As an advertising professional in Singapore, I’m probably more sensitised to ads and marketing messages than most. I’ve written online ads. Composed marketing materials. Directed graphic artists to get the most compelling shots for ad campaigns.
So when I read DOXA founder John Hansen’s website profile, a grin spread across my face. His personal story, about cycling with his mum as a kid as a prelude to winning road and track medals before becoming a sports apparel designer, certainly rang true.
But does one’s life story qualify someone to design and produce running apparel? My inner sceptic popped into my head, and I had to see for myself whether Hansen’s “search for the perfect running kit” was motive enough to make him a leader in men’s athletic apparel.
I got my hands on three items from the Scandinavian designer’s collection and vowed to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It wasn’t easy. I had to set aside my propensity for scepticism, remember?
My Tyson Tights Experience
My girlfriend has an outrageous sense of humour, so when I slid on the Tyson Tights I was about to review, she said that I reminded her of the actors in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” a cult film made in 1993 by director Mel Brooks.
To add insult to injury, she added: “Only male dancers belong in tights.” I beg to differ, I said, pointing to the camouflage-patterned sports leggings that obviously belong on the legs of runners and sportsmen pursing activities in the great outdoors, but she shook her head and left me to try on my manly apparel.
From the fit, I could tell that these tights could hold their own, even during Scandinavian winters. A solid pairing of polyester (78-percent) and elastane (22-percent) threads promises to hold the shape of these tights, even after years of laundering.
Because the fabric is woven to “breathe,” the two-way stretch doesn’t make me feel as though my torso is in a vice–the tights feel snug thanks to muscle control properties in the weave. The reflective logo army print means I could wear these on a hunting expedition if I were so inclined, and they offer UV protection. I’d be wearing a pair of shorts over these tights when I run—-I’m modest that way!
I Also Rock a Tarak Tee
I’m no fashion expert, but I am eager to look fashion-forward so my advertising clients don’t think I’m living in the past, so when I slid this running tee with its reflective logo over my head and looked in the mirror, I liked the way it fit. I called in my girlfriend to ask how she felt about the shirt and she approved.
I have a hunch she not only liked the look, but after inspecting the construction and plucking at the fabric, her first reaction was, “this is going to be easy to launder,” thanks to the fabric made up of 87-percent poly and 13-percent elastane. This textile is sure to repel the dirt I tend to collect on trail runs.
Like the aforementioned army tights, this shirt is a basic classic, yet it’s equally breathable, offering two-way stretch properties that compliment my physique, even if I’ve been off my healthy eating program.
The Tarek Tee is also treated with a UV protectant so my chest won’t absorb harmful sun rays. Would I wear the shirt with the tights? Not exactly. One’s a warm colour palette and the other is cool. How do I know that? My art director told me when I picked two mis-matching items for a client’s photo shoot recently!
The Jason Jacket: My Ensemble is Complete
My children infrequently ask if I have a favourite among them, and my standard response is always, “I love you all equally,” but I’ve got to fess up that of the three DOXA items I reviewed, the Jason Jacket is my fav.
From the moment I removed it from its shipping package, I could imagine the number of running separates I already own that would work with this white jacket decorated in squares of what remind me of black brush strokes—again, courtesy of the art director who relates everything we do to artistic media.
The Jason’s thread-mix is composed of 87-percent nylon and 13-percent spandex, so the stretch is impeccable. This DOXA jacket with its reflective logo is an ideal running garment because nothing dries faster than nylon, and in Singapore, we certainly have no shortage of rain during certain times of the year.
I need a lightweight coverall that looks stylish, dries fast and holds it shape and the Jason covers all bases. My girlfriend says I look handsome in the jacket, but the neighbouring kids refuse to comment.
- If you like to stand apart from the crowd, these qualify as exotic garments courtesy of Scandinavian design influences and impeccable fit.
- All three items are constructed of solid, long-wearing polyester blends that stand up to time and wear.
- Neutral colours give you multiple mix-and-match options with items in your current running wardrobe.
- Thanks to solid construction, these separates are likely to outlast the running separates you already own.
- Limited distribution could make ordering from Scandinavian-based online retailers problematic.
- Not every man feels comfortable wearing tights — even if patterned in masculine camouflage blends.
- These are not inexpensive separates: The Jason Jacket runs €174; Tyson Tights €107 and the Tarek Tee €94.
- Do these three items stand out from the herd? You be the judge. After all, you’re the one opening your wallet.
I promised to tell the truth, so allow me to begin by saying that the quality of these three DOXA garments is first-rate, the colours perfect for serious runners who tend to collect classic pieces for daily workouts and I am convinced that John Hansen’s background story is compelling enough to drive sales, but what I’m unsure of is whether these items are unique enough to justify the price.
Hansen has surely done his homework and knows what competitors are producing, so I believe that his claim to fame is quality over fads. On that basis alone, I am confident that these three items will remain in my wardrobe longer than most.
How often do you wrest with the issue of quantity over quality when you’re about to invest in running clothing and gear? Which usually wins out when you make your final buying decision?
The DOXA running collection is available online.