Wholesale Management

Line Sheets vs Lookbooks in Fashion: Similar But Different

April 1, 2024

What Is a Line Sheet? 

A line sheet is a catalog-like sales tool and an essential part of the wholesale business. Line sheets feature photos of every look in a specific collection. Key product details help brands make the sale. 

For example, a quick look at suggested retail prices might let a buyer realize a brand isn’t a great fit for their target market. Similarly, sophisticated finishings and fabrics might make a buyer curious to see more.

Line sheets offer insights into: 

Finally, while you might only see one version of a style on the runway, a line sheet shares every associated SKU. Retailers can see every available color, fabric, or feature on offer for any given SKU. 

Benefits of Line Sheets in Wholesale

Buyers use line sheets to quickly scan for all the information they need - digital line sheets take things even further. Buyers can shop from them directly, zoom into photos for a better sense of product details, and more.

Example of a Line Sheet

Example of a line sheet

A line sheet features product information for every SKU.

What Is a Lookbook? 

A lookbook is an editorial-style catalog. This fashion industry tool adds extra context for specific collections or curated themes. For example, you can have a lookbook featuring Fall/Winter designs or perennial bestsellers. Create another lookbook focused on new-season colors or après-ski.

Brands use lookbooks to share the essence, mood, and inspiration behind specific collections or themes. Lookbooks focus on specific curations and beautiful layouts. However, they should always be representative of your brand’s overarching image and aesthetic. The best lookbooks enhance product images with vision and creativity.

Collections come to life via: 

These magazine-like books bring collections to life, while offering inspiration for marketing, visual merchandising, and styling. Buyers can also use them to gain a deeper understanding of garment construction and fit.

Benefits of Lookbooks in Wholesale

Lookbooks captivate buyer interest while demonstrating perfect alignment with shoppers’ tastes. Brands can impress buyers with every season, capsule, or curated theme — all while encouraging sales. The best lookbooks are on-brand, visually-stunning productions. Professional photographers and models take things further, demonstrating construction, movement, and fit. 

Example of a Lookbook

A lookbook brings a specific trend, theme, or collection to life. Notice the emphasis on beautiful, lifestyle-focused editorial images. 

The Differences Between a Lookbook and a Line Sheet

It’s not uncommon to hear references to lookbooks and line sheets as if they’re one and the same. The main difference between a lookbook and a  line sheet comes down to shopability. A lookbook is designed to convey the essence of a brand, containing imagery and descriptions of not only your products but your ethos. A line sheet provides the collection details necessary to inform buyers about your collection and allow them to shop effectively.

That can get confusing. The truth is they’re two very different tools. Both B2B sales tools are timeless staples at virtual showroom appointments and live trade show events. However, buyers flip through lookbooks to get a better sense of a collection’s energy and inspiration. 

Lookbooks can also share how specific garments might move. Meanwhile, buyers look to line sheets to access vital ordering information — sizing, colors, fabrics, and more. Unlike line sheets, lookbooks are marketing tools too. Brands can share them with buyers and the media, or use them to inspire shoppers on their sites.

Both lookbooks and line sheets might feature static images, videos, or a combination of the two.

How to Create an Effective Line Sheet

The best line sheets leave little room for questions. That’s especially important when you’re selling 24/7 through a virtual showroom. Your line sheets might also be buyers’ first impression of your brand. Make it count.

First, include product images that represent key elements and features of every SKU. If a SKU has special features, like unusual proportions, share multiple images to display key angles. Upload key product information for every SKU — and be sure to include details that would be impossible to detect at a glance. Remember to share product names too. 

Finally, consider enhancing the buying process with valuable tags. You can identify top-selling items, core staples, exclusives, collaborations, and more. Buyers should be able to order directly from your digital line sheets. Let them zoom into images for more details, and see real-time inventory and pricing. 

Aim to create a streamlined, shoppable document with accurate images and information. 

How to Create an Effective Lookbook

It takes a team to produce a great lookbook. While your creative director might come up with the concept on their own, they’ll need on-set support too. There might be a photographer, photography assistants, hair and makeup artists, and a stylist. Depending on the needs of the shoot, there might be other assistants for tasks like steaming and managing garments. 

Ideally, you’ll create a new lookbook for every season. Aim to inspire through styling choices, hair and makeup, and locations. Then tell a captivating story with rich visuals and plenty of emotion. Keep a copy of your style guide and visual standards on set to ensure every image is cohesive and on-brand. And ensure that your designs take center stage. 

Feel free to add an inspirational blurb about the collection, but if you do, keep it short. The result should be an artistic, highly-polished, visually-focused document.

Line Sheets vs Lookbooks: How JOOR Can Help

It’s a great idea to upload your lookbooks to your B2B digital wholesale platform. Buyers will be able to access everything they need in one place. But did you know you can create interactive line sheets with JOOR?

JOOR enhances line sheets with the power of e-commerce. Quickly create and share shoppable line sheets to help buyers order with confidence. Upload line sheets or edit easy-to-use, drag-and-drop templates. Create your own size charts, and highlight certifications and fabric composition. Use badges to note sustainable designs, limited editions, and exclusives. Then take advantage of features like filters, 360° images and videos, and collaborative editing.

Encourage deeper collaboration between retailers and brands. Use in-platform messaging and create custom line sheets with exclusive assortments. Then integrate your inventory management software for real-time, accurate inventory information. Smart analytics offer insights into what buyers love most, sell-through rates, and more.

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