US20140259277A1 - Breastfeeding Garment - Google Patents

Breastfeeding Garment Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140259277A1
US20140259277A1 US14210299 US201414210299A US2014259277A1 US 20140259277 A1 US20140259277 A1 US 20140259277A1 US 14210299 US14210299 US 14210299 US 201414210299 A US201414210299 A US 201414210299A US 2014259277 A1 US2014259277 A1 US 2014259277A1
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left
neck
sash
garment
shirt body
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Abandoned
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US14210299
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Melanie G. Herschorn
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Udderly Hot Mama LLC
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Udderly Hot Mama LLC
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    • A41D1/205
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D1/00Garments
    • A41D1/21Maternity clothing; Clothing specially adapted for persons caring for infants
    • A41D1/215Nursing clothing, e.g. for breastfeeding

Abstract

A garment for assisting a mother in breastfeeding a child includes a shirt body having front and rear portions with a common upper edge defining a neck. A sash depends from within the shirt body and underlies the neck. The sash is below the neck and is moveable to provide access for to the breast for breastfeeding activity. The garment is arrangeable in a normal configuration, in which the sash is concealed from view, and a breastfeeding configuration, in which the neck and the sash cooperate to define a narrow slit which is sized to closely reveal a nipple therethrough for breastfeeding.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/781,784, filed Mar. 14, 2013, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to clothing, and more particularly to clothes which aid in breastfeeding.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Many mothers choose to breastfeed in public. Doing so often requires exposing one or both breasts in a manner with which some members of the public disagree. A variety of solutions have been proposed to preserve modesty during breastfeeding. Some mothers use a simple sheet draped across their shoulders and across the head of the child. However, it can be difficult to position the child under the sheet while maintaining coverage, and the sheet can be displaced easily by a nursing child's arms or the wind. Other mothers use an apron that drapes over the mother's front and often includes a rigid wire support near the top to provide structure and form and maintain a viewing window into the apron. However, these aprons must be carried with the mother whenever breastfeeding is a possibility and can be bulky to transport and cumbersome to set up. Yet other mothers simply pull their top up or down to expose the breast, position the child at the nipple, and then move the top slightly back into position. This leaves the top of the breast exposed, and some members of the public find this method to be too revealing and inappropriate. An improved system for breastfeeding a child in public is needed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to the principle of the invention, a garment is disclosed which has a shirt body and a sash attached to the shirt body and underlying the shirt body. The shirt body has a large neck or cowl which can be deformed and stretched. The sash underlying the shirt body drapes just above the tops of a mother's breasts. When a child wishes to nurse, the mother stretches the neck of the shirt body over one of her breasts and positions the sash across the top of the one of her breasts from which the child is about to nurse. The sash lies across the top of the breast, and the neck is extended just under, defining a narrow slit which closely exposes and reveals the nipple from which the child can nurse. From any distance, the mother appears to be fully clothed because the child's head conceals her nipple extending just through the slit, the sash is above the child's head on the top of the breast, and the neck of the shirt is below the child's head. No skin is visible which would not otherwise be visible while wearing the garment in a normal manner.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Referring to the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a breastfeeding garment constructed and arranged in accordance with the principle of the invention, including a shirt body and a sash underlying the shirt body;
  • FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the garment of FIG. 1 with a neck of the shirt body pulled down to expose the sash; and
  • FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of the garment of FIG. 1, as it would appear worn and arranged in a breastfeeding configuration for nursing a child.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Reference now is made to the drawings, in which the same reference characters are used throughout the different figures to designate the same elements. FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a garment 10, constructed and arranged in accordance with the principle of the invention, for wearing as an article of clothing and for concealing a mother's breast during breastfeeding so as to preserve the mother's modesty and not offend more sensitive or conservative members of the public. The garment 10 is a shirt or blouse, and is representative of a conventional top to be worn as clothing by a nursing mother. As such, one having ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate that the invention may be constructed in a variety of styles, such as a shirt, blouse, Kenley, dress, sundress, jumper, tank, shell, camisole, vest, polo, sweater, sweatshirt, or other similar article of clothing that covers the front of the body. One having ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate that the garment 10 can be constructed in any of these styles without departing from the principle of the invention, so long as the various structural elements and features described below exist in such styles.
