When Shirley Edmond began her career in banking with First Union, “one of the gifts they gave us was they took us to banking school and taught us how to dress.” This introduction to effective attire in a conservative industry has served her well. Today Edmond is senior vice president, regional manager at PNC, where she is responsible for the success of 15 branches in the Charlotte and South Carolina regions. She was born and raised in St. Matthews, S.C., a town with one stoplight and one grocery store. Lynn Trenning
Q. How do you brighten up banking attire?
A. Banking before was blue, gray, black and brown. Now you can pop that with jewelry or colorful clothes.
Q. How does your sense of style help you do your job?
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A. I love what I do. I coach and develop employees. I get to know my employees on a one-on-one basis. We do personality tests, and one says I am a relater. I build deep relationships with people. I have employees who have left PNC, but they have not left me.
Q. Do you counsel their choice of work clothes?
A. I often tell employees that no matter your income level, you can find attire that is good for your job. I was always taught you dress for the job that you want, not that you have.
Q. Describe your look in three words.
A. Conservative, chic, classy.
Q. What purse are you carrying?
A. It’s a Louis Vuitton. It’s a gift, and I love it. I also like Michael Kors purses. They don’t have to have a brand, I just like big purses.
Q. What’s in it besides the usual?
A. I have food, I have water, I have my Verizon jetpack.
Q. What piece of clothing can’t you live without?
A. A jacket in the work environment is a way to bring it back to conservative. We have to always remember that 90 percent of what clients see when they walk in the door is how you are dressed. From a professional standpoint, you have to make sure your attire is up to banking standards.
Q. Do you have any fashion role models?
A. Phylicia Rashad is so, so classy. And my mom. She’ll be 89 this year. She has some flair about herself.
Q. If you bought yourself a bouquet, what would be in it?
A. I like multicolor roses. I want yellow and pink. I like pastel colors; they do well against my skin.
Q. What was your biggest splurge?
A. Hawaii. The first time I went I won the trip through my job. I always wanted to go back. And I have a brother who lives in Wales, and he kept saying come come, come. So I just went.
Q. Your best bargain?
A. I love watches. I have probably too many. Every time I purchase one, I say I’m never going to buy another watch. I only purchase watches at Nordstrom’s half-year sale.
Q. What do you read?
A. The Bible. I have read this book over and over called “I Declare,” by Joel Osteen. Also “Lean In,” by Sheryl Sandberg; Robin Roberts’ memoir, “Everybody’s Got Something”; and “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson. It is a good book about change.