Victorian fashion and dress reform topic of museum lecture

CARSON CITY, Nevada – As settlers found their way west in the 1800s, so, too, did much of the fashion of the time, including the beautiful and elaborate gowns of the Victorian era.

Modern-day observers see the clothing and can’t help but wonder ”Why did  they dress like that?”

Jan Loverin, curator of clothing and textiles at the Marjorie Russell Clothing and Textile Research Center knows why and she will share that knowledge in this month’s Frances Humphrey Lecture Series at the Nevada State Museum’s South Gallery.

The event is Thursday, Feb. 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, free for museum members and children 17 and younger.

Loverin will discuss the various social and cultural issues of the day and how they influenced dress. She’ll tell the story of how bloomers were rejected and considered the scorn of society; and she’ll show examples of some very stylish Victorian women, including those wanting dress reform who challenged the fashionable standards of the day.

Loverin, who has a Master’s degree in Home Economics and Museum Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno, is a member of the Costume Society of America and the International Council of Museums Costume Committee. She has presented papers for both professional organizations.

Together with Bob Nylen, curator of history at the Nevada State Musuem, Loverin published “To Clothe Nevada Women 1860-1920.” She and Nylen also co-authored “Comstock Needleworkers” in the book “Comstock Women: the Making of a Mining Community.”

Seating for the lecture is limited and patrons are asked to reserve a seat by contacting Mary Covington at or 775-687-4810, extension 224.

For more information on the program, contact Jan Loverin at or 775-687-6173.

The Frances Humphrey Lecture Series is held the fourth Thursday of each month at the Nevada State Museum.