When worn, the only parts of the shirt that are visible are the collar and cuffs. (See, for example, this painting.) If you do want some embroidery, then, those are the parts that should definitely be embroidered. However, for something truly sumptuous, there are other places to add embroidery. These are:
- The sleeves (either in columns or in an allover arrangement)
- Around the neck slit on the front of the shirt
- Across the upper torso, both in the front and in the back
- All the way around the rectangle of the body piece, close to the hem or seam
- Occasionally, directly on top of any seams, especially on pieces with shoulder seams
The style of embroidery changes dramatically during the 16th century. Pieces from the 1530s and 1540s are very strongly geometric, with densely-stitched patterns that create a voided effect. By the end of the century, however, embroidery has become much more representative: plants and animals are clearly identifiable.