I've been thinking about this topic lately and my honest answer is: Men get to wear comfortable shoes, so why can't we? I would say to pick a pair of shoes that is comfortable and ask yourself if you can picture a dude wearing them at work. Where I live in Italy, ladies do not eff around with bullshit footwear. Cobblestones are real dicks. So, plenty of women wear smart-looking lace-up oxford shoes, slip-on loafers, and Chelsea-style ankle boots. Any of these can work with skirts, dresses, pants, etc.
In what world does bedazzling a pair of sandals render them more appropriate, by the way? They wouldn't suggest for Trevor in the IT Department to just shuzh up his New Balance with a few Swarovski crystals, would they? Don't fall for the "feminine footwear" trap. Be comfortable.