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The Ladies of Cheapskateers

Friendship? More like sisters in fashion. Ina Inonog and Maronne Cruz are synced when it comes to their fashion choices. Re-inventing their looks with their Japanese inspired styles infused with cheap thrills, they make cheap look oh-so chic!


Cheapskateers is an online fashion blog headed by style duo, Ina Inonog and Maronne Cruz. Best friends, with a unique, quirky style. “We’ve been individual bloggers since high school but only joined forces for style blogging in late 2010” says Ina. “It was actually Maronne who got me into blogging because she didn’t want to delve into the waters alone. I was honestly a little reluctant at first because I’m very fashion-illiterate but I’ve come to really enjoy it.” Ina adds.

Recently this duo started to push the boundaries a little further by adding vlogging in their platform under the same name. “Ina was the one who got me hooked onto the idea by showing me a bunch of fashion gurus on YouTube who I was quick to idolize and ended up preferring over the style bloggers I used to read.” says Maronne.

But what does Cheapskateer even mean? Cheap and Musketeers?  “We wanted a name that would represent our quirky personalities while at the same time explaining that we both love thrift shopping and bargain hunting when it comes to clothing.” they explained. “The name kind of just happened actually. And it worked. So we stuck with it,” they added.

So what is the style of a Cheapskateer? “Cheap and thrifty but not necessarily compromising style.” The overall look of a “cheapskateer” as defined by Maronne and Ina’s style is very much street style with influence from Japanese fashion as it is their common root for both their styles. “The Cheapskateers brand, so to say, is individualistic, since we both highly value promoting our own creativity and individuality into our outfits, albeit not expensively.” says Maronne. Ina adds, “In short, looking #TotesAmaze on a budget.”

But what about their own individual styles?

As for Ina she says, “I’ve been told that my style’s quirky, and if I had to describe it I’d say it’s pretty much closet vomit that tastes like candy.” She explains that it was Maronne’s description for her style.  “A lot of people also associate me with color because some of my outfits can be a little loud and obnoxiously colorful, but for all I know they might be referring to my personality as well. Other times I’ll enjoy a lot of shapeless garments, and my outfits can get bit all over the place, so I’d like to think my style’s also a little akin to a drunken hobo high on colors and sparkly things. There are days when I just really like dark colors in my entire outfit though, so I dunno where that puts me…” Ina concludes.

While for Maronne, “Honestly my individual style outside of Cheapskateers is “pambahay.” Contrary to what people may think, when I’m going about everyday activities I’m the most dressed down person in all my shirt-shorts-slippers glory. Completely boring and drab. Haha! But when I DO dress up – which is still a big part of me cause I do really love dressing up – I guess my style has also been described as “eccentric” and “quirky,” although maybe not as much as Ina’s, since I’m more of a minimalist as opposed to her maximalism. There’s a lot of grunge and street wear influence in my looks too, though I’d have to say that punk is my most underlying aesthetic. So I guess my style would be comfortable and minimalistic but punky, urban and quirky.”

If only we can get a look on what both of their closet will look like, they ‘d both be different, but there would be little hints of similarities in terms of how they dress.

So if you ask them, what are the things in their closet that they cannot live without?

My sneakers & sneaker wedge collection! Cannot. Live. Without them. My studded boots too. My Obey beanie finds itself adorning most of my everyday outfits. I wear my black lace shorts with pretty much everything. My graphic shirts & sweater collection is my boss, and I find that I’m unhappy with an outfit unless I throw on my thick silver rings, spiked bracelet and skull bracelet. Recently, I’ve been wearing orange lipstick a lot.” says Maronne.

While for Ina, ” Off the top of my head I guess I’ll just go with my thrifted neon skirt. It’s a long skirt — one of my fallback pieces for anything – and it’s nice and bright and pretty much anything neon makes me gasp in a good way, and it was dirt cheap, which is a major plus. Oh, and my clear clutch bag! I am OBSESSED with see-through things in fashion, you have no idea. I just recently scored a pair of clear boots and have been on cloud nine since. Besides those, I guess anything with loud prints in my wardrobe is an accurate representation of who I am.”

So we now realize that both these girls are chic and stylish but who are their fashion inspirations? Most bloggers would say, Kate Moss, but these too, like I said, are different and pretty much as quirky as their own personal styles.