  • The garment 10 includes a shirt body 17 having a front 11, an opposed back 12, a top 13 and an opposed bottom 14, left and right sides 15 and 16 extending from the top 13 to the bottom 14, and left and right shoulder areas 20 and 21. It is noted that, for convenience and clarity, the designators “left” and “right” are used from the perspective of the mother wearing the garment 10.
  • The garment 10 is preferably constructed from a front portion 22 and an opposed rear portion 23, which are separate panels at the front 11 and back 12 and are sewn or otherwise joined together to form the shirt body 17. The garment 10 has numerous free edges that define openings into the garment 10. Attached to the shirt body 17 are left and right sleeves 24 and 25 having arm openings 30 and 31, respectively, through which a mother's arms would extend when worn. It is noted that the left and right sleeves 24 and 25 are shown as mid-length sleeves in FIG. 1, though one having ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate that the left and right sleeves 24 and 25 may be full-length sleeves without departure from the nature of the invention. A trunk opening 32 is at the bottom 14 of the garment 10 for receiving and accommodating the mother's torso about the waist and hips. The front and rear portions 22 and 23 terminate at the top 13 along a common upper edge 33 defining a neck opening 34 at the top 13 of the garment 10. The neck opening 34 is defined and bounded by a neck 35 continuously encircling the neck opening 34 at the top 13 of the garment 10 and extending just inboard of the upper edge 33 a short distance. The neck 35 is formed and defined by the common upper edge 33 of the front and rear portions 22 and 23, and is generally elliptical in shape when worn. The neck 35 is preferably constructed of a loose material having shape-memory characteristics, and may be constructed of an elastic fabric material. The neck opening 20 is for receiving and accommodating the mother's neck. The arm opening 30 defines a right arm opening for receiving the mother's right arm, and the left shoulder area 20 defines a piece of material for wearing over the mother's right shoulder between the mother's neck and right arm. The arm opening 31 defines a left arm opening for receiving the mother's left arm, and the right shoulder area 21 defines a piece of material for wearing over the mother's left shoulder between the mother's neck and left arm. The trunk opening 32 is constructed of fabric that is preferably loose, and in some embodiments may be constructed of an elastic fabric.
  • Left and right breast areas 40 and 41 are located proximate to the left and right sides 15 and 16, respectively, so as to overlie the left and right breasts of the mother when worn. The left and right breast areas 40 and 41 are designated generally with broken line in both FIGS. 1 and 2. The left and right breast areas 40 and 41 flank the neck 35 and are disposed generally vertically centered on the bottom of the neck 35 along the front portion 22 of the shirt body 17, so that the neck 35 dips just to the top of and between the left and right breast areas 40 and 41.
  • The garment 10 is generally constructed from panels of smooth, pliant, and thin material having deformable and elastic material characteristics, which, when joined together, include and form an inner surface 42 and an opposed outer surface 43. The panels are preferably joined by stitching, but may also be joined with adhesive, heat welding, or like fastening means. The inner surface 42 bounds and defines a torso space 44 for receiving and accommodating a mother's trunk, including her waist, breasts, back, and shoulders.
  • The garment 10 is constructed of a stretchable and resilient textile or combination of textiles such as cotton, spandex, nylon, rayon, polypropylene, or the like. The garment 10 is designed to fit comfortably on the mother's torso, though other styles of tops will fit in their own respective ways according to the cut and fashion of the style.
  • The neck 35 of the garment 10 has a middle portion 45 which is located at a generally intermediate and central location between the left and right shoulder areas 20 and 21 on the front 11 of the garment 10. The middle portion 45 of the neck 35 drapes down below and between the left and right shoulder areas 20 and 21.
