Jill Biden does not want to talk about fashion. It’s one of the few sticky moments in her recent Vogue profile: the writer Jonathan Van Meter asks about her style, and gets shut down immediately.
Specifically, the First Lady “flashes a winning smile that says very clearly, ‘Let’s move on.’” Her communications director “looks uncomfortable,” but allows Vogue one small scoop. Biden doesn’t work with a stylist. “It’s all her,” she says.
Biden seems uncomfortable when asked about the Instagram profile that documents her every outfit, @drjillbidenfashion. She rolls her eyes. She wasn’t aware of it. Pandemic-era austerity and a desire to focus on bigger issues demand she play it cool.
“It’s kind of surprising, I think, how much commentary is made about what I wear or if I put my hair in a scrunchie,” Biden says. But she’ll give one quote: “I like to choose from a diverse group of designers. When I was planning my Inauguration outfits, that’s one of the things I considered.”
First Ladies are thrust into an impossible conundrum: their job is to humanize their husbands, and each one struggles against the suggestion that they’re mere adornments. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to play down the fashion. But despite her protests to the contrary, Jill Biden takes dressing very seriously. Especially in recent weeks.