Sweated & Vetted: Dusk

The newly launched activewear label, Dusk, was founded by designer Jordan Schiff, a veteran of American Apparel and Urban Outfitters. The brand’s debut collection is a tightly edited range of sleek performance gear that’s designed in New York City and produced in Los Angeles and Portugal. Schiff explained to me that the size of the collection, and the choice of fabrics, reflect his goal to, “make only what feels essential to the brand, and make sure it’s something that can last.” He added, “I personally don’t buy a lot, [but] I do try to buy things that are good. Beyond that, I produce in places like Los Angeles and Portugal where the working conditions are excellent. I always will. I also buy fabric from very responsible suppliers.” I wear-tested three pieces from the line: the Seventy Seven Tank, the Twenty Two short, and the Eighty Eight Compression Leggings, and overall, they performed very well.

The Seventy Seven Tank is made out of fabric from the Swiss company Schoeller, a world leader in high-performance, high-quality textiles. The tank’s front panel is a medium-weight, four-way stretch, 78/22 nylon/lycra blend, while the sides and back are a single-piece of lightweight mesh.

My size medium tank measures 21.5” across the chest, 13.75” across the shoulders, 21.5” across the waist, and is 29” long. The shoulder straps are 3” across. The Schoeller fabric performs nicely and I appreciate the body length, although the fit through the torso is a bit too roomy for my taste. I’d like to see it a hair slimmer from the chest down, with a bit of a taper to the waist, which would help to prevent bouncing and shifting while running.

The Twenty Two Shorts are unlined and made with the same Schoeller fabric as the front panel of the tank. The fabric has a subtle crosshatch texture and a really terrific feel. I don’t use the word “luxurious” to describe workout clothes very often, but in this case, it fits. My size medium pair measures 14.5” across the waistband (unstretched), and has a 10.5” front rise, 12” leg opening, and 7” inseam (a version with a 5” inseam is also available).

A 4.5” x 6.5” pocket on the right hip is just large enough for an oversized phone, and sturdy heat-bonded seams hold it in place. The leg openings also have a heat-bonded hem, which means the four-way stretch fabric isn’t impeded at that crucial spot. If the line expands in the future, I’d love to see a pair of these shorts with an inner brief made from the same mesh as the tank’s back panel.

The Eighty Eight Compression Leggings are remarkably sturdy without sacrificing stretch, which immediately made them one of my favorite pieces of cold-weather running gear. After multiple washes (cold water, hung to dry), a size large pair measures 13” across the waist (unstretched), 6” across the knee, 4.5” across the ankle, and has a 10” front rise and 28” inseam. They’re relatively simple, with only a 4” x 7” heat-bonded zippered pocket on the right hip.

The fabric is primarily Tactel, which is a propriety blend from the California-based mill, Invista. The Eighty Eights were my first experience with Tactel, and to put it mildly, I’m impressed. The performance, support, and warmth are top-notch; they warded off the early morning chill without feeling restrictive or limiting my stride. Being a year-round runner in northern Wisconsin means being a connoisseur of running tights, and these are among the best. My only wish is that they had ankle zippers, which make tights easier to pull on and off over heavy winter running socks.

Dusk has a pared-down collection of ethically-produced activewear that I’m looking forward to putting more miles into. From the fabric choices to the small details, everything is thoughtfully designed to perform well without any unnecessary bells and whistles.

Jason Brozek is an ultramarathon runner, lapsed Ironman triathlete, and professor at a small liberal arts college, where he teaches courses on sustainability and international politics.