Special order policies

Ordering Process

At the time of order, we take at minimum a 50% deposit to process the order. The deposit is good toward the balance owed on your order at the time it is placed. Payment is due in full at the time your dress arrives at our shop. Please review your order carefully to make sure it is correct. Our dresses are made to order and are not returnable. Deposits are not refundable.


Our dresses are made to standard sizes, and each designer has a size chart. When we take your measurements, we recommend the closest, most appropriate size based on those measurements. We advise choosing the larger size if you fall between sizes. If you prefer to order a size different than what is reflected on the size chart, you may do so, but at your own risk. We are happy to offer advice as to the correct size, but you are ultimately responsible for the size ordered. Since dresses are made to standard sizes and not your body measurements, some alterations are to be expected.


We do not offer alteration services in-house, but are happy to refer you to a qualified seamstress at your request. These seamstresses are independent contractors not employed by The English Dept., and we are not responsible for any alterations made after you receive your dress from us. The price of the dress does not include alterations. Seamstresses set their own prices, and any information we give as to the possible cost of alterations is a best guess.

Handmade Garments

Many of our gowns are handmade by the designer. There may be small discrepancies due to the nature of a handmade garment, such as variations in dye lot, a slub in the silk, or delicate, minor imperfections due to the nature of delicate fabrics. These variations should be viewed as traits of a handmade gown and not flaws. We have very high standards for the quality of the products we sell; every item is fully inspected when it arrives at our shop and before leaving. Designers also reserve the right to substitute a very comparable fabric or lace when certain styles are no longer produced or available in a timely manner.


Please allow 12-20 weeks for delivery upon placing your order. The arrival date we provide at the time of order is an estimate date that the order will arrive at our shop from the designer. There are, occasionally, short delays (dresses also sometimes come early). We are mindful of your deadlines and will always ensure your order arrives in plenty of time for your event. If you place an order with a short timeframe such that expedited shipping is required, any additional shipping costs will be at your expense. 

Pricing / Discounts

Every designer we carry sets her own prices, and her own policies with regard to special discounts. We are happy to honor those discounts. We are not able to offer additional discounts over and above what the designer offers.

Return Policy

Because all garments are made to order, there are no exchanges or returns on special order merchandise. All sales are final. If you believe your dress is flawed, please notify us within 7 days of receiving it. after 7 days we are no longer able to return a dress to a designer, per their policies. Please do not alter a dress you believe to be defective - if that is determined to be the case, we must return it to the designer in its original condition for the error to be corrected.

Order Changes

We know that plans change, and that it is sometimes necessary to change a size, change a fabric color, etc. These changes can usually be accommodated if we are notified early in the production process - however, the designer has the final word on whether it is possible to make a change to an order.