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The Best Dress Is the One From ‘My Date With the President’s Daughter’

“Duncan, this is what we call a fashion emergency.”

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A scene from My Date With the President’s Daughter Photo: Disney

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For those unfortunately unfamiliar with the 1998 Disney Channel Original Movie My Date With the President’s Daughter, a cult classic that Rotten Tomatoes top critics super reviewers have called “not too shabby!” and “this was okay,” allow me to lay out the general plot. Duncan [Will Friedle, aka Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World] needs a date to his school dance. Hallie [Elisabeth Harnois] is dying for a night out, but because she’s the daughter of the President of the United States (NO, OBVIOUSLY NOT THAT ONE), she can’t date without the Secret Service present. After the two meet cute at a shopping mall, however, they wind up going on that date, shaking Hallie’s security detail — and, well, Disney-approved hilarity and hijinks ensue.

And while MDWtPD contains plenty of truly memorable scenes, the best by far takes place at an edgy boutique called F/X. [Ed. note: This store is still standing in Toronto, where the movie was shot, although it was recently renamed Original.] There, Hallie insists that they stop to buy some cooler clothes before their night kicks into high gear. “I don’t want to look nice,” she says when Duncan points out that her current twinset is perfectly fine. “I want to look... HOT!”

A scene from My Date With the President’s Daughter Photo: Disney

After trying on dozens of options, Hallie settles on an instantly iconic pink velour mini dress that continues to haunt my dreams — and those of every other child of the late ’90s/early aughts, I would imagine — to this day. (As does the line she delivers while convincing Duncan to charge their new outfits to his dad’s “only for emergencies” credit card: “Duncan, this is what we call a fashion emergency.”)

With its spaghetti straps, abbreviated hemline, and fuzzy fabric, Hallie’s dress couldn’t be more current — so I was thrilled, if not altogether shocked, to find a handful of suitable dupes while browsing online recently.

& Other Stories Velour Tie Strap Dress, $65
& Other Stories Velour Tie Strap Dress, $65
Reformation Marlee Dress, $148
Reformation Marlee Dress, $148
Forever 21 Plus Size Crushed Velvet Dress, $14.90
Forever 21 Plus Size Crushed Velvet Dress, $14.90
Missguided Pink Velvet Bodycon Dress, $35
Missguided Pink Velvet Bodycon Dress, $35

A stylish way to reconnect with your favorite DCOM that also happens to be a pretty perfect Halloween costume? Like the movie itself, that’s “not too shabby.” Oh, and in case you want to complete the look with a holographic blinking eye ring like the one Duncan gives Hallie in the movie, Etsy’s got you covered.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to try to get that damn theme song out of my head.