“Most of my fashion inspirations come from people I see on the street. I really look up to Aomoji-Kei models and people snapped in streetwear blogs. At the end of the day I’ll always find inspiration in asian street style.” says Maronne, to which she quickly adds, “But I guess I really love Kate Lanphear.

“Definitely the Japanese. Japanese street style makes me so happy. I’ve recently gotten into K-pop too and have become very appreciative of their fashion, though I’ve always appreciated K-pop fashion one way or another during my pre-Kpop days when I would occasionally watch a music video or two. Japanese fashion will always be my first love, however lately I find myself becoming more influenced by Korean fashion day by day. That being said, a lot of my outfits have been more street-esque than anything now, but that might also be because I’m overseas at the moment and am too lazy to really ‘dress up’ to my fullest. Also, Anna Dello Russo. Her maximalism inspires me to put more effort into all of my outfits” says Ina.

So to those who are seeking for cheap thrills, what do these Cheapskateers can give advice to those who are looking for stylish clothes that are on a budget?

Ina says, ” I could easily say go thrifting but I haven’t actually done any thrifting in ages! My wardrobe used to be 90% thrifted, but after going to Hong Kong I have to say it’s now about 70% thrifted and 30% Hong Kong, and by ‘Hong Kong’ I mean H&M, Cotton On, stuff I’ve found in Hong Kong fashion spots. There are loads of thrift stores in Manila though, and I’ve found many unique and interesting pieces from the thrift stores I’ve visited. I was exposed to so many of them in college when I started commuting, and one of my favorites is the one near Shangri-la Mall, along Sierra Madre street. Another favorite is the thrift store in Sta. Lucia Mall –  it takes up an entire movie theater! It’s pretty overwhelming, although the last time I went it seemed like they spiked their prices. The thrift stores in Cinema Square in Makati are pretty cool as well. And of course, the queen of thrift stores: Baguio. Bazaars, though I don’t frequent them, are also a great source for funky finds, and you’ll even be supporting some local indies along the way!”

For Maronne, “Go shopping in Market! Market!’s tiangge area, I swear to goodness. So many hidden treasures there– I frequent Androgyne, Push Thru Marketing and Local Celebrity, which are all on the same side of the tiangge area. Don’t be shy to shop online and of course when in doubt, thrift. My local haunts include Makati Cinema Square – because it’s nearest – and Anonas on days where I feel like traveling a little. I go to the Olivares thrift stores when I’m in Tagaytay too. Oh!  Landmark Dept. Store can be gold mine for cheap thrills too, as well as the Greenhills Tiangge.

Were you all able to jot that down?

“Whoever said that money doesn’t buy you happiness, just didn’t know where to shop!” is true when it comes to these girls. Style should not be compromised even if you are on a budget. If you know your self, your style, and your budget looking chic can be easy as a-b-c!

Read their blog here and subscribe to their YouTube channel here.

Photos courtesy of Ina Inonog


Blog-venture 2.0?

Maybe its just me or maybe, its in some of us. But maybe its me again. How many of you have told yourself, I will try to “blog” or somehow even told themselves that they will do their best to write in their diary everyday when they were little. Well I did. And I know some of you also did. And to some of us, I would like to congratulate for being able to accomplish that task of making your life’s history even before you were famous. We on the other hand, the people who failed to write or even tried to write everyday in their diary, are here doing it again. And the best possible way to get yourself noticed is here in the world wide web.

I follow blogs, I read blogs and I admire those people who constantly try their best to at least update their blogs as to let their people know that they are still alive and relevant. So why did I try to do this? Well maybe its because I wanted to at least try to blog on behalf of all of us who failed at writing in our diaries and who even tried blogging at least once or twice, and tried updating our blogs at least once or twice. It’s a difficult job, I think to at least tell the world that you are relevant. I for one had a hard time doing it, but maybe a second chance wouldn’t be so difficult to hurt right?

Let me at least try to blog for the sake of well, i don’t know, maybe telling my fears? Maybe telling what has or had happened to my life recently that people would want to try to relate to. I am scared of the consequences of the actions that I am about to embark, because being in the web means giving a little bit of yourself into the public. I’ll try to say my emotions here in the most courteous of all manners probably. But then I said I will try right?

Anyways, I’m off to doze off. It will be a busy day tomorrow at school and at my internship. Let us embark on this journey we shall call, the Blog-ventures.