black pumps work

Oh, yes, women love their shoes. Photo: D Sharon Pruitt, Flickr

Yeah, jewelry is nice. And purses are pretty. But, when it comes to adding an accessory to make your work clothes stand out, it's all about the shoes.

Whether opting for fabulous flats, prim pumps or dressy boots, more than three in five (64 percent) working women rely on footwear to complete or change the look of their business attire, a new survey from Mintel shows.

Jewelry is the working woman's second most popular embellishment, with 52 percent saying they finish their looks with necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Less than one in three women say they use purses, belts and scarves to mix things up.

"Shoes and boots have come into the fashion forefront as women look for ways to make their outfits stand out," Kay Fay, senior analyst at Mintel, says in a press release.

"Shows like 'Sex and the City' and even first lady Michelle Obama's bold footwear choices reinforce the shoe as a statement piece. Today's woman changes from stiletto heels to ballet flats to knee-high boots, often in the course of one day."

The stats skew even higher with the younger set: Seven in 10 women aged 18 to 34, and 67 percent of women aged 35 to 44 say they use footwear to complete or change the look of their work clothes.

These same women also are most likely to wear one pair of shoes to the office, then change into something more stylish at work (44 percent of 18 to 34-year-old women versus less than a third of women 35 and up).

"Demanding shoe styles, especially those with sky high heels, aren't ideal for walking long distances," Fay says. "But many young women don't care; they're perfectly content to cart in a second pair of shoes so they can commute in comfort yet look stylish in the office."

Other findings from the survey:
  • Eighty-two percent of working women say they dress to please themselves.
  • One in three (34 percent) say they like to keep up with the latest fashions.
  • Younger women are the most trend-conscious: 46 percent of 18-34 year olds say they like keeping up with the trends.
  • Nearly half of the 18 to 24 sect (47 percent) enjoy experimenting with new styles compared to 33 percent of working women overall.
In other shoe survey news, women prefer their footwear to men.

Shop a selection of office ready shoe styles below.