

[0020] FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the button head cover of FIG. 6 taken along line 7-7;

[0021] FIG. 8 is a front elevation view of an alternative button head cover according to the invention covering a button head;

[0022] FIG. 9 is a front, right side perspective view of an alternative button head cover construction according to the invention; and

[0023] FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of a still further alternative button head cover according to the invention.


[0024] Referring now to the drawings, in which like reference numerals are used to refer to the same or similar elements, FIG. 1 shows a pair of pants 10 having a fly opening 25 in the open position. The fly opening 25 consists of two overlapping panels 22, 24 at the ends of the waistband 27 formed from the material making up the pants 10. One of the panels 22 has a buttonhole 40 through the panel 22. The other panel 24 has a button head fastener 50 according to the invention mounted through a grommet 60 secured to the second panel 24.

[0025] FIG. 2 shows a top view of the pants 10 with the fly opening 25 open and the panels 22, 24 separated. The construction of fastener 50 is more clearly visible. Fastener 50 has button head 52 extending to the front toward buttonhole 40 and connected at its back side to post 54. Post 54 is inserted through grommet 60 and connected at its other end to base 58. Base 58 and button head 52 are each sized to be larger than the opening defined by grommet 60, so that the button head fastener 50 remains held to the garment panel 22.

[0026] It should be noted that grommet 60 is an optional piece supporting an opening through the garment panel 22 for the fastener 50, and is not required. But, the grommet 60 is preferred to keep the garment fabric from becoming torn, stretched or otherwise deformed to a shape or size that permits the assembled button head fastener 50 to separate from the garment panel 22. Typically, the grommet 60 is formed by two annular halves placed on opposite sides of the fabric panel 22 about the opening through the panel 22 and joined together to rigidly define the opening. A similar device serving the same purpose can be used in place of the grommet 60 if desired.

[0027] It should be understood as well that although fasteners 50 are preferred for use with blue jeans and denim jackets, the fastener 50 of the invention can be used with any garment. For example, the fastener 50 can be used with garments such as pants, jackets and other types, having body openings to hold closed while the garment is being worn.

[0028] As shown in FIG. 2, the base 58 and button head 52 are each sized to be larger than the opening defined by the grommet 60. The base 58 preferably has a smaller diameter or width than the button head 52, but it may be the same size, or even larger. The base 58 and button head 52 are both preferably circular, but may be any shape which prevents each from passing through the grommet 60 and, in the case of the button head 52, can be used to secure the fly 25 closed by connection with panel 24 via buttonhole 40.

[0029] FIGS. 3-5 illustrate different constructions of the fastener 50 for removably connecting the button head 52 and base 58. The fastener 50 is formed by separable parts so that the appearance of the fastener 50 can be easily changed for use with the same garment or a different garment. Preferably, the outer surface of the button head 52 has a design or logo of some sort. When a person wearing a garment fastened using the fasteners 50 of the invention, in the embodimetn of FIGS. 3-5, they can change the appearance of the fastener 50 by disconnecting the button head 52 from the base 58 and reconnecting a different button head 52.

[0030] FIG. 3 illustrates a first embodiment of the fastener 50 in which post 54 has internal threads (not shown) for mating with correspondingly externally threaded shank 56 connected to base 58.

[0031] Thus, when the post 54 and shank 56 are threadedly connected together, the fastener 50 is secured in the grommet 60, which is in turn secured to the fabric panel 22 of the garment. But, the post 54 and shank 56 may be unthreaded and a different button head 52 and like-threaded post 56 can be secured to the base 58 instead, for example, to give a different outward appearance. In one embodiment, it is envisioned that the fastener 50 is part of a kit having multiple button heads 52 for interchanging by a user to give the clothing garment the fastener 50 is used with a different selected appearance. In one instance it is envisioned that a kit may include one button head 52 bearing a patriotic design, while another button head 52 bears a design associated with a popular entertainer or musical group, and yet another button head 52 bears the brand name of the garment manufacturer. Any ornamental design used on the button heads 52 and combinations of such button heads 52 are possible and within the scope of the invention.

