Meet Discreet Bowtique

Discreet Bowtique clothes are designed for breastfeeding, definitely NOT maternity! They are designed to make you feel good whilst breastfeeding, to be absolutely affordable, practical, comfortable, flattering and excellent quality clothing and all from a unique home grown team! We find out more about how and where and why (including a career in TV!) from owner Lucy Rook…

Describe Discreet Bowtique in 5 words? Discreet, Unique, Chic, Affordable, Fashionable 

What can breastfeeding parents expect from Discreet Bowtique?

Our dresses aim to make mums feel like themselves again. They are clothes that help women feel confident while feeding – wherever they are. 
Our dresses have soft, double layer jersey tops and feature hidden, discreet feeding slits – offering easy, discreet under-layer breastfeeding access.

Our dresses are not maternity dresses – we think mums are ready for a change when their baby arrives –  but they are super forgiving. They are all made from  jersey fabric for the perfect fit a while mums are still changing shape.

On price we’ve made it a priority to provide quality while keeping our products affordable. Also our business is about information – not just the bottom line. On our website and on our social media channels we’re trying to do our bit to share useful knowledge and foster helpful debate.

Describe the Discreet Bowtique breastfeeding mum?

To be honest, if she’s anything like me, she’s any woman who’s just fed up with wearing maternity clothes and the lack of affordable choice. She’s someone who is looking to reclaim a bit of her own individuality while still dealing with the practicalities of breastfeeding when she’s out and about.

Sally and Susan Dress

What do you think breastfeeding mums are looking for and how can Discreet Bowtique help?

They are looking for clothes which look great, that are really easy to feed in and wear for everyday life. 

I also think mums look for pieces for those special events – like Christenings or parties. It can be difficult finding a really nice dress anyway – without the added complication of needing easy access! That’s why I designed the Kimberley Dress – especially for special occasions.

Our products help mums to feel confident in choosing new clothes that will make them look and feel good.  I don’t think any mother should HAVE to cover up to breastfeed, but some will certainly feel more comfortable doing so. What we offer is a discreet, fashionable solution for them.

Susan Dress

How did Discreet Bowtique come into being, why did you start up your own breastfeeding clothing brand?

When I had my first baby, Rocco, I was quite surprised at the lack of feeding dresses out there. I found myself in maternity wear or, for want of a better word, ‘mumsy’ dresses that I just didn’t want to wear. 

Two years later, I had Bonnie and we went on holiday with my stepchildren – who included two boys, who were then teenagers. I found meals out really awkward. It was the choice between desperately trying to feed discreetly in the nice dresses I had packed or being able to feed in tent-like maternity dresses that swamped me. I spent the whole two weeks dreaming up Discreet Bowtique – and the next two years making it happen. 

Where did the name come from? 

That holiday in Menorca I thought of hundreds of names but none of them were quite right. Then in the airport before travelling home Discreet Bowtique came to me and it was perfect. It sums us up and what we are about perfectly. It’s our mission to provide mums with affordable, fashionable items they can feed in discreetly. Clothes they would want to wear – whether they were feeding or not!

Tell us a bit about you and your background?

I am a mum of two with another on the way.  I’m also a step-mother to four more – three of whom I work with!  I was born in Wolverhampton and four years ago came back to the city from London to be close to my family around the birth of my first baby, Rocco. 

Before coming back, I worked as an editorial manager and journalist for some of Britain’s most significant broadcast brands – in international, network, regional and local newsrooms.

I was a producer for ITV’s breakfast show Good Morning Britain, I’ve worked for ITV News in London and at ITV Central in Birmingham, Nottingham and Leicester. I developed a group-wide video strategy for MNA – the UK’s biggest regional publisher.​Before all that I’d worked as a producer on BBC Radio 2.

Since having my children, I have worked as a trainer for all of the BBC’s editorial apprentices across the UK. I am also a director of BlackRook Media which is a group of broadcast and production consultancies specialising in making television programmes and video content. 

I love my family, friends, Wolverhampton and keeping active. 

I am passionate about breastfeeding and providing as much help and support to mums as I can – and I believe this is my most significant challenge yet! 

Lucy and Bonnie

How does your background in journalism and production translate into and help you in the world of breastfeeding fashion?

In a career that’s all been about reporting big stories, I now care deeply about a story I think is hugely underreported. That’s how we, here in the UK – have one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world. 

I believe those low numbers are a lot to do with a lack of support, as well as a lack of knowledge. I also think there’s still some stigma attached to it – particularly around feeding our babies in public.

It can be a daunting experience feeding when you’re out. That’s made worse, I think, because there aren’t many clothes available that keep you covered up. What is on offer is often overpriced – and nearly always maternity wear.

It’s my hope that Discreet Bowtique can offer feeding mums, like us, affordable fashionable clothes we can look and more importantly feel amazing in!

Worries about what we wear are obviously only part of the story.  Every day our social media accounts share breastfeeding facts and news stories from across the world. Our website also has links to groups who offer feeding mums help and support. There are some really useful videos for new parents on the website too, some films I made for the NCT.

