The bra with hot/cold inserts is a therapeutic device in the form
of a vest-like elastic garment adapted to be worn on the human upper
torso. The device includes front panels having pockets therein for
retaining gel packs. The device is effective in providing warm or
cold therapy to the chest and rib areas. The garment can be used
by humans of both genders.
1. A therapeutic garment configured to conform to a human's upper
torso, said garment comprising: a first front panel having an inner
surface; a second front panel having an inner surface; a back panel;
said first front panel, said second front panel, and said back panel
fabricated of elastic material; a first shoulder strap having a
first end connected to said back panel and a second end connected
to said first front panel; a second shoulder strap having a first
end connected to said back panel and a second end connected to said
second front panel; a cotton liner disposed on the inner surface
of each said first front panel and said second front panel, each
said cotton liner defining a pocket adapted to retain a gel pack
therein; means for detachably fastening said first front panel to
said second front panel; and a pair of slits formed in each said
cotton liner, said pair of slits adapted to retain a breast shield.
2. The therapeutic garment as defined in claim 1 wherein said
elastic material is perforated neoprene.
3. The therapeutic garment as defined in claim 1 wherein said
means for detachably fastening said first front panel to said second
front panel include flaps on said first front panel.
4. The therapeutic garment as defined in claim 3 wherein fasteners
are disposed on said flaps.
5. The therapeutic garment as defined in claim 1 further including
a breast shield disposed in each said pair of slits.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to wearing apparel. More
specifically, the present invention is drawn to a vest-like garment
having pockets to accommodate hot or cold thermal packs.
2. Description of Related Art
The prior art discloses many garments which, when worn, are designed
to heat or cool specific parts of the human torso. For example,
brassieres using a circulated fluid to cool or heat the breasts
are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2298361 (Freund), U.S. Pat. No.
3326218 (McAlpine), and U.S. Pat. No. 3995621 (Fletcher et al.).
U.S. Pat. No. 5235974 (Miller) shows a brassiere heated by electric
U.S. Pat. No. 5050595 (Krafft), U.S. Pat. No. 5304215 (McWhinnie
et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 5441534 (McWhinnie et al.), U.S. Pat. No.
5679052 (Rucki), and German Patent No. 4141806 disclose thermal
packs adapted to be applied directly to a woman's breast.
None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or
in combination, is seen to disclose a sturdily constructed, therapeutic,
thermal vest designed for use by both genders as will subsequently
be described and claimed in the instant invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention, dubbed "Thermal Vest", comprises
a garment fabricated from a sturdy material which is adapted to
be comfortably worn by both males and females. Configured to accommodate
a wide range of sizes, the vest is highly effective for treatment
of numerous upper torso physical conditions which require warm or
The vest is provided with pockets to accommodate gel packs, which
packs may be heated or chilled to achieve the desired result. The
vest includes an outer layer made of a material which has an elastic
ability to distribute pressure evenly across the upper human torso.
The outer layer is breathable and has good insulation qualities.
A soft, skin-friendly material forms the inner layer of the vest.
Space between the inner and outer layers provides the pockets for
the gel packs.
As contemplated, the instant invention can be utilized by lactating
mothers to stimulate circulation and induce comfort for engorged
breasts. The vest can be effective in post surgical environments,
providing therapy to reduce bruising which may accompany mastectomies,
breast implants, chest surgery, etc. Sports-persons may find the
invention beneficial in treating injuries involving pulled and/or
sore chest muscles. The invention has the capability for a myriad
of applications involving therapy for the upper torso.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide
a therapeutic garment for the upper torso of the human body.
It is another object of the invention to provide a therapeutic
garment capable of applying warm or cold therapy for the upper torso
of the human body.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a therapeutic
garment for the upper torso which can be worn by either gender.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a therapeutic
garment for the upper torso which is easy to put on and take off.
It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and
arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purposes described
which are inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing
their intended purposes.
These and other objects of the present invention will become readily
apparent upon further review of the following specification and
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is an environmental front view of a thermal vest in a closed
position according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an environmental front view of a thermal vest in an open
position according to the present invention.
FIG. 3 is an environmental rear view of a thermal vest according
to the present invention.
Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently
throughout the attached drawings.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
The thermal vest of the present invention is generally indicated
at 10 and includes an outer layer 12. Outer layer 12 is fabricated
from a sturdy elastic material such as perforated neoprene or the
like. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 vest 10 includes overlapping
front panels 14 and 16. Any convenient fasteners (buttons, hooks,
VELCRO, etc.) positioned on flaps 14a can be used secure the vest
in its closed position (FIG. 1). In its closed position, the vest
closely surrounds the upper torso. Elastic outer layer 12 functions
to apply even pressure over the chest and rib cage areas.
As best seen in FIG. 2 front panels 14 and 16 are provided with
a liner 18. Liner 18 will be in contact with the skin of the wearer
and is made from a soft flexible material such as cotton. Pockets
20 (only one is shown) are formed between liner 18 and outer layer
12. Pockets 20 are adapted to receive and support therein conventional
gel packs which will provide the heat or cold needed for therapeutic
treatment. Slits 18a and 18b are formed in liner 18 to retain a
breast shield 22 when the vest user is a lactating mother. Alternatively,
the breast shield could be attached with double sided tape. Cinching
cords 24 are provided so that the vest may be pulled tightly at
the waist to ensure a snug fit.
Shoulder straps 26 and back panel 28 (FIG. 3) are also fabricated
of neoprene or like material. Straps 26 may be adjustable to accommodate
a wide range of sizes. Straps 26 and back 28 may be lined for comfort
The vest as described above, can easily be manufactured in a one
piece die cut configuration. The instant invention presents an effective
support for large breasts while also supporting gel packs. The vest
is easy to put on and is simplistic in its use.
It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited
to the sole embodiment described above, but encompasses any and
all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.