Traditional costume

The traditional costumes are still worn in Crete and in the villages of Chania you will definitely meet residents dressed in the costume of their ancestors.

Especially in the case of festive events, however, in local festivals and celebrations, you will see many traditional costumes, which of course are worn by the dancers of the dozens dance groups of Chania.

There are two main types of women’s traditional costume. The most common is the traditional costume of Sfakia, consisting of a pleated embroidered dress, an embroidered apron, the “meitani” (type of jacket with long sleeves) or “salamarka” (embroidered sleeveless jacket), over the silk shirt. The outfit is completed with an embroidered silk headscarf and various jewelry and coins worn on the chest. The costume from Anogiani first appeared in the 17th century and it also includes a type of long breeches under the skirt.

The traditional male costume, common throughout the island, is divided in two variants. The daily version consists of black linen breeches, a shirt, “meitanogeleko” and a long belt wrapped several times around the waistline.

The official costume, known as a “salvaria”, is made from blue felt of good quality and consists of pleated breeches, a “meitanogeleko” decorated with rich embroidery, an embroidered silk shirt and a long silk purple belt. A characteristic feature of the traditional male costume is the boots, the stivania, black for daily use and white for the formal outfit.

The element that is never missing from the traditional male costume is the headscarf.