Soft Touch -- Velvety textures -- both real and faux -- are a hot ticket this year and these little luxuries are sure to warm her heart as they simultaneously make her hands and décolletage toasty. Laura B toffee-colored faux fur bag/muff, $435; Laura B black velvet "bracelet bag" with drawstring closure, $585; and Trilogy sheared-mink scarf, $870; all from Weinstein's (4011 Magazine St., 895-6278).

Bold and Beautiful -- Strings of pearls accented with gemstone medallions look as if they were inspired by renaissance royalty, and the fashionista who snags one of these will undoubtedly feel like a queen. Gerard Yosca purple medallion necklace, $220; and amber-colored cross necklace, $206; both from Il Negozio (3607 Magazine St., 269-0130).



Down to Business -- Business attire doesn't need to be boring, especially if it's dressed up will a bold and whimsical Lee Allison tie, $85. Add a look of class with a three-gusset Italian-made Akron brief case, $295; and Vegas sterling silver cufflinks, $80 and studs, $70. Just for fun, add a Swiss-made Altanus square watch (available in 10 colors), $190. All from Aidan Gill For Men (2026 Magazine St., 587-9090).


Silver Wares --The lacy designs of handmade, sterling silver Balinese beads show the soft side of metal in a necklace, $390; while beauty combines with durability in Thai purses made with 30 percent silver, $78 to $95, from Ruby Ann Bertram-Harker (3005 Magazine St., 897-0811).


Skirting the Issue -- The issue becomes fashion when your gift recipient pulls on this flirty little number, which features a flounce and bias cut, tiered layers, a lace underskirt and sueded finish, $56, from Gae-tana's (7732 Maple St., 865-9625).

Go for the Glow --Don't let the retro packaging fool you; 21st century formulations make this roundup of products for the face and body as beneficial as they are fun. Bella Beauty Box with body cream, shower gel, body gloss, body scrub and pink net sponge, $24; Skirt body spray, $20; Benefit's Bathina cream body moisturizer with glimmer (comes with velvet sponge applicator), $26; Paula Dorf beauty box, $25 (holds eight eye shadows, blushes and/or concealers starting at $17 each); and Benefit's Glamourette compact with powder, blush and lipstick, $38. All from Make-up Art (7911 Maple St., 862-0005).



Jewels of Beguile -- These delicate pieces look like ancient artifacts from Pompeii: Konstantino Treasures garnet and 18-karat gold ring, $365. Miguel Assis chandelier set with garnets and labradorite set in 10-karat gold, bracelet, $120; earrings, $115; and necklace, $115. All from Sabai (3115 Magazine St.,899-9555; 924 Royal St., 525-6211).


Romancing The Stones -- Love will definitely be in the air when a lucky girl opens up a rhinestone-studded belt, $198; or purse with a removable strap, $250 (custom straps personalized with a name and rhinestones in a choice of colors are available, $90 each). All from Mirabella (115 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-3888).


Travel Companions -- Silky, Asian-inspired fabrics make these slippers fun to wear, and their stow-away pouches make them a pleasure to pack. Ciccia Bella slippers in drawstring bag or button-top pouch, available in a variety of colors, $29.95 a pair; from Bliss Day Spa (200 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-1997).


Touchy Subjects -- Give something soft, cuddly, easy to care for and fashionable as well: fur snap cuffs can be added to sweaters, jackets and other sleeves for an instant dress-up, $125. Yellow wool gloves, $28, and a matching scarf, $38, with a bee motif trim brighten up any wardrobe; all from Ballin's Ltd. (721 Dante St., 866-4367; 806 E. Boston St., (985) 892-0025).

Hand-eye Coordination -- Functional art is a wonderful gift, especially when it's a Happy Huzzie purse, $225, handmade with silk, satin, fringe and beading by Alabama artist Natalie Elrod, or a coordinating eyeglasses case, $30; both from La Doux (207 W. Harrison Ave., 482-1535).


Good Jeans -- Put a little spirit in her giddyup with a front-zip sand-colored tumbleweed jacket with kangaroo pockets and a soft "Sherpa" fabric, $78; topping a short, stretch V-neck T-shirt with a fitted bodice, 38; and finally boot-cut "New York" pants with a front zipper and a terrific, sexy fit, $58; all by Carushka, from Priorities (8128 Hampson St., 861-8780).