I find this to be a difficult subject to talk about at all and even more so when it comes to Lolita. Lolita is a very difficult style to master let alone get a grasp of. There are so many rules and finer points that it takes a lot of work to have a successful coord. When a guy or gal start to try wearing Lolita it is usually a rocky start. The only way I think one could perfectly pull it off would be if they followed the fashion for some time, had a bit of money to spend, had a Lolita mentor, and spent a good amount of time planning. Many of us do not have this so it is understandable that most of our first attempts are Ita, lace monster, Hot Topic, cosplay'ish messes.
Now, there is a large difference between a constructive criticism that will help someone improve and a flat out insult. But, this means both parties (giver and receiver) must have good communication skills. The person criticizing must know how to give a criticism in a polite way and the person being criticized must know how to take it. Don't see it as an attack and really try to understand what they are saying. On Daily Lolita I see a lot of first timers putting up their pictures which takes a lot of courage and most of the time there is room for improvement.
Telling the truth is a necessity in my opinion. One thing I see happening is people giving out compliments and accolades and no constructive criticism. Sometimes you will see pictures posted where a new or even not new Lolita will break several rules or will not pull something off well but no one will say anything. Perhaps it is just a pet peeve of mine but I feel this does no one justice. I am not conservative and think we all need to follow every Lolita rules but most of them are in place for a reason. For example, a modest skirt length is a very important part of Lolita and I feel it should be observed. When I see a skirt worn and it is practically mini skirt length it just gets me.
Helpful Tips for Constructive Criticism
*Start with a complement
*Don't be bossy. Try wording such as, " I would try...." or "You might want to think about...."
*If they are breaking an important Lolita rule supply them with a link such as the Lolita Handbook to clear it up for them
*Tell the truth
Helpful Tips for Receiving Criticism
*Don't take it as an attack
*No one is perfect, so don't worry if you make a mistake
*Fashion is an art not a science, there is wiggle room and differing opinions
*If someone is just flat out being mean ignore them, they are not worth your time
*Really try to hear what the person is saying
Please remember there is a time and a place for constrictive criticism. Some people don't want or need your advice or opinion. A lot of posts on Daily Lolita ask for it and it is more than welcome there. Your Lolita friends, family, and community probably welcome it as well but that is still on a person to person basis. Use your best judgement on handing it out.