Sales of shorts soar – but do we wear them well?

The recent spell of hot weather has sent British men to the shops in record numbers, report James Buckley and Lauren Allain

Sales of men's shorts have more than doubled since this time last year, as Britain enjoyed the warmest weekend of the year so far.

John Lewis reported that sales had more than doubled between January and April owing to the recent spate of hot weather, but said the success was also attributable to its range of tailored shorts, which were proving popular among men seeking a "preppy look".

The retailer said men were increasingly matching tailored shorts with lace-up shoes and shirts, rather than shapeless sports shorts.

Matt McCormack, head of menswear buying at John Lewis, said: "It's the preppy look which men are very much going for. It's a far smarter look than the combat shorts."

The online fashion store Asos also saw a sales jump, reporting a 110 per cent rise in sales of men's shorts, while Marks & Spencer laid claim to a 40 per cent rise. Tony O'Connor, head of menswear design at M&S, said: "The catwalks were awash with shorts for men for spring/summer 2011. The chino short is the perfect on-trend item when worn with a nautical striped blazer and polo for a sharp summer look."

Britain basked in the hottest day of the year on Saturday, with temperatures climbing higher than in Los Angeles. London and the South-east saw temperatures of 22C, with the heat wave expected to last until the middle of this week. David Cameron was last week seen sporting a combination of black shorts, white socks and white trainers as he holidayed with his wife Samantha in Granada and the southern Spanish mountains.

British men have traditionally been pilloried for matching their shorts with inappropriate footwear, and last week the US fashion designer Tom Ford, a man who knows a thing or two about looking good, criticised men who wear shorts and flip flops in the city. He said such attire was "never appropriate", regardless of how hot the weather was, apart from on the tennis court or the beach.

Don't worry Dave, you're not alone...

Our prime Minister has been criticised for his choice of summer attire, but as these pictures of world leaders prove, he is in good company. So can you match the legs with the heads (of government)?