Scene-stealing outfits -- We reveal our favorite dresses from pivotal ''top of the stairs'' moments in films like ''Sabrina'' and ''Pretty Woman''

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There comes a time in every young girl’s life, if movies are to be believed, when she has her ”top of the stairs” moment, winning over the crowd and, of course, the guy, all thanks to one perfect outfit. With Enchanted out this weekend, it’s time to update the canon.

ENCHANTED (2007) — The princess (Amy Adams), newly arrived in New York, first pulls a Scarlett by fashioning a dress out of curtains. But it’s when she hits Madison Avenue for a sleek number that she has a shot at happily ever after.

HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS (2003) — In a bumper crop of chick flicks (What a Girl Wants, Maid in Manhattan, Two Weeks Notice), all of which could have figured on this list, Kate Hudson and her canary yellow sheath outshined the rest.

EVER AFTER (1998) — Yes, a reimagining of the classic Cinderella story would need a breathtaking ball. But Drew Barrymore blew all other Cindys out of the water. If it were acceptable to come to work bewinged and bedazzled every day, we would.

PRETTY WOMAN (1990) — While the plot doesn’t hold up to serious scrutiny (uh, a hooker falls in love with her john), there’s not a stitch wrong with a floor-length crimson gown. Besides, this wasn’t just Vivian’s top-of-the-stairs moment — it was Julia’s, too.

SHE’S OUT OF CONTROL (1989) — The nerdy girl makeover — say buh-bye to glasses, braces, and bad hair, and hello to your new life! — composes its own subgenre, so we’ll limit ourselves to one. With white eyelet and knee socks, Ami Dolenz’s geek-gone-glam was sublime.

GREASE (1978) — Not all big reveals involve a staircase — Sandy blazing onto the football field certainly qualifies. Still, we can’t condone changing for a guy. Even if it does involve an awesome leather jacket and a crackling song-and-dance sequence.

SABRINA (1954) — She thought it would take years of French cooking lessons to win the hearts of the brothers Larrabee. Turns out that all the chauffeur’s daughter needed was to wear this sumptuous gown — and a little vulnerability on her sleeve.


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  • 107 minutes
  • Kevin Lima