On holidays and other special occasions, Cretan men and women dressed in their finery, which they usually donned for the first time on Easter Sunday. Together with this formal attire they also wore all their jewellery.

Cretan traditional costume underwent several changes over the course of time. The definitive feature of male costume was the vraka, which was gradually abandoned from the early 20th century onwards, to be replaced by European clothes or military style jodhpurs known as the gilotta. Though typified by a high degree of variation, female costume went out of use very early on.

Cretan costumes of various types (G. N. Zouridis)
Female costume worn in Messara, 1900 (R. Behaeddin, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)
Costumes worn in Mochos, Pediada district, 1962
Male and female costumes (Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation)
The contrast between Cretan and European dress, early 20th century (Constantinos Grammatikakis Collection)
Man and woman's costume (Constantinos Grammatikakis Collection, Heraklion)