I don’t why, but women occasionally ask me how their outfits look. With no particular background in couture, nor really a flair for fashion, I’m not the best judge.

But still, they sometimes ask, and I learned a long time ago the right answer is always the same: “just great!”

These past consultations give me license, I think, to chime in on the chatter about the dress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore to the Met’s Gala this week. Scrawled across it in red were the words: Tax the Rich.

Depending on where you stand in America today, you saw the whole thing either as a bold and eye-catching political demand, or an absurdity bundled in hypocrisy.

To be clear, few attendees at the gala were poor. Maybe the New York congresswoman sees herself as a Cinderella figure, more Jenny from the Block than red carpet fixture, who is there to speak truth to power. In this scenario, she is whirling and waltzing with the well-heeled not as a celebrity or society princess, but as am ambassadress of the lumpen proletariat, there simply to deliver a warning.

If in fact this were the case, she would be compelled — by Hollywood rules — to also get tipsy and make an awkward though earnest toast, which — according to media accounts — she did not do.

The half of America that is less likely to gush over the former barista saw something quite different. They saw the blue-state version of Melania Trump’s “I don’t care, do you?” cloak, which sparked outrage when she wore it en route to visit immigrant children in 2018.

Mrs. Trump later admitted she was sending a message, not to the children, but to the mainstream media, which rarely gave her a break. But the message didn’t come through, and she was broadly berated for it.

In the AOC dress case, the message again seems to come out sideways. Limousine liberals often say they wouldn’t mind getting taxed more if they knew their sacrifice would go towards balancing the vast economic inequality in America.

Or so they say at cocktail parties — whether they tell their accountants the same thing is another question entirely.

Was she really making a brave statement as the progressive voice of the working class, or was she merely preaching to the choir?

Context matters. Vanity Fair events like the Met Gala tend to be the top 1 percent-er crowds, rather like former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday bash this summer on Martha’s Vineyard.

Does this make them ideal settings for targeted political communications? Not really. Grandstanding maybe, but weighty discourse, not so much.

In The Hunger Games, a cruel and disconnected elite cavorts with itself in satirized settings like this over airy talk, fake laughter and plenty of cake and champagne.

As Kabul fell last month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was on vacation in the Hamptons, where the people who go to Met Galas on weeknights go to relax.

According to Human Events’ Jack Posobiec, during a soiree there, Blinken spoke disparagingly about other members of the current administration, so perhaps such gilded settings do avail themselves to serious talk. As of the time of writing, though, Posobiec has not yet released the audio recording he claims to have. Given what a disaster the withdrawal from Afghanistan ended up being, Blinken would be within his rights to speak critically of those responsible — if Pososbiec’s story is true, it might actually reflect some intellectual honesty.

In America today, we are seldom talking about the same thing. Last week, an African-American running for governor of California was attacked in Los Angeles by a white woman wearing a gorilla mask who threw an egg at him, but missed. That story appeared almost nowhere in the mainstream media. It wouldn’t be fair to say nowhere, after all it was mentioned in the 15th paragraph of a Washington Post news piece on Kamala Harris, campaigning for incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom. Larry Elder, the candidate who was targeted, is Republican.

None of my Democrat friends (of whom I have many) knew this incident even occurred.

So AOC may be commended for engaging both sides of our polarized media with her dress, which is sort of a breakthrough event when you think about it. But it hasn’t seemed to spark much substantive discussion about changes to the tax code. Instead, it simply reminds us how divided we are. When the Democrats start effectively engaging the working poor in America, Republicans will have something to worry about.

But this most recent stunt suggests no one has learned anything.

Sam Patten is a recovering political consultant who was raised in Knox County and worked for Maine’s last three Republican senators.