Though they look very dashing and cavalier in the pictures, the conquistadors may have been a more motley crew.
Officers were likely noblemen or at least wealthy, so they were better equipped with horses and gear. But the price of a full suit of armor was comparable to buying a luxury car. Besides, can you imagine riding in hot, humid Texas weather and baking inside an metal oven? A breastplate and helmet may have seemed a favorable option.
As for the soldiers, there was no standard uniform. Each man was responsible to provide his own, though a weapon, a helmet, and a shield were often required as a minimum. The commoners who signed on as cavalry and infantry opted for a quilted cotton jacket or a vest or sleeveless shirt of chainmail to protect their torsos. Price was a consideration more important than fashion, and sometimes more important than safety or effectiveness. Fortunately, there were always soldiers willing to unload their obsolete armor at a discount to poor adventurers headed for the New World.
And those “pumpkin pants”? Probably not. That anachronism belongs in Elizabethan England. Even the name “Conquistador” was not coined until over a century after the expeditions.
And I’ll let you guess how many changes of clothes they brought along…and then imagine how they smelled. 🙂