The game of first lady fashion is one played 12 months a year, at pretty much any time, watched by a global mass of avid spectators who care for reasons national, personal and political. Participants are drafted as soon as they get their jobs, whether they like it or not.
Jill Biden has famously been a reluctant player (“It’s kind of surprising, I think, how much commentary is made about what I wear,” she told Vogue).
Not for her the strategy of fashion diplomacy, mastered by Michelle Obama, wherein you champion a designer who bridges both your home country and a host country. Not for her the high fashion tactics of Melania Trump, conflating runway with realpolitik.
But she has, nevertheless, proved there are a variety of ways to score, as least judging by her first solo trip leading the American delegation at the Tokyo Olympics.