Welcome to my Review of the Luca Faloni Elba Pure Linen Polo Shirt.
In a bit of an unusual twist fueled by the soaring temperatures in Italy, I decided to go casual!
Of course, the review will be as in-depth as always with a lot of background information and quality checks.
Let’s find out if this rather expensive RTW Polo Shirt by Luca Faloni is worth your money.
During these 8 years I spent in Sweden I equipped myself with formal clothing and quality items.
However due to the nature of the colder weather, I never really had any need for casual or summer clothing.
When I moved to Italy last November it was fine but now that the summer is here I realized how ill-equipped I was.
Not only I required more shorts or loafers (Read my Caulaincourt Review) but I also had no Polo Shirts.
No seriously, I had none and only owned a single linen shirt (Apposta Review).
I started thinking about how to upgrade my casual style and scoured the earth for a nice linen polo.
After hours of searching, I randomly remembered a company that was on my radar before but for other reasons.
Luca Faloni from Italy, who I first found out about from Brian Sacawa.
More famous for their cashmere goods, they recently expanded their selection to include cotton, silk and linen items.
And long story short, that’s how I stumbled upon the Elba Linen Polo Shirt in Light Blue.
The price tag was hefty, but it was worth a shot.
Important Disclaimer: I paid the full price for this product and did not contact Luca Faloni before this Review.
Who Is Luca Faloni?
Before we find out if it was worth it, let’s briefly discuss who is Luca Faloni.
Born in Italy, Luca shares a similar story with most of the people in the clothing industry.
He wanted to make a difference, skip the middlemen and focus on quality, preserve tradition and support his country’s craftsmen.
Unfortunately we do live in an age where the “Made in Italy” stamp is often fake with outsourcing materials and workshops.
Luca Faloni seems to utilize only (or at least mostly) Italian workshops.
One of them is actually rather close to where I live, in the Scandicci area of Florence.
The investment in e-commerce paid dividends no less thanks to everybody’s least favorite new virus.
Luca Faloni has physical stores in a few select locations, most of them being in Italy of course.
I would be quite skeptical of many things brands say these days, but as my actual experience will show it’s all worth it.
If you want to learn more about Luca himself, I recommend reading this interview.
What Is Linen?
Linen is the ultimate summer fabric.
It is actually a natural fiber that comes from the Flax Plant (Linum).
Linen has some great but also controversial properties and is a topic of discussion for many.
Its story is also thousands of years old with appearances in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
In certain times it was such a valuable item that people used it as currency.
The Egyptians used this embodiment of purity, wealth and light a lot including for mummification.
Good linen will be up to 35% stronger than cotton and also has a very loose weave.
The air flows more easily through this open weave and is one of the prime fabrics used for breathable clothing.
As opposed to cotton, good linen will become better with time and each wash while retaining the vibrancy of the color.
Its most controversial quality is that it’s a bit inelastic and will crease and wrinkle easily.
However this is a quality you should accept and embrace as it also is part of the charm.
For those that want most of the breathability and properties of linen but also less creasing, you can opt for a linen-cotton blend instead.
Specifications – The Elba Polo Shirt
As is customary, I will begin by showcasing the specifications and details of this article:
- Brand: Luca Faloni
- Style: Polo Shirt
- Model: Elba (Get $60 Off Your First Order)
- Color: Light Blue (Available in 11 colors)
- Material: 100% Linen
- Mill: Northern Italy (Not Disclosed)
- Workshop Location: Brescia
- Size: Medium
- Wash: By Hand
- Made In: 100% In Italy
- Price: €160/$185
That’s all I could find about this Polo and if I get any new updates or information I will make sure to edit this section.
All in all, this is a solid sheet of specifications and the only thing that remains is to uncover the rest of the experience.
I think I ordered my shirt on a Sunday and the next day I got the shipping notification.
Luca Faloni ships with DHL Express and as expected, it only took 1 business day to arrive.
The package itself is nice and custom cardboard with more than enough space to house the goods.
Opening the box was also a great experience due to the presentation and inclusions.
To start with, you get a full catalogue and a few poster cards with info and details.
Then there is an actual small package of traditional Italian butter cookies (which were yummy).
You also get a nice branded bag that I have no idea how it works because the handle doesn’t make sense.
Lastly, in a nice plastic bag you get your item, which in this case was the Linen Polo Shirt.
I enjoyed very much the fact that they hand-wrote my name and welcomed me to the Luca Faloni family.
Overall the experience is great and will make you feel good.
I had a few thoughts when I opened the box and took the shirt out.
First of all, Luca Faloni has excellent imagery on the website and their lifestyle campaigns are great.
Product images are notoriously difficult to display the correct colors and everything always depends on your display or phone screen.
Overall I found the color to be the way I expected it to be.
The fabric was also lovely to touch in a different type of weave than my Apposta Zephyr Linen Shirt.
Proportions wise everything looked great and the sizing seemed spot on after I put it on.
My first thoughts were that the quality is there and I was happy with my purchase.
You see, I was initially a little skeptical and almost felt a bit guilty spending so much money on just a polo shirt.
Then again, building a casual smart wardrobe in a warm summer environment was important to me.
So if the quality was there I would have no buyer’s remorse.
The Jersey Knit
I am not an expert on weaves but it did take me a while to figure out what the “Jersey” is.
This particular one is a Linen Jersey Textile which has a lot of interesting properties.
It is lightweight and breathable with an open weave and Luca Faloni’s mill in Brescia finishes it with an Aloe treatment.
This possibly explains the softness of the fabric, whereas other linen items I tried had a more coarse feel.
Stitching & Details
Starting off with a small trivia, as this Polo Shirt bears the name “Elba”.
For those unaware, Elba is the biggest island in the Tuscan Archipelago and where they exiled Napoleon.
