The Amazon Echo Dot Is The Ultimate Holiday Gift for All Ages

The Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is a heavy hitter for Prime Day this year. On sale for $19, and down from its normal price of $39, this is a shockingly low price for Amazon’s mini smart speaker, and just one of many amazing Prime Amazon Echo deals this year. With the latest (higher-priced) generation of Echo products hitting Amazon and shelves next week, there’s never been a better time to nab the 3rd Gen Echo Dot. If you plan on buying for the holidays, it’s best to grab it now, as availability dates currently range from early November to December.

For less than $20, the Echo Dot 3rd Gen could be one of the best Christmas gifts you give this year. Available in sandstone, charcoal, heather gray, and plum, and powered by Amazon Alexa, the entire family will love Alexa’s amazing skills. Check news and weather; stream music from Spotify, Apple Music, and more; keep tabs on your Amazon notifications; and control all of your smart home gear. Adjust thermostats, set mood lighting, unlock smart locks, and more, all from the convenience of your Alexa app.

If it’s looking like everyone is getting an Echo Dot this year, guess what? You can link them all together for whole-home audio and cool features like Drop In. Time for dinner? Say “Alexa, drop in” to your Dot and tell the whole family to get downstairs for some lasagna. Amazon keeps the kiddos in mind, too. Amazon Kids, when enabled, will curate kid-friendly content for your little ones, so they’ll never have access to explicit content. Parental controls can be further adjusted in the Alexa app. Amazon takes your privacy quite seriously, and the Echo Dot is no exception. A mic off button keeps Alexa from listening to your convos (when you don’t want her to), and heavy encryption means your data is safe as it coasts from your home and into the Alexa cloud.

$19 is the lowest we’ve ever seen the Echo Dot 3rd Gen. If you’re planning on loading the stockings with Echo Dots this year, and don’t want to spend the extra dough for the latest iteration, the time to buy is right now.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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Fashion History – Clothing of the Middle Ages in Western Europe

The Middle Ages encompasses the time from the Fall of the Roman Empire in 400 CE until the beginning of the Renaissance, around 1500 CE.

Clothing of the Early Middle Ages, or Dark Ages, was basically a tunic and under tunic, both sewn from a cross shaped piece of fabric that was folded and hand stitched. Later, the tunic was cut in two pieces, then four piece for a better fit.

Peasants and serfs made their clothes at home of wool and hemp. The shearing, and cleaning of the wool; the spinning, and weaving was a long drawn out chore before the invention of the spinning wheel and the horizontal loom. But the garment were durable and long lasting. One garment could last a life time.

While the upper classes and aristocracy wore basically the same type of clothing, their under tunics were made of linen which was made for them by workers. Upper class women sewed tunics at home and some were made by professional tailors.

Due to the loss of trade that followed the end of the Roman Empire, trade was minimal, so the importation of fine fabrics was expensive and rare. But finer weaves, borders, and embellishments made for better clothing for the elite.

After the invention of the horizontal loom and spinning wheel, the manufacture of clothing became easier. These technological improvements made finer clothing more available and affordable. The Crusades introduced silk, damask, and other luxurious fabrics and designs into Europe. And when Marco Polo's adventures heralded a new interest in the Far East, trade increased, creating greater availability of textiles, design ideas, and new patterned fabric to Europe.

Clothing worn by the nobility and merchants began to change, introducing the concept of fashion. While the Church dictated certain aspects of dress for modesty, such as veils for women, alterations in the in the types of fabrics used varied the styles that became popular. Women wore veils made of sheer muslin, interwoven with golden threads. Gowns became more ornate with variations in the neckline, sleeves, and hem lengths.

The establishment of guilds and improvements in the manufacture of clothing created an upwardly mobile middle class able to emulate the clothing styles of the upper class. New styles emerged including the elaborate head dresses of the later Middle Ages. The head dresses that looked like horns were wildly popular for a generation, as was the classic fairy tale princess style of hat called a hennin. A hennin was a tall, conical hat worn with a veil, a style much identified with the Middle Ages.

The later Middle Ages saw women's gowns grow trains, and sleeves elongated so that long flaps reached the ground.

The changing of style and middle class interest in emulating the clothing styles of the elite created what we think of today as fashion.

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