Like clockwork at around 4 p.m. every day, my planned outfits fall into disarray. They never last — stain-free, pristine and pressed — all day.

I have a theory about these expiring outfits. It’s called the Cinderella Effect. Everyone’s outfits always turn into pumpkins around a certain time every day. A fallen spaghetti noodle at lunchtime might land on your white shirt or the act of sitting all day in class might leave your trousers wrinkly. If you’re lucky, you’ll get home in time before things totally gourd-out. 

Below is an example timeline of the unfortunate demise of my own fashionable outfit from the time I got dressed in the morning to the outfit’s very last minutes, along with some helpful tips so you don’t have the same issues. 

7:30 a.m. 0% expired 

I roll out of bed at the ripe time of 7:30 a.m. and stroll to my closet to find an outfit. I decide to wear a black mock neck tank top because it’s still warm outside and I like to look like my head is floating ominously whenever I step into a dark room. Then, I add pleather maroon, black and white pants that make me look like a race car driver - my first mistake. For shoes I go for white Reeboks because I have to walk a lot today and I want to be comfortable. 

Then as Kesha so fondly says, “[I] grab my glasses, I’m out the door, I’m gonna hit this city.” 

Also known as, I leave my apartment and walk to class. 

9:30 a.m. 10% expired 

I’m finally at my first class. Sweat is dripping down my back and my pants are suctioned to my legs. I should’ve known this would happen, long walks and pleather pants never work. My first class is at Anderson and I somehow barely make it inside on time, which makes even more sweat form on my forehead. My hair is flying everywhere and my mask barely covers my face when I finally slide into a chair in the lecture hall. 

I did happen to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the door when I sprinted through, and I don’t think I look that bad. The air conditioning is already cooling my sweaty pits, and my pants are falling back into place on my legs. 

12:00 p.m. 50% expired 

Finally time for lunch. Let’s see how the outfit is doing.

I should’ve mentioned before, but my pleather pants are a little too big for me so I’ve secured them with a rubber band in the back so my pants look like they have a miniature ponytail. Use my mistake to your advantage, if your pants are also too big use a safety pin instead. 

3:00 p.m. 90% expired 

Things have dramatically worsened. My pits are definitely sweaty, and since I’m wearing a tank top, there is no fabric barrier between my armpits and the outside world, so I’m sure I don’t smell as nice as I used to. My hair is sticking to my face, which is redder than the maroon of my pants. The rubber band that was tightening my pants broke, making them sag dangerously. My socks slipped down in my shoes so now I can feel a blister forming. Things are beyond repair. I just hope my outfit stays in one piece until I get home. 

4:01 p.m. 100% expired 

Whew, finally made it back home. My pants are around my ankles, and my top is damp with perspiration. My socks are bunched at my toes, and I want to cry. I didn't lose a shoe this time, so I guess that is a victory — every little one counts in this business of wearing fashionable attire and walking 30 minutes to class.

In no time at all, I’ve taken off my ruined outfit and have changed into more relaxed, but still fashionable, clothing. I throw my sweaty ensemble into the hamper and lay back to do some homework for the rest of the night. 

Tips ‘n tricks for your own outfits so you won’t have to escape Cinderella-style 

First of all, for hotter days make sure you wear trousers made out of breathable fabric such as jeans, leggings or nylon. Pleather pants soak up the moisture from your legs, making them very uncomfortable to walk to class in. 

If you’re wearing a white shirt, bring a couple Tide sticks in your backpack to touch up any stains. 

To avoid all the sweaty face and pit problems I was having, put a travel deodorant in your bag to touch up with throughout the day. If you’re worried about a shiny face, also add some sweat absorbing face wipes

Finally, if your pants are too big for you, use a safety pin instead of a rubber band to tighten them up. That way your pants won’t slowly loosen throughout the day.

And there you have it folks, us and our pumpkin-turning garb lived happily ever after.