  • As shown in broken line in FIG. 1, a sash 50 depends between the left and right shoulder areas 20 and 21 behind the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 in the torso space 44. The sash 50 underlies the front portion 22 and lies flat against the inner surface 42 of the shirt body 17 at the front 11. The sash 50 is a thin, flat, elongate piece of material and has opposed ends 51 and 52 which are fixed to the left and right shoulder areas 20 and 21, respectively. Preferably, the ends 51 and 52 carry members of releasable engagement assemblies 56 and 57, respectively, such as snap closures, buttons, hook-and-loop fasteners, or other like fasteners. The ends 51 carry members of the engagement assemblies 56 and 57, and the inner surface 42 at the left and right shoulder areas 20 and 21 carry complemental members of the engagement assemblies 56 and 57, so that the sash 50 is releasable, removable, and replaceable. In other embodiments, the ends 51 and 52 are sewn to the left and right shoulder areas 20 and 21. The sash 50 further includes a middle portion 58 defined in a location generally intermediate to the ends 51 and 52. The sash 50 has an upper edge 53 and an opposed lower edge 54, each extending between the ends 51 and 52, and an outer surface 55 and opposed inner surface. The outer surface 55 is directed outwardly away from the torso space 44 and toward the inner surface 42 of the middle portion 45 of the neck 35.
  • The neck 35 has a curvature from the left shoulder area 20 down to the middle portion 45 and up to the right shoulder area 21. The neck 35 has a circumferential length along that curvature between the left and right shoulder areas 20 and 21, and the middle portion 45 hangs at a distance H below the top 13, as illustrated in FIG. 1. The sash 50 has a length which is greater than the length of the neck 35, and has a curvature from the end 51 at the left shoulder area 20 down and up to the end 52 at the right shoulder area 21. The curvature of the sash 50 is larger than the curvature of the neck 35, which means that the curvature is deeper and longer on the sash 50 than the neck 35. The neck 35 and sash 50 are preferably constructed from the same materials having same the material characteristics, such as elasticity and fabric weight. The neck 35 and sash 50 also preferably are the same color or carry the same decorative pattern or ornamentation, such that the sash 50 is camouflaged and indistinguishable from the neck 35 when it is visible. In some embodiments, however, the sash 50 may have a heavier weight than the neck 35, and less elasticity, which in part would cause it to hang below the neck 35 with a greater curvature. The sash 50 hangs to a distance S below the top 13, which is further than the distance H. The distance S locates the sash 50 is above the nipples of the mother, on top of the breasts at the left and right breast areas 40 and 41.
  • With reference now to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the garment 10 is used to clothe the torso of a mother including her waist, breasts, back, shoulders, and arms. The garment 10 will preferably be worn over a bra, nursing bra, or bare skin, and one having ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate as much. The garment 10 is advantageous in that, despite the fact that it is a breastfeeding garment useful for breastfeeding, the sash 50 lies flat underneath the front portion 22 of the shirt body 17 and is completely concealed and unnoticeable, so that the garment 10 appears as a conventional shirt from onlookers. Further, the garment 10 is advantageous in that the sash 50 is removable so that the garment 10 can be worn after the mother has ceased breastfeeding, allowing the mother to derive continued use from the garment 10. To easily apply the garment 10 to the mother from a free condition, as shown in FIG. 1, to a worn, normal configuration on the torso of the mother, as shown in FIG. 3, the garment 10 is taken up, such as by hand, and the trunk opening 32 is held open so as to present the trunk opening 32 to receive the arms and head of the mother. The left and right arms are applied hands-first through the trunk opening 32 as the garment 10 is pulled downward in a longitudinal direction over the head of the mother. The left arm is passed through the left shoulder area 20 and through the arm opening 30, and the right arm is passed through the right shoulder area 21 and through the arm opening 31, as the mother continues to pull the garment 10 downward. The sash 50 is maintained in a forward position against the inner surface 42 of the front 11 of the garment 10, preferably against the middle portion 45 of the neck 35, so as to not interfere with application of the garment 10 to the mother's torso and not become entangled during application. The garment 10 is further advanced until the garment 10 is drawn over the breasts of the mother. The mother ensures that the sash 50 is located above and on top the breasts across the left and right breast areas 40 and 41, and pulling continues to advance the trunk opening 32 over the waist. Pulling further continues until the trunk opening 32 is applied over the hips or between the hips and the waist, as the mother desires, as illustrated in FIG. 3. Although this process of moving the garment 10 from the free condition to the normal configuration is presented and described above as a series of sequential steps, one having ordinary skill in the art should appreciate that the application and arrangement of the garment 10 on the mother is preferably accomplished in a single, smooth, continuous motion.
