From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Wearing a casual cotton dress, Angie Harmon bursts through the back door of one of her favorite vintage stores, Polkadots & Moonbeams in West Hollywood, Calif., like a tornado. "I'm in heaven!" she declares on a recent morning, brimming with energy despite working late the previous night on the set of her hit TNT crime drama Rizzoli & Isles. But the self-confessed shopaholic isn't ready to add to her own wardrobe. She's gunning for some multicolored tutus hanging by the door. "I need those for the girls," she announces, referring to her three daughters (with her husband, former NFL star Jason Sehorn) Finley, 7, Avery, 6, and Emery, 2. "Just to see their faces-they'll totally wig out!"

Born in Dallas, the former Law & Order star has fashion in her blood. Both of Harmon's parents were models in the '70s, and before she became an actress, she walked the runway for Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. And she's still a clotheshorse. "I do my share of giving back: I am on the board of the Alliance for Children's Rights and work with the Rape Treatment Center. I know shopping is not the deepest thing on the planet," she says, "but it's just fun." It's also a perfect distraction from homesickness: Rizzoli's L.A.-based shooting schedule keeps her more than 2,000 miles from her family's Charlotte, N.C., home for several months each year. "I'm miserable," says Harmon, 38, of missing Sehorn and the kids. "It's hard on me to be away from them."

Retail therapy is also a break from Boston detective Jane Rizzoli, a character who "is a huge tomboy and doesn't wear makeup." Harmon's own personal style is "all over the map," she says. "I love easy and comfy, but I also love going classic, very Jackie O with that great shape and form."

After a vintage rummage, Harmon heads to Barneys New York, her go-to store for "everything from new, edgy designers to classics." She's unapologetic about the odd splurge."I don't spend Jason's money; I spend mine," she says with a laugh. "I'm not hiding shoes in my trunk. I display them proudly on the dinner table."

Still, she loves a good bargain, especially when it comes to buying for her kids. "I love the hunt," she says, smiling. "We live at Baby Gap and H&M." But to her husband's dismay, Rizzoli & Isles's hit status (season 2 begins July 11; it was last year's top-rated cable series) ensures she won't have to confine herself to the sale rack. "The other day Jason handed me my American Express bill and said, 'You cannot sustain this,'" she recalls with a laugh. "It was like a dare: Watch me sustain this. I'll work until I'm 95!"