| read time 4 minute read | Topic Product Information Management

The Difference Between Lookbooks and Line Sheets in Fashion

The Difference Between Lookbooks and Line Sheets in Fashion | Plytix

Pitching your collection to fashion editors and buyers can be a challenging endeavor. Since they can’t physically view it online, you have to reel them in with a visual guide that tells them why they should be interested in considering your collection. That’s what marketing tools are for! 

But the problem is ... the industry is filled with so many different "tools" that seem to do the same thing ... but they're not the same thing at all. Sure, lookbooks and line sheets have been used in the fashion industry for decades, but they’re often used interchangeably.

First impressions are critical in convincing potential retail partners and editors to engage with your marketing material and understand what you’re trying to sell them. If you send a lookbook instead of a line sheet, or vice versa, you're likely communicating the wrong information. 

Below, we'll help you avoid making the mistake of sending the wrong document by breaking down the differences between the two. We’ll also show you real-life examples: 

What is a line sheet? 

A line sheet is a product sales tool that provides facts about the products in your collection. It’s meant to help potential buyers make a decision on whether they should buy your collection. The line sheet should have product shots taken against a white background or illustrated product silhouettes. These need to be accompanied by all of the important details about each of the products in your collection. These include product names, descriptions, materials, sizes, colors, and other attributes that explain more about what the product is. A line sheet also includes general ordering information, sales terms such as order amounts or shipping prices, and suggested retail and wholesale prices. It’s important not to forget to include your brand logo and contact information in your line sheet. Branding information allows you to stand out from the crowd, and contact information is a key asset when it comes to sealing the deal. 

Here’s an example of a fashion line sheet: 

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What is a lookbook? 

A lookbook is a creative marketing tool that provides the feel of the products in your collection. It features well-styled editorial images that showcase how the fashion items look when worn by a real person. They should portray the essence of your brand and the story you’re trying to tell. 

A lookbook should also highlight your target audience and give a clear breakdown of the demographics you serve. That’s why it’s important to hire models that reflect your intended audience so that there’s no question about who the collection is for. 

Here’s an example of a fashion lookbook:

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The key difference between a lookbook and a line sheet is that a lookbook is about using highly-stylized photography to evoke emotions and connect with a prospective wholesale and retail buyer. On the other hand, a line sheet is about giving the buyers the hard facts about the products so that they can make decisions about placing orders for your collection. 

Quick guide for creating a perfect line sheet 

A line sheet that wows buyers and gets you a return on investment (ROI) doesn't need to be hard.  You can start by creating a cover sheet, but if you prefer a one-pager, that’s perfect too.

If you choose to create a cover sheet, make it clean and easy to read. Include your branding, the collection title, the contact details of the sales agent who is in charge of liaising with buyers, and the order and payment details. Or, if you prefer to make it a one-pager, include these details at the top of the page, just like in the example above. The most important things are:

  • Layout — clean, straightforward grids that direct the reader’s eye to the important information.
  • Product images — avoid lifestyle shots; keep them simple with a neutral background and good quality.  
  • Style numbers — these help you keep track of what product you’re talking about. Use a code with the season name, year, and color of the product. 
  • Product descriptions —  these need to be straightforward and very short descriptions (10 words max) of what you’re selling. For example, locally made, 100% silk, long sleeve sleep shirt. 
  • Order quantity — describe the minimum order quantity and the price attached to it. 

Quick guide for creating a perfect lookbook

Creating a perfect lookbook for a collection you’re trying to promote is all about paying attention to detail and ensuring that it's designed to get buyers interested in buying your brand and collection. You can be playful with it and make it creative. Here’s what you can focus on: 

  • Layout — keep things simple, enough white space, and remember that the focus of a lookbook is the images more than the text. Think about the colors you’ll use. The background will dictate how the color of the images look and feel. 
  • Product images — the ultimate star of the show. Think about your target audience and how you envision them wearing your products. Because these are editorial lifestyle shots, ensure to focus on the look of the garment on the model. Do different shots: full, half, vertical, horizontal, and close-ups to have a variety of shots that will work together. Highlight the specific features of the product that make your product unique. 
  • Style numbers — you can use the same numbering system you’d use for the line sheet. 
  • Product attributes — while the focus is not much on the text, still add this basic information to provide buyers with as much information about your products as possible. So, add fabrics, colors, sizing, and other necessary attributes. 

Your lookbook should tell a story from the top of the page all the way to the end of the final page. Think about the layout and sequence before you start with the photography. 

Here comes the hard question: should you hire a designer to design the print and digital line sheet and lookbook? You can, or you can get yourself a line sheet creator or pdf catalog maker. The most impressive alternative is a catalog management system that does more than one job. 

Plytix Product Sheets and Brand Portals at your service

Plytix is a product information tool that helps ecommerce businesses manage their product data more efficiently. Our PIM offers two designer modules that make creating sales enablement material a breeze. Our Product Sheets module is a sell sheet designer and line sheet creator with easy-to-use templates that let you generate print-ready sheets. The templates are fully customizable, so you can be as creative with them as you’d like and add your company branding. Just drag and drop any product information you wish to include. 

 

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The Brand Portals module is an online catalog that can help you put together a stunning lookbook using the same drag and drop method. After you’ve done your photoshoot and have loaded your product information onto the central PIM database, pick any product content you need, add it onto any template of choice, customize it and get it ready for buyers’ eyes. 

Get a Plytix demo—no strings attached

Creating line sheets and lookbooks that will resonate with your potential buyers is easy with a next-generation PIM that also doubles up as sales catalog software. If you’re interested in learning more about Plytix, book a demo with us today! You can also read The Ultimate PIM Buyer’s Guide to get a bit more understanding of the role of PIM in ecommerce. 

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