  • The garment 10 is thereby placed in the normal configuration with the mother's torso now received in the torso space 44, and the neck 35 is placed below the mother's neck and above the mother's breasts, concealing the breasts. The middle portion 45 of the neck 35 extends across the mother's chest between her shoulders, and may drape or hang slightly for aesthetics and fashion at height H. The sash 50 is fully concealed by the front portion 22 of the shirt body 17 at the neck 35. The sash 50, hanging at height S, is behind and below the middle portion 45 of the neck 35, and is disposed between the neck 35 and the mother's chest. The sash 50 lies flat against the mother's chest, with the inner surface of the sash 50 received in flat contact against the upper portion of the mother's breasts between ends 51 and 52, and the outer surface 55 of the sash 50 against the inner surface 42 of the front 11 of the garment 10. With the sash 50 laying flat against the mother, no wrinkles, creases, or bumps are formed in the sash 50 which may be seen through the front 11 of the garment 10. The garment 10 thus appears to ordinary observers as a conventional top.
  • The garment 10 is useful for providing a nursing child with quick access to the mother's breasts while maintaining modesty and coverage over the mother's breasts. When the mother is wearing the garment 10 and not breastfeeding, the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 is in a relaxed state at height H and above the breasts. When the mother needs to breastfeed the child, she sits and adjusts the garment 10 to the position shown in FIG. 3, which is herein referred to as a breastfeeding configuration.
  • Arrangement of the garment 10 into the breastfeeding configuration will be discussed with respect to FIGS. 2 and 3. The neck 35 is capable of being stretched, as shown in FIG. 2 to a maximum circumference defined by the elastic material characteristics of shirt body 17. FIG. 2 depicts the neck 35 stretched to this maximum circumference. In this position, the neck 35 is below the sash 50, exposing a wide slot between the lower edge 54 of the sash 50 and the upper edge 33 of the neck 35. However, because of the elastic material characteristics, the neck 35 cannot be maintained in this position; the neck 35 is urged to return to its normal size and shape in the normal configuration of the garment 10 shown in FIG. 1.
  • To move the garment 10 into the breastfeeding configuration, the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 is taken up, such as by hand, and pulled over and then beyond either the left or right breast, just below the nipple. For the purposes of consistency with FIG. 3, the discussion will refer to the neck 35 being drawn beyond the right breast, but one having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the neck 35 may be drawn over and beyond either; the middle portion 45 may be pulled to either the left or right breast to provide the child with nursing access to either the left or right breast.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, the middle portion 45 is drawn to below the right breast at the right breast area 41. The material characteristics of the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 allow the neck 35 to be stretched and drawn below the breast, and the shape-memory characteristics of the neck 35 allow the neck 35 to return to its original shape after breastfeeding. When drawn and released, the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 is constricted against the lower portion of the breast just below the nipple, and is held in place by the breast. When drawn to below the breast, the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 is at a distance H′ from the top 13 of the garment 10, as shown in FIG. 3. The height H′ is longer than the heights H and S, and as such, the sash 50 is exposed above the breast. The mother moves the middle portion 58 of the sash 50 to the right breast area 41 so that the sash 50 overlies the top of the right breast, just above the nipple. The sash 50 is partially exposed by the now downwardly-pulled neck 35 proximate to the right side 16 and is partially concealed by the neck 35 proximate to the left side 15. An aperture or slit 60 is formed through the garment 10 between the neck 35 and sash 50 proximate to the right side 16 (not visible in FIG. 3), at which slit 60 the nipple of the breast is exposed and made available for nursing. The slit 60 is a narrow, slender gap between the lower edge 54 of the sash 50 and the upper edge 33 of the neck 35, and the slit 60 is so narrow that it closely reveals the nipple for the child to nurse at without exposing much other skin.
  • When the neck 35 is extended beyond the right breast area 41 to expose the sash 50 under the front portion 22 of the shirt body 17 at the right breast area 41 as in FIG. 3, the middle portion 45 is pulled beyond the right breast and so the neck 35 is deformed toward the right breast. When this occurs, the left breast, at the left breast area 40, is concealed. The maximum circumference of the neck 35 allows the neck 35 to be stretched so that the middle portion 45 is at and over the right breast area 41, but the neck 35 will not simultaneously also extend beyond the left breast area 40, due to the material characteristics of the neck 35 and the shirt body 17, which prevent elastic stretching to that extent. Thus, only one breast can be exposed at at time while maintaining the slit 60 and proper arrangement of the garment 10 in the breastfeeding configuration as herein described.
