I'm a male working in a medium sized company as a software developer. I am wearing ear rings on both ears for spiritual and religious reasons.

I find this change in me has been taken negatively as one of my colleagues mentioned to me that it looked arrogant. I also personally noticed people were reluctant to speak to me. I intend to wear it for at least one month. But now I'm considering to get rid of them earlier.

I want to know how is the wearing of earrings considered generally in an Asian workplace for men? I'm living in Southeast Asia and my colleagues are mostly Asians.

  • 12
    I'd be interested to know what your co-worker means by "arrogant." Does your jewelry have anything engraved in it, such as "go away, or I will replace you with a short shell script"...?
    – Blrfl
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 15:14
  • Are you Asian yourself I know that some far eastern countries are bit fascist when it come to long hair etc - I know westerners that had to cut their hair to be acceptable as expat employees.
    – Pepone
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 22:08

4 Answers 4


I have suffered the same situation.

Try to explain why you wear ear rings (importance) and ask their suggestion whether you should wear ear rings or not.

By this way your will get positive feedback (by the way their permission!) and they will understand your need.


In my experience, it's generally inappropriate for men to wear earrings in a corporate, software-development work environment. That meaning, it violates the social norms, and you will be noticed for it.

That being said, the geographical location, company size, company culture, general attitude of the city, domain/industry, and most importantly, the specific workplace and coworkers you have to deal with, will completely change if it's well accepted in your situation. It seems like in your case, it's having some negative connotations.

Assuming there's no company policy preventing you from wearing them, then it's a personal decision to decide which is more important to you: your perception to your peers, management and business partners, or your own spiritual beliefs.

  • which country is that and in recent years in the UK I haven't seen any IT organisation where males wearing earrings is a problem.
    – Pepone
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 9:55

In a democratic and free country you should be able to wear whatever you want, as long as it is not offensive (racist symbols etc.) and against certain obvious social norms (nudity etc.). Your company may have a certain dress code. I would say use your company's dress code as a guide line, but don't use it as a be all and end all. Ignore the peer pressure. Be yourself and be an individual. You will both gain more confidence and self respect and in the long run you should also gain more understanding and respect from others.

Seeing as you're a software developer I would think there is less of a problem with regards to "out of the norm" dressing.


In Corporate America, it is generally perceived as unprofessional in the corporate environment. If this is where you work expect some condescending treatment toward you for a while, even after you take them off. There are places like factories, plants, and other blue collar environments that are more casual and it is commonplace to see a man with one or two earrings.

  • 2
    I would say it depends on the location. In coastal California (say LA, Bay Area) it is perfectly fine and even considered "hip" and you'd probably look more sophisticated than your average ripped jeans wearing geek, in a Manhattan financial firm it may be frowned upon. But even then... In the Mid West they may have their own special presumptions about men and earrings...
    – aseq
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 23:59

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