If you’re like us, you love keeping up with blogger Noelle Downing’s adventures and style picks on Instagram. And now, the New York fashionista and fellow #BodyPositive advocate has officially collaborated with Beyond Yoga for an exclusive collection! We recently had a chance to chat with Noelle about the exciting new collab, her journey toward self-acceptance, and, of course, life in New York City.
FIRST OF ALL, CONGRATS ON YOUR RECENT ENGAGEMENT IN PARIS! WHAT A DREAM. WHAT PART OF WEDDING PLANNING ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST?
ND: Thank you! I’m still on cloud 9 about it. Honestly, I was so surprised. I had no idea Danny (my fiancé) was coming to Paris and much less to propose! I’m excited to make our wedding unique and true to our style — and true to us. We want something dreamy, but still casual so all of our friends and family can have fun. I’m excited to find our venue in upstate New York, as well.
THAT WILL BE LOVELY! WE LOVE KEEPING UP WITH YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ON YOUR BLOG & INSTAGRAM! HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR UNIQUE STYLE?
ND: It’s quirky and fun, but with a lot of classic pieces mixed in, as well. I’d say “vintage British meets NYC style meets old L.L. Bean.” Does that make sense?! Likely not… which is how my style is a lot of the time!
MAKES SENSE TO US! OF COURSE, OUR FAVORITES THIS SEASON INCLUDE THE BY X NOELLE DOWNING COLLAB! WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION BEHIND THE COLLECTION AND HOW DOES IT REFLECT YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
ND: I love a play on patterns so this was naturally what I gravitated toward with this collab! I love having matching sets too, so I love that I can wear the pants and bra together as a workout set and then change my top to a button down and add a jacket for a very ‘in’ suit look. The patterns make it so much more special than your average workout gear and make it easy to wear outside of your gym — which was the whole idea!
FOR EVERY PURCHASE OF THIS COLLECTION, BEYOND YOGA WILL DONATE A PORTION TO THE HUMANE SOCIETY. WHY IS THIS CAUSE SO DEAR TO YOUR HEART?
ND: Danny and I adopted both of our pets — a bunny named Monty and a wire terrier named Duke. We love them to a crazy insane degree and having adopted both of them makes it just that much more special. Duke came from a bad background so to save this sweet baby’s life, change it, and make it better has been one of the best things I’ve done in my life. Adopting from a place like The Humane Society changes lives of these sweet little innocent creatures. I’ve always been and always will be team #AdoptDontShop.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PIECES IN THE COLLECTION?
ND: I can’t choose because I love them all! While shooting for the line, I just truly fell in love with how many things each piece can go with and how great they really do look. The quality is so amazing and it just really shows!
YOU TOOK THE BY X NOELLE DOWNING COLLECTION PHOTOSHOOT TO THE STREETS OF NEW YORK TO SHOW US A GLIMPSE INTO YOUR DAILY LIFE. WHAT LOCATIONS DID YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
ND: While shooting these pieces, I went to the Brooklyn Bridge, a beautiful spot in Dumbo, a ride in a taxi, my favorite Brooklyn cafe, and of course, my home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. All of these are places I visit so often and are truly a part of my New York life. They are places that make me feel at home.
SPEAKING OF NEW YORK, WHAT’S YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING TO DO IN THE CITY ON A FALL DAY?
ND: A picnic in Central Park, of course! With some friends and lots of cheese… seriously, is there a more perfect day than that?
SOUNDS PERFECT! IN ADDITION TO CENTRAL PARK, ANY FAVE NYC SPOTS WE SHOULD CHECK OUT NEXT TIME WE’RE IN TOWN?
ND: Oh man, my list could go on forever… but here it is: Stella Dallas and Beacon’s Closet for vintage clothing. Milk Bar for ice cream (get the cereal milk ice cream!), Maman for a coffee or yummy lunch, Balthazar for dinner (it lives up to the hype!), Cloak and Dagger is also a lovely boutique in the city… I could go on forever…
WE ADORE YOUR #BODYPOSITIVE MESSAGE! HOW DID THIS COME TO BE?
ND: Slowly, I just started accepting myself more and realizing that life is always a journey of bettering yourself, eating healthier, being more fit, etc. So, I just started loving myself now, and not waiting for some perfect future self. It has been one of the greatest gifts about growing older — really accepting and loving myself. I put #BodyPositive on my Instagram profile description and on some of my Instagram photos so that people know I accept bodies of all sizes because I’m just that — positive about ALL bodies!
THAT’S AMAZING. DO YOU STILL STRUGGLE WITH BODY ACCEPTANCE SOME DAYS? AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?
ND: Of course I have days when I’m down in the dumps and feeling like poop about myself, but I always remind myself that my body is an amazing, healthy body and if I just go workout (even just a stroll!) those endorphins get going and I feel so much better. I think sometimes you get hard on yourself and it’s important to remember the things that make you actually feel good when you have those moments.
SO TRUE. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS STRUGGLING WITH LOVING THEIR BODY?
ND: All bodies are amazing! We are so strong and powerful — and that should be celebrated daily. For me, I have struggled with accepting my tummy and my thighs. But, you know what? I’m so much more that just a tummy and thighs! And, who decided there’s some sort of “perfect body” anyway? Your imperfections are what make you YOU, and that’s beautiful.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES A WOMAN BEAUTIFUL?
ND: Loving herself and those around her.