They’re the super-easy fashion fall-back when you’re having one of those ‘nothing to wear’ dilemma days, but today the humble black flared trouser got the gold seal of cool-factor approval tonight at the MTV Video Music Awards: at least a dozen stars walked the white (red) carpet in a pair.

First it was Joan Smalls, dressed in Off-White, who and teamed hers with a fierce leather bustier and white go-faster stripes that said “I own this” rather than “I’m on my way to a job interview”. Soon after came Amber Rose – never one to miss an opportunity to shock on the red carpet – who might have looked positively classic had she not forgotten her shirt.

Joan Smalls
Credit: Getty Images

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Amber Rose
Credit: Instagram @amberrose

Next up, Korean guitarist and it-girl, Jinjoo Lee (who won the Best New Artist award as part of the Joe Jonas-fronted band DNCE), who like Amber vamped up her classy bottom half with under-wear as outerwear – this case, a leopard-print bralet. For her, black flares had an almost goth rocker appeal.

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Jinjoo Lee and her Best New Artist award-winning band, DNCE
Credit: Instagram

Ariana Grande even made a surprise departure from her signature skin-tight mermaid dress on the red carpet, instead opting for wide-legged black pants and the tiniest of lace bandeaux tops (aka upmarket boob tube). The result was an on-trend look so sweet it served as proof of the blank canvas status of basic black wide-legged trews – the top half was what set her at opposite ends of the spectrum to Amber/Jinjoo/Joan.

Ariana Grande
Credit: Getty Images

But it was the increasingly impressive Hailey Baldwin – she of former Beiber GF status for a split second – who in my opinion co-won the ‘best look of the night’ award with Kim Kardashian-West (yes, there’s no one more surprised than me on both counts). Her black flared-pant Georges Chakra jumpsuit, teamed with classic 90s supermodel hair and make-up, looked nothing less than spectacular. (Note, from the front they look super skinny, but side on, her sparkly trews had a flared kick.)

Hailey Baldwin
Credit: Getty Images

Of course, while black pants were the standout style shock because of their general lack of fashion statement (to see one pair on a female star during an MTV red carpet event is a rarity – to see half a dozen, a phenomenon) – there were plenty of variations worth noting too.

Stella Tennant
Credit: Getty Images

Another dozen stars ditched customary dresses for flared trousers of printed and coloured variety: Stella Tennant in Moschino by Jeremy Scott (in the very head-to-toe outfit Hailey Baldwin modelled during the Cruise 2017 runway show), Teen Wolf actress Holland Roden in a wide-legged white jumpsuit, Tinashe in a wild red pants suit by Juan Carlos Obando and TV host Lilliana Vasquez went for a simple cream/black pattern that would look almost as at home on a girls night out as the VMAs white carpet.

Credit: Getty Images 

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Credit: Instagram @lillianavazquez

Perhaps inspired by recent goings-on in Rio, singers Cassie and Jojo both went down the all-gold route – the former in Gucci and the latter in a sofa-tastic paisley print teamed with a black lace top.

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Credit: Instagram

Credit: Getty Images

The bottom line? (Pun intended, sorry.) Wide pants are the easiest way to spice up your look coming into spring. The fact that they’re also (almost) universally flattering and pretty much impossible to get wrong just adds to the appeal. Time to unearth that pair you have in storage, if you haven’t already.