On becoming a Socially Conscious Fashionista

Here’s a blast from the past… eight years ago, to be precise, when I was still living in Los Angeles. I recently had the opportunity to relax and watch anything I wanted, which if you are a single parent who works full time and has multiple side gigs, is a very rare occasion. I watched the movie Shopaholic and recalled that time when I was quoted in an article for the LA Times about shopaholics, when the movie was first in theaters.

Photo: Jo Willems

While the 2009 article was specifically about the “disease” of shopping too much, here was my (unfortunate) mini- claim to fame:

"Gowns on a whim

Anika Jackson, 34, identifies herself as a shopaholic, but her definition clearly hews more toward the one put forth by Kinsella's frothy novels -- all of which she's read -- than the disorders discussed by Shulman. Growing up in Kansas, she used to buy ball gowns for no reason and as a young raver, she owned "50 miniskirts with matching accessories." Today, Jackson is the mother of a 9-month-old daughter whose closet is filled with clothes that will keep her well-dressed until she's 3 -- too cute to pass up.

The Manhattan Beach resident has a husband willing to indulge her. Before the couple married, she charged $25,000 on her then-fiancé’s credit card, which he learned about one day on the golf course when he received a call about his delinquent bill. Now Jackson works hard to "monitor" herself. "I try to only spend money that I have on hand or use one credit card." She's never, incidentally, frozen her cards in ice like the "Shopaholic" protagonist does, but she has cut one up -- and then immediately called to ask for a replacement.

These days, Jackson's most effective way of avoiding spending is simply to stay out of stores, "because if I walk in somewhere, I will find something that I like." She cannot enter Anthropologie without spending "$800 to $1,000." Jackson does almost all of her shopping online, at websites that offer discounts. We're not talking about Overstock.com, though. Some of the labels she's recently picked up with a click? Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Christian Lacroix, Michael Kors, Alessandro dell'Acqua, Sonia Rykiel, Cole Haan and many more."

Since this article and period in my life, I can’t say that I’ve stopped shopping (except my vice is now