[0032] FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the fastener 50 in which the post 54 has external threads and the shank 56 has the internal threads. As can be seen, both the base 58 and button head 52 are sized larger than the grommet opening 62, so that only post 54 and shank 56 may pass through.

[0033] In FIG. 5, a snap fit connection for the post 54 and shank 56 are illustrated in which post 54 has an internal annular ridge 154 for mating with a corresponding groove on the shank 56 adjacent the base 58.

[0034] It will be understood that while threaded and snap-fit and annular ring connections are shown herein, that other known types of connections useful for the same purpose can be used. And, the ridge 154 and groove may be reversed on the post 54 and shank 56. It is important, however, that the connection for the post 54 and shank 56 is both detachable and secure when connected, so that the button heads 52 may be interchanged, but only when desired.

[0035] In a further embodiment of the invention permitting still more personal expression by a person wearing a garment, FIGS. 6-10 display several embodiments of covers 70, 270 which are fit over a button head 52. The covers 70, 270 can be plain or bear a design 170 (shown in FIG. 8) which provides a different appearance to the button head 52 or another cover 70, 270.

[0036] The cover 70 of FIGS. 6 and 7 is made from a flexible or stretchable material and has a center opening 75 for expanding to fit over a button head 52.

[0037] The cover 70 has a front panel 72 which entirely covers the face of a button head 52. The front panel 72 preferably has a diameter which is slightly larger than that of the button head 52 it is used with. The center opening 75 is any size which is small enough to hold the edges of the cover over the back of the button head 52 of the fastener 50. The center opening 75 should be sufficiently large not to bunch up on a post 54 extending from the rear of the button head 52.

[0038] The covers of FIGS. 8-10 in particular are designed for use with either existing shank buttons or to cover the button head 52 of a fastener 50 herein.

[0039] In FIG. 8, cover 70 has a slot opening 78 at the bottom for fitting over the top of the button head 52. The rear of the cover 70 may include a slit for accommodating the post 54 used to connect the button head to the base of the fastener 50. A design 170 can be formed on the front of the cover 70 in any known manner.

[0040] FIG. 9 shows a button head cover 70 which is hinged at one side for opening like a jaw to expose a slot 175. The hinge 178 creates a gap 172 between cover halves 70, 70a for inserting a button head 52 into the slot 175 and closing the cover halves 70, 70a over the button head 52. Like the cover 70 of FIG. 8, the cover halves 70, 70a may each include a slit or channel for permitting the cover to fit snugly around a post 54 extending from the rear of a covered button head 52.

[0041] And, in FIG. 10, a cover 270 has a wire loop 276 sized to fit over a button head 52 and a wire hinge 274. The cover 270 is bent at hinge 274 so that decorative panel 272 fits over the front of button head 52 and the cover 270 is held securely in place over an edge of the button head 52. The hinge 274 is preferably formed to resist opening from the bent or folded position over the button head 52.

[0042] Preferably, when used with pants, the cover 270 is attached to a fastener 50 or shank button by putting wire loop 276 over the button head 52, closing the pants fly 25, and bending the hinge 274 to position decorative panel 272 over the button head 52. In this manner, the wire loop 276 is hidden by the garment, while the decorative cover 272 is securely supported over the button head 52.

[0043] Using the button head covers 70, 270 of the invention alone or in combination with the fasteners 50, many different appearances can be quickly and easily generated for a particular garment having overlapping panels. The garment needs only to have aligned openings in the overlapping panels for receiving a fastener of the invention. One of the panels may include a grommet for rigidly maintaining the size of the panel opening, while the other is a conventional button hole. The fastener 50 of the invention provides an inexpensive, simply and yet unique device for changing the appearance of a garment quickly.

[0044] While a specific embodiment of the invention has been shown and described in detail to illustrate the application of the principles of the invention, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from such principles.

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US 20060156518 A1
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