  • Generally, a mother will sit to breastfeed her child in a nursing position. In the nursing position, the mother will position the child across her lap or to her side, draw the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 down over and beyond the right breast, position the child's mouth over the nipple, adjust the sash 50 so that the bottom of the sash 50 is at or just above the child's head, and begin breastfeeding. In this nursing position, the sash 50 conceals the upper portion of the right breast above the nipple, the middle portion of the neck 35 conceals the right breast below the nipple, and the child's head conceals the nipple closely revealed by the slit 60. The skin of the breast immediately around the nipple is not exposed, as the garment 10 provides substantial coverage of the entirety of the breast and still provides the child with access to the nipple.
  • When the child has finished nursing or is ready to move to the other breast, the mother delatches the child from the nipple, and, while holding the child's head close to the mother, draws the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 back to conceal the breast, such as by taking the middle portion 45 up by hand and pulling it slightly out and over the breast. The shape-memory characteristics of the neck 35 move the neck 35 to its original position in the normal configuration of the garment 10. The child is then adjusted, such as by picking the child up and reversing his or her position or by placing him or her on the mother's other side, and the process is repeated. The middle portion 45 of the neck 35 is drawn down beyond the other breast, the child's mouth is positioned over the nipple, and the sash 50 is adjusted so that the bottom of the sash 50 is at or just above the child's head. When breastfeeding has concluded, the middle portion 45 of the neck 35 is returned to its original position as described above.
  • The present invention is described above with reference to a preferred embodiment. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that changes and modifications may be made in the described embodiment without departing from the nature and scope of the present invention. To the extent that such modifications and variations do not depart from the spirit of the invention, they are intended to be included within the scope thereof.

Claims (20)

    Having fully and clearly described the invention so as to enable one having skill in the art to understand and practice the same, the invention claimed is:
  1. 1. A garment for assisting in breastfeeding, the garment comprising:
    a shirt body having a top and an opposed bottom, a front and an opposed back, left and right sides, opposed inner and outer surfaces, and spaced-apart left and right breast areas of the front of the shirt body proximate to the left and right sides, respectively, the shirt body including opposed front and rear portions having a common upper edge proximate to the top of the shirt body;
    the upper edge of the front and rear portions defines a continuous, generally ellpitical neck having a neck opening at the top of the shirt body between the opposed left and right sides thereof; and
    a sash depending from the opposed sides of the shirt body proximate to the top and underlying the front portion of the shirt body, the sash including an upper edge and a lower edge;
    wherein the sash is below the neck opening along the front of the shirt body and the neck is moveable to provide access to one of the left and right breast areas for breastfeeding activity.
  2. 2. The garment of claim 1, wherein:
    the garment is arrangeable between a normal configuration and a breastfeeding configuration;
    in the normal configuration, the sash is fully concealed by the front portion of the shirt body; and
    in the breastfeeding configuration, the sash is both partially concealed and partially exposed by the front portion of the shirt body.
  3. 3. The garment of claim 2, wherein in the breastfeeding configuration, the upper edge of the front portion is stretched toward one of the left and right sides to define a slit between the upper edge of the front portion and the lower edge of the sash proximate to the one of the left and right sides.
  4. 4. The garment of claim 2, wherein in the breastfeeding configuration, the neck opening extends over only one of the left and right breast areas and exposes the sash under the front portion of the shirt body at the one of the left and right breast areas.
  5. 5. The garment of claim 4, wherein in the breastfeeding configuration, the lower edge of the sash is above the upper edge of the front portion of the shirt body, defining a slit between the lower edge of the sash and the upper edge of the front portion sized to closely reveal a nipple therethrough.
  6. 6. The garment of claim 1, wherein:
    the shirt body is constructed from a pliable material having elastic characteristics that define a maximum circumference to which the neck is capable of stretching; and
    the maximum circumference of the neck allows the neck to be stretched to one of the left and right breast areas so that the neck opening extends over the one of the left and right breast areas but not over the other of the left and right breast areas.
