We talked to Jess Jeetly of Jeetly Petite, a petite workwear line for women 5′ 3″ and under. Jeetly “aims to fulfill the wardrobe needs of petite women with smart, stylish clothing that is work-appropriate. They focus on timeless pieces in quality fabrics which can be worn from day to night and are interchangeable season to season.”
About Jeetly Petite
Date Launched: January 2013.
Mission Statement: Democratizing fashion for petite women as the first clothing brand for women under 5’3″ that puts consumers in control of what gets made.
Product Offerings: Petite coats and work wear comprising of suits, pants, skirts, shirts, blouses and dresses.
What sets you apart from other women’s clothing companies?: Our sustainable ‘In-or-Out’ retail model. We give petite women a voice in the fashion industry by showcasing our samples online, our customers make changes to the designs and vote them IN or OUT of production for every collection. The customer with the best design suggestion not only gets the garment free when it is retailed, she has the garment named after her. We also launch each collection by number, not seasons, because we believe in only producing classic pieces which can be worn season to season that form 70% of a woman’s wardrobe.
About Jess Jeetly, CEO of Jeetly Petite
A typical day for Jess: Review goals for the week, call suppliers, answer emails, PR meeting with social media team, design samples and select fabrics for forthcoming collections.
How the brand started: When working as an eye doctor, my patients would ask for my professional credentials because they felt I didn’t look old enough to be doing my job. I looked like a girl dressed in her mum’s clothes because I struggled to find work attire that fit my 5’1″ petite frame.
The few established petite brands in the UK were catered to a mature customer and their smallest sizes were still wide and unflattering. Short skirts and dresses at high street stores just to make-do wasn’t successful, the dresses were too short to be professional enough for business wear. Children’s clothing fit, but was not cut for breasts and hips. Suit jackets and dresses from high street stores gaped at the shoulders requiring alterations – not an easy job for tailors to fix and therefore it didn’t come cheap. Sleeves on shirts and blouses for work would overhang.
My market research on working women under 5’3″ tall revealed that 85% complained of the lack of smart stylish clothing in petite proportions, which gave me every reason to launch a clothing brand to fulfill this under-served petite customer. Instead of designing a collection hat I felt was work-appropriate, I thought it was time to listen to real women and put them in charge of the design and manufacturing process because as a retail customer myself, I felt disconnected with retailers who didn’t care to ask what I-the consumer- wanted to buy. So I decided to make that change petites had been waiting for.
Where do you see your brand in 5 years? A global retailer both online and offline for all things petite.
Favorite current fashion trend: The 70’s trouser suit and jumpsuit.
Least favorite current fashion trend: Fringes and mixed texture outfits.
Favorite petite blogs: Wendys Lookbook, The Memorandum, and Extra Petite.
Celebrity whose style you’d like to steal: Nobody. I’m inspired by many but I’m happy and confident with my own style.