There are many variations of the island costumes specific to each island. The typical women’s costume consists of a full length dress, an embroidered apron, headscarf and a few pieces of jewelry. On some islands, a short velvet jacket, the kontogouni, is worn. The men’s costume consists of the vraka (short, baggy riding pant or knickers), a button-down shirt, an embroidered woolen vest, wide sash and riding boots or plain shoes. On the head, either a woolen cap or fez could be worn depending on the island custom.
The women’s costume of Crete can vary from town to town. The one depicted above is from Anogeia. It consists of light muslin cotton bloomers, a full dress with embroidered trim, a characteristic wrapped skirt called the “sartsa” that is red with either black or dark blue border, a velvet, embroidered jacket, embroidered apron and distinct headscarf that is red with gold fringe. The men’s costume can be either a black or dark blue vraka (short riding pant) which can be the full baggy version (pictured above) or a less full tan colored pant. The shirt can be black (sign of mourning) or white. There is a dark blue, embroidered woolen vest and wide sash. The leather riding boots can be black (working weekdays) or white (Sundays and feast days or weddings). On the head is worn a headpiece with finely crochetted black fringe that hangs over the eyes, representing tears of mourning due to a tragedy at a monastery many years ago. The men also wear a silver chain that would typically hold a watch at the end, tucked into the sash or small pocket of the vest.