The actual shirt has Mother of Pearl buttons which are quite nice and not too thin or bulky.
Mother of Pearl are nothing that will blow your mind off and companies like Suitsupply ride that marketing wave.
There are probably more technicalities to discuss in the stitching but I am more proficient in shoes.
I generally scan the shirt for loose threads, mismatched stitching or patterns and generally signs of any defects.
This is a polo shirt so the stitching is rather minimal, with seams around the shoulders and sides.
There’s a bit more stitching at the bottom of the shirt and the sleeves and of course the actual collar.
The stitching density is nice and surprisingly clear.
I say surprisingly, because of course it’s not perfect nor it can be.
When I did my bag-making course in Florence, I found out first hand how difficult it can be to sew light and stretch fabrics.
Lastly, the collar has 3 buttons and a soft unstructured feel.
Overall, the execution is great and satisfactory.
Luca Faloni Fit
I would say that at least their linen polo shirts run quite true to size.
For reference, I am about 179 cm (5 ft. 10) and approximately 79 kg and I usually wear Medium.
This was also the case here and the fit is pretty nice.
While a more modern cut, it is not following the trend of being extremely fitted and tight.
Thank god, as I would hate it if a shirt that I want to be comfy and airy were to be tight and uncomfortable.
Generally, I put on quite a bit of muscle on my hands and shoulders during my time in Italy.
Due to the food I also have a little bit more fat on my belly as well.
Since linen is quite see through be ready for all your “imperfections” to show much easier when wearing this.
Generally for a good fit I look for a nice range of motion, the shoulders and any sign of stretching or bagginess.
In my case I feel that this is the size I enjoy the most and works for me.
Breathability & Feel
I also want to talk about how it felt wearing this shirt.
It’s airy, breathable, nice on the skin and doesn’t cause any itching.
Another thing I liked was that I sweated less while wearing it, or at least the sweat absorbed or dissipated quicker.
However, with temperatures around 40° Celsius it doesn’t mean I was having the time of my life.
You will still sweat and feel hot, but this is much better than any fabric you can wear.
It made everything much tolerable and it looks pretty nice as well.
Hopefully you will even receive a few compliments while wearing it like I did!
How To Wear The Luca Faloni Elba?
Wearing a light blue linen polo shirt is the easiest thing in the world.
It will match all colors out there while still looking good and smart.
Generally however you would want to match this with other textured items.
Linen or cotton trousers and chinos, shorts and of course suede shoes, sneakers and loafers.
The Elba comes in many colors so of course each has its own set of rules.
This is a great, casual piece of clothing you don’t need to wear something over.
Then again, you need to be aware that at 40° Celsius you will still sweat, but it will be much more tolerable than in any other material.
How To Take Care Of Your Linen Polo
Straight from the Luca Faloni page, you should just hand wash this.
It is a bit more of a hassle, but it’s really easy and fast.
All you need to do is hand wash it inside out with mild soap at 30° or if you don’t want to bother just take it to the dry cleaner.
If you use an iron also do it inside out with a low linen temperature while avoiding the buttons.
Of course, do not wash it in the washing machine or use bleach or other chemicals.
Do all this and it will just get better with time!
Luca Faloni has a few select locations in the world that you can find in their store locator on the website.
Mainly they will sell online through their own platform.
This means they skip what we call the middle-man or retailers and manage to offer the product at a lesser price.
You can get this for about $185 right now, but there is a possible first time discount.
I have no affiliation with Luca Faloni as of now, but everyone can become a referrer.
For any purchases over $200 you can use a referral code (and then create your own) so you get $60 discount on your first order.
It’s a significant saving and if you refer someone you also get the same amount as store credit.
I am not sure if the referral credit becomes less with each use, but if you use my code I would appreciate it!
Here’s the Review in Video Format for your viewing pleasure!
Before I close this Review, I wanted to quickly touch upon a few things from the “Our Story” page.
Luca Faloni has 6 principles and I do agree with most of them.
Finest materials, Craftsmanship, Style & Fit and Worldly Lifestyle are debatable things and some of them will only shine in time.
So far, the quality seems to be there and so does the craftsmanship.
They support local small artisans which is very important to me as I am one myself.
As for the other two, I mean alright I can get into that.
One slight comment I want to make about their designs is that they seem to be quite safe and will never go out of fashion.
That is absolutely great but at the same time, sometimes their designs won’t really catch the eye of someone looking for something more unique.
When it comes to the service, it’s exceptional so far and the whole experience was superb.
The website is professional, with beautiful clear imagery and explanations.
Shipping is lightning fast and general feedback from people is great.
However I do want to talk a little about the Direct to Consumer text.
Retailers take over 60% of the selling price, and add no value to the product. We skip them so we can give you better value, by investing more in materials, craftsmanship, research and testing.
Now while I know they probably don’t mean it like that, I don’t agree with some words.
A great retailer that cares about the product will also tell a great story.
I am a small business and I preach gospel about Carlos Santos, providing tons of value to the company (because I believe in them).
Yes, without them they achieve better margins and have the allowance to invest elsewhere.
Sadly, it is true that most retailers out there will not care about a brand individually and won’t be able to convey the story and ethos behind them.
Maybe it’s just my pride speaking here.
Is Luca Faloni worth It?
Based on my experience, absolutely.
I got a fantastic, well-fitting polo shirt from a premium material, great color and accompanied by a top unboxing experience.
If I was looking for one, great linen shirt for my collection I would totally look at them again.
In the future I hope to check out other items they might have and hopefully review them too!
Until that, I hope you enjoyed my extensive Review of the Luca Faloni Elba Linen Polo Shirt!
Let me know what you think in the comments and I will see you next week!
Thank you for reading,