Just wondering what is the right fit for a formal shirt collar. I've been wearing 15 1/2 inch shirts but recently measured my neck with a tape measure and when pulled completely taught it measures in at 14 1/2 inch. I think a shop clerk had taken the same measurement a while ago, and I had bought some 15 inch collar shirts but those particular ones felt overly tight (literally strangling), and were really uncomfortable on the neck. I wasn't sure whether that was just because those were really cheap, low quality ones (basically bought because I needed something immediately), I later went and bought some better ones from another store at 15 1/2 inch and they seem to fit comfortably.
However I'm just worried I'm wearing a shirt collar with too much room. I've read about the '2 finger rule' and I can fit two fingers in at the front of the collar (in front of the adam's apple) without leaving any room at a stretch, and it's about the same when trying at the side of the collar/neck. So it seems to pass that test. Is it normal to wear a shirt a full inch above your neck measurement ? I did read that you usually take measurement, and go half an inch up.
I ask because I have just ordered in some more shirts and am trying to build a better wardrobe of smart clothing, including better quality, better fitting shirts. The ones I currently have in 15 1/5 inch do seem to fit comfortably and the sleeve lengths are right, but aside from the neck I'd say they are a bit baggy with a bit too much material overall (I know a lot of shirts are like that) - not really a flattering look, I bought these mainly to wear under a suit jacket. I don't know if that is something that could be solved by going back down to a 15 inch, and hoping a better quality shirt will fit more comfortably. However I did order all these new ones in at 15 1/2 (yet to be collected), though half of them are slim fit - I was anticipating that this might give a nicer, closer fit overall (in both neck and body) and thus provide a fit close to what might be something between 15 and 15 1/2.
Judging from size guides it seems as though 15 inch shirts are designed to fit a 38 inch chest roundabouts, and 15 1/2 a 40. I'd say my actual chest measurement is probably around a 38/39, but I do wear a suit jacket in 40 regular (regular fit and length). I had bought the jacket in the slim fit initially (40, slim) but exchanged for a more comfortable feeling regular, which does fit quite nicely (I am quite tall, 6'1" at 182lbs) - I have quite broad shoulders/back and so the slim was too tight in that area. So I guess 15 1/2 does correlate to my actual jacket size.
I guess the best thing is waiting and seeing how the new purchases fit, but if anyone has any comments that would be very helpful! Thanks!