I’ve been a Matrushka customer since at least 2011, before I even moved to Los Angeles. I was living in New York City, working as a stand-up comedian and freelance writer, when I heard that some of the comedy girls really loved this little boutique on Sunset.
“You should try Matrushka,” somebody said. “It’s good for people with big boobs.”
It was a truly elegant (and accurate) recommendation! If you compare me to the average store mannequin, I definitely have wider hips and a bigger bosom. Finding stuff for a petite curvy figure can be a real pain. But Matrushka makes it easy.
The next time I went to Los Angeles for a meeting and some gigs, I stopped by the store. Not only did I find great things for humans with, ahem, a lot going on up top, I also found stuff for people of various shapes, sizes, and gender presentations. I’ve seen delighted Matrushka customers who identify as femme, butch, agender, and the whole rainbow of flavors.
My friends call this one “the bisexual pride dress.” It’s actually the Purple Seduction Cleopatra, but hey, I like the other name too!
Matrushka was the first place I ever shopped that made a custom fit simple. Even when I shopped online, I knew I could just put my own measurements and special requests on the order form and end up with something I really liked.
In the years that I’ve shopped at Matrushka, I’ve purchased dresses in other stores that were anywhere from an 8 to a 16. My weight has varied, but I’ve stuck with the brand. I’ve recommended the website to people who wore smaller and larger sizes than my own range. I didn’t have to worry about sizing charts at Matrushka – once I knew what looked good on me, I knew what to order. And if I ever had a question, I could just send an email to ask.
These days, I’m an author, a college speaker, and a digital marketing consultant. I still do comedy and act once in awhile – and I have a podcast called “Well, This Isn’t Normal” – but I mainly focus on my first love, writing. I’ve worn Matrushka to book parties, book tour events, university speaking engagements, nonprofit marketing conferences, and all kinds of events.
I’m a brand affiliate with Matrushka now and did some digital marketing consulting for them this year. As a result, I’ve been approached by cis men who are friends of mine, as well as gender-questioning friends, who shyly ask, “Do you think they have something I’d like?” People get especially nervous when they don’t “look” like the sort of person who might love to wear a pretty dress, or a stereotypically “masculine” shirt, and so forth.
I also get approached by plenty of cis women who say self-critical things about their size, shape, weight, skin tone, and everything under the sun. Even if we have supportive families or role models, I think the overculture trains us to look down on ourselves.
That’s why it always feels good to be able to say, “Just talk to Christine and Laura, they’ll help you find something great.” I also often direct people to instagram.com/MatrushkaStyle, and encourage them to DM with questions.
I hope more people find the clothes and reach out with custom orders. I’ve never personally made the kind of money I associate with custom designer clothing, but the pricing at Matrushka makes it possible to treat myself. The website is always expanding with new items, so I’ve learned over time it’s important to act fast! When Reina runs out of a fabric, that’s it! That’s part of why Matrushka dresses are so special.
Finally, I like that the team at Matrushka works hard to minimize excess packaging and fabric waste. Fabric is purchased in small batches, and the extra scraps are used to make everything from the face coverings to bags.
I hope you enjoy your own Matrushka journey! Know that every purchase helps support a very small team of skilled artisans in Los Angeles. They have a small workshop, not a big factory, and you can feel good knowing your purchase makes a real difference in keeping these artists employed.