Your beautiful storiesEvery day we receive lots of lovely e-mails from you. Some stories are touching, some are funny and some even have us wiping away a tear (or two).
There is one thing we know for sure; our customers are the best!
I’ve really built up my confidence and self-esteem
On New Year’s Eve we received a lovely message from our beloved customer Yvonne Huisman expressing her appreciation for TopVintage. It’s really extraordinary to hear how our vintage items bring her (and hopefully many others ) some happiness every day. This really means a lot to us! This year we hope that we once again will be able to create many happy TopVintage moments for everyone. Do you have an inspirational story that you would like to share? Please send it to us!
''Good afternoon all you wonderful people at TopVintage, I sat on my sofa dressed in my Trixie Velvet Sparkle Doll Swing Dress and started typing this e-mail while reflecting on the past year… I just ordered 3 more of your treasures as a great way to both wrap up this year and start the New Year. But also as a ‘thank you’ to all of you for this past year. I’ve been a massive fan of yours for a few years now and I love wearing these dresses every day. First and foremost, I wear these dresses for me. Because I love them and because wearing them makes me feel good, happy, strong, confident and feminine. A few years ago I really wanted to be invisible, but not anymore: I’ve really built up my confidence and self-esteem! But they also add colour to life, to the world. By me walking down the street, performing on stage or being at work. There are even a number of patients who walk into the waiting room wondering what dress I’ll be wearing this time. I have a modest TopVintage collection of over 55 summer and winter dresses (but only 9 pairs of shoes and 2 handbags, sorry ). A mix of items ordered online, items bought at 2 outlet events and items purchased while visiting the store in Kerkrade. So plenty of pretty items to help bring some joy and magic into the world. But along came the virus and the lockdown that brought so much misery, fear, insecurity, loss and pain to so many people. The negative impact on my family’s lives was limited, I do realise that. Working from home. Husband working from home. Living by different rules when it comes to contact with family and friends. Kids at home: home-schooling my 8-year old daughter. Then there is my 10-year old son who has Down’s syndrome and is at home because he can no longer attend his special needs school, unable to stick to his regular structure and routine. Unable to understand what is going on and needing a lot of 1-on-1 care and attention.
An interesting, challenging and sometimes difficult time. And it was during this time that I wore my dresses almost every day. It felt even more important to add some colour to life, to make that effort and practise some self-care. To appreciate life every day and with a sense of gratitude turn every day into a celebration within the existing possibilities.
We celebrated Christmas with just the four of us and that’s also how we are celebrating New Year’s Eve today. And I’m always wearing my prettiest dresses Thank you for your existence. For your gorgeous collection. But especially for your humanity and kindness, for spreading love, warmth and positivity.
I wish you a happy new year and all the best for 2021!''
Kindest regards, Yvonne Huisman
I felt so strong, confident, sexy and empowered!
‘’I am 39 and was diagnosed with PCOS which means I have many cysts on my ovaries and then by a twist of fate I became unexpectedly pregnant with my son last year, but sadly my hormones were all over the place and triggered my pre-existing mental health issues and my pregnancy and post-partum were traumatic for myself and my husband who also had to deal with all. I battled depression, suicide, eating disorders and body image issues. After I had my baby, I was the happiest mother on the block but still struggled to feel like a beautiful woman or even a woman some days.
One day I stumbled upon your website when I was searching for retro clothing. I thought to myself how glamorous those women looked and was so envious... what I loved the most was how so many different body types were celebrated. As a surprise birthday present, my husband and mother in law treated me to a full set of clothing and accessories. I wore it on my first date with my husband since the baby was born, and I felt so strong, confident, sexy and empowered!
Maybe it is just a piece of clothing to some people, but it can also symbolize the beginning of a new chapter of life to others like me. Thank you for helping me to see beauty in myself that I wasn’t able to see for a very long time. I attached a few photos of myself in that rock-a-booty denim wiggle dress that I love very very much. I was wearing a knitted top over it for my son’s birthday party. The photos don’t do the dress justice hahaha but I love it!’’
My special story about the Cherry cutie pie pumpsI have a story to share about this Cherry cutie pie pump, love at first sight. My mum, my best friends. This shoe reminds me of her. Every time I had doubts whether to buy a certain item for myself, she would always tell me, “when in doubt don’t do it”. My mum was ill (lung cancer) when I first saw these shoes. And every time I showed them to her, she told me to buy them - I suspect she secretly wanted them for herself -even though I had never walked on heels like that before… I kept looking at them and after much deliberation, I decided to order them. It’s been 7 years; I still have the pumps but I’ve hardly ever worn them. Even after 5 operations on my feet, I still can’t wear them. But I can’t get rid of them either.
hese shoes remind me of my mum and how well she knew me. It’s been almost 7 years since she passed away, but I know for sure that had she still been around, she would have worn these pumps herself.
