How to Say “Smarten Up” in Italian: A Guide

Gaining fluency in a foreign language often includes understanding idiomatic expressions. If you’re looking to express the phrase “smarten up” in Italian, this guide will provide you with both formal and informal ways to convey the intended meaning. While regional variations may exist, we will primarily focus on the standard Italian language. Let’s delve into various ways to express “smarten up” in Italian, including tips, examples, and more.

Formal Expressions:

If you want to communicate the idea of “smarten up” formally in Italian, you can use the following expressions:

1. Migliorare l’aspetto

The expression “migliorare l’aspetto” directly translates to “improve one’s appearance.” This phrase is often used when advising someone to enhance their style or overall presentation.

“Se vuoi fare una buona impressione a quell’intervista di lavoro, dovresti migliorare l’aspetto.” (If you want to make a good impression at that job interview, you should smarten up.)

2. Dare un tocco di eleganza

An alternative formal expression is “dare un tocco di eleganza,” which means “to add a touch of elegance.” It implies providing a more refined and polished appearance.

“Per la cena di gala, dovresti dare un tocco di eleganza al tuo abito.” (For the gala dinner, you should smarten up your outfit.)

Informal Expressions:

When speaking casually or informally, Italians employ a variety of vivid idiomatic expressions that convey the idea of “smarten up.” Here are some informal ways to express this in Italian:

1. Mettersi a posto

The phrase “mettersi a posto” literally means “to put oneself in order.” In informal contexts, it is used to encourage someone to tidy up their appearance or behavior.

“È meglio che ti metti a posto prima dell’appuntamento!” (You better smarten up before the date!)

2. Fare una bella figura

When someone is advised to “fare una bella figura,” it means they should make a good impression. This expression encompasses both appearance and behavior.

“Se vuoi convincere il tuo capo, devi fare una bella figura e mostrarti più professionale.” (If you want to convince your boss, you should smarten up and appear more professional.)

Tips and Additional Phrases:

Here are some additional tips and phrases that can help you express the concept of “smarten up” in Italian:

1. Non sembri in forma.

This phrase means “you don’t look in shape” and can be used to kindly advise someone to smarten up their appearance or behavior.

2. Sistemati un po’.

If you’d like to tell someone to “fix themselves up a bit,” this expression is perfect. It encourages them to take care of their appearance in a casual manner.

3. Dovresti curare di più il tuo aspetto.

Translated as “you should take care of your appearance more,” this phrase indicates that someone should make an effort to smarten up.

4. Vesti più elegantemente.

Suggesting someone dress more elegantly, this phrase is often used when encouraging an improvement in clothing style.


Now that you have an understanding of how to say “smarten up” in Italian, both formally and informally, you can confidently express this idea in various contexts. Remember to consider the level of formality required and choose the appropriate expression accordingly. Practice these phrases, and you’ll be able to effortlessly convey the notion of “smarten up” in Italian conversations. Buona fortuna!

Written by Ellie Lauren

Ciao! I'm Ellie, an Italian language enthusiast with a knack for captivating cultures and savoring words like the richest Tiramisu. I'm a passionate linguist and an aspiring polyglot when I'm not busy indulging in a creamy dose of gelato. From guiding you on how to say "eggplant" in Italian, to finding the most charming way to bid "Good night, Beautiful", my mission is to bring Italy's symphony of syllables to your doorstep. Quando non scrivo, you might find me diving into a book or sipping a smooth glass of Barolo.

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