Essence Festival is a celebration of all Black everything, from fashion to beauty to business. And for four blissful days in New Orleans, half a million aunties, cousins, friends, and sorors gathered to do just that. But what you might not know looking at all those smiling attendees, is that it was hot as hell outside. With temps as high as 90 in the heart of Louisiana, festival goers had to get creative to stay cool. And it resulted in some seriously memorable styles.
While there were a few brave souls who wore (and slayed) their long hair and big 'fros, more celebs opted for updos — especially for a full day of press and parties. The looks were just as fashionable as they were functional, and fitting for any event you have this summer. Ahead, check out the looks we're pinning for our next outdoor, too-hot-to-handle event.