She was good at walking in high heels and was a real shoe/pump lover. I’m still in love with these pumps and their cute cherry print… so me, even though I still can’t walk in them. But hopefully one day… ’’
How my shopping experience with you changed my life!''My name is Tamara Haagmans and I’m an author. My most recent book that was published by Luitingh -Sijthoff last June, is available in nearly every book store and there is a picture of me on the back wearing… yes, you’ve guessed it… one of your dresses. Ha ha.
A few years ago, when I had only just started writing there was going to be a book launch following the publication of my first book. I wanted such a dress and I didn’t have one yet. Back then there was a store in my hometown selling ‘that’ kind of clothes and I tentatively went there. I had measured myself at home and knew that I probably needed a size XXL and I felt slightly embarrassed. I should add that back then I had massive panic attacks and suffered from a type of agoraphobia, so EVEN going into a store by myself was a very big step. It took weeks, maybe even months full of doubt, before I had the courage to do it. It’s part of ‘therapy’ to find something that you want bad enough. Meaning that the reward for doing it is big enough. So, no one accompanied me: If you want that dress, you need to do it yourself. (Understandable! That’s exactly what I wanted.)
So... off to the store I went. I felt so proud. Going in all by myself. Feeling the fabric. Admiring the most gorgeous dresses. Feasting my eyes. Plucking up the courage to take the dress off the rack. But then. A woman (giving me a disapproving look…) approaches me because I checked the top of the XXL dress for stretch. ‘Now, you can pull as hard as you like, but this dress is never going to fit you’ she said. And then, after I asked her if she had something that might fit me, her brilliant comeback was that they had nothing for ‘Someone like you’. She even smiled at her boyfriend or husband who was sitting at a table reading a newspaper. It must have been a private joke, I guess.
I felt like Julia Roberts, experiencing my very own Pretty Woman moment. I walked out of that store crying, I wanted to wear this dress so badly at my book launch… I ended up buying the dress online after days of wondering if she was right, that I was too big, that I couldn’t wear this kind of clothes, etc. After that I was afraid to go into bricks-and-mortar clothing stores, I never wanted to see that disgusted look ever again or to hear that I’m a ‘someone like you’. I know I’m not skinny, I would have preferred things to be different, but it is what it is.
Anyway, to make a long story short: I used this experience in my second book (and that scene is still an all-time favourite among my readers ha ha). It didn’t stop with this first (online) dress. Many more followed. I’m almost afraid to admit it but by now I have 18 swing dresses, 3 petticoats and I seem to be wearing dresses most of the time. (My wardrobe doesn’t seem to be complete without that blue butterfly dress from Collectif ha ha... soon though). I wore my cherry dress when I had my author’s picture taken in Amsterdam. At the next book launch I wore my polkadot dress. Every major event in my life is somehow connected to one of your dresses… And then there was that announcement: TOPVINTAGE IS OPENING A STORE.
There was nothing I wanted to do more than to go to that store, and I only love 5 km away (HELP!) but there was still the memory of that woman in the back of my head. That horrible, hard and mean woman and that ‘someone like you’. But I wanted to go and I had to go. So, I posted something about on Instagram. Somebody responded 'Just go' and then I send you guys a message to check if it was busy. I got my reply, but was still afraid to go. Really, it was my intention to just forget about it. I didn’t want to get another ‘UGH WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE’ look.
But then something clicked. The lady who does your Instagram said something like ‘just pop in’ and I set aside my principals that I had held onto for the last few years (there have been so many of those stores that I just walked past, when really all I wanted to do is go in) and I went to the store and even asked the girl behind the counter to ‘order’ a dress. I had to give her my size: XXL. She didn’t even bat an eyelid. (I truly feel emotional just writing this down). When the dress arrived, she brought it out to me and again there was no sign of revulsion or ‘someone like you’. I took two dresses into the fitting room. I took pictures, sent these to my husband and when I couldn’t fasten one of the dresses, I had to ask for help.
I died a thousand deaths in that fitting room and was this close to hanging back the dress because I was afraid. I had to ask someone to help me. Would SHE give me a disgusted look? But once again, I was met with a big smile, she fastened the hook and the dress fit perfectly. I was only going to get one dress, but there was no way I could choose. My husband was so proud of me for going to the store despite everything (and really everyone who is familiar with the story because the story of what happened when I walked into that store was posted on Facebook and hundreds of people commented…) so he sent me an app: Buy both of them!!
And so I did. Last Sunday, I attended the Book Market in Utrecht wearing my new (apple) dress. I signed so many books, and received just as many compliments about my dress. Whenever I wear your clothes, all I get is compliments. Women say: “I never thought I could wear that kind of clothes… but now that I’ve seen you wearing them, I want to wear them too.” I even get pictures from people who bought a dress from you because of my postings and that makes me so proud (I would want everyone to experience the feeling I have when wearing your clothes).
I couldn’t summarise my story in a few lines, but I really wanted to share this with you, with the ladies who work in your store and the lady who does your Instagram. You have made a difference. And maybe not even intentionally, but so important to me…''