  7. 7. The garment of claim 1, wherein the shirt body and the sash are constructed constructed from the same material.
  8. 8. The garment of claim 1, wherein the sash is releasably fixed to and removable from the shirt body.
  9. 9. A garment for assisting in breastfeeding, the garment comprising:
    a shirt body having a top and an opposed bottom, a front and an opposed back, left and right sides, opposed inner and outer surfaces, and spaced-apart left and right breast areas of the front of the shirt body proximate to the left and right sides, respectively, the shirt body including opposed front and rear portions having a common upper edge proximate to the top of the shirt body;
    a neck formed between the front and rear portions at the top of the shirt body;
    a sash depending from the shirt body and underlying the neck of the shirt body;
    the garment is arrangeable between normal and breastfeeding configurations;
    the normal configuration is characterized by the sash underlying the neck of the shirt body and being fully concealed by the shirt body; and
    the breastfeeding configuration is characterized by the neck extending beyond one of the left and right breast areas so as to expose the sash at the one of the left and right breast areas and define a slit between the sash and the neck sized to closely reveal a nipple therethrough.
  10. 10. The garment of claim 9, wherein:
    the sash includes a left portion, a right portion, and a middle portion defined in a location generally intermediate to the left and right portions; and
    in the breastfeeding configuration, the middle portion of the sash is drawn to the one of the left and right breast areas to define the slit with the neck.
  11. 11. The garment of claim 9, wherein in the breastfeeding configuration, the neck extends beyond only the one of the left and right breast areas and lies above the the other of the left and right breast areas.
  12. 12. The garment of claim 9, wherein:
    the shirt body is constructed from a pliable material having elastic characteristics that define a maximum circumference to which the neck is capable of stretching; and
    the maximum circumference of the neck allows the neck to be stretched to the one of the left and right breast areas so that the neck extends beyond the one of the left and right breast areas but not beyond the other of the left and right breast areas.
  13. 13. The garment of claim 9, wherein the shirt body and the sash are constructed from the same material.
  14. 14. A garment for assisting in breastfeeding, the garment comprising:
    a shirt body having a top and an opposed bottom, a front and an opposed back, left and right sides, opposed inner and outer surfaces, and spaced-apart left and right breast areas of the front of the shirt body proximate to the left and right sides, respectively, the shirt body including opposed front and rear portions having a common upper edge proximate to the top of the shirt body;
    a neck has a first curvature along the upper edge of the front portion of the shirt body, the first curvature defined by elastic and weight material characteristics of the neck;
    a sash depending from the inner surface of the shirt body and lying flat against the inner surface of the shirt body, wherein the sash has a second curvature defined by elastic and weight material characteristics of the sash;
    the elastic and weight material characteristics of the sash are different from the elastic and weight material characteristics of the neck so that the second curvature of the sash is larger than the first curvature of the neck; and
    in a breastfeeding configuration of the garment, the neck extends beyond one of the left and right breast areas so as to expose the sash at the one of the left and right breast areas.
  15. 15. The garment of claim 14, wherein in the breastfeeding configuration, the sash and neck cooperate to define a slit at the one of the left and right breast areas, which slit is sized to closely reveal a nipple therethrough.
  16. 16. The garment of claim 14, wherein:
    the sash includes a left portion, a right portion, and a middle portion defined in a location generally intermediate to the left and right portions; and
    in the breastfeeding configuration, the middle portion of the sash is drawn to the one of the left and right breast areas to define the slit.
  17. 17. The garment of claim 14, wherein in the breastfeeding configuration, the neck extends beyond only the one of the left and right breast areas and does not extend beyond the other of the left and right breast areas.
  18. 18. The garment of claim 14, wherein:
    the shirt body is constructed from a pliable material having elastic characteristics that define a maximum circumference to which the neck is capable of stretching; and
    the maximum circumference of the neck allows the neck to be stretched to the one of the left and right breast areas so that the neck extends beyond the one of the left and right breast areas but not beyond the other of the left and right breast areas.
  19. 19. The garment of claim 14, wherein the shirt body and sash are constructed from the same material.
  20. 20. The garment of claim 14, wherein the sash is removable from the shirt body.
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