I believe the amazing benefits of breastfeeding our babies are still chronically underreported and as well as my time, I’ve pledge that 5% of all of our profits will go to helping change that.

How important is it that you use local people and friends to design and bring your clothes to life? 

As I worked to make my dream a reality, I really wanted Discreet Bowtique to support local businesses in the area that I was born and brought up in. 
After all, it’s the same place where my babies were born and are being brought up.

All of our dresses are made in Wolverhampton – where the company is based. And do you know what, it was easier than I could have hoped for. Discreet Bowtique’s workshop is a 10 minute drive from my home.
It’s the same story with the guys who supply all of our materials. Our pattern maker, Fiona, is my mum’s next door neighbour. One of our photographers is a rising star at the local college I work with. The other is a friend of the family – as is Sally, our talented Bonnie Bow maker. Our gorgeous model Kimberley is also a local girl – born and bred – who breastfed her three children.

They’re all amazing and I feel very lucky to be working with each and every one of them. ​

We’re home grown – the whole Discreet Bowtique team and everything we make.​

Describe your own personal style?

Relaxed. I love dresses – making one decision on busy mornings is always quicker than two! I love dresses that are really easy to wear and really comfortable – I don’t have to keep hiking them up every time I stand up – and I don’t have to undo them after too much cake!  The days I don’t wear a dress – you’ll find me in leggings and an oversized top. 

Lucy wearing Susan Dress

What is your favourite piece in your collection? 

The Sally Dress is my ‘go to’. I wear it with flats to the park with the kids or leggings when I’m at a playgroup and down on the floor a lot. Then I’ll put a jacket on and a pair of heels for a day at work. It’s really versatile and always gets a compliment as it’s so flattering! 

The Sally and Susan dress can be dressed down with leggings and flats for baby or toddler groups or dressed up with tights and heels for work. The Kimberley dress with it’s sparkle top layer adds a sense of glamour – making it perfect for a Christening, wedding or party​ where you’ll be feeding.

Sally Dress
Sally Dress

What inspires you to design your clothing?

Mums! I am one and luckily, I know loads of them! I spend my evenings reading through all the posts and comments on CIBII UK  to see what mums are searching for. When I am not doing that I am trawling through clothes websites and magazines for inspiration. 

What do you think breastfeeding mums are looking for?

Clothes which look great, that are really easy to feed in and wear for everyday life. 

I also think mums look for pieces for those special events – like Christenings or parties. It can be difficult finding a really nice dress anyway – without the added complication of needing easy access! That’s why I designed the Kimberley Dress – especially for special occasions.

Kimberley Dress

Who’s style and which brands do you look to for inspiration?

I love the High Street – my faves are  Zara, Topshop, Warehouse, Mango, All Saints, Ted Baker. I always think Holly Wiloughby looks great – she usually wears a nice dress and always wears a smile – the perfect combo. 

What do you feel has been Discreet Bowtique greatest achievement so far?

Launching. Two years ago Discreet Bowtique was a dream. Launching made that dream a reality and I am so proud or our range, our team and our developing online presence. Talking of which PLEASE do follow us. You’ll find us in all the usual places!

What are your aspirations for Discreet Bowtique and what can we expect from you going forward?

Well, more designs for sure. That’s certainly happening in 2021. Not just dresses, but tops and more occasionwear too. Look out for them!

I’m not all about the money, that’s for sure. In giving up the ‘day job’ and launching Discreet Bowtique, I want to use my contacts and background in journalism to help raise awareness of the issues all breastfeeding mums care about. I really want to reinforce all of the many positive reasons for making the choice to breastfeed. My view is that it’s a healthy choice that’s made too difficult for many women and also – incredibly – isn’t adequately supported by employers and in some cases friends and family either.

Any advice you would like to offer breastfeeding mums?

Go for it. Stick with it. Ask for support and look for support anywhere you can find it. Our website has some ideas on that. Most importantly, though, understand that no-one’s breastfeeding journey is exactly the same. Don’t be too hard on yourself and make sure you look after yourself – not just the baby.

Thank you very much!

Lucy in Sally Dress

Featured items:

Discreet Bowtique

Kimberley Dress

From £39.00

Made of navy sparkle jersey fabric, this is the perfect flattering midi occasion dress with a double layer and discrete feeding slits.

Size range: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18

Susan Dress

From £36.00

Made of jersey fabric this is the perfect midi occasion dress with double layer and feeding slits. Available in turquoise, black, purple, grey, black, navy blue

Size range: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18
Discreet Bowtique

Sally Dress

From £36.00

The Sally dress is made of soft jersey fabric with a double layer and hidden discreet feeding slits. Available in turquoise purple, grey, black, navy blue.

Size range: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18
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Blue Animal Print Corduroy Pinafore
From £20.00

A stylish petrol blue pinafore with a black animal-type print, it has a small chest pocket, two on-seam hand pockets and adjustable straps!

Size range: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22