What to Wear at Essence Festival

If you’re one of the half million Black women that descend upon the Crescent City for Essence Festival every year, we always wonder what to wear for Essence Festival and the answer this year was …nothing. LOL it was SO HOT (100+ degrees the whole week) and very humid, which makes it hard to wear anything, really. But, we tried! I wore Lane Bryant the entire week – they sponsored my trip there – and tried my very best not to break a sweat (edit: the key is to stay inside as much as possible during the day).


I think a beautiful maxi dress is essential to any woman’s wardrobe, period. Bringing one to Essence Festival is a no-brainer because you can wear it at any point throughout the weekend. Maxi dresses can go from the convention center to the concert to hanging out after with ease and elegance. 

Lane Bryant Maxi Dress


I think a romper is a given for any summer closet. The length of leg is key for me, especially with thighs of thunder that rub together. My thighs eat rompers alive! This one from Lane Bryant is perfect in that the length is mid-thigh. Between length and the soft, absorbable fabric, I was able to ride my bike comfortably across downtown New Orleans during 100 degree weather with no issues!

Lane Bryant Polka Dot Romper


I’m not a huge cold-shoulder enthusiast, but having cut-outs on a pretty, ruffly ensemble took this jumpsuit from Spring to New Orleans-ready quickly. Donning anything in New Orleans infamous colors (yellow, green, or purple) is always a plus. 

Lane Bryant Cold Shoulder Jumpsuit


Coming to Essence Festival with a shorts set is a very. good. idea. I also recommend coming with a pair of denim shorts (obviously). You can pair the top with cutoffs or a skirt, and the shorts can be worn with a denim jacket (if there’s a breeze at night). 

Lane Bryant Striped Top
Lane Bryant Striped Shorts


Linen pants are clutch in the summer, especially in humid weather. They absorb sweat and are very breathable. Paired with an off the shoulder top, you will look like you are made for vacation. I donned this outfit while hosting friends at my apartment and it was perfect for the 4th of July festivities. 

Shop Lane Bryant’s Final Sale now! 


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