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While Ashley Tisdale is best known for playing attention-hungry drama club leader Sharpay Evans in Disney’s High School Musical, the actress is nothing like the self-centered character she portrayed in the popular TV flick and its sequels. Case in point: Her latest project involves partnering with ShoeDazzle Cares for the shoe e-commerce’s latest philanthropic initiative that allows celebs to support a charity of their choice. For the 29-year-old star, she’s chosen to endorse St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with Shoedazzle’s Arlenis black booties, so sales of the the shoe will raise funds and awareness for the health-care facility.
Tisdale, who recently tied the knot with musician Christopher French in September, has also been keeping busy with some of her own personal ventures, including a new TBS sitcom, exec producing Young and Hungry on ABC Family and (possibly) launching her own fashion line. Here, we chat with the actress about getting involved with the charitable cause, why she prefers online shopping over in-store purchases and the one piece you’ll never catch her wearing.
Tell us how you got involved with ShoeDazzle.
ShoeDazzle had come to me and told me the whole idea of picking a boot and choosing a charity to give the proceeds to and anytime I can give back, I’m always [interested], especially when it’s something like fashion and shoes. First of all, I love online shopping; it just made sense. I’m a humongous supporter of St. Jude’s so I picked the Arlenis boot just because I’m a huge fan of black boots, especially in the fall, but they’re so versatile and the details are awesome. You can wear them with skinny leather jeans or a bohemian dress. You can dress them up or dress them down, so I chose these ones.
What’s your day-to-day ensemble?
It changes. I’m someone who, I wake up and however I feel, I’ll put on an outfit — I can go from bohemian to rocker chick to super casual and comfy — it’s just how I feel that day. It’s an expression of myself. Recently though, for fall, I’ve been into a lot of the grays, like a monochromatic look. Also into blacks and nudes; in the fall, I love to use a pop of a lip color like burgundy or red — I feel like you can literally just go no eye makeup and a pop of color and it totally changes the look, so those are things I’ve definitely learned along the way.
How would you say your style has changed over the years?
It’s all over the place. I mean, I’ve always been someone who doesn’t care what people think. I dress for myself. I have to say that as a kid, I respect that about myself because I just really had my own thing going, but now looking back, I’m like, ‘What was I thinking having my own thing going on?’ I just did too much. There were times I allowed — you know when I started on Disney, I just had a stylist on the Suite Life show and I would think how cool Disney dressed me, like ‘Oh my gosh, this is so cool. I’m going to an event like this.’ But you don’t realize that it’s fine for a TV show to be dressed like that, but different on the red carpet. I look back at some red-carpet things and oh my gosh, why did I leave like that. But you grow and learn, as with everything — I can look two years ago and be like, ‘What was that?’
What’s the one thing we would never catch you wearing, like, ever?
I was really into the tall tennis socks, and I would wear those with shorts all the time — to the point where, when I came out with my first album, Headstrong, and we were in concert with High School Musical, I actually had them made to go up on my arms, so I had cutouts and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to have the soccer socks on my arms!’ I was obsessed with those. Not so much anymore. I don’t think those will be coming back anytime soon.
So, what about today’s outfit?
Well, the shoes are obviously from ShoeDazzle, which are super comfy by the way. I could get really nice-looking expensive shoes and they are so not comfortable. The pants are J Brand, which I love — I think they make great leather pants. And the sweater is Rag & Bone. First of all, I love their hats. All my hats are from Rag & Bone, and what they’re doing right now with the fall collection is super cool. I love the oversize jackets. I also love getting stuff at Brandy Melville. I usually try to mix high-low pieces.
How about the accessories?
This [points to bracelet] was a gift from my girlfriend Vanessa [Hudgens] and Austin [Butler] for my birthday, and my Rolex watch was a gift to myself. [Laughs.] My favorite was when I actually purchased it. I’m not usually someone who just goes out and gets something huge; I usually get something when I’m celebrating a special occasion so I’ll remember it. So this was actually when I finished Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, and I got myself this Rolex watch and it’s called the President and it’s actually a guy’s watch but I like how it’s oversized. I went in there and I asked, ‘Can I get the Rolex President boyfriend watch?’ And he was like, ‘Oh, it’s for your boyfriend?’ And I said, ‘Hell no, it’s not. No way. It’s for me.’ (Laughs.) My rings are from Tiffany’s; they were gifts from my manager for my birthday. This [center] ring is by Alexa Leigh. I’m a big fan of Sincerely Jules, who’s a blogger, and she had introduced me to this brand.
You mentioned you’re a huge online shopper. What are your go-to sites?
Shopbop, Revolve — it’s one of my favorites. I don’t know what it is about getting a box versus a shopping bag. I feel like the box reminds me of Christmas morning so anytime I see a box at my house, I get so excited. If I go out and shop, I’m not someone who likes to try on stuff in stores. I pretty much know my size, I know the brands that I like and how I fit into them so I’m just someone who loves to go online.
Oh, we totally know what you mean. In addition to your partnership with ShoeDazzle, what other projects are you working on?
I have my production company, Blondie Girl Productions, and our show, Young and Hungry, got picked up for a second season, so it’s very exciting, but I’m also doing my own show for TBS that premieres in June called Buzzy’s. I’m really excited about that. It’s from the creators of Will and Grace. I’m a humongous fan of theirs and so stoked to be doing comedy and sitcom [again]. I haven’t done a sitcom since Suite Life, so I’m excited to be back on TV. I’m also doing a project, but we can’t mention that yet, but I have a lot of developments in fashion. I recently wanted to get super involved in fashion, so you know, there might be a clothing line in the works.
1. Rag & Bone sweater
2. Rolex watch
3. J Brand leather pants
4. ShoeDazzle Arlenis black booties
5. Tiffany & Co. and Alexa Leigh rings
Ashley Tisdale was photographed by Sami Drasin at The London West Hollywood.
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