Corporate merch dilemma

I currently work at a reasonably prestigious CRE advisory firm but no one outside the industry knows who we are (think JLL, CBRE, etc) which kinda bothers me.

So I recently got my hands on a hat from a super prestigious law firm (think K&E, Wachtell, Skadden) which I have started wearing in order to garner prestige in public and have been successful in doing so.

Here is the problem though: last weekend I ran into a more senior colleague at a bar who noticed and asked me why I wore it to which I gave some made up excuse that I got it from a friend and it was just for fun. If I am caught again I am afraid it would put me in an awkward position, should I just stop wearing it or come clean about it? If so, how (my colleagues dont understand the importance of prestige, clearly, since they dont even own the latest airpods)

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You made the classic error of going backward in prestige. People in towns where Ruby Tuesday's is the fancy restaurant think lawyers are prestigious, man. In real life, lawyers are sending me the emails I read when I wake up because they were up until 3am for some reason drafting a new paragraph that I don't even care about. 

What you should have done was grab a Blackstone, or a Trammel Crow, or a Hines hat. Advisory to ownership is the prestige bump you needed - not advisory to sweatshop law. Then the more senior colleague would think you had an in and would immediately start scheming about how to land deals with you. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Ofcourse, how short sighted of me. I will broaden my horizons and try to grab a Citadel hat. Thank you for the advice, my fellow prestige connoiseur!


In contrast to the above comment I have a different take. Law firms don’t hold the same prestige as banks because they are less known. Are you telling me that the average Joe on the street knows what a Skadden Arps is?

Take the WSO model: using bank names (think GS/MS/JPM). These are where you truly garner prestige. Norman from down the street or Mildred from across the road will know Goldman Sachs or J.P. Morgan Chase.

Chin up kid. Prestige knowledge comes over time. I wish you well.


Wow, how insightful. I truly have a long way to go on my journey and humbly accept any and all advice from evidently seasoned prestige magnates such as yourself.


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