It is not known what official form of dress the Reeve may originally have worn. In Saxon times it was probably a blood-stained tunic of wolf -skin, with a chain of boar's teeth slung around his neck. Some form of fur-trimmed robe may have been worn in the Tudor period. Thereafter, successive Reeve's presumably dressed in the fashionable attire of the period.
In 1951, John Clay, Managing Director of Clay's Printing Works, became Reeve. He decided to donate a robe to be worn by the office holder on formal occasions. The robe was in the style of an academic gown, of fine maroon wool cloth, with a trimming of brown fur.
This was worn by all successive Reeve's until Susan Curtis became Reeve in 2001. By this time the robe had endured a hard life, with fifty years of dust, dandruff, and stains from Town Dinners, and she decided to replace it with something more fashionable and elegant. The new robe is a rich purple with velvet trimmings, and a matching velvet ‘academic' style hat. It looks very grand, worn with the silver chain of office, and makes a striking complement to the scarlet robe worn by the Town Mayor at civic occasions.
The original robe and hat presented by John Clay is now on display in Bungay Museum.